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Google Lends a Hand to Merchants With Free Advertising

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Faced with growing uncertainty during the COVID-19 global crisis, Google announced that merchants now can market their products for free on Google’s shopping platform. This decision allows many small-to-medium businesses once deterred by the cost of online advertising to do so for free alongside larger market competitors. The news brings opportunity for stay-at-home consumers to shop a wider variety of merchants, while bringing more influence for Google to compete in an Amazon-dominated market.

Search on Google, stay on Google

Opening its door to free listings on its platform, Google looks to gain tighter footing in their constant tug of war against Amazon. With a majority of consumers searching on Google for products, then jumping to Amazon to purchase, Google hopes to keep users on its platforms by offering a seamless and convenient purchase journey.

The latest development by Google Shopping is one of many new updates to its platform. In the past year, Google has been developing a more personalized experience on its shopping homepage and adding price tracking for specific products users show interest in. Amid a time of decline for digital marketing budgets, Google is hedging its bets on its latest update to incentivize new merchants to advertise on its wide array of platforms.

For those new to Google Shopping, welcome

Seriously, it’s free. Google is helping new businesses ramp up their presence on Google Shopping painlessly. To allow listings to be viewed on the platform, businesses only need to sign up for Google Merchant Center and create a product feed to display online. Google has already and will continue to make the onboarding process as easy as possible for new users starting in the U.S. and eventually abroad.

Considering this, businesses will be able to market and gain insight into which products perform best over time. This can be a highly rewarding opportunity to expand and refine paid marketing efforts for top performing products. As an added layer of safety, Google has also partnered with PayPal to help consumers verify seller information before check-out.

Impacts for those already advertising On Google Shopping

For businesses already advertising on Google Shopping, the process is even easier. Existing advertisers can augment their placements with free listings but will still be charged to for ads at top placements. Despite this news having little implication on paid marketing programs, there are opportunities to be leveraged.

Businesses that market only a select number of products can use this opportunity to test performance and expand their product feeds for free. By augmenting their Google Shopping ads for free listings, businesses can gain data-driven insights that can be applied to their broader marketing objectives. In addition to this, businesses will also be able to optimize their SEO efforts to gain more consumer visibility.

As free listings start to appear on Google Shopping, business and marketing teams should have a closer look at the competitive landscape. Over time, businesses showing for free on the platform will gather information that may incentivize paying for top placements. Due to this, businesses may observe increased competition for their paid shopping campaigns and must optimize accordingly.

A win-win for all

As Google increases its efforts to expand its market presence, businesses that once had no eCommerce visibility now have a risk-free option, and consumers have greater purchasing power. While the relationships between businesses and consumers continue to evolve throughout this crisis, Google’s latest update gives everyone an opportunity.

Questions on leveraging your eCommerce marketing? LiveArea digital marketing experts can help you navigate and optimize your paid marketing strategy. Contact us at marketing@liveareacx.com.

Author

Brenden Denver is a Paid Search Analyst for LiveArea.

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