In The News: Google Goes Commission Free (& Why You Should Care)

By Kat, 2 months ago (3 min read)

Google has been attempting to knock online marketplace giants, Amazon, off the top spot since 2013. And while their previous attempts over the past 7 years may not have had the success they’d hoped for, could their recent move to offer commission free product listings be the one that finally hits the mark? 

Find out all you need to know about the latest changes to Google Shopping and Buy on Google features right here, as well as how their new strategy could benefit your ecommerce business in the future. 

What’s new?

It’s no secret that Google’s been getting serious about trying to compete with Amazon in recent years, which includes employing former PayPal executive Bill Ready as Commerce President earlier this year. 

However, it’s perhaps the recent shifts in consumer online behaviour since COVID-19 that have served to propel their strategy forward, making the bold move to waive their fees on Google Shopping listings and Buy on Google functions. 

According to Google, this move is designed to not only make it easier for retailers of all sizes to reach their audience, but also provide users with a more streamlined and convenient online shopping experience. 

The shopping cart icon that appears on product listings was originally launched under Google Shopping Actions in 2018, which has since been integrated into Google Shopping as Buy on Google. This service allows users to buy directly from the product listing page that appears in their search result, which formerly was a paid service offered to retailers with commission fees ranging from 5% up to 15%.

The new offering now allows retailers free access to list their products without having to pay for an advert or commission on product sales. The hope is (according to Bill Ready) that this will increase the diversity and volume of sellers and products available on Google Shopping. 

In addition, the Buy on Google feature also allows sellers to use third-party payment and inventory management systems like Shopify and Paypal rather than Google’s own systems, all with no extra charge. 

Currently this service is only available in the United States, where Amazon dominates the online shopping sector, but Google has announced their intention to roll this out to other countries later this year.

Why should you care?

Okay, so free listings and selling haven’t reached the UK yet, but this doesn’t mean you should simply dismiss this monumental move by Google. If and when it does hit the UK, there are plenty of ways it could be good for your online retail business. 

For one, any platform that offers the opportunity to expand your reach to consumers at minimal cost should not be ignored. Throw in the fact that it’s commission free and it’s offered by Google, who handle over 6.9 billion search queries every day, and this is definitely something that should pique your interest.

By waiving their commission fees for listings and Buy on Google, the company aims to open up the ecommerce marketplace to a far wider audience of retailers. This is good news for small to medium sized businesses who may already have invested in other paid avenues like Amazon and have limited budgets.

Google has also identified an increase in the number of people buying and supporting small businesses since COVID-19, adding a small business filter to their platform to match this shift. This could mean better visibility and more organic traffic for local businesses using this platform.

As if that wasn’t compelling enough, any business that already uses Shopify or PayPal can integrate their existing payment and inventory management systems into Buy on Google. This means a more streamlined process, quicker set up and minimal disruption to current business operations – a winning combination.

While many of Google’s strategies are seemingly aimed at rivalling Amazon, there could be significant benefits for online retailers looking to grow their online reach and sales through Google Shopping. 

While it’s still not an option in the UK, it could be wise to get your business model prepared to take full advantage of these changes when they come. If you need a helping hand, Land Digital are always happy to help. Get in touch today to find out how we can help strengthen your online business and ready it for a new age of ecommerce.