google chrome

Google Shopping Update

Google is making the majority of product listings in the Shopping tab FREE for merchants!

**UPDATED 5th May 2020**

Advertisers’ paid campaigns will be augmented with free listings on Google Shopping in the UK and Europe from today, which are open to any merchant who has submitted a feed in the Merchant Centre.

WHAT IT MEANS TO ADVERTISERS:

  • Advertisers are now automatically opted in to “surfaces across Google” which means that free listings will be eligible on the Shopping tab. To check, go to the Growth tab in Merchant Centre under Manage Programmes
  • We don’t think that this is actually going to to have a major impact on advertisers since, despite the large volume of listings on the Shopping tag, the majority of Shopping ad clicks come from the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), and this will remain an exclusively paid for ‘surface’
  • There will still be paid listings in the Shopping tab – probably at the top and bottom
    Surfaces across Google

WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS?

  • The first reason Google is taking this path is in response to the massive gain in product advertising share for Amazon in the last few years.
  • Secondly, it will raise the profile of the Shopping tag, and appeal to consumers as well as advertisers. Potential new advertisers can ‘try before they buy’ and become familiar with the platform before deciding whether to pay for product ads.
  • The change will raise awareness of the Shopping platform
  • Lastly, in Europe at least, it improves Google’s argument that it is opening Shopping to competition, complying with the EU’s competition ruling that saw the company fined $2.4bn in 2017, which it is currently appealing.
Google’s own line is that it has introduced the change to help struggling businesses who can’t afford to advertise at scale. They claim to have brought the plans forward in response to current crisis.
We feel that this is a good move in many ways for both consumers, retailers and Google, and it will indeed go some way to combat Amazon’s dominance in product listings.
We will watch with interest to see how the change affects advertisers in the US, and of course we will discuss with our clients individually.