The Google Shopping platform allows users to search millions of products across thousands of stores to find the item they are looking for in seconds.
With a tagline that emphasizes the mission to help consumers “find the best products, prices, and places to buy,” Google Shopping is poised to transform the way consumers purchase products.
Instead of shoppers automatically heading to Amazon to search for a product, a search through Google can tell them the best prices online or in nearby stores.
A cart option also makes it possible to checkout through Google, and items purchased through Google come with a Google Guarantee to ensure customer satisfaction.
Understanding Google Shopping, particularly as a retailer, is crucial in 2022.
Read on to learn more about how free product listings work, why it matters, and how to get involved.
How Does A Free Product Listing Work?
In an Amazon-dominant market, Google Shopping offers merchants the option to list their products for free, even if they aren’t running a Google Ads campaign.
Free listings allow merchants to display their items across Google – not just on the Shopping tab.
An item can show up in product results from a Google Search, Google Images, or Google Lens.
Just as businesses aren’t charged a fee to be part of the Google Search index, displaying products online is also a free service from Google.
There are two types of free listings available for retailers to choose from, Standard and Enhanced.
Standard listings include descriptive product information added to a search result.
This listing option requires only the basic product information and is available across Google; however, standard listings are not displayed through the Shopping Tab.
This standard listing offers a detailed description of the product, rating, reviews, price, and availability from the Google Search results page.
Enhanced listings go beyond the basic product information of a standard listing and offer more detailed attributes about a product.
This listing option requires more details to be provided by the retailer to make the listing more visually attractive and engaging for the Google Shopping tab.
Below is a Google Shopping tab example when looking for baby teething products.
This enhanced listing example appears under the Shopping Tab in a carousel of products.
It provides a visually appealing picture, ratings, additional style options, price, a link to directions to the nearest brick and mortar store, availability, and a comparison option for other stores.
Where Do Free Listings Appear?
Aside from free listings displayed through Google Search and the Shopping tab, free listings are also visible on Google Images.
For example, when a potential buyer searches for a product or brand on Google, the image has a “Product” tag representing the option to buy this product.
Users are taken to the product page to complete the purchase by clicking the tag.
Free listings also appear in Google Lens, where users can click the Lens icon to see similar products to what appears in the image.
In the example below, a quick click on hiking boots from an article leads to an abundance of visual matches to similar products.
How Can Merchants Get Started Listing Products For Free With Google?
Any merchant is eligible for free listings, whether you run paid ads or not. Interested retailers should create a Merchant Center account to manage how inventory appears throughout Google.
You can then follow the setup flow to create free listings for your products.
If you are already using Google Shopping ads, your existing product feed can seamlessly provide the necessary attributes for your free listings.
Retailers should verify and claim their website to aid in setting up free listings. This proves that you are the authorized owner of the website, which adds a layer of security for potential buyers.
Merchants then create a product feed (or use an existing feed from Shoppings ads).
The brand can also integrate with other ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, to automatically sync inventory information.
For products to be eligible for free listings, provide the following attributes:
- Identification such as SKUs that are unique to each product.
- Title that accurately identifies the product.
- Price of each product, matching your landing page.
- Availability to tell users whether an item is in stock.
- Link to the URL for your website’s landing page.
- Description of the product with relevant features and details.
- Image of the product that is viewable to customers.
You can learn more about mastering product listings for Google Shopping here.
What Are The Benefits For Retailers Who List Their Products On Google?
Each day millions of people use Google to shop. By listing on Google, you can:
- Increase your visibility to customers who are already looking for items similar to what you offer.
- Promote your products by highlighting the unique features of your brand
- Increase website traffic.
- Bring more business into local stores.
- Increase sales not only because of the increased web and local store traffic but also when customers Buy on Google.
- Best of all, you can remain competitive for no additional cost. If you already advertise your products using Shopping Ads, free listings complement the campaigns you are already running.
Google matches your product with the most relevant search queries using metrics and algorithms to get your products in front of interested users.
Using the Merchant Center and analytics, brands can track the performance of free listings.
This insight gives retailers valuable information about specific products to help guide future decisions about inventory and marketing strategies for your team to consider.
Google is a thriving platform for online shoppers.
Free listings help give consumers options to find the right product at the right price from the right seller.
By utilizing the tools available through free listings, retailers can meet potential customers already searching on Google to increase product visibility and grow their business.
Featured Image: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock
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Author: Jason J. Zotara