Google made a significant announcement on how it will handle its Google Shopping platform. Google will now allow anyone who has a website or manages a store on a shopping platform to list their products without paying.
Google Shopping has been around for many years. However, in 2012, the platform became a paid-only product. This current shift is likely the result of Google’s attempt to compete with Amazon and also meet the current needs of retailers and consumers. In light of the most recent pandemic crisis, merchants are needing to connect with their customers in a non-brick and mortar fashion and this expansion to free product listings allows for Google to meet retailers and consumers with an appealing free option.
In a statement from Google’s President of Commerce Bill Ready “For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab.”
What hasn’t changed is how the paid ads will appear to searchers. These ads will still appear at the top of the main search results page along with the top and bottom of the shopping tab.
What is changing is the listing below the sponsored ads on the Google Shopping tab. These placements will now be free listings. This change will add an additional element to product optimization to ensure optimal placement in Google’s free shopping results.
What do you need to do?
If you’re an existing user of Google Shopping all you need to do is opt into the “surfaces across Google” program within the Google merchant center. This can be found under the “Growth” option and then “Manage Programs” and then enable “surfaces across Google”.
For new users, you will need to open a Google Merchant account and upload your product feed. As noted above, you will need to opt into “surfaces across Google” in order to participate in the free listings.
Google also announced a new PayPal integration with The Google Merchant Center. This will allow Google to pull in sellers faster and to verify merchants. Google is also continuing to work with existing partners like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes.
These changes should make Google Shopping accessible to more retailers and give customers more options from a variety of retailers. Active Web Group is here to help get started with Google shopping or optimize your current product offerings.