Vikki Hawkins

Changes to Google Shopping announced

Google’s shopping announcement has certainly made an impact, Visualsoft’s Head of Digital Gavin Lowther explores what it all means.

Following on from the free ad credit announcement, Google has further strengthened its COVID-19 support and advanced their plans to make Google Shopping free for merchants to sell. Reportedly these changes will take effect in the U.S. before the end of April, and they are aiming to expand this globally before the end of the year.

This announcement will enable every online retailer to advertise products on Google regardless of budget limits/constraints. Paid listings will still be vital to ensure maximum and consistent visibility.

The move will also enable product listings to run across multiple Google surfaces such as Search, Images and Shopping. This sets Google up nicely to once again have the largest catalogue of products listed in the world, all in one place. Google’s one stop shop if you like...

What do I need to do?

At the time of writing this article Google was still in the process of working through the details for UK and UAE businesses. As a Premier Partner Agency we are working closely with Google on the rollout and will announce further details as and when they are available.

Google has however published step by step instructions as to how retailers can implement these changes themselves when their rollout has reached their country. At Visualsoft we will automatically do this for all of our platform clients. Every Visualsoft site has a product feed readily available, so for those that don't use ads all you need is a merchant centre.

  • If you’re an existing user of Merchant Center and Shopping ads and you’ve already opted into the surfaces across Google program, you might already be eligible to show your products in these unpaid experiences, and no further steps are necessary to participate.
  • To opt in, select “Growth” and then “Manage programs” 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.

For new users of Merchant Center who are interested in joining this program, it's open to you today and does not require Google Ads, but we're working to significantly streamline the onboarding process over the coming months. You can opt into surfaces across Google during the Merchant Center sign up process and start creating your product feed.

More information can be found here:

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