Google Ditches Merchant Fees for Google Shopping

The swtich means online retailers will now be able to reach millions more potential customers.

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Need to Know 

  • Google has announced that it will now be free for merchants to sell through Google Shopping.
  • As physical stores shutter and retail dwindles due to the COVID-19 pandemic, merchants are becoming increasingly reliant on online sales and consumers rely on online shopping to source their essentials.
  • The change will take place initially in the US, with plans to expand globally.

Analysis

Google has announced this week that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will now be free for merchants to sell on Google. 

Google’s president of commerce, Bill Ready announced in a blog post 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 change comes as physical stores shutter, leaving retailers dependent on online sales and consumers shopping online more than ever. The ability to sell on Google for free means retailers will be exposed to millions of people who shop online everyday. It also means that shoppers will be able to search and discover more products than ever before. 

The shift will take place initially just in the US, with plans to later expand globally. 

Ready also announced the kickoff of a new partnership with PayPal, allowing merchants to link their accounts and speed up the onboarding process. 

Google plans to work closely with existing e-commerce partners, such as Shopify. In fact, in a tweet, Shopify CPO Craig Miller shared his excitement in planning to get all Shopify merchants in the US onto Google Shopping for free. The popular e-commerce platform already features several Google Shopping plug-ins, so many merchants will now be able to take advantage of the free integration.

There are over 100,000 active Shopify stores in the US alone. 

The Google Shopping experience has certainly evolved over the years. In fact, just last year, Google merged all of its Search, Shopping, Images and even YouTube platforms to utilize one checkout. As such, the new Shopping experience now includes more personalized results and shoppable images. 

Google’s checkout and delivery function, Express, also merged with the Shopping platform, allowing for a streamlined approach that competes with rival platforms like Pinterest. 

In support of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has pledged $800 million in tools, support, and free advertising for small-and-medium-sized businesses, non-governmental organizations, and research teams.  

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