Google today have announced that they will now start offering businesses the opportunity to list their products on Google Shopping for free. While it is not a plan devised due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been rushed out early due to said pandemic.

In an announcement today Google have said that from the 27th April 2020 existing Google Shopping customers will be able to list all of their products for free. Any new businesses will need to apply for the right to place listings for free though. Businesses can still pay to be a promoted listing though if they prefer.

google shopping

Google is actively trying to bring more businesses onto the platform with the help of PayPal to help merchants links their accounts and e-commerce inventory management companies like Shopify “to make digital commerce more accessible for businesses of all sizes”. Of course this brings products that some retailers currently only sell through their own store onto Google’s platform as well.

Bill Ready, President of Commerce at Google, told The Verge that:

What we’re seeing is that they are many, many retailers and small businesses that stand ready to serve shoppers, but don’t yet have a great way to connect with them digitally. We think that by doing this, it helps many more shoppers find what they’re looking for, but it also helps bring some quite needed relief to the retail and small business ecosystem.

Since 2012 Google has required businesses to pay to list products “as a form of advertising” which led to less companies using Google’s platform, instead opting to run basic Google Search ads or Amazon or eBay etc.

Amazon have seen their value and business grow exponentially throughout the pandemic and Google’s new plan is to try and reap some benefit from a bad situation as well — and at the same time help out some smaller businesses. Hopefully it also helps many businesses who are not fully online yet be able to transition to the new business model in the current Covid-19 climate.

We are a fan of trying to look after smaller businesses as much as possible so hopefully the new Google free listings plan will help businesses to make the switch faster and more seamless. The new zero fee listing on Google Shopping will begin in the US on the 27th of this month, rolling out around the world in the coming months. Once it comes here I know I will be using it more in a bid to help flagging smaller local businesses stay afloat.