Google Shopping has finally launched in New Zealand, and is likely to change the game for e-commerce.

Google Shopping (originally called Froogle) started as a free product listing on Google, and is now a paid service which makes it easier for users to find, and buy, your products.

If you sell products online, Google Shopping is an opportunity to put your product centre stage, not only for New Zealand based searches, but internationally.

Where do Google shopping products show up?

You will notice the product listings that now appear at the top of Google results – these are highly visual and take the top spot in Google Search. Many consumers do not search past the first page, so this is a prime location to get your products seen.

It’s a quick way for customers to find the best product, at the best price, without having to leave the Google environment. This is a faster way to compare prices, and saves trawling through websites to find the best deal.

What does this mean for me?

Because users are met with a selection of products before browsing any website aside from Google, it's likely some sales will occur online without users exploring multiple websites.

When users do click on the Google shopping ad, they go straight to your product page, skipping the rest of your website entirely.

This means price conscious shoppers who are after a specific product are likely to go for an product being advertised through Google Shopping. If you have a product like this, it would be worth considering. Google Shopping operates a pay-to-play model, similar to most online advertising models such as Google AdWords. You pay Google to list your products, and results are influenced by relevance, price and the amount you pay for advertising.

There here has been some controversy around the Google Shopping model, especially when it comes to the smaller players competing with larger businesses who have larger budgets. However, Google has assured that the advertising costs are significantly lower, and may provide smaller businesses with an advantage, gaining visibility where they would not be able to before. If your product is unique or competitive on price, it’s well worth considering. We would suggest exploring some of the small business success stories.

How does it compare to other online advertising?

For now, it has been noted that Google Shopping compliments Google AdWords. Google Shopping is highly visual and the adverts have higher click through rates than text ads.

Your target audience is likely to be spending a significant amount of time online, whether it be in Google, Facebook or Instagram – it’s just weighing what is the best platform to reach your audience, and how much investment you want to make.

Many New Zealand retailers have already jumped on board, including The Warehouse, Torpedo 7 and Fishpond NZ.

Is it right for your business?

Whether you’re new to online advertising, or running the odd campaign on AdWords and Facebook, getting a return on investment is the key goal.

Are your competitors using Google Shopping? You can find out by doing a broad search for your product. If no-one is advertising, it might be the perfect time to jump on board while it’s clear. Whether you sell surfboards, craft kits or health and safety gear – there’s an opportunity to get your product centre stage on Google.

We can see great opportunities for many of our retail clients, and we know there will be many businesses in New Zealand who would find this a great way to increase visibility and sales.

How do I get started with Google shopping?

You can set-up adverts using the Google Merchant Centre. It’s similar to Google AdWords, however, instead of bidding on keywords, you bid on product groups, which targets all keywords related to the product type.

As with all online advertising platforms, they operate various levels of complexity and we can help you with set-up and management. Depending on your needs and resources, you might want to learn the ropes and take the management in-house, or leave it to the experts (us!).

If you want to have a chat to see if it’s worth your time and find out more, get in touch.