Google gives merchants an early Christmas present

The gift: Google has added new features for merchants just in time for the holiday season.

What’s inside:

  • Conversion value rules. Users can set parameters based on geographic location, device, and audiences or create customized value rules based on store visit or store sales conversion actions.
  • Product-specific insights. This tool identifies products with missing attributes, offers that are outperformed by competitors, and products with the potential for optimization.
  • Content API. Sales and promotions can be added to listings via the API, which helps merchants upload and manage deals at scale.
  • Shipping and returns annotations. Shopping ads can now be embedded with dynamic estimated delivery dates and return policies.

All purpose: This suite complements the features Google has available to merchants, like the Performance Planner tool, which produces campaign forecasts and simulations, or Smart Bidding, which uses machine learning to increase sales or profits.

Wrapping it up: A majority of US consumers (61%) begin their product research on Google (per an April Morgan Stanley survey), but fewer use it to compare prices or find the exact product they intend to purchase. Merchants already know about Google’s discovery power, but these tools could help them put the right information in front of the right customer at the right time, hopefully making a purchase not far behind.

Making a list, checking it twice: The busiest season is just around the corner, and retailers aren’t the only ones getting ready. More than a third (36%) of consumers have ideas for what they’re going to buy this holiday season, but 55% hold off on buying until items are on sale. Price isn’t the only thing worrying shoppers: 3 in 10 are buying products they don’t need right away out of concern for out-of-stocks.


This was originally featured in in the Retail By the Numbers newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.