Originally scheduled to roll out later in the year, Google announced the fast tracking of the ability to sell for free with Google Shopping
What is Google Shopping?
It is a search-based service that shares products with consumers across multiple brands and platforms at the same time. It is a true Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE). Products are displayed as thumbnail images highlighting a brief description and price. The largest competitor to Google Shopping today is Amazon.
How is Google Shopping changing?
Google is now offering free shopping listings in addition to its paid listings to expand the breadth and depth of the Google Shopping experience. Free listings are available to any Google advertiser with an active Merchant Center account and a product feed that is ready to serve products available on an advertiser’s website. You do not need to be running paid ads reap the benefits of this free offering, providing a huge opportunity for businesses to share products with consumers they previously could not reach. Google will also work with advertisers that do not have a Merchant Center account so they can take advantage of this opportunity regardless of whether they intend to also leverage paid ads in Google Shopping.
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Example of search results:
How will this impact retailers?
This is an exciting opportunity for retailers that historically had a large brick-and-mortar presence. We continue to see consumers engage more with mobile devices, and they require a web-based relationship – this embraces that model and puts Google head to head with Amazon. In the past few years, brands have shifted media spend from AdWords into Amazon to meet customers where they are. This flips that paradigm on its head.
Early data indicates that retailers could expect to see an aggregate of a 3–5% increase in clicks traffic across dotcom and Property.
Retailers should expect possible spend and value decreases, balanced by free traffic. Retailers should assess value via free clicks reporting in Merchant Center and continue to monitor shopping ads performance, adjusting bids and ROAS as needed. If sellers across Google – and free listings – are not aligned with their goals, retailers can opt out of this free service.
Google Shopping is integrated with big e-commerce partners like Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce, which makes the integration for businesses even more seamless.