Google Shopping Changes - What Happened to Your Traffic?

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Razoyo, a leader in Magento Go website solutions, is concerned that online merchants may not realize they are losing business due to Google Shopping (A.K.A. Google Product Search) changing from a free product feed to a paid advertising service. As of October 1st, the bids for Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are now the determining factor in how products are ranked on the search results page.

Holiday Gifts
Most small and medium-sized merchants, like the ones we work with on the Magento Go platform, are completely unprepared for the switch from free results to Product Listing Ads in Google Shopping,” says Paul Byrne, President of Razoyo.

Effective October 1st, Google Product Search is now Google Shopping and the process used to display products has been modified to include PLA ads. Merchants who want to continue to participate in the online marketplace need to be aware of how these changes affect their product search results.

According to Deloitte LLP, non-store holiday sales will increase 15% to 17% this year compared with 2011 and web retailers will account for 75% of that increase. However, merchants who rely on Google shopping for their traffic may actually see a decrease if they are do not have their PLAs set-up properly.

When merchants make the change to Google Shopping, they will have to comply with the updated feed specifications and policies. In addition, each merchant will need a Google Merchant account, a Google AdWords account, to link those accounts, and the ability to create a data feed, which is usually a feature of your ecommerce store management software. To take full advantage of the Google program, they also need to become a Google Trusted Store, which requires the installation and customization of javascript to their online storefront and the creation of shipping and cancellation feeds.

“Most small and medium-sized merchants, like the ones we work with on the Magento Go platform, are completely unprepared for the switch from free results to Product Listing Ads in Google Shopping,” says Paul Byrne, President of Razoyo. “Not only will they start to lose traffic, but, unless they aggressively pursue the Google Trusted Stores badge, they will begin to lose credibility (and placement) in their search results. For those who do pursue the Trusted Stores Badge, there is a short window of strategic opportunity for them to gain an advantage over competitors, especially in the realm of branded merchandise.”

Razoyo, a GoPro Partner, is offering Magento Go merchants a free webinar to help them learn how to get their traffic back. To attend, simply register for the session to be held on Friday (10/5/12). As the holidays approach, online merchants will either need to create their PLAs and pursue the Google program or risk losing the biggest online shopping crowd of the year.

About Razoyo
Established in 2012, Razoyo is an eCommerce consultancy serving the needs of small and medium-sized web stores focused on the Magento Go and Magento Community platforms. They provide web store setup and management, technical services, online training, advertising management, outsourced customer service and fulfillment, and consultation.

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Sarah Watson
Razoyo
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