Google shopping is the place to be. Taking advantage of free listings and appearing on organic searches is a no-brainer for retailers, especially in the new normal when online shopping is more important than ever.

When organic opportunities present themselves, they should be seized, and one of the silver linings in the pandemic cloud is that Google has rolled out the ability to use organic search product listings absolutely free.

In a time when bricks-and-mortar businesses are going to the wall, retailers are waking up to the fact that ecommerce could be their only way to stay afloat – whether they’ve previously sold online or not.

Clutching the digital lifeline

Keeping the support of loyal customers is important of course (we all know that repeat custom statistic), but businesses need new customers to grow, and when everyone is socially distanced, word-of-mouth simply isn’t going to cut it.

Online shopping was already huge, but the pandemic means that people are searching for a wider variety of goods on the web – everything from health supplements to clothing and from DIY tools to haircare products. These all present opportunities for businesses to connect with customers and at a time when retailers are struggling, increasing ecommerce could be a real silver lining.

Google reported that searches containing the phrase “available near me” have doubled around the world. In fact, during the first half of this year, searches for local services, like home improvement or maintenance, increased by over 25% in a year across a range of European countries.

Hello, shoppers!

You’re a small retailer with an even smaller digital presence. Just how do you get your products popping up on the searches of people who need them, especially with hundreds of millions of shopping searches being performed every day?

As for most things in life, Google has the answers.

As far back as April, the internet giant began rolling out plans for free selling for merchants on Google. Tweaked algorithms ensured that search results returned on the Google Shopping tab were mostly free listings, regardless of whether the merchants themselves advertised on Google.

Google said, “just as we don’t charge sites to be part of the Google Search index, listings for participating retailers are eligible to appear in these results at no cost to them.”

Google is also spreading the love with its Local Services Ads, which it has launched in ten European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK).

Local Services Ads are designed to help people shop for services, discovering and connecting with local tradespeople and professionals such as kitchen fitters, dog walkers and electricians. The Google Guarantee badge affords peace of mind to those using Ads, and while it’s not free, advertisers only pay when a customer gets in touch directly from their advertisement

Everybody wins

Retailers get masses of free exposure for their products, customers get a wider choice, advertisers can enhance their campaigns by bolting on free listings, and Google cements its position as a one-stop-shop, with everything for everyone. Comparing organic search results will also help to keep goods competitive, driving ecommerce and keeping businesses viable.

Retailers using Google Shopping will also benefit from the range of analytical tools available, allowing them to further refine their markets, their products and their customer base. Coupled with the fact that earlier this month Google announced 0% commission on any products purchased on GoogleShopping, the case for ecommerce meaning Google could not be any stronger.

It’s double-bubble for Google as well; in an age where people are switched on to corporate responsibility and choosing socially aware and ethical organisations to deal with, the Google Giant helping the Small Retailer has kudos mileage for them. The more Google Shopping sales rise, the better the Google algorithms will become, as they leverage the enormous amounts of retail data. This will not only benefit them, of course but enhance the shopping experience for both customer and retailer.