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Google moves to free listings for Aussie merchants

- October 2, 2020 3 MIN READ

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, writes Renee Gamble, Industry Director, Retail, Google Australia.

Google’s push to help Aussie retailers

As more Australian businesses turn to e-commerce, we’ve been focused on supporting them in every way we can. Google is pleased to announce that from mid-October we are making it free for merchants in Australia to list their products on the Google Shopping tab. You can find out more here.

For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab.
For advertisers, it means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings.
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.

Australia’s changing retail landscape 

Free listings for Australian retailers comes at a time of huge change in the way people shop and sell across the region. Even before the pandemic, e-commerce was growing fast—over FY19, Australians spent more than $29 billion on online goods, which was up 20.8 per cent year-on-year. (1)
COVID-19 has accelerated these trends:
  • Between March and August 2020, more than 900,000 new households shopped online for the first time. That’s 35.4% more than the same period in 2019. (2)
  • 68 percent of online shoppers believe they will increase the number of online purchases after the crisis. (3)
To help retailers adjust to these changes, Google is offering skills training through Grow with Google and sharing research and insights to inform their business decisions. We’ve launched a playbook and webinar series to help retailers better manage digital storefronts. And we’re working closely with many of our partners to help merchants manage their products and inventory. This includes partners like ShopifyBigCommerce and Dynamic Creative.
In advancing our plans with Google Shopping, we hope to build on these programs, providing extra support and relief for Aussie retailers when it’s needed most.

What’s next? 

Existing users of Merchant Center and Shopping ads don’t have to do anything to take advantage of the free listings. For new users of Merchant Center, we’ll continue working to streamline the onboarding process over the coming weeks and months.
We’re looking forward to working even more closely with retailers throughout Australia, helping shoppers find the products they need more easily, contributing to the recovery from COVID-19, and preparing for longer-term change in local commerce.
Sources: (1) Australia Post, Inside Australian Online Shopping: 2019 eCommerce Industry Update (2) Australia Post, Inside Australian Online Shopping Report, September 2020 (3) Kantar COVID-19 Barometer, n=500 Australians, 18-90 years 14-18th August

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