Successfully launched in the US earlier this year, Google announced that Google Shopping tab listings for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa will be free of charge, next to the paid option. This article provides you a quick overview of the changes and shows how you can take full advantage of Google’s new service.
In April 2020 product listings on Google Shopping have become partially free in the US. This change refers to the Google Shopping tab that you can find on top of your search page. Important to know: The good old paid Shopping ads will continue to exist and the new organic listings will be complementary. Using both free product listings and Shopping ads together is the new recommended practice by Google.
The shift to free search results in the Shopping tab is intended to help merchants connect with more customers. Since the launch in the US, Google reports that merchants have seen an average of 50% more clicks and 100% more impressions across free listings and ads on the Shopping tab. Small and medium-sized sellers are said to profit the most from this increase in engagement.
Slowly but surely, this new structure is being rolled out in other parts of the world, including Europe, starting mid-October 2020.
What will change and how does it affect me as a merchant?
Layout and order of the Shopping tab
With two types of listings in the Shopping tab, its layout will change. On top of the search results, you will still see the first row with paid Shopping ads, followed by free listings underneath.
Merchant Center & surfaces across Google
In order to showcase your products for free on Google Shopping (and other shopping-related Google surfaces in the long run), you have to participate in the program for surfaces across Google.
If you currently have an account in the Google Merchant Center and your product feed is already integrated, you can simply opt-in to the new ‘surfaces across Google’ infrastructure within your MC.
If you are new to Google Shopping, you first need to set up an MC account, learn here how to successfully get started.
Next to that, you can also opt into the local surfaces across Google program to qualify your items for ‘local listings’, including information about your physical store (such as product availability, store hours, directions, phone number, or approximate distance from the user), letting users know that a product they are searching for is available in a physical store close to them.
Your product feed must meet even higher standards
As always, when something is free of financial charges, we expect an increased demand and more competition among merchants on the Shopping tab. Therefore, it is essential that your product data comes in the best state possible. Since Google Shopping works with a feed format, it requires certain data specifications. In order to meet these specifications and deliver high-quality product data, you need to optimize your product feed. The ultimate goal (and strategy to get ahead of the competition) is to deliver all your product information in a format that triggers a match between consumer search queries and your products.
One example is a perfect title structure, including the most relevant keywords at the beginning of each product title. Google uses titles to detect related keywords that match search queries. Channable can help you to optimize your title structures through smart rules, such as the ‘combine value’ rule and to profit from your own dynamic feed information!
An extra tip from Channable: Constant data updates are key!
Next to good feed hygiene and maintenance, it is important to update your product data on Google Shopping (and in the MC) on a regular basis. In the Channable tool, the default schedule for data runs of every feed connection is once a day. Especially now, during the busiest eCommerce quarter of the year, combined with increased penetration of the Shopping tab, more frequent data updates on your marketing channels can make the crucial difference.
Our solution for this is ‘Extra Runs’! With extra runs, your data is retrieved several times a day (up to the hour) and exported to the channels you selected, among others Google Shopping.
Even better: We are proud to announce that we have recently taken the next step in adapting our infrastructure to facilitate more frequent data updates with less effort and we would like to share this success with you!
We have chosen to replace the current pricing packages (run maximum every 2 hours for an extra 50% of the price of your base subscription, and every hour for an extra 100%). From October 1st, 2020 with a single package: up to 24 runs per day for 50% extra of the price of your base subscription.