When organic opportunities present themselves, they should be seized, and one of the silver linings in the pandemic cloud is that Google has rolled out the ability to use organic search product listings absolutely free.
In a time when bricks-and-mortar businesses are going to the wall, retailers are waking up to the fact that ecommerce could be their only way to stay afloat.
Clutching the digital lifeline
Maintaining the support of loyal customers is always important but businesses need new customers to grow, and in our pandemic-dominated world of social distancing, word-of-mouth simply isn’t going to cut it.
The pandemic has led to surges in online searches across a variety of goods on the web – health supplements, clothing, DIY tools and even hot tubs. These all present opportunities for businesses to connect with customers. At a time when retailers are struggling, increasing ecommerce could prove to be a silver lining.
Google reported that searches containing the phrase “available near me” have doubled around the world. In fact, during the first half of this year, searches for local services, like home improvement or maintenance, increased by over 25% across a range of European countries.
If you’re a small retailer with a limited digital presence, how do you get your products appearing in the hundreds of millions of shopping searches being performed every day?
As with most things in life, Google has the answers.
As far back as April, the internet giant began rolling out plans for free selling for merchants on Google. Tweaked algorithms ensured that search results returned on the Google Shopping tab were mostly free listings, regardless of whether the merchants themselves advertised on Google.
“Just as we don’t charge sites to be part of the Google Search index, listings for participating retailers are eligible to appear in these results at no cost to them.” – Google
Google is also spreading the love with its Local Services Ads, which it has launched in ten European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK).
Local Services Ads are designed to help people shop for services, discovering and connecting with local tradespeople and professionals such as kitchen fitters, dog walkers and electricians. The Google Guarantee badge affords peace of mind to those using Ads, and while it’s not free, advertisers only pay when a customer gets in touch directly from their advertisement.
What does the Google Shopping announcement mean for those in the online retail ecosystem?
– Retailers get masses of free exposure for their products
– Customers get wider range of product options
– Advertisers can enhance their campaigns by bolting on free listings
Finally, Google cements its position as a one-stop-shop, with everything for everyone.
Comparing organic search results will also help to keep goods competitive, driving ecommerce and keeping businesses viable.
Retailers using Google Shopping will also benefit from the range of analytical tools available, allowing them to further refine their markets, their products, and their customer base. Coupled with the fact that earlier this month Google announced 0% commission on any products purchased on Google Shopping, the case for ecommerce meaning Google could not be any stronger.
In an age where people are switched on to corporate responsibility and choosing socially aware and ethical organisations to deal with, the Google behemoth appearing to help the ‘small retailer’ can only aid their kudos in the ecosystem.
The more Google Shopping sales rise, the better the Google algorithms will become as they leverage the enormous amounts of retail data. This will not only benefit them in the long term, but also enhance the shopping experience for both customer and retailer.
The Google Integration for Repricer.com lets you push your products direct to the Shopping tab in six easy steps. Learn more…