Big news out of Google today - sellers no longer have to pay to get exposure on Google Shopping! That's huge, and it behooves readers to read up on this right away and figure out their next steps.
Beginning next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free product listings, the company said.
Former PayPal executive Bill Ready made the announcement on this Google blog
post. The coronavirus pandemic intensified the threats faced by the retail sector, he said. With physical stores closed, digital commerce presents an opportunity for struggling businesses to reconnect with consumers - but many cannot afford to do so at scale, Ready wrote.
He described moving away from a pay-to-play platform as a win-win-win when he wrote:
"For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings."
If you have a store on an ecommerce platform that partners with Google, help will be on the way. In addition, Google is partnering with PayPal to allow merchants to link their accounts. "This will speed up our onboarding process and ensure we're surfacing the highest quality results for our users," Ready said.
The changes will take effect in the US before the end of April. International sellers are not excluded, but they will have to wait - "we aim to expand this globally before the end of the year," Ready said.
Please let us know what questions you have, what tips you have for colleagues, and what you think of the move to make Google Shopping free again. Do you think the rivalry for ad dollars between Google and Amazon played a role in the decision?