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Google Shopping’s Newest Features: 3 Tactics to Drive Results in Q4

 In Paid Search, PPC

Coronavirus has further increased ecommerce shopping demand across industries and around the world. In a landscape where more and more consumers are shifting to online shopping, the tech giants are fighting for market share by pushing new features and tools to make shopping online easier and cheaper.

Google has joined this fight and is pushing to win more online shopping dollars from Amazon and other competitors. Google has been aggressive this year with 3 important feature pushes for Google Shopping. For all Google Ads ecommerce advertisers, these features should be considered as part of your Q4 strategy. Here’s the rundown:

Google Shopping Becomes Free

Many years ago, Google’s shopping and ecommerce engine was called Froogle, and it was all free listings. Over time, as Google exploded in usage and value and the ads products matured, Google removed the free listings for Shopping and converted it into a paid-only product.

Now, Google has reenabled free listings in Shopping, allowing any ecommerce website to get listed and get visibility in Google Shopping, without actually paying for clicks or buying ads at all. Since it’s free, this is clearly a win for any ecommerce store and your business might as well participate.

Getting listed within Google’s free Shopping results is very easy, and if you’re a PPC advertiser, it’s likely you’re eligible already. Review the instructions from Google here and make sure you have an appropriately configured Google Merchant Center account, and your products should be available for free listings.

“Buy on Google” Becomes Free

Another freebie from Google shows their intent to compete with Amazon and other ecommerce platforms aggressively. Google clearly wants to win market share in ecommerce first, and monetize later. For most ecommerce advertisers, this is a good thing.

The “Buy on Google” feature is Google’s native checkout for Shopping, basically allowing users to buy your product without leaving the Google Shopping platform. It’s an Amazon-style experience in this way and obviously from Google’s perspective a competitive platform to Amazon.

Google’s now offering this to merchants completely free – Google takes 0% commission on sales. Clearly, that’s a big win compared to Amazon’s fairly pricey commission structure. Google has also set up direct integrations with Shopify and PayPal, making setup for users of these platforms quite easy. To get started, Google has a detailed set of instructions on the process here. 

“Free and Fast” Shipping Label

The newest feature of the Shopping listings is a label for “Free and Fast” shipping that advertisers can qualify for and include in their Shopping ad units. This label should increase the visibility and attractiveness of your Shopping ad units.

Though not quite as impactful as the 2 other features above, this is a nice win for advertisers that meet Google’s criteria, which includes that your product can be delivered to customers within 3 business days, and shipping is free or free with a certain minimum order value.

There are a few setup steps to make sure your business can qualify, which includes per Google’s guidance:

  • An active Merchant Center account with products opted into Shopping ads in the United States
  • Active web conversion tracking in your Google Ads account
  • Active products in your Merchant Center account which you can identify as free and fast
  • Account-level shipping settings configured for free and fast
  • Product feed attributes shipping_label and transit_time_label
  • Product landing or detail pages and checkout pages to message free and fast shipping

Once you’ve got these setup steps in place, you can fill out Google’s interest form here to apply for the program.

Getting Q4 Ready

It’s clear that this holiday season is going to be unprecedented when it comes to ecommerce demand and overall consumer behavior. With global uncertainty due to COVID and the American election both pressuring the holiday season, advertisers need custom planning and strategies to thrive. This Q4 will be different from last year! To learn more about holiday PPC strategies during unprecedented times, contact OpenMoves today for a Q4 strategy evaluation.

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