In March, Google revealed its plan to experiment with shoppable ads in image search results. The new approach to advertising allows marketers to display sponsored images among Google Images results accompanied by shopping tags that, when clicked, will identify the corresponding item together with its price found in an image.
In addition to leveraging its image search capability for advertising, Google also appears to be flexing its muscles in the video space to bolster its online shopping business. According to a new report from The Information, the search giant is testing displaying product recommendations along with their prices under YouTube videos. When clicked, the shopping links will bring viewers to a Google Express page for checkout, with more details about a particular product including reviews and ratings, return policy, and recommendations for related items.
It's not clear in which locations the test is being conducted, but the experiment is said to be part of Google's broader effort to rebrand Express into Google Shopping amid an escalating competition with Amazon. Already, the Express marketplace has seen an increase in the number of retailers, according to the report.
The latest development follows a similar initiative launched by YouTube last year meant to allow creators with at least 10,000 subscribers to sell merchandise directly through their channel. For now, it's hard to tell whether Google's new shopping initiative can manage to stack up against the online shopping behemoth that is Amazon.