Criteo introduced a search platform for Google Shopping Tuesday after months of speculation. The platform takes a strong effort at predictive search based partly on machine learning and technology from its Datapop acquisition in 2015.
Predictive Search combines Datapop’s product feed, content optimization and responsive campaign technology with Criteo’s core technology engine created the platform. It launches in the U.S. to support Google Shopping, but integration with other shopping channels, such as Bing, remains on the product roadmap for next year. Additional markets will also follow.
Jason Lehmbeck — GM of search at Criteo and co-founder of Datapop, which the company acquired to help build out this search platform — said Predictive Search aims to eliminate the guesswork and systematically improve results from Google Shopping ads.
The predictive optimization part of the platform supports the data feed, product bids, user lists and remarketing capabilities from Google — all automated and driven by machine learning.
Nearly three dozen U.S. retailers such as Revolve Clothing, Teleflora and Camping World experienced between 22% and 49% revenue lift during early tests.
Search is the largest digital channel for marketers, garnering 45% of digital ad spend with Product Listing Ads (PLA) comprising 21%, according to a study of U.S. Paid Search Marketers conducted by Engel Research Partners and commissioned by Criteo in October 2016
Building the new platform remains one reason that Lehmbeck agreed to sell Datapop to Criteo. He also points to the ability to connect the finished product with about 9,000 retailers as another.
Lehmbeck believes there is great potential per campaign even for those marketers that may not spend a lot in Google Shopping. “It comes from automating campaigns to capture seasonal peaks, not just making sure the correct products are in the feed. It’s making sure bids and user segments are tightly aligned,” he said.
Predictive Search becomes the third platform in the suite of products, along with Criteo Dynamic Retargeting and Criteo Dynamic Email.