Olivia McNaughten
Product Marketing Manager @ Yotpo
April 22nd, 2020

It’s now free to sell on Google Shopping. Learn what this means for brands and how to use reviews to stand out.

Table Of Contents

With physical stores closing down and brands forced to move online, Google has now made it free to sell on Google Shopping. As Amazon delays and shortages continue to increase, D2C brands have a unique opportunity to move into that space; over 40.55% of consumers are turning to less familiar brands to find the products they need. For brands, it’s critical to leverage Google search to drive customer acquisition.

The Google Shopping changes will take effect in the U.S. before the end of April, with plans for global expansion before the end of the year. “We’re continuing to work closely with many of our existing partners that help merchants manage their products and inventory, including Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, to make digital commerce more accessible for businesses of all sizes,” says Bill Ready, President of Commerce at Google.

The value of Google Product Listings

As shoppers increasingly shift to shopping online, there’s still a clear gap between the products people are looking for and the products that are discoverable online. By enabling brands to list their products for free on Google Shopping, businesses can gain new exposure to the millions of shoppers looking to buy online.

Today, 82% of retail queries that don’t include a brand go through Google Shopping. This means that for every generic search, like “red shoes” or “blue couch,” brands now have a massive opportunity to get in front of new shoppers and acquire high-intent customers that are searching for a particular product.

The impact on Google Shopping Ads

The free Google Product Listings will not replace Google Shopping Ads; instead, they’ll help to amplify those campaigns. Existing customers that may have been paying to promote only a portion of their products on the platform will now be able to list their full inventories at no cost.

How to stand out on Google Search

With lower barriers to entry for brands that want to list their products on Google, it’s essential for brands to leverage reviews and user-generated content to stand out from the crowd and build consumer confidence during the all-important discovery stage.

Brands that add reviews to their Google Shopping Ads see up to a 24% increase in CTR. And, having just 100 reviews on a product page on your site can more than double conversion rates on that product.

By providing shoppers with influential social proof, like reviews, star ratings, user-generated photos, and more, brands can:

  • Stand out on search and drive more high-intent traffic to their store
  • Maximize ROI on every product listing
  • Decrease CPA by increasing conversions from search traffic

In order to be able to list the star rating, there must be at least 3 published reviews of the product and a minimum of 50 eligible reviews across all of your brand’s products. So, it’s important to ensure you’re generating sufficient reviews and capitalizing on the benefits of Google Shopping merchant ratings.

If you aren’t already, now is the time to make sure you’re sharing your product reviews with Google via a Google Trusted Reviews Partner, like Yotpo. Our partnership with Google allows brands to feature star ratings, reviews, and Yotpo-generated customer photos in their Google Shopping Ads and Google Shopping Product Listings. Just ensure your brand’s product catalog in Yotpo contains the same identifiers as in your Google Product Listing feed, like GTIN or MPN & Brand.

How your brand can generate more reviews

With more Google Star Ratings, your brand can immediately show off the multitude of customers that have bought and loved your product — essential social proof that converts. Here are a few quick ways your brand can generate more reviews:

  1. Email customers with review reminders
    • Collect up to 80% more reviews with emails reminder shoppers to complete reviews post-purchase
  2. Leverage Multiple Product Review Requests
    • Make it easier for your customers to leave reviews. Our multiple product review requests make it easier for customers to review multiple products in one email so you can generate more reviews, faster — increasing review generation by up to 45%.
  3. Build trust with photos and videos of real customers using your products
    • Encourage high-intent traffic to your site and decrease CPA (cost per acquisition) by showcasing authentic user-generated photos alongside ratings and reviews in your Google Shopping Product Listings.
  4. Maximize response rate to drive repeat purchases
    • Respond to as many reviews as possible to engage directly with shoppers and build relationships that last.
  5. Reward honest feedback with loyalty program perks
    • Try awarding coupons or loyalty points for writing reviews or submitting photos and videos to re-engage customers and bring them back to your site.

For more information on Google Shopping, check out our guide here, and for tips and best practices when it comes to adding Product Ratings to Google, head here.

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