Three prominent retail brands—Best Buy Co. Inc., No. 8 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500; Nike Inc., No. 27; and Sephora, which is owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, No. 131—are the latest merchants that are leveraging Google Shopping Actions program.
Shopping Actions, which Google launched in March, enables retailers to list their products in sponsored listings adjacent to regular search results, in the Google Express shopping service and in its Google Assistant app that’s available within smart speakers such as Google Home and on smartphones. In exchange for the listings, merchants using the program pay Google a percentage of each purchase, which is a shift from its existing cost-per-click and cost-per-thousand impressions advertising models.
The announcement that three high-profile merchants are leveraging Shopping Actions weeks before the start of the holiday season aims to bolster the fledgling program. For example, Google says Nike is the first footwear and apparel brand to use Shopping Actions. However, more brands are likely to follow given that a number of vendors—including ChannelAdvisor Corp, CommerceHub, Feedonomics and Zentail—are offering integrations that aim to simplify capturing and acquiring customers via Shopping Actions.
Shopping Actions is one way that Google aims to adapt to the changing ways that consumers are shopping; the search giant notes that 75% of U.S. holiday shoppers over 18 plan to use three or more channels to shop online. The program also is designed to help it build a moat to combat the threat posed by other advertising platforms, including the rapidly growing Amazon Marketing Services. For example, while Google search ads are expected to account for 21% of retailers’ holiday ad spending, according to a forecast released Tuesday by Nanigans, its lead is narrow; Facebook is expected to account for 18% and Amazon 15% (Google display ads are expected to account for another 14%).
“With Shopping Actions, they can move seamlessly from browsing to buying with a universal cart that works across Search, the Google Assistant and Google Express whether they’re on mobile, desktop or even a Google Home device,” writes Daniel Alegre, Google’s president , retail, shopping and payments, in a blog post.