What Will Shape Google & Facebook Retail Advertising In 2019?

By Tinuiti Team

Last year, we asked the experts to predict what changes on the horizon would impact Google & Facebook advertisers in 2018.

Their predictions for 2018 included increased competition on Search and Shopping due to Amazon, more ad personalization options, updates to Showcase Shopping and Analytics data, and more.

On the Facebook side, our experts forecasted the rise of influencer marketing, a push for Messenger, video capabilities, and other major trends.

But what’s in store for Google and Facebook advertisers in the year ahead?

We asked experts the same question on every retailer’s mind:

What trends do you expect to shape Google Ads & Facebook in 2019?


facebook google ads experts 2019 predictions


Jump To A Section


1. Google Advertising Predictions for 2019


2. Facebook Predictions for 2019



2019 Google Advertising Predictions


1. Guaranteed Shipping Options


I believe Google will make a bigger splash in guaranteed shipping, similar to Fulfillment by Amazon and Walmart’s latest push to extend their free 2-day shipping options to third-party sellers.



Google owns text-based search, image search, and drives some of the highest intent queries online, so it’s natural for them to go even more vertical in their ecommerce and shopping experiences.

As the Wall Street Journal stated (and at the core of ShipBob’s business thesis), “Alongside life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, you can now add another inalienable right: two-day shipping on practically everything.

casey armstrong cmo shipbob
-Casey Armstrong, Chief Marketing Officer at ShipBob


2. Expansion of Google Shopping & Google Express on the SERP


Google Shopping Actions/Google Express will continue to grow, eventually moving from a ‘nice to have’ channel to, table stakes for any well rounded Shopping advertiser’s marketing efforts.

Additionally, while currently purely ‘organic’ in how products are shown now, my prediction is Google will begin monetizing the domain as well as voice search ‘placements’ within the next 12-18 months.


amazon dog food google shopping listing

My thought is this will take the form of various ad units similar to Amazon’s marketplace, most likely managed through Google Ads.

This expansion will bode well for the retailers & agencies who can quickly respond to the shift to paid, much like the transition from Froogle, to the paid version of Google Shopping.


-Josh Brisco, Senior Manager of Retail Search Operations at CPC Strategy


I’m most interested in watching how much more of the SERP that Google will take over both vertically and horizontally on mobile.

casey armstrong cmo shipbob

-Casey Armstrong, Chief Marketing Officer at ShipBob


By vertically, I mean in the core of the SERP. They often have multiple Google Shopping ads with images, then user reviews tied to the ads, then regular search ads with multiple site links before you even get an organic listing.

By horizontally, I mean beyond the core of the SERP. For example, below the search bar, you are often prompted to navigate horizontally to the Shopping tab, which has several rows of sponsored ads, then the Images tab, which often has at least one row of sponsored ads.

The “Google tax” is increasing.


3. Bringing More Machine Learning To Google Ads


If 2018 is any indicator of what 2019 may look like, then we can continue to expect more hands-off automated solutions that are performance focused using machine learning for both Search and Shopping.

Google uses machine learning to help advertisers auto adjust bids, allocate budgets, serve most relevant ads to users, etc. based on your campaign objective.


google responsive search ads


Google products using machine learning has certainly noticeably improved in 2018 vs 2017. However, even with these improvements advertisers still need to cautiously test these products to ensure full control of their marketing funnel.

For those advertisers that may have their entire bottom funnel advertising strategy covered, Google will make it easier than ever to start targeting qualified users higher in the funnel.


ben whitrock, manager retail search at cpc strategy

-Ben Whitrock, Senior Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy


4. More Attribution Capabilities


I expect Google to continue doubling down on attribution and the ability to tie in the impact on running ads at all stages of the funnel.

I also think that YouTube will continue being driven towards taking action to make it more fruitful for advertisers.


-Stephen Kerner, Senior Manager of Retail Search at CPC Strategy


5. First-party Data & Google


First-party data will be the key to success in 2019.

Increasing privacy concerns (and laws) and expectations around customer experience have all but cemented first-party data as king.

