This morning Google announced two new ad formats for mobile — or rather the extension of two PC ad types to smartphones — Product Extension Ads and Product Local Ads.

Basically these two mobile formats allow marketers to include product images and related data in ads showing on mobile devices (like PC-based AdWords). Further, if real-time inventory data are available and enabled, users could alternatively be shown information on whether products are in stock nearby.

The Product Extension Ads are intended to drive e-commerce from mobile devices. Google research has found that 77 percent of smartphone owners use their devices in stores. For example, someone looking for a bike might be in a store and consult her phone for product reviews and pricing information. Through Product Extension Ads she might see the same bike for sale online at a lower price and buy the bike through the internet accordingly.

Although built on the same “infrastructure,” Product Local Ads are intended to effectively do the opposite: drive foot traffic into local stores. Product Local Ads will show nearby inventory based on several location-detection methodologies.

In both cases the ads are enabled by linking the marketer’s AdWords account to the Google Merchant Center. Product Local Ads require both a Google Places account and local inventory data submission through the Google Merchant Center.

In addition to the 77 percent of smartphone users who are on their devices in stores, Google’s recent “Smartphone User Study” (as well as other research) has shown that “54 percent of smartphone shoppers use their phones to locate a retailer and 34 percent search for a store’s product inventory.”

The ad formats are available in the US, UK, Germany and France on smartphones.

About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.



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