Internet buying has become a staple in modern life. Online buyers today think nothing of shopping for art, clothes, cars, toilet paper, and just about anything else over the internet.
In 2020, eCommerce industry experts say 2.05 billion people will shop online. That is more than one-quarter of the world’s population.
Not surprisingly, search engine titan Google has long been a part of the internet marketplace. Hastened mainly by the global pandemic, the Google Business division has made significant changes in its internet advertisement listings.
The good news for sellers is that Google Shopping is now more equal and accessible for even small businesses.
Google Shopping’s Big 2020 Change
Before April 2020, merchants wishing to have valuable exposure through Google Shopping had to advertise through the search engine and pay for product listings.
Google Commerce president Bill Ready announced in a blog post that the search engine’s Shopping tab will now feature mostly free listings.
This is massive news for merchants who sell online, and especially for smaller sellers who could not afford to buy ads on Google’s shopping service. Google’s Ready wrote:
“With hundreds of millions of shopping searches on Google each day, we know that many retailers have the items people need in stock and ready to ship but are less discoverable online.”
Elements of Google’s new Advertising System
The face of Google’s shopping search service has changed. There are three main facets of its evolution.
- PayPal incorporation: Google which already partners with other eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce, will now integrate PayPal’s popular services. Merchants will be able to connect PayPal accounts to the Google Merchant Center, making purchases quicker and easier.
- Careful distribution of paid and free listings: Paid ads will still be highlighted at the top and bottom of the Google Shopping tab. The homepage will only display paid ads at this point, though Google may roll out future changes to these practices.
- Powered by product feeds: Free listings on Google Shopping will be driven by item information feeds, as are the paid ads.
Online sellers who want to take advantage of Google Shopping’s new ad policy must open an account in the Google Merchant Center and upload a product feed. Google’s help center for merchants has an article about these steps.
Help Google Shopping Benefit Your Business
If you are an online merchant, you may have a practiced advertising system. However, if you want to present free ads to online shoppers through Google in a way that works for you and the customers, here are some best practices and tips to make the encounter positive for everyone.
- Publish only professional-looking photographs. Avoid blurry images and watermarks.
- Keep your product feed current.
- Keep the length of product descriptions below 70 words.
- Make your site accessible for mobile shoppers.
- Employ geographic bid modifiers if your product or service is regional-specific.
While Google has made posting free shopping ads simple for merchants, paying attention to details, and shifting your marketing strategy to fit current conditions will help you make the most of this opportunity to reach millions of people.
Time To get Trendy
As an online seller, after signing on with the Google Merchant Center and creating a product feed, for continued success, you cannot afford to get lax with your listings.
For free shopping results to boost your business now and in the future, you must follow trends. Google makes taking this step easy.
But you will have to learn how to conduct your own research to discover the newest, the latest, and the most popular. Here are some ways to stay current.
- Follow social media accounts, including fast-breaking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
- Stay up to date with technological advancements.
- Follow sociological trends such as sustainability and get involved.
By staying current on multiple aspects of the current marketplace, sellers not only benefit from increased sales but also from new product development. Use trends to spur new ideas and inventions and extend your product base.
Building Your Business for Free
New free ads in Google Shopping’s search service make putting products in front of huge audiences accessible to small businesses that otherwise might miss this opportunity.
While this is an excellent chance for merchants to extend their marketing reach, Google’s shift is only the beginning.
Online sellers must take responsibility for maintaining their inventories and product listings and developing new promotions for their goods.
Google Shopping has made it easier to boost online sales for free. Still, as with anything else in life, merchants must accept the personal duty to encourage sales and form relationships with customers.