Amid the mass closure of brick and mortar locations around the world, Google is doing their part to help small businesses adapt to the current climate and stay in business.
Google Shopping, the search engine’s native shopping platform, has great visibility due to its connection to the most popular search engine, but there were some accessibility issues, especially for small businesses, due to the cost of listing products as an ad placement. The tech giant has decided that now, any business owner can list their products free of charge.
Google has also teamed up with other e-commerce companies like PayPal and Shopify to help make the transition for first-time listers a little smoother.
They say that this idea has been in development for a while, but the timeline was accelerated to help both customers and business owners adapt to the turmoil that is the retail industry right now. The President of Commerce at Google said, “We think that by doing this, it helps many more shoppers find what they’re looking for, but it also helps bring some quite needed relief to the retail and small business ecosystem.”
Though a simple listing will be free of charge, vendors will still have the option to pay for a promoted listing to receive top placement on the page.
Of course, this decision isn’t 100% altruistic. Business for other e-commerce rockstars like Amazon and Walmart is booming right now, and this move by Google can definitely help them gain a little more of a competitive edge.
The switch to free ad placement will happen on April 27 in the US and will roll out worldwide over the next few months.
Speaking of adaptation in the retail world, check out our blog post on social retail, which seems like it might be a game-changer for the industry. And it’s more relevant than ever now as we’re all stuck in our houses missing human connection and wanting to shop.
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Hannah Michelle Lambert is the Social Media + Events Coordinator at Worthix, as well as the host of the monthly CX News Recap segment. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.