Explore our Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning Toolkit

AdWords introduce new features to make travel & shopping easier [@SmartInsights Alert]

By Alexander Clark 15 Jul, 2016

As we head towards some of the busiest months of the year, Google has decided to roll out some new Adwords features.


Recommended  links: Paid Search Strategy

On Tuesday 12th July 2016, Google posted about a whole host of updates for their shopping ads and their Travel search ads.

Shopping ads

These new additions to Google are across three sectors Product Listing Ads (PLA's), YouTube and International Shopping

Product Listing Ads

In previous instances with broad terms queries such as "women's athletic clothing", Google has shown less defined and sometimes irrelevant items in the PLA's.

An example used in the post was a broad term search for "living room furniture", which may show a teal sofa, and this may not be the most useful experience for the person who isn't sure what they want to buy.

The new feature introduced with the aim to provide more relevant and engaging options is "Showcase Shopping Ads". The purpose of these is to...

"help people further explore and discover what they want to buy and where they want to buy it. For example, if a shopper searches ‘summer dresses,’ ASOS, a global apparel retailer, can now showcase its collection of dresses in a visually rich experience."

Showcase Shopping Ads


To begin with, this will be available to all merchants running shopping campaigns in the US, UK and Austraila.

Shopping on YouTube

With review and unboxing videos increasing in popular over the past few years, its obvious to see that people are turning to YouTube during the research phase of making a purchase. In fact it transpires that just under half of the US population (47%), says that YouTube helps them to make a decision about buying something at least once a month.

Last May Google introduced TrueView for Shopping, which you will hopefully all have seen at some point over the past year. If not, it basically makes it easier for viewers to see more information about advertisers products when watching videos.

To help add more leverage to the ever increasing number of advertisers using this feature, Google have introduced the "Companion Banner" and the "Product Picker".

They are described as:

  • Companion banner: We’re adding a new interactive banner appearing next to the video that lets viewers scroll through products while the video is playing next to it. The banner also shows viewers the most up-to-date product information.

  • Product picker: Our new feature lets advertisers easily choose and prioritize which of their products are featured as cards in a TrueView for shopping campaign. This optional feature lets advertisers show specific products for specific campaigns, or they can still let the format dynamically feature products from their Merchant Center.

International Shopping

This is a minor tweak, but it makes a lot of sense. In short it converts the cost of the product you're looking for into the relevent currency. The example Google have used is a person shopping in the UK can see products sold by a US retailer, listed in British pounds.

A simple fix, which should have been implemented years ago in my honest opinion.

Travel Ads

Mobile is a big part of how people search and this is no different for when planning a trip.

Google highlighted this by stating...

"Visits to mobile travel sites made up 40% of total travel web traffic in the first quarter of this year. At the same time, individual travel web sessions are becoming shorter and travel mobile conversion rates have grown 10% as users are increasingly ready to book on mobile."

In time for the peaks of July and the usual January spike in traffic Google are introducing the "Hotel Smart Filter", which will...

"now give people the option to filter Hotel search results based on specific needs. For example, travelers can filter based on rating or price with one tap on their phones. We’ll make it easy to search for exactly what people want, like “Pet-friendly hotels in San Francisco under $200” to find the perfect hotel for them. This feature is available in the US and will roll out globally later this year"

Another additional feature is "Hotel Deals". This acts as a callout to highlight to users flicking through the SERP's that a hotel’s price is lower than usual compared to historical pricing or when there are discounts to the normal rate for those dates. Early tests have indicated an increase of nearly double the amount of bookings, which is certainly promising.

"Hotel Tips" is the next offering. It passes the Ronseal Test and certainly does what it says on the tin. In short, it uses real time data to make suggestions on how to find the best deal and hotel for their needs.

The final feature Google has added to help travellers is "Flight Price Tracking". Much like the previous two features, it is fairly self-explanatory. It makes it easier to track flight prices for particular routes and dates. It'll be nicely integrated with Google Now Cards and Email as it will notify users of any changes.

If you have any queries just drop a message in the comment section.

By Alexander Clark

A former member of the Smart Insights team, I’m always on the look out to collaborate with the finest minds in Digital Marketing. Currently working at Silverbean, I have a distinctive interest in all things outreach, content, strategy, and measurement. If you’d like to get in touch, you can do so through my LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. When I’m not planning new campaigns and content, I love playing the Bass Guitar and Drums (not necessarily at the same time) also racking up as many hours as possible on Football Manager and the Rugby pitch.

Start the discussion on our community and social networks

Turbocharge your results with our

Digital marketing strategy and planning Toolkit

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our Free membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments

Need help with your Digital marketing strategy?

Get more from your digital marketing with in-company or remote training and consultancy from Smart Insights

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our Free membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments

Recommended Blog Posts

Popular Blog Posts