Google Shopping is getting a redesign with several new features including tracking prices and searching for styles and items via Lens, Chrome Browser blocking pages with mixed content plus more and more ad spend shifting from desktop to mobile devices.
“You can’t just place a few “Buy” buttons on your website and expect your visitors to buy.” – Neil Patel
In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news:
- Google’s new take on Shopping goes live
- Chrome blocking mixed content starting December 2019
- Mobile conversions are rising, but the desktop is still king
Let’s dig in.
Google Shopping Gets a Revamp
The company announced Shopping is getting redesigned with a few new features including options to shop local stores, tracks prices and even find style inspirations through Google Lens. Google’s smart image recognition technology already can help identify objects, translate text and find similar items. Now, using a photo of an outfit you like – for instance, something you found on Instagram – Lens will be able to pull up other ‘style ideas’ from around the web.
One thing you’ll notice immediately is the prominence of the colourful shopping cart icons and calls to ‘Buy on Google’. This is Google’s cost-per-action program for retailers – currently called Google Shopping Actions. It enables users to buy via Google’s checkout with the payment information stored in the users Google account. This is a significant piece of the company’s strategy to push back on Amazon; and, establish partnerships with retailers as well as providing universal checkout.
The new experience is said to also push the ability to find the lowest prices – something Google is often criticised for. A price-tracking feature lets users tag products they’re looking for to receive notifications when the prices on those items drop.
Consumers will see shopping recommendations based on their shopping histories, search histories and lists. They will also be able to buy online or locally with buy online/pick up in-store if that’s supported by the retailer – of course. Google states it has mapped out more than 2 billion products to local retailers.
Why should you care? This is a significant initiative on Google’s part to remain relevant in the retail sector. Now that this new experience is live, it’s even more clear that merchants will need to adopt Shopping Actions if they want to get prominent visibility in Google Shopping.
Chrome Browser Blocks Mixed Content
Google announced that Chrome will begin blocking web pages with mixed content at the beginning of December 2019.
Publishers are urged to check their websites to make sure there are no resources that are being loaded using the insecure HTTP protocol.
What is mixed content? Mixed content is when a secure web page (loaded through HTTPS) also contains scripts, styles, images or other linked content that is served through the insecure HTTP protocol.
According to Google’s developer page, “mixed content degrades the security and user experience of your HTTPS site.”
How will Chrome handle mixed content? Currently, Google loads pages with mixed content. However, at the beginning of December 2019 – with the introduction of Chrome 79 – Google will do two things:
- Automatically upgrade HTTP content to HTTPS, if that resource exists on HTTPS.
- Introduce a toggle that a Chrome user can use to unblock insecure resources that Chrome is blocking.
Although this is not a full blocking, it might as well be because users may opt to back out of a site that displays a security warning. This will be a bad experience for publishers and may lead to fewer sales, visitors and ad views.
Lastly, at the beginning of January 2020, Google will remove the unblocking option and begin blocking mixed content web pages entirely.
In A Mobile-First World, Desktop Is Still King Of Conversions
According to an analysis of 10 million ad clicks across 100 accounts – by digital marketing agency AccuraCast – despite the fact, mobile devices are now the dominant way that consumers browse and search the internet, mobile ad clicks and conversions are less valuable than those on the desktop.
While mobile conversions grew a significant 10 points from 2018 to 2019 (39% to 49%), the majority of conversions still come from the desktop. AccuraCast said that “overall, desktop visitors convert 60% more than mobile visitors and conversions from desktop devices are worth 93% more than mobile ones, on average.”
The company looked at mobile and desktop ad clicks between August 2019 and August 2019. Mobile impressions, clicks and conversions (e-commerce or lead capture) grew during the 12-month period.
It appears that AccuraCast has not taken into consideration mobile ad-influenced conversions that happened offline. If offline sales were factored into the B2C data, that might’ve changed the calculation and conclusion, somewhat. However, the agency was only looking at e-commerce.
The agency places the blame for higher mobile ad impressions but lower conversions on a range of problems with the mobile user experience. Among them:
- Low-quality apps/sites that drive traffic but not conversion
- Poor performing landing pages that aren’t transaction friendly
- Ad formats that generate accidental clicks
AccuraCast implies that latent conversions on different devices may thwart tracking and potentially distort the data to some degree.
Why should you care?
For years, consultants and industry experts have advised retailers to speed up and simplify the mobile user experience. Heeding the advice have borne fruit in the form of conversion and revenue growth on mobile devices. The report indicates there is still some distance to go. However, retailers and other sellers should not see the desktop and mobile as mutually exclusive channels. Most shoppers are using multiple devices to make buying decisions, depending on the level of purchase consideration.
Do you have any suggestions or ideas what digital marketing news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.
In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, search engine news as well as PPC & Ads news.