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9 lessons from our 2021 commerce partner summit

What is the future of retail media? Earlier this month, Google hosted more than 100 leaders from nearly 50 global retailers to discuss how e-commerce platforms are transforming digital advertising. The two-day session featured inspiring talks from Google’s retail partners as well as industry experts from Forrester, Tinuiti, Merkle and eMarketer/Insider Intelligence. Here are nine…

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What is the future of retail media? Earlier this month, Google hosted more than 100 leaders from nearly 50 global retailers to discuss how e-commerce platforms are transforming digital advertising. The two-day session featured inspiring talks from Google’s retail partners as well as industry experts from Forrester, Tinuiti, Merkle and eMarketer/Insider Intelligence. Here are nine of the most important lessons from the event:

1. Retail media has gone mainstream

Ad spend on e-commerce properties is expected to double over the next four years. Retail ad spend grew nearly 50% in 2020 and will reach more than $40 billion by 2024, per Nicole Perrin at eMarketer. It’s the fastest growing sector of the digital ad market, exceeding even connected TV.

2. Retail media benefits brands, merchants and consumers

Merchants can monetize their traffic and generate incremental income with minimal investment. Brands can sell more by reaching shoppers as they’re making purchase decisions. Consumers are exposed to relevant products without having to surrender more personal information. It’s a win-win-win, says Forrester’s Sucharita Kodali.

3. Post-pandemic e-commerce and ad spend will continue to grow

eMarketer projects that U.S. e-commerce sales in 2021 will grow 18% to $933 billion. By 2024, more than 20% of all retail sales will be transacted online. As retail sales increase, ad spending is expected to follow.

4. Retail media is grabbing a bigger slice of the marketing pie

Retail media started with search placements, such as Sponsored Products, but advertisers are starting to incorporate a full funnel experience, driving conversion, consideration and awareness through display ads. Marketing budgets initially earmarked for other purposes are shifting to paid media, bought programmatically, using data at scale to reach audiences and measure results.

5. Non-endemic budgets are becoming increasingly important 

Non-endemic ads — ads run by brands whose products are not sold in the online stores in which they’re advertising — have been purchased by more than half of all CPG brands, according to Merkle. These advertisers are finding retail sites an effective way to reach potential customers, especially as third-party cookies are phased out. Even then, some retailers still must be convinced that accepting non-endemic ads is the right move, says Merkle SVP Janine Flaccavento.

6. Display and video formats can help build brand loyalty

Retail media networks’ display and video ad formats are growing faster than Sponsored Products, per eMarketer’s Nicole Perrin. Brand advertisers prefer these display formats because they can highlight multiple products, getting customers interested in more options and building loyalty.

7. First-party data activation is critical

As cookies are deprecated, first-party data becomes crucial to a brand’s ability to make meaningful connections with customers and drive measurable outcomes, notes Best Buy’s Director of Ad Platforms Strategy, Mark Heitke. Using ads driven by first-party data, Best Buy boosted conversion rates up to 45% and delivered a ten-times return on ad spend for the consumer electronics retailer.

8. Agencies play a vital role

Dealing with multiple retail media networks adds complexity for brands. Agencies can help manage that complexity, but they could benefit from tools that make it easier to execute across multiple networks. 

9. Retailers need to take action

  • Stop: Watching and waiting. If you’re a retailer not yet involved in this space, it’s time to offer brands options for formats and personalization.
  • Start: Developing audience insights. Understand which insights might be interesting to particular brands, both endemic and non-endemic.
  • Continue: Focusing on ad experiences that are a win for advertisers and consumers. Consumer attitudes towards ads on retailer sites tend to be more positive, especially when they are helpful and relevant. Make sure your ads are appropriately targeted. 

The time for retailers to take action on retail media is now. To learn which considerations should be included in your strategy or to find out how Google can help power your retail media offering, download our Building a Retail Media Business with Google report.

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Enjoy a warm cup of trends for International Tea Day

From bubble tea to tea ceremonies, tea has deep roots and profound cultural significance across Asia. Just ahead of the United Nations’ International Tea Day on Saturday, May 21, we looked at trends on Google Search around the world and found bags of insights into what the world is searching for when it comes to…

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From bubble tea to tea ceremonies, tea has deep roots and profound cultural significance across Asia. Just ahead of the United Nations’ International Tea Day on Saturday, May 21, we looked at trends on Google Search around the world and found bags of insights into what the world is searching for when it comes to this brew-tea-full beverage.

Worldwide populari-tea

Assam, green or bubble: tea is the world’s most-consumed drink apart from water, so even if Earl Grey isn’t your thing, there’s most likely a brew out there that fits you to a T. But which types of tea are the most popular?

  1. Bubble tea
  2. Green tea
  3. Matcha
  4. Black tea
  5. Milk tea
  6. Kombucha
  7. Masala chai
  8. Iced tea
  9. Hibiscus tea
  10. Ginger tea

Worldwide top-searched types of tea, past 12 months. Source: Google Trends.

Green tea used to be the most popular type of tea on Search — until last year, when bubble tea bubbled up to become the most-searched type of tea around the world. The rise has been remarkable, with search interest for bubble tea more than tripling in the last five years, an increase of +220% worldwide. We’ve seen a similar trend with matcha; the beverage is now the world’s third most popular type of tea after search interest went up by +70% in the last five years.

