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Google Shopping ads shift to free: What you need to know about this change in eCommerce

April 29, 2020

A change has come that will have an impact on eCommerce business. Google has announced that Google Shopping listings will be free, starting April 27th 2020, for the US and rolling out in the coming months for the rest of the markets. Google states that this shift has been in the works for some time, but that the current lockdown situation facing the world has sped up the timeline. Channable will outline the new changes and how your business can take advantage of this shift in eCommerce advertising.

Google shopping ads shift to free

What does this mean for your business?

Google Shopping has been part of Google’s search engine for almost 20 years. However, since 2012 Google Shopping’s business model has been paid ads for item placement. This meant that many merchants choose only their top sellers because of listing costs or others to only use standard Google Search Ads instead of Google Shopping. With this change, the majority of space given to the Google Shopping tab will be free. Making Google Shopping more accessible for all businesses and allows merchants to list their full inventories to be found by Google’s search engine without ad placement costs. Top paid listings will still appear in the ad slots and the free listings will apply to the Google Shopping tab. But, this shift makes Google Shopping a more preferable alternative than competitors like Amazon or eBay for many merchants.

Google Shopping example
Google Shopping layouts example

How to take advantage

Google states that anyone who manages a website or an online store platform, such as Shopify or Magento, may advertise items. To opt-in, select “Growth” and then “Manage programs” in your Google Merchant Center, in the left navigation menu and select the “surfaces across Google” program card. You can also add products to your product feed, to make even more products discoverable in these free listings. Meaning existing customers with a Google Merchant Center account can now list their full inventories, and new users can apply through the Google Merchant Center to be featured on Google Shopping.

To help make the process smoother, Google has partnered with PayPal. Allowing customers to link existing accounts for faster online payment.

How to get going using feed management

With many businesses around the world forced to close their physical doors, online sales offer a lifeline! Whether you are just starting out in the world of eCommerce or juggling 4 marketplace connections plus the rest of your business, feed management can save you time and money. What is feed management you may ask? Exactly what it sounds like, a way to handle all of the data coming from your online shop.

Why use a feed management tool? Unlike Google Ads which rests mostly on keywords, Google Shopping is based on all the product data found on an online shop. A feed management tool allows you to organize your product data in order to match the categories for Google Shopping and product specifications. For some of the most popular advertising platforms, including Google Shopping, you can instantly generate categories by utilizing smart categorization. This process can significantly speed up the set up of a new connection, maximize your visibility, and increase your reach. If you choose to handle this process manually via a spreadsheet, some of your products may be disapproved by Google. It will then be trial and error until you have fixed all the requirements by Google and are able to advertise again.

Google shopping example listing
Google shopping example listing

Handling Google Shopping campaigns

As stated above, Google Shopping ads are based on a lot more than just keywords. All of the product data is taken into account when Google assesses the quality of the ad. With Google Shopping ads being free to list, it is now more important than ever to have a truly optimized and complete item listing. Fields like image, product title, price, name of retailer, shipping, reviews, and all other relevant information are used by Google to acknowledge your listing as credible and create the ad.

Introducing Channable, the data feed management solution that can handle and automate your entire Google Merchant Center catalog. Channable creates an integrated connection to your online shop, optimizing both your Google Ads and Google Shopping campaigns. With Channable’s Google Shopping API connection, an immediate real-time link will be made with your Google Merchant Center and your product feed. Any products you have listed on your online shop will be automatically updated in your Google Merchant Center and may be advertised. We have only talked about Google Shopping here, but with this same connection, your online shop can connect to over 2,500 other price comparison websites, affiliate platforms, and marketplaces as well.

Increase your online exposure and get your business back where it needs to be, in front of your customers!

Start your free trial today.  Your first connection setup is free, as part of our service to get you up and running smoothly.

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Vanshj Seth
Sales & Marketing US