Channel Roundup: Google PLAs Arrive in Image Searches, Amazon Makes Snacks and More

May 18, 2016

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 Breaking News: PLAs Launch in Google Image Searches

google-plas-image-searchJust when you thought the fight for PLA space was getting intense, Google brings its “A” game to the playing field.

In Q4, we began to see tests of PLAs popping up in Google image searches. On Monday, Google announced that the program is live. It appears that the ads will show up (at least on mobile devices) above the organic search results in a carousel, with shoppers then able to filter the results.

The official launch of this PLA expansion provides even more real estate for pushing your PLAs. It’s still unclear if the conversion rates and overall costs per click for PLAs in image searches will be comparable to those for regular searches. Regardless, sellers with image-friendly products (e.g., apparel, furniture) should look into the new program.

Your (New) Uber Is Arriving Now

If you took an Uber around Mother’s Day, you might have noticed the very first (nationally available) Uber Offer: If you bought flowers at ProFlowers.com by a certain date, the app would give you a $20 credit toward your next ride.

Uber knows that it’s often delivering you to a location where you’re spending money anyways, so why not throw some ride credit in there so everybody wins? Stopping mid-ride to pick up some craft beer at Whole Foods definitely doesn’t seem as inconvenient anymore.

This development is interesting, because Uber knows that a) It already has your payment method on file for an easy transaction, and b) It has you trapped in a car looking at your phone for at least a five dollar ride’s worth of time.

Based on Uber’s size and reach, the potential to secure more retail partners and grow this program is huge.

Your Pantry, Brought to You by Amazon

We know what you’re thinking — “Amazon delivering groceries is old news.” But what if we told you that soon, consumers’ shelves could be stocked with Amazon-branded groceries? That’s right, Amazon’s dipping its toes (or cannonballing into) the world of private-label brands, with products potentially appearing on the site as early as June.

Don’t expect to see “Amazon” and a yellow smile on all your consumables, though. Amazon’s array of goods is rumored to include a slew of brand names, including Happy Belly, Wickedly Prime and Mama Bear.

And if you needed any more convincing that Amazon has no plans of stopping, the company leased 20 more planes to keep the fulfillment branch of the business running smoothly.

Chirp Chirp, Amazon

The competition is fierce out there, and Google’s playing to win. It seems as though it’s all still a little hush-hush, but sources are reporting that Google is planning on launching a competitor to Amazon’s Echo, codenamed Chirp within the Googleplex. It’s still too early to tell, but Alexa could be facing a new kid on the block that’s just as strong as she is.

And while we’re on the topic of competing with Amazon, Jet.com is taking a stab at fresh grocery delivery, an area that Amazon has yet to truly dominate, although we did catch wind that Amazon Fresh will soon be available in the UK.    

Speaking of Chirping…

Tweeters, rejoice! If you’ve ever found yourself cursing the social media platform when pictures and links cut into your very, very precious 140 characters, curse no more. After what seemed like years (but really was months) of rumors about character limits, we have confirmation that pictures and links will no longer count toward the character limit! Get ready for a feed packed with a whole lot more GIFs, folks.

 

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Blog post by Anna Torres, social media and blog specialist at ChannelAdvisor