Update to Google’s Merchant Center
Last month, Google announced some changes to how its Merchant Center will operate. Available in the US now, and rolling out to other countries later this year, all online retailers will be able to upload product information to the Merchant Center at no cost, and with no need for an Ad-Words campaign.
This is great news for retailers; they’ll have more control over how their products appear to their potential customers, and ranking will work much the same way as the rich results (i.e. feature cards), serving the searcher with the most relevant information. And all for free.
Getting your product feeds in order
Whilst this update begins in the US, the rest of the world should look to get their product feeds in order now, so they’re prepared and can hit the ground running when this finally reaches them. And, as Google will be using this as a ranking factor, it’s even more important to do so.
The added benefit of organising your feed in anticipation, is you’ll have the option to submit this data to other search engines, including Pricesearcher (another free resource).
Consolidating your pricing strategy is more important now than it’s ever been. Whether you’re optimising your products for top visibility in search, or hoping to enter them into the new Merchant Centre, you need to be sure your pricing is compelling, when compared with your competitors. This is especially important if you are a retailer selling high demand, branded products. If you aren’t aligned with the market when offering these items, the probability of converting is very low, as a consumer can quickly and easily find the exact same product through a simple search, figure out the right price and buy from a competitor with a more appealing offer.
Getting further exposure online is imperative in the current retail climate, utilising your product data and taking advantage of Google’s new update is a great way to do this.