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Google Shopping Opens Up Free Product Listings - TribeTalk EP 38

Last Updated April 27, 2021


In the midst of an e-commerce surge, Google’s bringing it’s biggest change since 2012: the Google Shopping tab results “will consist primarily of free product listings” starting this week! Plans were in the works to make Google Shopping open to all retailers eventually, but with the Coronavirus effect on retailers, especially brick & mortar, they sped up plans to get this rolled out ASAP.

This means that Google Shopping tab results will be primarily driven by unpaid organic listings. 

  • For retailers, this is free exposure on Google Shopping. 
  • For consumers, this provides more stores and product options. 

This has been a change in the works for a while, but It makes sense now for three big reasons. First, COVID-19 has put massive constraints on brick & mortar stores. Second, this move online massively improves retail data quality (and Google is ultimately a data company). And finally, this helps Google regain some of the footing that has been going to Amazon’s dominance in search share.

So, here’s how it works: 

  • The main Google Search page will still display PLAs (paid Shopping placements) as they do today. 
  • Paid shopping ads, for now, will still appear at the top and bottom of the Google Shopping tab. 
  • The free listings will be powered by product data feeds uploaded to Google Merchant Center. (Retailers must be sure to opt-in to the “surfaces across Google” to participate in this.)
  • Also, there is a new PayPal integration with Google Shopping, along with partnerships with Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce to help merchants manage inventory and products. 
  • The rollout is set for the end of April for the USA, with global rollout by the end of 2020

What are your thoughts on this update? Will you be taking advantage for your e-commerce opportunities? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.

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