The Covid-19 pandemic has led to struggles for many industries across the world, with companies, more so SMBs, having to explore different avenues of advertising to keep their heads above the water. Luckily, the search engine giant, Google, has revealed that Google Shopping listings will become free for agencies and businesses across multiple continents from mid-October.
In conjunction with Google Ads and the paid-for advertising experience, Google Shopping listings have been a hit with e-commerce businesses and websites looking to entice consumers at the first point of search for many years. However, back in April of this year, Google changed its paid-for listings to ‘free’ in America and are continuing the trend across Europe, Africa and the Middle East to give businesses some sort of relief amid the chaos of Covid-19.
In essence, Google Shopping is a virtual extension of an e-commerce website or online shopping experience and can improve brand awareness, as well as click-through and conversion rates for many businesses. Whether you’re a large scale fashion retailer such as Nike, or a local jewellery business in St Ives, it allows consumers to search for and purchase items from the world’s biggest search engine.
It is important to note at this point that for businesses who are established on Google My Business and who also have a grasp on the importance of on and off-site SEO, it is likely that their listings will perform better on Google Shopping. Features such as reviews and product Schema can play a huge role in informing potential customers of stock changes, product descriptions, shop locations and opening times which can all determine how likely customers are to purchase.
According to Google, as people are spending more time at home, “searches containing ‘available near me’ have doubled around the world”. Furthermore, “In the first half of 2020, searches for local services, like home improvement or maintenance increased by over 25 percent in a year across a range of European countries”.
In an attempt to help economic recovery across the globe, Google wanted to give back to businesses who would normally take the paid-for advertising approach to advertise their products, especially for local businesses who rely on smaller communities to purchase or book frequently, such as catering companies, cleaners, plumbers and tradesmen.
Commenting on the free Shopping tab, Google said: “Available globally in mid-October, search results on the Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping retailers connect with more customers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. Shoppers will be able to find more products from more stores, just in time for peak shopping season across the region.”
On from this, Google have also released Google For Small Business, to give business owners the tools, tips and tricks to get the ball rolling on their online ventures.
Here at Media Street, our marketing team have helped national and local businesses achieve success with their online shopping advertising and we look forward to seeing how the change from ‘fee to free’ will have a positive impact on the performance of local businesses, both here in the South West and beyond.
If you would like to pick our brains and learn more about Google advertising, or specifically Google Shopping, and how it can increase your return on investment over time, then feel free to contact us at a time convenient for you. We will be happy to discuss your business requirements further.