If you have not already heard, Google made an exciting announcement earlier this week, by updating how Google Shopping results are determined. Since 2012, Google Shopping has operated as a paid advertising platform, but will soon be transitioned to mostly free listings! This is a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes to make online shopping even easier!
A little more about Google Shopping and how it can help…
At its core, Google Shopping is a feature that lets searchers compare their shopping options in one place. At the top of a search results page, users can easily check prices, product descriptions, inventory, taxes/shipping fees, and more for a quick online shopping experience. If you’ve been marketing online for long, you may remember when Google Shopping was called Google Product Search, Google Products, or even Froogle in the past!
Bill Ready, President of Commerce at Google, noted that the timing of this change is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that the plan has been in the works to make this transition for some time. In a push to support struggling business owners and retail brands, this is a great move by Google that will help you make online shopping even easier, especially important right now as we’re all spending more time at home and online!
This evolution of the platform will provide additional opportunities for current Google Shopping advertisers to transition some of their current paid exposure to free, unpaid exposure and give new users not currently on Google Shopping an opportunity to showcase their products to the masses without having to expand or tap into their current digital advertising budget. We do expect that those willing to pay to show their products on Google’s paid Shopping results will see significantly more exposure (…and sales!) from the Shopping platform.
So, what’s changing & how do you get started?
Paid listings will continue to appear in ad slots and they will continue to operate per usual. The shopping listings on the main Google search results and at the top of the Shopping tab will remain as paid listings. So, an advertising budget will get more bang-for-it’s buck and ensure extra exposure for product-focused searches on Google!
In order to be eligible for your products to appear in unpaid product results, you must submit a product feed through Google Merchant Center and opt-in to surfaces across Google by selecting the corresponding program in Merchant Center. Note that this process hasn’t changed. The only difference is, you now don’t need to run a corresponding Gooogle Ads campaign in order for your products to get exposure. If you were previously using Merchant Center and Google Shopping ads, you do not have to make any changes to take advantage of the free listings (but make sure you check our your Merchant Center account to see if you’ve opted in to have you listed appears on surfaces across Google…for free).
Ready to make your move!
If you’ve been running Google Shopping ads, we are more than happy to take a look and make recommendations for getting the most out of your budget. If this is all new to you, we’re happy to help as well! Drop us a line below and let’s talk #CurbsideDigitalMarketing with a Google Shopping twist.