Google has announced a major change to its Google Shopping platform amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The company, on Tuesday, announced that it will make all product listings on its shopping service free as more and more people turn to online shopping to comply with quarantine guidelines and lockdown restrictions.
The announcement is also believed to be part of Google’s plans to expand its operations in the e-commerce sector as the company continues to mount a bigger challenge to fellow American tech behemoth, Amazon, which recently slashed affiliate commissions across several product categories.
As part of its plans to make it free for merchants to sell on Google, the company says that beginning next week, “search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google”. The new initiative, the company says, will help many retailers who have many much-needed items in stock and ready to ship, but are struggling because their listings are less discoverable online.
Of course, the decision will not only help retailers gain free exposure to millions of Google users, but shoppers searching for products on Google will also get to choose from a larger catalogue of products from more e-commerce portals, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings, said the company. The changes will take effect in the US by the end of this month before being expanded globally by the end of the year.