Google Introduces Shoppable Image Ads

By Tinuiti Team


Google introduced a new ad format that features shoppable ads within Google Image search results at this week’s Shoptalk conference.

The new shoppable ads on Google Images surface for broad search queries and have been compared to similar image ads that are popular on Facebook and Pinterest.

In addition to testing this new format with select retailers, Google also announced that they’re introducing Showcase Shopping ads to Image search as well.


“This is an exciting new inventory source in the evolution of Google Shopping. In line with recent improvements in upper funnel inventory, the expansion to Shoppable ads on Images continues to solidify Shopping as a full-funneled medium.”

-Josh Brisco, Sr. Manager, Retail Search Operations at CPC Strategy


New Google Shoppable Image Ads


Over the last year, we’ve seen ads with rich media content show up in alternate placements (such as in the Google News Feed), Google’s expansion of Shopping ads to Image results, and continuous developments in Showcase Shopping (such as video content).

According to early visuals, we know that Google Shoppable Image Ads:

• Surface at the top of broad query image results

• Can feature multiple items within a single image  (the example displays two separate office products tags display when engaged)

• Display brand name and price when engaged

Feature extensions or some form of (“free shipping” and “on sale” extensions display underneath the product titles)


“It builds on what Google is doing with Showcase Ads. They released Showcase Ads so they could show Shopping ads on broader queries,” explains Evan Kirkpatrick, Vice President of Shopping & Feed Management at Elite SEM.

“Previous to this, you didn’t see Shopping ads on as many top-of-funnel queries. Showcase changed that and we’ve seen consistent growth and Google continues to innovate in this area, as evident by this update.”


google shoppable image ads


This latest ad unit is an additional step toward opening up Shopping to upper funnel audiences, with rich media ads that surface for broad search queries.


“We know consumers love interacting with images, so a large shoppable image right on the SERP will absolutely draw consumers in. It’s impossible to ignore, and will undoubtedly drive brand engagement.”

evan kirkpatrick google shopping search headshot

-Evan Kirkpatrick, Vice President, Shopping & Feed Management at Elite SEM


“This should be a relevant ad unit, especially in the fashion/apparel/home décor categories, though I am curious how it scales as not going to be as streamlined of a process to build these out.”

When will the new format release?

Google states the Shoppable Image ads are being tested by select retailers, and if the past is any indication it will be several months before this ad unit gets released to all advertisers.


Google Expands Showcase Shopping To Image Search


Google also announced that it will expand Showcase Shopping ad placements to Google Images as well.


Google shoppable image ads


Showcase Shopping ads, which display rich media and scrollable carousels for broad search queries on mobile search, have also received continuous updates that indicate Google’s long-term investment in the Showcase as a flagship ad format that spans Shopping, Search, and now Image Search.


Want to learn more?

Google’s Official Announcement

Showcase Shopping Ads: Setup & Optimization Guide

A Guide To Google Showcase Shopping Ads

Google Testing Video In Showcase Shopping Ads & New “Discover Ads”



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