With innovative technology like CRM software and CDPs making it easier than ever to use first-party data for Google Search & Shopping ad segmentation and targeting, brands in 2019 will be in a better position than ever to maximize the value of it.




2019 Facebook Predictions  


1. The Continued Rise of the Stories Format


Facebook has already stated that it’s going to make Stories ads unskippable.

If Facebook follows through on this promise, it will be a game changer. Stories performance is already close to that of the Newsfeed, and currently, most Stories ads are skipped.


facebook stories


Brands that are already using Stories organically will be in a good position to capitalize on this whereas those without any Stories content will be scrambling to produce video in portrait format.


paul fairbrother adespresso


-Paul Fairbrother, Facebook Ads Specialist at AdEspresso


instagram stories
Source: Quora


The continued rise of Instagram Stories will be a 2019 game changer.

Instagram Stories is currently underpopulated with advertisers.

Seeing the organic growth and success with the placement, I don’t imagine Stories will remain advertiser-light for long.


sarah sanchez advertise on facebook
– Sarah Sanchez, Manager of Performance Social at CPC Strategy


Instagram Stories advertising will become much more prevalent as Facebook tries to increase revenue from this ad unit as well as Instagram stories becoming extremely popular for users on the platform.

-Mae Karwowski, CEO and Founder at Obviously


2. Facebook Groups Growing In Importance


Facebook Groups During 2016 and 2017 Facebook have made many improvements to Groups functionality and as their popularity grows they’ll now shift their attention to monetization.

The Facebook pixel is due to be rolled out to all groups so for brands we could see a situation where Group membership numbers are more important than business page likes.


It’s also likely that we’ll be given the ability to boost posts so that more Group members see them. Groups could also be added to interest targeting, because Facebook has removed partner categories it needs to rely more on targeting options from within the platform itself.


paul fairbrother adespresso

-Paul Fairbrother, Facebook Ads Expert at AdEspresso


3. Improved Media Buying Automation


Improved automation for media buyers will be big in 2019.


Source: AdWeek


To-date, media buyers tend to rely on third-party platforms to automate optimizations, but we’ll likely continue to see more optimization availability and improvement – similar to Campaign Budget Optimization.


jenny broekemeier


-Jenny Broekemeier, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy


4. Increase In Video Placements


Video has been on the rise over the past couple of years and will only continue to dominate in 2019.

Video ads have shown to boost engagement and are a great way for your brand to tell its story.


facebook video ads


Some possible video trends in 2019: vertical video (i.e. Instagram Stories) and leveraging influencers for video content.



-Savannah Montgomery, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy


Increase in paid placement options – in order to continue growing advertising budgets on their platform, we’ll likely begin seeing ads in a variety of new placements such as Instagram Direct, IGTV, Facebook Watch, and more.

I believe a majority of these new placements will be video focused.


jenny broekemeier


-Jenny Broekemeier, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy


5. A Greater Focus on Attribution


Facebook is investing heavily in tools tailored to help advertisers understand performance.

With the attribution tool fully rolling out recently, plus the announcement of Creative Compass and Facebook Consultants, it’s clear Facebook wants to win advertising dollars from SMB’s who may not have access to the same resources as its enterprise advertisers.

casey edwards facebook ads
-Casey Edwards, Senior Social Marketing Strategist at CPC Strategy


facebook attribution


A greater understanding of Facebook advertising’s role in omnni-channel marketing will be important in 2019.

Enhancements to Amazon’s off-Amazon tracking capabilities along with Facebook’s newly released Attribution Tool help advertisers better understand the impact their Facebook ads are having on the overall business.

As the tools continue to develop in 2019 so will our knowledge on how to use the channels best together.


-Savannah Montgomery, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy


6. Improved Creative Resources


Facebook made some strides this year to make creative more customizable within the platform (video templates, easy text/logo overlay additions, etc.).

We’ll likely continue to see this as a large focus in 2019.

Typically, a lack of strong creative is a big barrier, so adding more unique, easy features is a big selling proposition.

jenny broekemeier


-Jenny Broekemeier, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy


What about you, do you have any predictions for what will impact advertisers on Google and Facebook in 2019?

Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!



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