"Google Shopping Gets a Major Upgrade"

Matthew D'Amico, Paid Search Manager, Reprise US

Google Shopping allows users to browse and search millions of products, reviews, compare sellers, and find products by location at retail stores all within one platform (shopping.google.com).

This month, Google launched a new experience, bringing all of its shopping capabilities under one roof. Shoppers can now research, compare, and even purchase products. This move is Google’s latest attempt to compete with retail marketplaces that continue to attract consumers looking for a one stop shop. With this update Google brings product recommendations, dynamic price tracking, and a friction-less checkout experience in addition to rolling out shopping capabilities within Google Lens that enables users to use augmented reality to shop what they see offline. With all of these new updates it increasingly important for advertisers to begin utilizing Shopping Actions to elevate their brand presence and ultimately drive more conversions on the upgraded Google Shopping.

Express Checkout

The new Express Checkout process is quick and easy, allowing users to build carts across multiple retailers. By clicking the Quick checkout button, users will be brought directly to a checkout page where they can use their saved shipping and billing information to checkout in seconds. This is a departure from the original Google Shopping experience, which would bring shoppers to the individual retailer’s website. Retailers who partner with Google Shopping can use Shopping Actions to sell directly through Google – “Shopping Actions is commission-based, so you only pay when a sale is made. Google takes care of sales, customer support, and returns, and merchants handle fulfillment."

Apple MacBook Pro on Google Shopping

Apple MacBook Pro on Amazon

Every order is backed by a Google guarantee, which offers customer support and easy returns/refunds. With quick checkouts, Google has eliminated a step from the purchase process, which should help eliminate conversion drop-off, especially on mobile. Expect a potential uplift in mobile conversions thanks to this new and easy checkout option.

Product Recommendations

Google will surface product recommendations directly to users. Recommendations are certainly not a new feature in ecommerce, however, Google recommendations will be sourced from shopping and search histories, which includes Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube. This is a key differentiator from other eCommerce sites, where most recommendation data is being sourced from just behaviors within that site. The Google ecosystem is a competitive advantage for surfacing relevant recommendations. Google Shopping will also suggest nearby sellers, so users can find local stores that carry exactly what they want.

Product comparison/recommendations showcase key product features on Google Shopping

This update allows Google to be more proactive in its ability to get relevant products in front of shoppers. Traditionally users would need to actively search a product on Google in order to convert. As the holidays are fast approaching, product recommendations may be impactful for shoppers looking for the perfect gifts.

Price Tracking

Shoppers will be able to actively track price drops by enabling a toggle on the product page. Pricing updates will be sent via push notification or emailed directly to the user. Empowering shoppers to convert when the price drops may help increase conversions for price-focused customers.

The new price tracking feature may have vastly different impacts depending on the product category and price point. Price alerts on higher priced products that require greater consideration by the shopper may help them complete the purchase journey, urging them to convert when prices drop. This will have the potential to extend the purchase journey for users that are willing to wait to see if a price drop will happen. Items that are low in price or require less decision-making and may not benefit from a price tracking feature, however they will still benefit from the improvements Google has made to the quick checkout process.

Takeaway

This Google Shopping upgrade brings users a much-welcomed redesign and new features that make it easier for them to find products and complete transactions seamlessly. Google is making strides to bring their eCommerce offering up to the industry standard. Recommendations and quick checkout are features that other eCommerce platforms already offered. Now that Google has reached a point of industry standard, set by competitors such as Amazon, users should be enticed to convert right on Google Shopping rather than using Google to research and Amazon or other eCommerce sites to purchase. Going forward large retailers should look to integrate with Google’s Shopping Actions to fully take advantage of the Google Shopping updates.

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