What Google’s New Announcement Means For eCommerce Merchants

If you’re in the eCom space you’ve probably already heard about Google’s recent announcement that they will make product listings on Google Shopping free for all merchants. 

According to the announcement via blog post from Bill Ready, President of Commerce at Google, this has been in the works for a while — but with COVID-19 and brick and mortar establishments shifting to eCommerce, Google decided to accelerate the launch date. D-Day for free listings was April 27th in the US and will continue to roll out worldwide in the coming months. 

What does all this mean?

For online retailers —  Free exposure to millions of daily Googlers (yes, that’s a word) browsing for products. 

For shoppers — More. More products from more stores means more options and (typically) more deals. 

For advertisers — Paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings in Google Shopping. 

It all sounds like a win-win for everyone involved. Everyone except Google’s number one competitor…

Shots fired at Amazon

While Ready told The Verge that Google decided to offer free Google Shopping to help small businesses during the pandemic, it’s no secret that they have also had eCom giant Amazon in the crosshairs for some time now. 

Last October, Google updated it’s shopping platform to attract more merchants — it didn’t go so well. Roughly 4,000 merchants signed up for Buy in 2019 which sources told Reuters fell below Google’s targets

In order for Google to truly take on Amazon in the eCommerce space, Google needs more retailers and the pay-to-play model is proving to not be the best avenue for that.

Which is why 

General listings are going to be free, with retailers still having the option to pay for promoted ad spots. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s the Amazon model. 

Free listings might make Google’s paid spots more competitive, but they’ve got their work cut out for them. According to Feedvisor, two-thirds of shoppers start their product searches on Amazon — and old habits die hard. 

COVID-19 has been a boon for Amazon and the bane of Google’s existence. While Amazon’s sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic Google’s ads have fallen with advertisers re-assessing their 2020 marketing budgets and campaigns. 

Google hopes boosting their eCommerce won’t just be a shot in the arm for online sales, they want it to help their advertising revenue as well. 

Cool, but my name’s not Jeff Bezos:

OK. If you’re a merchant this is a great opportunity. Google has existing partnerships with marketplace platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce and none of that is changing — if anything it should help drive more people to your online store. 

Anyone who operates a website or manages a store on a marketplace platform can list all of their products without paying. Which is great. 

They’ve also announced a “new partnership” with PayPal — which should hypothetically help the brick and mortar merchants transition to becoming eMerchants.

However, they are still charging for top placement and over time, the larger merchants with deeper pockets may start paying for preferred results. So we could end up being where we are right now. But as always, it’s good to diversify and throwing your eggs in one basket (Amazon or Google) is never good, with both having free listings, there’s nothing to lose for merchants.

How Andzen can help?

We’re not Google experts. That’s not what we do.

BUT we can help you to significantly increase your ROI from this new traffic source.

If you’re looking to create a world-class customer journey for your new site visitors, we can help! Whether you’re sending traffic from Google, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram – you need to focus on building customer relationships, maximizing your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and providing an exceptional experience for visitors to your site.

As a global leading customer journey agency, that’s what we do best!

We’ve helped clients all over the world implement their own insanely effective customer journeys for their site traffic and we’ve become exceedingly good at it. If this is something you’d like our help with, get in touch today to have a chat with our team.

Author:
Hey, I'm Matt - Digital Producer here at Andzen. The cool thing about my job is that I get to dabble in just about everything we have to offer here at Andzen. For someone who doesn't look awesome in hats, I certainly wear a lot of them. But what I enjoy most is working with the talented people at Andzen who are passionate about putting out the best work possible.

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