Google testing new shopping features

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has added in some new shopping features to help encourage consumers to make purchases.

The first enhancement affects product listing ads on mobile devices. Now, a user can swipe the ad to expand the product photo and get more information such as ratings, availability and nearby stores, WebProNews reported. In return, retailers listed in these ads will get more qualified traffic driven directly to their sites.

Another new feature is newly designed shopping ads with authoritative ranking and product ratings on searches for top-rated products. According to VP of product management, Jonathan Alferness, the new design has helped increase the click-through rate up to 11 percent for retailers.

Third, product queries that include "reviews" or "recommendations" will now show snippets from the most useful reviews found around the Web.

Finally, shoppers who want details about product features can now view product attribute cards with the most relevant information.

Google also reported that it would start prioritizing ads for local inventory when a shopper is specifically looking for a product at a nearby store. Google reports that this method increased clicks on shopping ads by 85 percent for relevant queries.

Simultaneously Google released two new shopping cards for Google Now—the in-store card, which appears when a shopper is near a store, and the price drop card, which highlights price reductions.

And Google finally admitted to testing its long-rumored buy button in search ads. The test is to help retailers improve mobile engagement and sales. Being called "Purchases," the buttons are designed to help retailers and other e-commerce businesses transact more easily online, FierceMobileMarketer reported.

"For retailers, opting in to Purchases on Google means improved mobile conversions thanks to a simplified checkout process," Alferness said. "Participating retailers only pay for clicks on the shopping ads to the product page; all clicks and interactions on the product page are free. While Google hosts the product page and provides purchase protection for customers, retailers own the customer communication and can offer customers the option to receive marketing and promotional messages."

Google's initial test with run with about a dozen retail partners, including Staples, and eventually it will be available in the United States.

For more:
-See this WebProNews article
-See this FierceMobileMarketer article

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