Free Product Listings – 1 New Way Google is Competing With Amazon
Google’s newest notable change comes to the shopping search tab: businesses now receive free product listings!
Google made a significant announcement regarding free product listings on Wednesday, September, 30th. In it, Google states that they are expanding the Google Shopping listings for free, globally.
The feature was available in the U.S. beginning April 2020, but free product listings will be available globally starting in mid-October.
The difference between shopping ads and free product listings.
Before offering free product listings, only sponsored paid links were shown in Google’s “product knowledge panel” on Google’s results page (SERP). The Google product knowledge panel would only appear when a user searched for a product that had matching listings on other e-commerce websites. With the new update, e-commerce owners no longer need to pay to have their products shown.
Before you get too excited, know that paid shopping ads aren’t going away. Google cares about revenue; they want e-commerce owners to pay to have their products shown at the top. Product shopping ads will be delivered at the top of the page, separate from the free product listings.
“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…” – Bill Ready (Google Commerce President)
Online shopping amid coronavirus.
Assuming Google has noble causes, they may have added free product listings as a way to aid brick and mortar businesses struggling to connect with their shoppers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The truth is, online shopping has seen more significant numbers than ever. There have been countless updates on how Amazon’s growth has surged amid the coronavirus pandemic.
At Algorithmic Global, we believe Google wants its shoppers to purchase directly from their site instead of going to Amazon. Amazon’s status as leading the market for most of the past year has put a target squarely on their back.
Increased revenue, from both ads and transactions, is why Google decided to offer free product listings.
The future of free product listings.
As more e-commerce owners start adding their free product listings, first position competition will increase.
With more competition, more businesses will have to start paying for product ads to increase their products’ visibility.
In the future, we would not be surprised if Google comes out with a strategic plan to put their hands even further into the e-commerce market, trying to beat Amazon at their own game.
Advertisers are all headed to the drawing board as they will need to find the optimal way to stand out against a more extensive and more diverse selection of products.
As a company, all of Algorithmic Global digital marketing professionals are ready to create product marketing campaigns for our e-commerce clients.
Please contact us if you need any help setting up your free product listings on the Google Merchant Center or advertising your products. We have experience in Google and Amazon advertising platforms and would love to help with your next project!