Do e-commerce shoppers ever even set foot in retail stores these days? That’s a question weighing on the mind of many a marketer working with advertisers who have both brick-and-mortar and online shopping experiences to consider, and it’s one that Google decided to delve into a little deeper for some answers.

This week, they report on the results of this research with some interesting findings that debunk a lot of the common myths about how ads are impacting consumers and whether the in-store experience even matters anymore.

Also in store for this week’s fantastic PPC update, brought to you by yours truly, are some incredible new tools available to DoubleClick advertisers – this you’re not going to want to miss. Curious? Keep reading…


What’s up in the Google-verse?

To learn more about the impact of the digital world on in-store shopping, Google partnered with Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands to find out how smartphones, and online information in general, have changed the in-store experience. The study revealed three key myths:

  1. Search results send consumers to e-commerce sites, never to retail locations. In reality, “3 in 4 people who said they found local information in search results helpful also said what they learned made them more likely to visit a store.”
  2. If a shopper in a brick-and-mortar store looks at her smartphone, the retailer has lost the sale. The truth is that these are critical moments retailers can capture to influence the buying decision. “46% of those shoppers say they look at the retailer’s own site or app for information. Only 30% look up details from a different retailer’s web site or app.”
  3. Shoppers go to stores only to transact; they get all the information they need online. The real deal? Consumers want more out of their in-store experiences. “69% of shoppers said they gathered information from physical stores at some point in their shopping cycle. The catch is that 2 out of 3 shoppers said they didn’t find all the info they wanted.”

This means that while shopping experiences may originate online more than ever before, savvy retailers are taking advantage of the digital integration with the real-world experience to create consistent, enriching experiences that transect reality and the digital world to influence buyers in more meaningful ways. More details on the AdWords Blog, and the full study results are up for grabs at Think with Google.

There are now 13 new tools through DoubleClick Creative Solutions to kick your campaigns up a notch or 12 and totally knock it out of the park. These tools are aimed at large-scale campaigns, programmatic media buys, mobile ad targeting, and even video ad targeting. Read about all the crazy cool new features here.

One of those fabulous tools is a fantastic new Asset Library, which really empowers the scalability of the increasingly massive large-scale campaigns being implemented by major advertisers. Check out this deep-dive into the Asset Library at the Agency blog.


Well, hey there, Bing. What’s shakin’?

Bing’s making some additional investments in usability within the Change History user interface (UI) – you know, that handy little tool that shows you how the changes you’ve made have impacted your campaign performance. New features include the ability to filter Change History grid and graph by user, changes made to keywords are now grouped by match type, and you can show or hide all the details for each row in the Change History grid, among others. For all the new features and enhancements, check out this post on the Bing Ads blog.

Universal Event Tracking is now available to advertisers worldwide. What is it? “A simple and powerful campaign measurement solution that allows you to track key conversion goals important to your business.” It’s a simple, powerful, and highly effective way to track the goals – like performance and conversions – that matter to you.

And, it facilitates remarketing, a valuable way to re-capture target consumers that have previously been exposed to or engaged with your business. Get all the details about Universal Event Tracking and how you can put it to work to get better results from your PPC campaigns, and your digital campaigns in general, on the Bing Ads blog.


On to the rest of the WWW…

PPCHero is getting in gear for holiday advertising campaigns. Actually, they’re helping you get your plans in gear with a white paper to help you figure out the what, where, and why that is holiday advertising campaigns and the mysteries of the holiday shopping frenzy. It’s not really a mystery, of course. People go nuts, burn up credit cards, and occasionally trample other shoppers at 3 a.m. in the entrance to a Kohl’s somewhere. But for advertisers, all that frenzy means a lot of opportunity – but you gotta have a plan. Get it here.

PPCHero also ran a series of posts this week focusing on several different verticals. It’s great stuff – check out their tips for PPC advertising in the cutthroat healthcare niche, the travel and tourism industry, get a sneak peek into PPC in the financial services industry, and more.

Google Merchant Promotions is a helpful tool for driving traffic to Product Listing Ads, and the RKG blog has some insights on new functionality that makes this tool a little easier and some tips for maximizing your results. Read it here.

The growth of ecommerce in CPG and grocery categories is creating some trouble for retailers and CPG brands. Compete Pulse reports on these trends, which, coupled with the low barriers to entry for online-only retail vs. brick-and-mortar locations, are poised to heavily impact some key areas of consumer purchases. In particular, regularly-purchased products – like pet food and supplies – are increasingly purchased online, which could spell serious turmoil for brick-and-mortar competitors in the space. Read the full story here.

Competitive analysis always produces helpful information. WordStream reveals four tools to streamline spying on – I mean, analyzing and beating – your competition. Get ‘em here.

You know me, there are some things in life I just can’t resist. Commenting on the media ruckus that is Ello is one of them…apparently, the same is true for our peeps over at WordStream, because they’re weighing in on the topic du jour with a nice roundup of five social networks that totally flopped in achieving the goal of the ad-free social network. Check it out.

So, to end this fabulous week and another fabulous collection of fascinating PPC news, let’s ponder the question of whether Ello will be able to fulfill its promise of no-ads-ever. I’ll give you til next week to think it through. Oh – what’s that you say? You don’t need that long? Yeah, me either.

Make your weekend a marvelous one, my faithful PPC-ers.