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What We Learned at the Google Retail Summit

2 MINUTE READ | August 16, 2019

What We Learned at the Google Retail Summit

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Sinead Hultman

Sinead Hultman has written this article. More details coming soon.

Earlier this year, Google hosted its second annual retail summit at its New York City offices, bringing in both agencies and brands to talk about the roadmap ahead and future of retail. Over the course of two days, the summit included countless product updates and a holiday readiness workshop, along with breakout roundtable sessions in which we were able to provide direct feedback to the product leads at Google.

The main theme of the summit was a familiar one: machine learning. Google continues to invest heavily in this and used the summit to touch on Responsive Search Ads, Responsive Display Ads, and Smart Shopping, to name a few.

Regardless of the ad type discussed the conversation always came back to Google using limited guardrails and encouragings marketers to trust in machine learning. The data presented with these formats at the summit might be enough to encourage most retailers to lean into them. However, leaning into machine learning does equate to limited control and sometimes limited reporting. It would certainly be worth testing for individual accounts to see if results provide any incremental benefits.

Our favorite part of the event was the various breakout sessions we attended. Each breakout session featured product leads, all of whom seemed genuinely invested in getting feedback to improve whatever product they worked on. Given that each Google update seems to shift control from advertisers to Google, it is reassuring to know that they are invested in making products that work for us. 

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We had a great time at the event and can’t wait for next year’s summit!