Free product listings as Google Shopping evolves

Google announced this week that they are opening shopping results to free, unpaid, organic product listings which is a game changer for many businesses.

Google’s President of Commerce Bill Ready said in a blog post that they are advancing these plans to introduce organic product listings due to the coronavirus pandemic closing stores and digital commerce now becoming a lifeline for retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs.

Under the new system the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) will remain for paid Shopping advertisers only with a carousel of paid for product listing ads (PLAs).

Within the shopping tab (https://www.google.co.uk/shopping) we expect the Paid Shopping ads will appear at the top and bottom of the page, as they do currently on the main search results page, with free organic product listings making up the rest of the page, however Google are likely to test this format alongside other options.

What we know:

  • These changes will take effect in the U.S. before the end of April 2020 with a view to develop globally before the end of this year
  • Google are partnering with PayPal in a bid to compete with the eCommerce giant Amazon and appeal to both retailers and consumers
  • Just as with shopping adverts, the free listings are to be generated using a data feed
  • Google have enabled PLAs to display in Image search results to generate more exposure for paid shopping results

What this means for you:

  • Exposure for your low margin products that would not generate an ROI from Paid Shopping
  • Opportunity to improve your product feed for greater coverage not only Shopping, but SEO too
  • Those businesses using PayPal will be able to link the account to the Google Merchant Center to easily reach and validate buyers
  • Google has existing partnerships with the likes of Shopify and WooCommerce meaning that Google Shopping will be more accessible than ever

We expect to see more and more retailers opting in to take advantage of these free listings, which will eventually lead to a much more crowded space over time – but absolutely a space you need to be present in.

Google are now also making it easier for smaller businesses with fewer products to create a feed within the Google Merchant Center by adding products manually, it really does seem like they are doing all they can to help.

At Key Principles, our team are experts in creating Google Shopping campaigns that generate an ROI for many eCommerce businesses and we are here to help. If you have a Google Shopping feed, you are halfway there, if you are not yet set up on Google Shopping and want to benefit from this, then get in touch with us. Our team can create and prepare you Google Merchant Center account in advance of the UK launch and support you with optimising your product feed data so that you are ready to go as soon as it is available.

If you have any questions, or would like a free consultation then get in touch: team@keyprinciples.co.uk

Reference: Bill Ready, Google Blog post Published 21 Apr 2020 – https://blog.google/products/shopping/its-now-free-to-sell-on-google/

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