Last Updated: 8/25/2021
On the heels of the accelerated growth in ecommerce spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, Google is keeping the momentum going by ushering in a new era of online shopping with updates to Google Shopping.
Ahead of Q4 2021, Google shared plans to enhance the Google Shopping experience with exciting new selling features for merchants. Get the rundown on all the updates below, and start thinking about how you can get creative and get ahead with Google's new features ASAP.
Perhaps the most exciting feature announcement is the addition of a deals section. According to Google’s President of Commerce Bill Ready, searches for “discount code” went up 50% YOY from 2020-21. These searches are usually performed by shoppers who are far down the funnel with high purchase intent.
With this in mind, Google plans to release a deals section to help customers find the best product deals while also helping merchants make the most of seasonal shopping moments.
With deals updates, merchants can reach as many customers as possible with their promotional content. Highlights of the deals section include:
A convenient, faster way to access deals while shopping — the Shopping Tab will showcase search relevant products that have a promotion or discount
New Deals Carousel on Search — Launching on October 15, 2021, the new merchant deals carousel will make it easier for shoppers to swipe through and discover the most popular deals for major retail sales moments such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Piloting of Integrated Shopping Experience on YouTube Livestreams — building on the beta testing of an integrated shopping experience on On Demand videos announced earlier this year, Google will now be piloting this YouTube integrated shopping experience on livestreams with a few creators and brands.
How it works for merchants: To have your products included in these deal round-ups, merchants must upload promotions in the Google Merchant Center (GMC). To add a promotion in the GMC, you’ll need to enter relevant information within the “Promotions” tab, including:
Country of sale
Title of promotion
Effective date range
You can also custom target promotions with specific requirements for eligibility. For example, a new customer discount could be promoted that’s only seen by those who are not pre-existing customers. In the GMC, you can indicate which promotions you want to appear on free listings and which promotions should only be attached for ads. If you have a physical storefront, then you have promotional options such as “local inventory”, “curbside pickup” and “pick-up today.”
How it works for customers: When using the Shopping tab on Google, searchers will sometimes find a “Deals related to your search” section on the Shopping tab of Google. This highlights the best relevant deals, surfacing all discounted products that might interest customers. The new Deals results page means that shoppers will be able to see merchant’s promotion options without leaving the search engine.
Google’s augmented reality feature has been getting the most buzz. Pushing the limits of product discovery, AR will be used in product listings and promotions to make online shopping more interactive. The goal of AR is to help customers visualize how items like clothing will look in the real world by letting them “try it on” in the augmented reality world. The AR apparel experience is expected to launch later in 2021. Stay tuned!
Google is planning to use video to enhance how sellers connect with their customers throughout the customer journey. New video features will give merchants the opportunity to curate how their products appear in Google searches through:
Rich lifestyle imagery
Interactive story formats on Google Search, Google Shopping, Google Images, Google Maps, and YouTube.
Loyalty programs can be a great tool for nurturing your existing customer base as well as those who are close to purchasing. Google’s pilot loyalty program integration helps customers see your special deals, including free shipping, when they first start shopping on Google.
Two new features have been added to the bestsellers report, which is available to merchants who’ve opted into market insights in the Google Merchant Center or Google BigQuery.
The first update grants access to historical bestseller data that helps merchants make decisions for upcoming seasonal shopping moments based on popular products from the previous year.
The second feature adds a “relative demand” field in the report that will help merchants gauge the future demand of products in a specific category and country. Merchants can use this information to make better informed choices on the brands and products they keep in inventory. Whether its volume of product or stocking new product types.
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