On April 21st, Google made the remarkable decision to allow online business owners to sell their merchandise on Google Shopping for free.
Until now, Google Shopping was available only in the form of paid ads. This new development of offering it for free is great news for the small business community. It gives the opportunity for online sellers to reach a wider audience, improve their customer count, and increase their sales.
Today we'll be talking more about this recent update, how Google Shopping works, and how you can take advantage of it. Here's a quick layout of what we will be covering, so you can go directly to the content most relevant to you.
- What is Google Shopping?
- What does this recent development mean for online retailers?
- Where do you start with Google Shopping?
- How can Zoho Inventory help along the way?
What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is a service by Google that helps online sellers reach a wider audience. When a user searches for an item in the search bar, display ads pop up alongside the search results.
For example, if you search for flower bouquets, then image ads of online listings for flower bouquets will appear along with the organic search results.
Before this announcement, configuring your Google Shopping ads involved creating an account in Google Ads and the Google Merchant Center(GMC). Now, after it has been made free, you only need to sign up for GMC.
What does this recent development mean for online retailers?
Allowing business owners to sell their products online for free will create a more competitive e-commerce environment. Those select businesses that could afford to run ads on Google Shopping will now face the heat from other online sellers who can list their products organically.
Small businesses that couldn't run the ads before should take advantage of this strategic opportunity to tap into the fast-growing e-commerce market in the US, which is expected to reach $230 million in by 2021.
Where do you start with Google Shopping?
In this part of the blog, we will try to list down the steps you need to follow to get started with your Google Shopping listings. Before we start listing the steps, you need to check if you have a Google Account. If not, you can create one at accounts.google.com.
Once you're ready with your Google Account, follow the next steps to begin your Google Shopping journey:
Head over to the Google Merchant Center page.
Click Get Started and choose Sign in to Merchant Center.
You will be navigated to a new page with a Welcome to Merchant Center heading.
Here, choose your Country and Business Display name.
In the next screen, you can accept the Terms and Conditions and choose if you want to be contacted by Google for sending updates and participating in research studies.
Once you complete step 5, you will be asked to select how you would like to advertise your products. If you only want free listings, then check the Surfaces across Google option. If you want to run paid ads, then check the Shopping Ads option as well.
Click Create Account to get access to the dashboard.
Once you follow the steps above, your next step is to upload the product information, tax, shipping, and website URL.
This brings us to the next point, which can make listing and managing products on Google Shopping account a breeze.
How can Zoho Inventory help along the way?
If you have a long list of inventory items, then adding all of them manually to the Google Merchant Center account can be a time-consuming affair. An e-commerce inventory application like Zoho Inventory makes your work a lot easier.
Zoho Inventory automates and streamlines routine inventory and e-commerce tasks. It allows you to transfer stock information from within the app to your GMC account without the need for a separate login. It also comes with more benefits:
You can access your online sales information within Zoho Inventory.
The approval status of the product can be viewed within the app.
To avoid going out of stock, you can set reorder points in Zoho Inventory. This means when your stock count falls to the level you specify, you will get notified automatically.
In case you run out of stock due to excessive sales in one of the marketplaces, then your item will automatically stop being displayed on Google Shopping. You don't have to track it manually.
The advantages of using Zoho Inventory don't end here. If you plan to run a paid campaign for your Google Shopping listing, then you can manage the campaign within the app. Here are some features:
Set bid amounts and budget within the app. No separate login required.
Start new campaigns.
Get performance reports on these ads.
Review, edit and save changes for the campaigns from Zoho Inventory.
To understand the detailed process of how to set up this integration, check out our resources page.
Google Shopping has opened its doors for all businesses and individual retailers to sell their merchandise online for free. This will lead to a more competitive fight among online merchants, more choices for customers, and a great opportunity for small businesses to break into the e-commerce market in a big way.
While this is great for business owners, they also need to be well-prepared for managing their online business. Manually managing all their operations can prove to be fatal. To make the most of this new development, investing in inventory software to manage product listings and other relevant tasks might be a good option.
If you're an entrepreneur reading this article, feel free to reach out to us for more information regarding this topic.