At Retail Conference, Google Dangles Shiny New Visual Ad Format

Photo by Michael Henry.

The visual-first ads are here. Google announced at the retail conference Shoptalk on Wednesday that it is launching shoppable ads in image search, propelling the search giant into the center of the visual zeitgeist that has made Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat hot targets for advertisers.

The new ad formats will help retailers connect with consumers as digital-first consumers flock to visual media as means of product discovery. The ads will allow advertisers to promote multiple products at once, displaying prices and vendors when consumers click on or hover over them.

“Awareness is about being there when the consumer is looking for you,” saidĀ Daniel Alegre, president, retail shopping and payments, at Google, pointing to a changing customer journey in which digital is central and visual elements are increasingly displacing a conventional focus on text.

Joe Zappa is Street Fight’s managing editor.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Shoot him an email at