Earlier in the year, Google shook up their shopping offering. They announced that, due to the pandemic, they would offer free listings to any merchants in the US:
“With physical stores shuttered, digital commerce has become a lifeline for retailers. 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. In light of these challenges, we’re advancing our plans to make it free for merchants to sell on Google.”
This happened in mid-April, and they stated that the plans were to roll this out globally by the end of the year.
Free Google Shopping Ads for the UK
Now, the listings have arrived in the UK (as well as Europe, Asia, and Latin America), meaning all retailers can start to take advantage of the new feature.
You can now reach these potential shoppers for free in the Shopping tab, helping you connect with more customers.
What’s more, internal A/B tests by Google have shown that they have seen a >50% increase in clicks via the new layout, with small to medium sized merchants seeing the most increases. It’s a no-brainer to get involved!
How to set up Free Google Shopping Ads
To get going, you need to participate in surfaces across Google. Follow the 4 step guide below to get started.
- Add your product feeds to Google Merchant Center. If you already have a Google Merchant Center feed set up, you may already be opted in so your products could be eligible to show already.
- Opt-in to “Surfaces across Google” – either when you sign up, or by visiting Growth > Manage programs.
- Check your feed to ensure your products are eligible to show, or if there are any issues that need fixing.
- Monitor your performance – new tabs have been added to the “Performance dashboard” in Merchant Center to see unpaid clicks.
Free listings vs paid listings
Remember, the free product listings may drive some traffic but there is much less control compared to paid ads. And the paid listings still appear above the free listings.
Paid ads provide tools and controls to optimize performance, such as bidding toward meeting business goals such as selling more high-margin products. So to get best performance, a free and paid approach is best.
If you need help with your shopping and PPC, get in touch.