Google shopping is the leading eCommerce marketing platform. It gives retailers access to millions of shoppers, providing a valuable opportunity for revenue generation. It also offers retailers high levels of control, allowing them to fine-tune their campaigns to detailed precision.
Despite Google Shopping being a paid service for the past 8 years, in light of the Coronavirus, Google has decided to change things up.
Beginning immediately, Google Shopping search results will consist primarily of free product listings, as part of their Google Surfaces and Local Google Surfaces programs. Despite the current pandemic having an impact on Google making this decision, rest assured it is a permanent decision.
This is the opportunity retailers desperately needed in a time of uncertainty. Retailers will benefit from free exposure to the 74% of people who start their purchase journeys on Google.
Free Google Shopping
Google is making standard involvement with Google Shopping free by looping the service into its Surfaces Across Google program.
By having products in Merchant Center and opting into the program, listings for participating retailers become eligible to appear in Google experiences.
Paid Shopping Ads will continue to appear in Google Search results. They will remain prominent in the Shopping search results page, being listed above unpaid listings.
How to opt-in
If you’re an existing user of Merchant Center and Shopping ad and you’ve already opted into the Surfaces across Google program, you might already be eligible to show your products in these unpaid experiences, meaning no further steps are required.
To opt into the program, do the following:
1. Within Google Merchant Center, select “Growth”
2. Then select “Manage programs, which can be found in the left navigation menu
3. From here, select the “Surfaces across Google” program card
From here you can also add products to your product feed, to make even more products discoverable as free listings.
For new Merchant Center users who are interested in joining the program, it’s open to you today and does not require Google Ads – but stay tuned, Google is going to continue working to streamline the onboarding process in the coming months.
Seriously, free means free!
Currently, there's no better time to start selling on Google Shopping. It’s a great opportunity to gain greater brand and product awareness, whilst generating additional revenue.
By opting into Surfaces Across Google, you’ll be giving yourself a head start in acquiring free listings, whilst competition is still low. It will also allow you to identify and fix any roadblocks ahead of competitors, giving you an edge in the market.
If you have any questions about creating your free Google Shopping campaign using Surfaces for Google, contact our professionals today.