There was a huge news story in the world of digital marketing this week as Google announced it was planning to making Google Shopping listings free to businesses who upload a product feed to the merchant centre. In a huge announcement made on the 21st of April, Bill Ready (President of Commerce at Google) shared the news through their official blog stating the feature will first be made available to the US market before a major global rollout during 2020. Full post can be read here
“Beginning next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab (in US) will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google”
Google stated their reasons for deciding to take this action and to speed up transitioning its lucrative Google shopping tab to a free platform was influenced by the current Covid-19 Pandemic. This snap decision comes as a surprise to many and will drastically change how Google Shopping is used while it will also increase retailers’ exposure as their products will now be exposed to millions of additional online shoppers who use the platform everyday to browse and shop online.
This will be a welcomed move for online retailers especially since the dramatic increase in eCommerce shopping since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic due to the closure of non essential services. Online retailers have really seen the value of Google Shopping in recent weeks with Google Shopping accounting for a significant portion of traffic and sales meaning that the idea of using Google Shopping for free should be an interest for any online retailer going forward.
Boost in Sales
Ecommerce sites that decide to integrate Google shopping as part of their online strategy will no doubt see a significant boost in sales, profits & traffic in the coming weeks. To add to this, in the future they will see a further increase in profits as the cost element of using Google Shopping will soon be a thing of the past. At this moment in time we can’t be sure exactly when this is going to be rolled out in Ireland. The expansion of free listings is stated to be completed by the end of April. Initially it will only take place in the U.S. — but Google says it intends to roll out the change globally before the end of the year, so we will be watching this space very closely over the coming weeks.f
In anticipation of a surge of new users via Google Shopping, the development team at Google are currently working on streamlining their on-boarding process for new retailers joining its Google Merchant Centre platform over the coming months.
In the update Bill Ready also announced a new partnership with Paypal enabling merchants to link their accounts with Google Merchant Centre.
“We’re also kicking off a new partnership with PayPal to allow merchants to link their accounts. This will speed up our onboarding process and ensure we’re surfacing the highest quality results for our users”
Bill Ready also mentions Google are working closer with eCommerce giants such as Shopify, Woocommerce and BigCommerce to further streamline their integration making managing inventory easier for retailers.
Competition on Google Shopping will see a significant increase now that a barrier to entry which was Ad spend will be eventually removed. We may see a similar approach to Google’s search results whereby a paid element remains at the top and bottom of results, but for the most part, its gone.
In light of this, ensuring optimisation of both your Google Merchant Centre product feed and optimisation of your on page SEO will be key in increasing your position in the Google Shopping results. Core Optimisation offer expert Google Shopping, PPC and SEO services so contact us today to hear more about our digital marketing services and how we can help your Ecommerce compete online.