Starting April 2020, the Google Shopping platform will become free for all merchant sites. Already planned by the company to compete with Amazon, in particular, the deployment of this development has been accelerated to support the e-commerce sector in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and will extend over time.
What are the changes?
Google Shopping, a tool reserved until now for brands spending on Google Ads, will gradually become free for all resellers. It will therefore no longer be necessary to pay the agency to appear in the Shopping results and to offer its products to users.
Announced by Bill Ready (responsible for Google Shopping), this free service will be effective in the United States by the end of April 2020 and rolled out internationally during the year.
In the search results, the difference will be noticeable only in the Shopping tab: the majority of the products offered will come from free feeds, whether or not the brands have Google Ads campaigns active in parallel. However, the Google Shopping results visible in classic search pages should remain limited to advertisers.
How can you benefit from free Google Shopping?
Merchants with an existing Merchant Center account and active Shopping campaigns may appear directly in the free results. For those who do not yet have an account, Google continues to work during the coming weeks to make the service accessible.
For brands not present on this platform today, it will be necessary to provide Google with a product feed. The latter will allow the engine to index the products and distribute them, hence the importance of keeping an up-to-date and optimized feed to promote appearance in organic search results (SEO).
What is the impact on Google Shopping advertising investments?
Shopping Ads campaigns will always benefit from high exposure, especially with product carousels displayed in Search and generating loads of engagement. In addition, the first results in the Shopping navigation will highlight sponsored ads (as on a standard results page).Google Ads investments should therefore not be limited, but rather enriched thanks to more data and internet user search behavior which should also evolve, in order to increase campaign performance.
Partnership with PayPal
In addition to free access, e-merchants will be able to link their Google Shopping and PayPal accounts to offer optimized navigation to users, and to promote transactions. This partnership should also speed up the registrations of new sellers by simplifying the payment process.