Free Google Shopping now also coming to the UK and EU
It is a period of turmoil for the Google team working on shopping products and there are announcements and launches, also in view of the sales period of the holidays at the end of the year: Only this week we talked about the tools to customize product information and, just yesterday, solutions for local businesses and consumers, but in the meantime there is another important news that closely concerns the UK. Later this October, the free Google Shopping showcase will finally be available for british businesses, and will help retailers to find new customers without the obligation to make advertising investments on Google.
Google Shopping free for the UK
Breaking the news is a post on The Keyword blog signed by Matt Brittin, President of Google Europe, Middle East e Africa, who informs us indeed that “in mid-Octobr” even the retailers of Europe, Middle East and Africa will have the opportunity to insert product listings for free in the Shopping tab, integrated in the Search.
As has been the case for about six months in the United States, the search results on the Shopping tab “will mainly consist of free product tabs, to help retailers find new customers while not making advertising investments on Google” and to give buyers the opportunity to make the right purchase “from a wider selection of products and shops, just in time for the most intense shopping period of the year”.
Advantages for retailers
The article highlights the advantages for retailers and focuses, in particular, on those who already use Google Ads to reach potential customers: for them, the free tool “also represents a boost for paid campaigns“and the results from the United States confirm this.
Retailers who have taken advantage of both the tabs of free products on the Shopping tab, both ads on Google US “have seen on average double their views and increase by 50 percent visits”and small and medium-sized enterprises have benefited from the largest increases thanks to free product sheets.
How to appear among Shopping free tabs
Brittin also offers some practical guidance to shops interested in joining this program: in fact, you don’t need to do anything to “benefit from this change if you already use the Merchant Center and Shopping Ads“, because “the product inventory will appear automatically and without costs”. In Europe you can also choose which Comparative Shopping Service (CSS) may include the free product sheets.
This means, therefore, that the basic requirement is to subscribe to Google Merchant Center, the free platform that allows you to create and optimize a product feed, but the article promises that Google will continue “to work to make the accession process as easy as possible for new retailers in the coming weeks and months”.
The opportunities with the news Local Services ads
The post also let us know of a second, relevant news – which this time very soon follows the introduction in the United States – that is “the introduction of Local Services ads in the UK and nine other European countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and Italy”.
This tool can help local companies reach the customers closest to them, as thanks to the ads interested people can locate and contact “with trusted local professionals – such as plumbers, cleaners or electricians – supported by the Google Protection badge”, the badge that has also made its appearance on Google My Business profiles, available for activities that pass a Google verification and qualification process.
You do not have to have a website to use this type of ads, and advertisers only pay when they are contacted by a customer, without any expected commission when someone clicks on the ad. People can book the services also through a phone call, but above all they have the opportunity to “view the information related to the license and the reviews of previous customers, compare them and then contact the suppliers”.
Local service ads are even more relevant in light of the latest trends in user habits: as Brittin explains, “many people buy locally and are trying to strengthen contacts within their local community”, and some Google searches reveal that the queries “which contain the wording near me are more than doubled around the world”.
In particular, across Europe “in the first half of 2020 we saw that searches for local services, for example related to renovation and maintenance of the house, have increased by 25 percent compared to the same period of the previous year”.
Google’s commitment to bring SMEs online
Digital tools and skills “have been a lifeline during the lockdown” and “working together can be a catalyst to accelerate the recovery of retailers and, more broadly, the economy,” the manager says.
For this reason, the last part of the article focuses on Google’s commitment to support the digitalization of small businesses, since “online presence has become fundamental to commercial success”, but “according to a 2019 Yougov research, about a third of small businesses in Europe do not even have a website”.
To help businesses take their first steps online, Google has started a series of initiatives and programs, such as “Google for Small Business“, just launched in Europe: it is “a website dedicated to british small and medium-sized companies designed to guide them step by step in bringing their online business and enhance it thanks to digital“.
The new feature will now fit among all the other tools Google designed specifically to support companies in the sector. Such as:
- Market Finder, “a new retail-specific path to create a global business strategy”.
- Growing Retail categories, “to figure out which are the retail sale categories quickly growing in Google Search”.
- Grow My Store, “designed to support retail companies in improving their online presence”
- Machine Learning Checkup, “to understand the applications of artificial intelligence and the potential benefits for your business”
- Google My Business, “to interact more easily with our customers”.