Google is highlighting top shopping deals in search results in an effort to boost visibility for retailers while ensuring shoppers get the best available prices.
In a series of related updates, Google is making it easier and faster to apply product promotions, attract new customers, and uncover meaningful insights.
And yes, these updates all apply the free shopping listings Google began offering earlier this year.
Highlight Promotions in Search Results
Promotions are now available to all US retailers, and Google says they will be significantly easier to use for the holiday shopping season.
Previously, retailers had to fill out an interest form to enable the use of promotions in Merchant Center. Now, promotions are automatically enabled for all eligible retailers in the US.
Retailers can edit promotions directly in Merchant Center, and the average approval time has been reduced from days to hours.
These updates offer the ability to better react to shopper demand, such as running a flash sale or extending the time period of existing promotions.
Products on promotion will show up in more places across Google, and include various annotations like the ones shown in the example below.
Google will highlight promoted products across the following surfaces:
- Ads in Google Shopping
- Free listings in Google Shopping
- Google Images (mobile only)
- Local inventory ads in search results
Shoppers won’t have to look too hard for deals either, as a new “on sale” filter is being added to the Shopping tab across mobile and desktop.
This filter includes product inventory across ads and free listings that have a promotion or are on-sale, improving the discoverability of competitively-priced products.
In addition, shoppers who search for a specific product will be able to see which retailer is offering that item on-sale within the product knowledge panel.
Google emphasizes that all US retailers will be able to take advantage of these updates “regardless of whether you advertise with us or not.”
More Reporting Insights
Google is rolling out an update in November which will provide retailers with better reporting for on-sale products and promotions.
In order to take advantage of the reporting capabilities, retailers will have to tag their on-sale or promotional inventory with custom labels.
Reports will gather data on impressions and clicks for tagged products across shopping ads and free product listings.
Data can then be used to evaluate performance and make adjustments if necessary.
Useful Shopping Statistics
Sprinkled throughout Google’s announcement are a number of shopping statistics which retailers might find useful.
- 58% of US holiday shoppers will hold off on buying gift items until they’re on-sale.
- 40% of global shoppers say they turn to Google to find the best deal.
- 58% of US holiday shoppers bought from at least one brand last holiday season that they hadn’t before.
- 65% of US holiday shoppers are starting to shop earlier to avoid out-of-stock items.
For more information on how to implement promotions, see Google’s help page here.