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Free Ad Space Offered to Retailers by Search Giant Google

24 April 2020 - 11:16 by Graham Miller

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Merchants looking to connect with customers through promoted listings on Google’s online shopping service are being provided with the opportunity to get their products listed free of charge as part of a scheme aimed at stimulating spending while lockdown restrictions are in place.

While this scheme is currently only open to retailers that are located in North America, it is hoped that Google will roll it out in the UK and elsewhere so that more firms can benefit from the exposure and sales increases that seem achievable thanks to this change.

While it may seem like an altruistic act, industry insiders have pointed out that by letting more companies take advantage of its shopping platform, Google will effectively be increasing its own share of this growing marketplace while also pushing rivals like Amazon to one side.

More and more people are migrating to safe shopping online at the moment as a result of bricks and mortar stores being closed worldwide, and there are questions over the extent to which retailers in the e-commerce space are actually able to capitalise on this state of affairs.

Site visits and sales may be increasing across the board, but plenty of retailers have had to make significant changes to their procedures in order to protect staff, and plenty of sites have found it necessary to limit daily order volumes so that their over-stretched delivery networks can keep pace.

Google Shopping is just one of many options available for consumers who want to search for products, and it will be interesting to see whether Google’s strategy to increase its use through offering free listings to merchants works or whether searchers are more loyal to established retail brands and so less likely to change their habits.