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Protecting Android users from 0-Day attacks

To protect our users, Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) routinely hunts for 0-day vulnerabilities exploited in-the-wild. In 2021, we reported nine 0-days affecting Chrome, Android, Apple and Microsoft, leading to patches to protect users from these attacks.This blog is a follow up to our July 2021 post on four 0-day vulnerabilities we discovered in 2021,…

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To protect our users, Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) routinely hunts for 0-day vulnerabilities exploited in-the-wild. In 2021, we reported nine 0-days affecting Chrome, Android, Apple and Microsoft, leading to patches to protect users from these attacks.

This blog is a follow up to our July 2021 post on four 0-day vulnerabilities we discovered in 2021, and details campaigns targeting Android users with five distinct 0-day vulnerabilities:

We assess with high confidence that these exploits were packaged by a single commercial surveillance company, Cytrox, and sold to different government-backed actors who used them in at least the three campaigns discussed below. Consistent with findings from CitizenLab, we assess government-backed actors purchasing these exploits are located (at least) in Egypt, Armenia, Greece, Madagascar, Côte d’Ivoire, Serbia, Spain and Indonesia.

The 0-day exploits were used alongside n-day exploits as the developers took advantage of the time difference between when some critical bugs were patched but not flagged as security issues and when these patches were fully deployed across the Android ecosystem. Our findings underscore the extent to which commercial surveillance vendors have proliferated capabilities historically only used by governments with the technical expertise to develop and operationalize exploits.

Seven of the nine 0-days TAG discovered in 2021 fall into this category: developed by commercial providers and sold to and used by government-backed actors. TAG is actively tracking more than 30 vendors with varying levels of sophistication and public exposure selling exploits or surveillance capabilities to government-backed actors.

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Why this Pixel engineer chose Google Taiwan

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns, apprentices and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.Today’s post is all about Gordon Kuo, a Taiwan-based engineer on the Pixel Mobile Wireless Team.…

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Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns, apprentices and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Gordon Kuo, a Taiwan-based engineer on the Pixel Mobile Wireless Team. He shares what makes Google Taiwan a unique place for engineers to work and advice for anyone interested in applying to Google.

What’s your role at Google?

I’m an engineering lead on the Pixel Mobile Wireless team. Our goal is to help connect people across the world with Google Pixel phones. We solve hardware and software challenges and work with different teams to improve functionality and performance. We talk about everything from design and bug fixes to performance optimization, which makes every day feel different. I love that no matter what we’re working on, it’s always interesting and helpful.

How did you land in your current role?

After completing my PhD in Computer Networking, I started my career at a Taiwanese integrated circuit (IC) design company. After that, I worked on modems at a technology company in China for several years. During that time, I had a few friends and former colleagues at Google, and when we spoke about their jobs and the company culture, everyone shared really positive experiences. Getting the chance to build a career around work that I enjoy was one of the biggest draws. So I applied and interviewed — and now, two years in, I’m leading a team.

What was your application and interview experience like?

Above everything, my recruiter was really supportive, which helped make the process feel much more straightforward. I actually applied and interviewed for another engineering position at first, but I didn’t end up getting it. I was disappointed at the time, but it wasn’t long before my recruiter shared another position that was even more aligned with my skills and career goals. Finding the right fit doesn’t always happen right away, and I appreciated that my recruiter was so committed to setting me up for success.

What have you learned about leadership since joining Google?

Google is a place where people truly listen and communicate openly. Because of this, I’ve learned to never assume anything. Instead, I put in the time to better understand my team and others we work with. It’s important to stay on the same page when you’re leading a team or project, and that requires respect and regular communication.

What makes Google Taiwan such a special place to work?

Taiwan is home to world-class integrated circuit design companies and is known for its thriving manufacturing industry. There’s a lot of exciting product development work happening here too, and it’s one of our largest sites in Asia. In fact, Taiwan is our largest hardware hub outside of the U.S. — with an engineering team that is uniquely skilled in both software and hardware integration. We collaborate with other functions and teams worldwide, and have opportunities to lead important projects from start to finish. From working on widely used products to building and leading a team, I’ve had growth opportunities here that I couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago. I’m continually inspired by the work we do.

On a more personal note, Taiwan is a relatively small island, easy to get around and nestled between the beach and the mountains — it’s a pretty nice place to work!

You recently participated in a live-streamed event about career opportunities at Google Taiwan. Can you tell us more about that?

The event was aimed at helping potential candidates learn more about technical career opportunities at Google Taiwan and what it’s like to work with us. I really enjoyed the conversation! If anyone is interested, they can watch the recording.

What advice do you have for aspiring Googlers?

Work closely with your recruiter! My recruiter guided me through Google’s interview process, shared tips about how to answer leadership-based questions and gave me insight into what the technical interview would be like. I hadn’t experienced this kind of interview support and care before, and it went a long way in helping me prepare. If you’re applying for an engineering role, I recommend doing programming exercises to practice your coding abilities. I also revisited my textbooks to review material, brushed up on my skills and searched for tips online from previous interviewees. Going through an interview process can be nerve-wracking, but the best thing you can do is just go for it.

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