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Thoughts on 'How Shoppers Find Ideas and Inspiration'

This blog is in response to the below infographic article featured on 'Think with Google" about how shoppers find ideas and inspiration.

'Today's super-empowered consumer knows they can research anything they need or want online. But while people are still searching for specific products, they are increasingly turning to search before they've even figured out what to buy. Ultimately, they're looking for ideas and inspiration.'


Hey, Google. What are some good ideas for my mom’s birthday present?

Hey, Alexa. What are the most popular spices and marinades people buy?

Hey, Siri. What are the top shoe brands for runners right now?

The way we shop has totally changed over the last decade. We no longer must bounce around from store to store searching for the best deals. I can do all the research I need at home. Heck, I can even do it while I watch West Virginia University basketball (this usually ends in heartbreak, but that’s beside the point).

Although I’m going through a bit of nostalgia thinking about the old days when my dad used to take me from Dick’s Sporting Goods to the local mall just to try to find the best deals on shoes, I am equally as excited about this new era we are in.

Although, as a search advertiser seeing how much the Google search term “ideas” has increased over the past year, scares me a little. This tells me the user is not ready to buy at all--zero chance they have their credit card in hand. What it does tell me is they are stuck spinning around the top of the shopping funnel with only a general idea of what they want to buy, far away from being ready to make the purchase. This has changed the game for both retailers and search advertisers like myself. Would a retailer be willing to pay for the click on an “ideas” Google search if it’s likely not going to give them a sale? Probably not. But, as a search advertiser, I take this into consideration from a contextual targeting standpoint for a display campaign.

The great part about search advertising is we know the keywords we target give us valuable impressions of qualified users. There is no guesswork when it comes to targeting--like what website our potential buyers are on or what demographic they are in. If they are searching for my product, then I know they are a qualified user.

At the end of the day, I thank you Google. You give us easy access to everything in the world with just a click of a button or voice command. You also give endless targeting options, keeping us online advertisers busy. Thank you.

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