In conversation: What will Google’s new Shop the Look feature mean for retailers?

A Crealytics Discussion Picks Apart Google’s Shop The Look


Last week Google announced that it’s taking a new step into ecommerce with the addition of its Shop The Look via AdWords.  Aimed at fashionistas, it will now show a complete outfit of looks, provisioned from Google Shopping partners, where you could shop for each piece individually or as a complete set.  

As you might expect from a group of people who live and breathe Google Shopping there was a lot of discussion here at Crealytics HQ about it.  Some people thought it took direct aim at re-valuing generic queries, and others thought it had more to do with attribution.  Regardless, the discussion got interesting enough that we thought it relevant to share the Slack exchange.  


screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-17-21-59 Anna Morrogh (Head of Marketing): Hi Content-eers. Anyone have anything to say about this?


screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-17-22-08 Mallory Chen (Entrepreneur-in-Residence): It looks like they’re venturing into Pinterest’s or Wanelo’s back yard. Also interested as to how this would impact Polyvore, especially since they’re partnering up. If anything it’ll probably squeeze out even more middlemen.


screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-17-16-43 Tim Dobbins (UX designer): Awesome insight. Could it eat away at generic search traffic that might otherwise go to our clients?


screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-17-22-08 MC: Also curious about the bloggers and how this would impact the campaign structure.


screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-17-16-43 TD: Mentioned the concept to our product team, they think this COULD be a possibility – that it could disrupt generic traffic for retailers. It would be interesting to know how often these “showcase ads” might display for generic terms, and if that might affect performance. Reading into it more – it seems Google will make this format available to brands that already have Shopping Campaigns with Google – another good reason for why retailers should jump onto shopping.

Especially with the holiday season coming up, there’s even more pressure to get on board.


0774bb3 Mark Schwartz (Managing Director, US): My Hot Take: Google continues to rail against the App Economy by trying to keep the Internet open and searchable. A searchable Internet means more advertising revenue!  If Google can curate fashion on mobile devices without Apps (as opposed to say, social apps like Instagram, fashion specific apps like Mylo or any retailer app), their business can continue to grow unfettered by closed walls.

Oh, and FYI – I think the Polyvore CEO is a former Googler.


screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-17-15-10Torsten Christ (Head of Digital Marketing): Google said they will roll this out to better direct users who search for generic terms to pre-select the results they are shown. It shifts attention away from SEO. Websites with good ranking may suffer a bit – however, sites with low SEO ranking can benefit from this move if they’re willing to spend money on this format.

Also great to see that the gif selects our client ASOS as a retailer ☺

Google is moving a bit closer to contextual search, where interaction with the user is actively managed vs. plain listing that we see in SERP today.


screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-17-16-43 TD: Great share! I noticed ASOS in the demo too – how cool! 🙂



 0774bb3 MS:  Another way to say that might be that Google continues to want to make search more relevant and effective in the upper funnel.  Connecting generic searches to direct performance helps with attribution.



 TD: Guess I was wanting to know if at a high level we could say those bullets about the impact on generic search.

There are data that show that X% of product searches do not start on Google anymore but directly on Amazon (or Pinterest I imagine). This new format might entice people to start their product research on Google again, as Google has the additional benefit of price comparison between retailers.


0774bb3 MS: Another thought occurred to me – how much of this is reaction to tools like HookLogic that recommend additional, complementary products within the merchandise page?

Isn’t this just taking that idea and putting it directly in the SERP?


screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-17-15-10TC: True. Google is building out their website to reflect a retailer. Another piece of the puzzle: Offering the buy button so that you don’t need to visit the individual retailers to make a purchase.

Offering complementary products makes sense and emulates the behavior of a retail website.

Google might even have access to more inventory than Amazon.

Without building a single warehouse.


* * *


The current opinion is that customers of Google Shopping will largely benefit – especially if they have done an excellent job of indexing their product feeds and making it relevant to their shoppers.  Our advice is to talk to your client team to make sure your mobile bids and product feeds are optimized against with Google’s latest venture.   


What you need to know now:


–   They will be made available to retailers running shopping campaigns in the US, UK and Australia over the next weeks

– The new ad format ties into a general push from Google to populate broad queries with results that are more relevant for the users. Even if they themselves do not know yet what exactly it is they are looking for. Another example of this is the “shop the look” cards Google unveiled recently.

– The format – which looks similar to Google Now Cards Android users are already familiar with.

– Advertisers will only have to pay for clicks that go to their websites. Further decreasing the early adoption of businesses. Whether Google will change this in the future is yet to be seen.


If you’d like to add to the discussion, please comment or tweet us @crealytics.   Sign up for our newsletter to keep receiving thought pieces from industry experts right in your inbox.


Jennifer is Head of Content Marketing at crealytics