The imagery that a business uses to promote its services can be a significant factor in how people feel about a brand or product. For online retailers, choosing the right image is essential for catching the attention of the target audience and helping to make a product stand out from the competition. Google is giving advertisers a new option for compelling imagery by displaying customer photos in Google Shopping Ads.

According to reports, “Google is rolling out a feature that will allow retailers to display customer photos in Google Shopping ads. A customer’s photo may be shown when the shopping ad includes a review left by the customer.”

The way the plan is supposed to work, users who buy an item through Google Shopping Ads will be given a chance to upload a photo when they make their review. This new feature will display the images provided by the customer to show other shoppers what the product looks like in a real-life image that wasn’t crafted to be the perfect picture.

It’s like giving people the chance to see what their fast food hamburger will really look like, instead of showing the perfect, idealized picture from the menu. Merely having a real-world photo of the product will catch the attention of people looking through product listings. An image of the product being used by regular people eliminates some of the risks that come with buying things online. It could maker Google Shopping Ads more useful for retailers, and give customers a new way to support their favorite brands.

Since these images are uploaded by people who are leaving a review, there is a chance that this feature could backfire is people are sent poor-quality items. If someone leaves a review about the product breaking and includes images showing the damage, it could prevent new people from considering the product.

Similarly, the system, in its current form, sounds like something that could be abused. For example, what’s to stop someone from ordering a competitor’s product, then leaving a bad review and photo that makes the product inept.

According to information in media reports about the change, retailers that want to take advantage of the feature must work with one of a select number of third-party review platforms. Presently, the review platforms that are participating in this program include Yotpo, PowerReviews, Bazaarvoice, and Influenster. Presumably, each of these platforms has tools to detect and weed out inauthentic reviews.

Displaying customer photos in Google Shopping ads can be a game changer for businesses that want to use their popularity with their current clients to attract new ones. A real-world image from a product user can make a more significant impact on the potential customer than a traditional marketing photo.

Furthermore, since the retailer doesn’t have to do any extra work besides partnering with the right review platform, it’s a way to improve your advertising and marketing that will take care of itself.

For more recent news about Google and paid advertising, read this article on Google’s plan to increase its iOS app ad inventory.