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Google has announced free Google shopping listings in the US. The news came as many retailers with physical shops have seen a huge dip in profit during the Coronavirus pandemic with them having to close their stores. Large and small companies have experienced this, with companies like Primark seeing sales go from £650 million a month to zero.
However, we have seen lots of brands and businesses embrace the digital world, especially as customers are increasingly shopping online. Not just for essentials but for home decor, garden tools and clothing. Lots of businesses have been able to continue to connect with their customers online, but many have not been able to afford to and are struggling.
Google brought to light these challenges which then allowed them to advance their plans and provide Google Shopping for free. By the end of April, Google had rolled it out in the US, allowing search results on the Google Shopping tab to consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers.
For companies, this change will bring free exposure to so many people who use Google every day for shopping. For those customers, it will mean more products will be discoverable through Google Shopping.
The free listings will look a lot like the organic search results that we usually see, as paid shopping ads will be listed above the free campaigns. These existing paid ads will be augmented automatically, so they will benefit from the new free listings in addition to these paid ads already running.
This will help so many businesses that would otherwise be struggling to still showcase their products online in paid ads. These businesses can still show their products through Google Shopping and reach their customers, helping their business thrive. This is also an exciting time for businesses who could not afford to use paid ads before this time, allowing smaller brands to take advantage of free listings. It will also be available to those who don’t have a Google Ads account, all you will need is a Google Merchant Centre.
We can’t wait to see the data insights as they will be so important to tracking this added visibility from the organic shopping activity. This is an amazing opportunity for big and small brands, it will be interesting to see how the overlap between the paid ads and organic listings are balanced out and how this will change the way we use Google Shopping.
We will have to see how Google tests it out in the US over the next few months before we can try it for ourselves, as they aim to expand globally before the end of the year.