Advertisers taking advantage of Google Showcase Shopping Ads are receiving notifications from AdWords that, beginning in mid-August, Google will update how advertisers are charged for interactions with these ads.
Brands will still be charged if a user clicks onto a Showcase Shopping Ad and then clicks on a product to head to the advertiser’s website, as has always been the case with these ad units. However, advertisers will soon also have to pay whenever a user clicks through a Showcase ad and then remains on the expanded ad for at least 10 seconds.
The following depicts Showcase ads on the Google SERP on the left, while the image on the right is an example of the expanded ad a user sees after clicking through a Showcase ad. Users can scroll through the expanded ad to view products from the advertiser.
Google has quietly stated since the beginning of Showcase ads that pricing for the premium version of the format might include a charge for time spent on the expanded ad, so this update doesn't come as a huge shock to brands and agencies that have been working with the format over the past year. Still, it does stand to impact ad spend and engagements for any brand currently deploying Showcase ad campaigns. How much is a bit hard to say, as we don’t currently have any data on what share of visits to Showcase expanded ad pages don’t result in an ad click but do result in a user staying on the page for ten seconds.
Additionally, conversion rates will likely decline, since a user who never makes it to the website from an ad click is unlikely to convert (though they could still come to the website later).
Below is a screenshot of the email sent to advertisers: