Google’s bold move earlier this year to eliminate the cost for merchants to sell on its Google Shopping platform appears to be working.
In a blog post on Monday (June 29), Bill Ready, Google’s commerce president, wrote that the switch has produced a "significant increase" in user engagement, with merchants seeing a substantial rise in clicks, “meaning consumers are finding more of the products they’re looking for from a wider range of options."
Now, the global online technology company will bring free listings to its main Google Search results page in the U.S. Ready said it will assist shoppers with choosing the products and sellers that will serve them best, from the widest variety of options.
“Free listings in Google Search results makes your offers more accessible to the hundreds of millions of people who shop on Google each day, connecting you to more customers in more places, whether they’re across the country or across the street,” he wrote.
Initially, said Ready, the free listings on Google Search will appear in a product knowledge panel that shows buying options for a particular item.
He did not provide any numbers to verify his claim that Google Shopping is working. Google’s published ad rates have ranged from 5 percent to 15 percent.
“Sellers of all sizes are benefitting from this incremental traffic, particularly small and medium-sized businesses,” he wrote. “We already see that these changes will help generate billions of dollars in sales for retailers and brands in the U.S. on an annual basis.”
Today, the buying options in this panel are all sponsored links. Starting this summer, Ready wrote, these listings will be free. The launch will start in the U.S., first on mobile devices and followed by desktop.
“Free listings on Google Search is a big step forward in democratizing access to digital commerce, benefiting shoppers and merchants with more choices across the board,” Ready said.
This is the latest move by Google to capture more of the market. Last month, it introduced a rising retail categories tool that shows quickly growing categories related to products in Google Search, along with inquiries associated with them and the places where they are increasing.
In a blog post at the time, Product Manager Pallavi Naresh wrote that businesses will use the information creatively.
The experience was designed, Google said, to make shopping easier and more accessible.