Yesterday, Google announced a significant change to its shopping platform by allowing businesses to list their inventory for free on Google. Prior to this, advertisers would have to pay to list their inventory on Google Shopping but the search engine giant is now allowing anyone who operates a website or manages a store on the marketplace to list their products for free.
For many retailers, e-commerce has been a lifeline to allow their trading to continue, with many brick-and-mortar stores having to close their doors because of these turbulent times. However, many of these merchants may not be able to afford to do so at scale due to advertising costs, but this change will allow free exposure to the millions of people who search on Google every day for their shopping needs.
How This Will Impact Paid Advertising?
Google states that Google Shopping will ‘primarily’ consist of free listings, with paid listing continuing to be accepted which will most likely be listed at the top of the search results, similar to search ads. In addition to this, the paid listings will still be the only products shown on the carousel images on the search engine results page – highlighting that there are still benefits to paying for advertising.
In addition to this monumental change, Google is also launching a new partnership with online payment system provider, PayPal. This will allow businesses to link their PayPal accounts to their Google Shopping account which will look to speed up the onboarding process.
Growing Competition From Amazon
Over the years, Google has watched Amazon chip away at its search advertising dominance, with the e-commerce giant’s market share continuing to grow year on year. This ‘pay to play’ strategy, therefore, put Google at a disadvantage by limiting the number of products available to those who can afford to list their products.
How To Get Started
Google announced that this change will come into effect in the U.S. first before the end of April, with plans to expand globally by the end of the year.
To begin with, users will have to upload their product data via the Google Merchant Centre, like for advertised listings, and opt-in to “surfaces across Google” in order to be eligible to sell products organically.
If you are needing a hand with advertising your products online, our team of digital marketing experts are more than happy to help.