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Is it True, That Google Shopping Is Now Free?

There has been a lot of excitement recently with Google announcing that appearing on the shopping network is now potentially free 🎉. Bill Ready, the president of commerce at Google made the announcement this week (21st April 2020).

“Beginning next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free product listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google.”

The change is going to be rolled out from the 27th April 2020 onward in the US, and applicable worldwide over the coming months.

Many businesses who already run paid listings via the Google Shopping network have been getting prematurely excited that they will now no longer have to pay for these positions. Without wanting to be the bearer of bad news, guys this isn’t the case. The top positions, and results on the main Google home page and prominent Google Shopping tab placements will still be reserved for those willing to bid for their place. However, it does benefit those, with a limited budget that may be only focusing on their core product range, as now it will be possible to generate additional visibility on their surplus products.

On top of this, businesses that have been forced to cease advertising given the financial constraints within the current climate, will still generate some visibility based on their Google Shopping Feed. This means that those businesses most affected by the pandemic, will not fall silent during the coming months.

This news is actually not fresh off the press. Google has been discussing this change for the past few months. They made their first step towards free listings early last year, when advertisers became eligible to show on Google Images with no payment required.  However, their hand may have been forced to act with haste with this new incentive, due to the increased demand for product delivery services, and heightened competition from Amazon. This accompanied by the predicted net revenue loss of 18% they are facing for 2020, through the disappearance of some advertisers, has meant this timing really is pivotal for both ecommerce businesses and Google alike.

We believe the real intended target behind this move, actually appeals to new Google Shopping users. Possibly users who have considered the shopping network previously but been unable to financially commit. By doing this, Google will require businesses to create a merchant center account and input their contact information and detailed product listings to be eligible. It is predicted that after collating this data, Google will start an outreach program to tempt users with the ‘forbidden fruit’ of venturing into paid listings. This may be done by offering free credit incentives. We would encourage all ecommerce brands to take advantage of this opportunity while it presents itself, but remain vigilant in the future to not be charmed into a situation that they do not fully understand, which could potentially cost them.

The logistics of this process is unknown. Those fresh-faced to the world of ecommerce listings will be required to generate a new feed, which can often be a daunting process for those not well versed with web development. The support Google can provide is unknown, as many of us who have engulfed ourselves into the digital marketing world have been frequently greeted by the following message “You may experience longer response times as we prioritise support for critical services.” from Google.

If you need temporary, or long term responsive support to utilise this opportunity for non-paid Google ecommerce listings, Click Convert is just a call away to help you.

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    I am the leading voice behind Click Convert’s blog and active PPC Team Leader. At Click Convert,  we’re one of the top digital marketing companies in America and the UK for small and medium Businesses. We’re a Google Premier Partner and a Google Top 50 agency.

    In less than 3 years, I have helped Click Convert expand and win Best Business in 2019. My speciality is covering Pay Per Click advertising on Google Ads, Facebook, Amazon & Bing. My subjects include latest developments, advertising strategy,  shopping, FBA, analytics analysis, brand creative, brand protection, and much more.

    I hope to take our vision for Inform, Empower and Deliver to help both clients and readers.