The current COVID-19 climate means people are shopping online now more than ever. In fact, according to Google Trends they have received a record number of searches in the past month for interior design, online shopping, home baking and…toilet roll. This is the highest any of these things have been searched at any point in history. 

The coronavirus pandemic has seen people shopping for everything. Including household items, toys, clothes (a whole lot of loungewear), puzzles, decorating materials, crafts, you name it and the UK public are buying it. Lockdown has seen online commerce skyrocket more than ever before. Furthermore, it’s created an opportunity for businesses to reconnect with their consumers while they’re more engaged. The majority of brick and mortar stores are closed around the world. As a result, retailers have found e-commerce to be their best chance of survival. 

What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is a platform that allows consumers to search, compare, and shop for products from a range of retailers who have paid to advertise their products on the Google Shopping service. Google Shopping now drives around 76.4% of retail search ad spend, which generates 85.3% of all clicks on Google Shopping ads or on Adwords.

Last month Google announced a new Google algorithm update. One crucial update from this is that listings on Google Shopping will be free. That means all retailers can advertise their products on the platform for free. For many, this came out of the blue but Google revealed it had been in the pipeline a while. But due to the COVID-19 lockdown, they accelerated their plans in order to support shop owners. 

Google said they decided to accelerate plans because many businesses were struggling to maintain their Google Shopping listings. By making Google Shopping a free service they hope to provide relief for many businesses. Therefore creating a healthier overall retail ecosystem.

 

When will Google Shopping free listings be available?

Google Shopping free listings are already an option in the United States. However, they are likely to come into play here towards the end of the year. What this means is Google won’t charge retailers to appear in results. Just as they don’t charge sites to be part of the Google Search index. This doesn’t affect paid Ads and they will continue to appear in ad slots. 

 

What does this mean for retailers?

For retailers, particularly those with a small budget, it’s huge news. As it means that they will have exposure to Google’s millions of searchers without having to pay a penny. For many business owners this will be an opportunity that wasn’t previously an option for them. 

And for those already benefiting from the service, they’ll see huge cost savings from no longer having to pay for listings. In difficult times this is a beacon of hope for many ecommerce businesses. However, it does mean the competition will be even fiercer. This is due to more retailers joining the platform. It may be time to analyse your campaigns to ensure all ads are as effective as possible!

The intention behind the move is to support retailers who have a smaller online presence but still have stock ready to ship to consumers. This will provide a wider source of revenue. Especially for smaller retailers who simply didn’t have the budget to utilise this platform previously. 

For retailers who are struggling or who haven’t previously used Google Shopping, free listings will provide an opportunity to understand their own visibility online and how to optimise their products for better results. 

 

What does this mean for consumers?

Google hopes that for consumers, this update will provide a better user experience with more choice when browsing the Google Shopping feed. If you’re familiar with Google Shopping you may notice that it’s often the same products being displayed. Especially if you’re searching within a niche market. Once free listings become available this should no longer be an issue. 

Google is also in discussions with Paypal to create an integration partnership, which means you may soon see an option to pay via the fast-moving online payment system. This means faster, smooth checkout processes for those of you who use Paypal. 

 

What does this mean for other online shopping platforms?

We couldn’t talk about online shopping without mentioning the e-commerce giant, Amazon. This update means Google will be in direct competition with Amazon so we may see more changes as the competition pans out. 

 

Why use Google shopping?

If you’ve not yet used Google Shopping or any other form of pay per click advertising, there is no better time than now.  You should start listing your products today and thinking about your PPC strategy. We have many clients who already benefit from better visibility, better quality leads, broader reach, and higher conversion rates, by having an effective Ads campaign in place. It’s time to stand out from the crowd.

Related: How Do We Run PPC Advertising To Help Grow Manufacturing Businesses?

Google Shopping and Google Ads are a great way to understand which products are best performing and can make it much easier to optimise ads and manage your marketing strategies by being on top of any campaigns you are running.

To be clear, the products you see on a search engine results page will still be paid, but when you click the ‘shopping’ tab, most of these listings will soon be free. However, some listings will still be paid, which means they’ll take higher priority in the results. 

Google Shopping offers a world of opportunity for retailers and consumers alike. With free product listings in the future, more retailers will be able to tap into a bigger market and for consumers, the choice of products will increase ten fold. If you’re not currently using Google Shopping, you should be!

 

How can Digital Agency Birmingham help?

At Digital Agency Birmingham, our team understands that Google is constantly changing and updating their system and algorithms. That’s why we ensure we’re across all changes so our clients don’t have to be. We continuously adapt our approaches to all SEO  and marketing campaigns to be in line with the most up-to-date strategies for our clients. 

Related: AIM High – Working Together with a Digital Agency

If you have further questions around Google Shopping Campaigns, PPC or any marketing services we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us today by calling us on 0870 062 8760 or dropping us an email at info@aiminternet.co.uk

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