GANDT Fireside Chat #003 | Free Google Shopping and Google My Business as An Opportunity During Corona Crisis

Post by Elli Schneider

True to our motto “Working Out Loud”, we at GANDT Ventures exchange our thoughts and ideas on current news topics. The topics from around the world ranges from online marketing, digital retail to e-commerce. This helps us uncover opportunities that can be used for companies and our clients as part of our daily business.

But most of all, it is a lot of fun and a great way to share knowledge. Our podcast chats are available to anyone who is interested what Google, Facebook, Amazon and co. are up to.


Free Google Listing Ads – Free product placement at Google Shopping

This news has caught the attention of us all – Googlewill make Google Shoppingavailable to retailers free of charge in the future.
For the time being, this offer will only be deployed in the United States. But, we would love to find out more about what is behind this. Why Google have decided to extend their free product listing features to Google Shopping customers.

Bill Ready, President Commerce at Google, announced Tuesday that the previously paid for advertisers will consist of free listings from next week.
The aim is to help retailers to get in touch with their customers, especially during the current Corona crisis. Regardless of whether they are already advertising on Google.
This significant change has put Google as a supporter of retail in the Covid19 crisis. It is taking the first step towards organic product listing.


Additional reach for retailers and competition for Amazon and Co. thanks to free Google Shopping

The advantages are clear:
The user will find a much larger selection of connected companies and products and the search results from the Google Shopping area will become more relevant.
On the other hand, retailers benefit from the increased visibility on the shopping search page. If Google Shopping hasn’t been part of the marketing mix of your company in the past, a new advertising channel is now being added. Which in turn can mean an increase in sales.

It can be assumed that this step has been planned for a long time and an accelerated release has been scheduled due to the current situation.

We’ve already addressed Amazon’s market power in our last two Fireside chats. In particular, product search is gradually shifting from Google to Amazon.
Thus, the decision also seems to be an attack on the big e-commerce platforms, especially the product search engine number one: Amazon.

Google perceives this as a way to benefit from the existing users, who already use the search engine by offering a much wider range of offers through these free listings.

One other indication that this was not an overnight decision, is the deep integration and cooperation with Paypal – to promote and launch this product. The aim is to allow merchants to establish a direct link to their PayPal accounts with relative ease and take on payments for their google using existing tools that they have. Interestingly enough, Google has not promoted its own Google Wallet and payment services, but chose to go with Paypal as a partner.
Even existing cooperations with Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce etc. should be directly connected in the future.


Barrier to entry should be kept small for companies

So what does this mean for companies that have advertised their products via  in the past?

Google intends to continue to offer the classic Google Shopping Ads in the future. However, these will then, in all likelihood, be integrated via prominent placements or other highlights on the shopping search results. This allows you to promote part of the product range more prominently.

Existing customers will be able to find the free listing features in the Merchant Center, according to Google.
But companies that have not yet used Google Shopping to promote their product portfolio will also be given the opportunity to use this free version.

Like the paid ads, the free listings are fed by product data feeds that can be uploaded and updated in the Google Merchant Center.

For the digital marketers and SEO experts among us, this step represents a new way to optimize organic product search results.
Hence, we eagerly await the live start in the USA, and will share the first results and learnings from this new feature in the weeks to come.


Google My Business (GMB) in the Covid-19 Crisis

In our previous Fireside chat, we addressed the importance of a well-maintained Google My Business account. The gradual relaxation of the Corona measures, will make it increasingly relevant for retailers and (small) shop owners to use Google My Business correctly. It is a central communication tool for companies of all sizes, if used correctly.

Google has also announced several changes for GMB account holders and webmasters in recent weeks.
Among other things, a new post option in the displayed business profile allows you to integrate a current company status with COVID-19 in the local search.

Thus, any business owner who has an account with Google My Business can not only store his updated opening hours, but also share crisis-related information about their own business in the local search.

We know of the existing features, such as linking to social media or the integration of actions, events and menus. In addition to those, you will find new markup options for moved-, canceled-, or virtual events.
Retailers can mark their business in Google My Business as “temporarily closed”. Also, currently the search engine tolerates name additions such as “To Go” or “Delivery possible”.

Neglecting this communication tool can have an additional negative impact on the current difficult time. From our point of view, Google offers a helpful means of direct communication and a tool for positive emphasis against the competition.


Agenda | GANDT Fireside Chat Video #003

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