Google is making shopping ads free in more countries following the rollout of free shopping ads in the US earlier this year.
Retailers will soon be able to run free listings in the Shopping tab across Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
The change is scheduled to take effect by mid-October.
Google Shopping listings are free in the United States as of this past April.
The decision to introduce free listings came about as a result of the financial crisis caused by the pandemic.
Many businesses cannot afford to pay for Google Shopping listings at this time, Google says:
“And as consumers increasingly shop online, they’re searching not just for essentials but also things like toys, apparel, and home goods.
While this presents an opportunity for struggling businesses to reconnect with consumers, many cannot afford to do so at scale.”
Free listings benefit more than just retailers, Google notes, as many more people have moved their shopping activity online.
Offering free shopping listings allows Google to get more products in front of people who need them.
“With hundreds of millions of shopping searches on Google each day, we know that many retailers have the items people need in stock and ready to ship, but are less discoverable online.”
The rollout of free shopping listings in the US significantly increased engagement between customers and merchants, according to Google.
The business generated from the free listings will reportedly help generate billions of dollars in annual sales in the US alone.
Retailers who can afford to pay for Google Shopping listings still have the option to do so.
Paid listings will continue to appear in ad slots in regular search results, and appear above free listings in the Shopping tab.
So there are still advantages to paying for shopping listings.
Retailers interested in taking advantage of free listings can learn more in the next section.
How to Run Free Google Shopping Ads
Google Merchant Center Required
Retailers that already use Google Merchant Center and paid shopping ads will not have to do anything extra to set up free listings.
Free Google Shopping listings will be placed by pulling information from your product feed in Merchant Center. So make sure it’s up to date.
Have a Merchant Center account but haven’t set up a product feed?
Here’s how to get fully set up:
- Sign in to Merchant Center
- Click Growth in the left navigation menu
- Click Manage programs
- Select Surface across Google
- Add your products using a product feed
- Verify your website
- Confirm your website belongs to you
- Click Activate to complete setup
Retailers that do not have a Merchant Center account will have to create one. During the signup process, opt-in to “surfaces across Google.”