How the Personalized Feed Is Changing Ecommerce

Brands need to go beyond traditional social media to reach customers


While driving growth for brands is more critical than ever, how people discover brands is rapidly evolving. Eva Valerio, Global Head of Discovery Ads for Google, joined Adweek’s Social Media Week LA to explore the consumer shift to personalized content feeds and how businesses find success within these experiences across Google and YouTube.

Consumer behavior is changing

There’s no doubt about the fact that consumer behavior is changing at an alarmingly fast rate. Today’s consumer wants authentic, relevant, and engaging experiences and has enough options to make those demands.

COVID-19 has resulted in multiple shifts in consumer behavior, driving a fundamental transformation of how people discover a new thing, brand, or product.

“Online became a default path to purchase for many consumers during lockdown, which will continue even as restrictions begin to ease,” said Valerio. “In fact, searches for “for sale online” have grown globally by more than 100% year over year. But beyond these searches and before the customer takes action with your brand is a world of overwhelming information.”

So, how can brands stand out in such a saturated arena? According to Valerio, it’s all about the personalized feed. 

The art and power of the personalized feed

The customer journey has evolved monumentally. It’s no longer a world of running to the local mall when you need something and having only a limited selection of options. Today’s customer journey has evolved by leaps and bounds. It now starts with a simple search but quickly evolves into a personalized experience. The consumer is offered everything they could imagine, tailored to their needs, wants, and likes.

The power of the personalized feed is highlighted with Google Feed. The platform can help brands connect with a new audience as they spend time searching for new brands and products to try. According to Valerio, 85% of Google Feed users say they’ve discovered new products, services, or brands on a feed, from YouTube to Instagram.

Although these surfaces aren’t traditional social media, they offer consumers a deeper, more personalized experience — something Valerio said brands should get used to and begin to advertise on.

“This means that brands will need to offer highly relevant and timely information in new feed surfaces beyond traditional social media,” she said.

Valerio says that 72% of Google Feed users prefer to check Google feeds for the latest personalized updates — another illustration of the power of personalization. Today’s consumer craves engagement and authenticity; what better way to provide that than a customized experience?

As consumers are becoming increasingly inundated with brands trying to capture their attention, personalized feeds are a way to stand out from the crowd.

“Your audience is looking to bypass an overwhelming flood of offers, content, and media to get the most relevant and engaging content for them,” said Valerio.

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