Australian retailers will soon be able to list their products for free on the Google Shopping platform, with the tech giant today announcing the change in policy.
The free listings are due to commence in mid-October and existing users of Google’s Merchant Center and Shopping ads will automatically gain access to the listings.
For retailers that have not used the Google Merchant Center before, Google said in a blog post it will work to “streamline the onboarding process over the coming weeks and months”.
In the blog post announcing the change, Google Australia’s industry director Renee Gamble said the change will mean retailers will gain “free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs, regardless of whether they advertise on Google”.
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“For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab,” she added.
Google made listings on its Shopping platform free for retailers in the US earlier this year and Gamble said the change resulted in an uptick in views and site visits for businesses that used the listings alongside advertisements.
“In the US, where the change was made earlier this year, retailers running free listings and ads got an average of twice as many views and 50 per cent more visits — and small and medium-sized businesses saw the biggest increases,” she said.
Gamble said Google Australia is making the change as part of a broader effort to support Australian e-commerce businesses.
“Retailers have played a vital role in Australia’s response to COVID-19, battling through a tough economic environment while serving their customers and communities, providing essential products and services, and supporting jobs,” she said.
However, the free listings come just weeks after the search giant warned Australian consumers and businesses could see a “dramatically worse Google Search” if the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission proceeds with a draft code of conduct that would require the likes of Google and Facebook to pay media organisations for news content.
SmartCompany has asked Google for a specific date when the free Shopping listings will commence and is waiting for a response.
More information about the data and eligibility requirements to retailers to get products listed on Google is available from the Google Merchant Center here.