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10/22/2020

Google introduces new e-commerce tools for retailers and consumers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Participants on both sides of e-commerce retailing are getting new features from Google just in time for the holidays.

For retailers selling and advertising on its platform, the tech giant is now offering faster average approval times and streamlined editing features for promotions. These updates are intended to enable retailers to better react to shopper demand, such as by extending an existing promotional period or participating in a flash sale.

Google is also expanding its promotions to more surfaces across Google. Products on promotion will now have an annotation when they appear on both free listings and ads in the Shopping tab, Google Images (mobile-only), and local inventory ads on Google search. This means that promotions will show up in more places, whether retailers advertise with Google or not. Furthermore, verified U.S. retailers can add direct links to their online store in their Google business profile.

Other new features Google is rolling out for sellers on its platform include a new report editor including additional metrics, like impressions and click-through rate, across free listings and ads. Within the next month, retailers will have access to auction insights to compare themselves to other advertisers participating in the same ad auctions.

“While this year has posed many challenges for retailers, we’re committed to helping you be prepared to sell online this holiday season and connect with new customers,” Bill Ready, president of commerce, Google, said in a corporate blog post.

For consumers, Google is now enabling shoppers to quickly see whether the price offered for an item is high, low or typical, compared to other prices from across the web and in nearby stores. Customers can go to the Shopping tab, select a product, and find these new price insights.

From the same page, consumers can also view various price and purchasing options from a range of stores, with both online and local options listed for comparison. Over the next few days, Google will roll out see curbside and in-store pickup annotations, as well. 

Customers can also turn on price tracking from Shopping product pages to receive alerts for price drops on any products they are considering, through email or on the Google Search app. To see all the products they are tracking, or to unsubscribe from alerts, consumers can visit their Google account and go to My Activity.

With safety top of mind, retailers have moved away from typical doorbuster events and are beginning to promote their discounts online,” said Aparna Chennapragada, VP, Google, in a corporate blog post. “Shoppers are starting earlier too: searches for early deals in the U.S. have increased significantly over the last month. To help you take advantage of these deals in online and local stores, we’re sharing some new and revamped features on Google Shopping in the U.S.—including price insights, price comparison and price tracking.”