Google is about to make a major change to its Shopping service as it looks to compete better against the likes of Amazon in terms of product search.
The company is taking the step of opening up its search results within Shopping to unpaid and organic listings as of next week. The Shopping tab will primarily consist of free product listings, according to a company announcement made via a blog post on Tuesday.
This decision comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen many retailers having to close their physical stores to customers. This has meant that an ecommerce strategy has had to be adopted by all retailers, both to ensure company survival and help the public to get the supplies they need during government-enforced lockdowns.
According to Bill Ready, President of Commerce at Google and the author of the blog post, this crisis was the driving factor behind the company advancing its plans to make Shopping free for merchants. The change is to be a permanent one and fits into the company’s long-term vision for its position within digital commerce.
This means that retailers will be able to get more exposure to the millions of people that use Google to find products, while shoppers will be able to discover a wider variety of products.
While Google has said that the Shopping tab will consist primarily of free, organic listing, it will still accept paid listings. These will be given more prominent placements at the top of the Shopping tab and will be shown within the product listing carousels within the search engine’s search results.
Furthermore, Google announced a new partnership deal with payment gateway PayPal. Merchants who use PayPal will be able to link their accounts to Google’s Merchant Center. This will allow the online giant to pull in seller details more quickly and verify any trusted merchants.
Free listings within Google Shopping will initially be rolled out in the US, with the company planning to introduce it globally in the next few months, and continue it until the end of the year.
If your company needs help making itself visible online during these testing times, give Engage Web a call to find out how we can help.