Digital Marketing

Is Google Making Another Push Into Ecommerce?

A report from Bloomberg indicates that Google is preparing for another round at retail giant Amazon with a renewed determination to conquer e-commerce.

E-commerce is a department [Google] I tried and failed to find out many times before,” the report reads.

If Google is getting serious about e-commerce again, why will it do it differently this time?

First, there’s a new VP in charge since the last time Google made a strong push into e-commerce.

Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s senior vice president who oversees search, maps and ads, gave a glimpse of his vision at this year’s Google I/O conference.

Raghavan’s influence on Google’s retail strategy dates back to his promotion in 2020, which is when Google eliminated the fees it used to charge for online purchases.

Bloomberg calls Raghavan’s vision “anti-Amazon.” Retailers have to pay Amazon to use its website as a storefront, while Google recently started allowing companies to run shopping ads for free.

Free shopping lists seem like an effective way for companies to reach customers, but are customers conditioned to using Google as a place to buy products?

In this article we’ll look at whether Google can realistically compete with Amazon in the retail space. Then we’ll discuss what this means for businesses and what they can do to prepare for Google eCommerce Push.

Google’s new e-commerce strategy shows promise

There are early signs that Google’s new approach to e-commerce is working.

Google recently revealed in an earnings report that e-commerce advertising contributed to a 43% increase in search revenue in 2021.

Advertisers are ready to embrace the direction Google is heading, but what about customers?

Google reported last year that more than 1 billion people shop on its properties every day.

Research from Morgan Stanley, published in the fall of 2021, found that consumers were using Google and YouTube to search for products and shop for prices more often than using Amazon, EBay, or Walmart.

Even the most loyal Amazon shoppers, Prime subscribers, search for products on Google more often.

In April, Morgan Stanley reported that 59% of respondents who were Amazon Prime members said they had started searching for products on Google. This figure is 50% higher than last fall.

However, industry insiders told Bloomberg that Google’s retailer-friendly approach to e-commerce isn’t attracting a large number of new shoppers.

Google has managed to win over advertisers and retailers, and now it needs to learn how to convert searchers into buyers.

Preparing for Google eCommerce Payment

There are two things retailers can do right now to set themselves up for success as Google revives its e-commerce vision.

The first is to upload your product feed to the Google Merchant Center. You can learn all about how to do this in this beginner’s guide to ad marketing.

There is no upfront cost to use Google Merchant Center, you only pay if you decide to run premium shopping ads.

That brings us to the next recommendation, which you take advantage of Free Google product listings.

By uploading your product feed to Google through the Merchant Center, you will be eligible to view your free shopping lists.

The main difference between paid and free shopping lists is that one takes priority over the other. As far as looks and functionality go, they are identical offerings.

In addition to being listed on the Shopping tab, there is a chance that your free listings will be shown in search results.

Finally, you can stay prepared by paying close attention to the latest Google updates. I suspect we’ll see innovative efforts from Google throughout the year to attract more shoppers.

Source: bloomberg

Featured image: CasamiroPT/Shutterstock

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