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Digital Marketing06 MAY 2020

In a recent announcement, Google revealed that they’re opening their Google shopping feature to unpaid organic products for free, making this service available to every eCommerce retailer, not just those who pay. This change is a huge opportunity for retailers and will need SEO’s to help them navigate their way through the changes. The free feature has initially taken effect in the US, rolling out in April, with the rest of the world set to follow, it is now available in Australia. 

Google reported working towards these changes for some time however revealed the news during the COVID 19 crisis last month. With the mandatory restrictions on the retail sector forcing the majority of retailers to close their stores, the demand for eCommerce is greater than ever. Despite these changes being implemented during the temporary store closures, they are here to stay, the whole world will have access to the free service and it will be an ongoing marketing strategy. 

Why are Google changing the Shopping feature? 

Google shopping was initially a free offering (Froogle) until 2012 when it became solely paid. This meant only those who were willing to pay for advertising through the feature could benefit, cutting out a huge section of the retail market. With the rise of Amazon over the past 8 years Google has been left at a somewhat disadvantage when it comes owning the market share in the world of product search and advertising. Google now, however, with access to better quality data which ensures that the information within the product feed matches the retailers’ available products, is once again able to offer a free service. 

Will unpaid listings be seen within the featured snippets?

As part of the current Google Shopping set up when a user searches for a product e.g. ‘gin’ a selection of items is displayed as ads within a featured product snippet. This is a powerful feature as it allows users to simply click on the visible product without the additional click to the Google shopping tab. While it would be great to see this space open up for unpaid organic products as it is such a powerful tool, for now, it will remain unchanged with users continuing to see only paid product listings. 

So….How is Google Shopping going to benefit you?

Online commerce is the new lifeblood for retailers. More than ever consumers are going online and the scope of what they are searching for is larger than ever. Not only are they searching for toys, apparel, and home goods they’re searching for essentials at a rapidly increasing rate due to the current global situation. 

Once this launches search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings which are going to massively help merchants connect with their target consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google previously. This creates an incredibly easy to navigate a journey for the user. In just two clicks you can go from a search result to a catalogue of that very search result.  

This is going to create a new world of opportunities for both retailers and consumers. Retailers can now get free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for theirs. While for consumers, it means through the Google Shopping tab there is going to be more products from more stores for them to discover and engage with.

Google Shopping Quick Wins:

Google Shopping has a 30% higher conversion rates than text ads.

Google Shopping provides a much more visual experience to the user in an otherwise text-heavy searching and shopping journey.

Google Shopping allows you to show up multiple times in Google SERPs.

In addition to all this Google has announced a new partnership with Paypal. This will allow PayPal to link accounts to Google Merchant Center, which will allow Google to pull in seller details faster and to verify trusted merchants. As this expands globally by the end of the year look for the huge opportunities in this space. For all the latest updates reach out to the team at StudioHawk and we will be there to assist you the whole way.

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