The A – Z Of Google Shopping History
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With high volumes of Shopping intended searches made on Google search engine every day, Google introduced Google Shopping Actions (started as Froogle, now known as Buy On Google). The platform offers the largest opportunity for sellers with 68% new customers for their store. These customers are 14% more valuable in comparison to those who do not use Buy On Google(previously known as Shopping Actions). It rapidly evolves to make the process of shopping and selling flawless, seamless, and smarter than ever. Hence, without much ado explore further to figure out the entire Google Shopping history, from what happened to Google Express to what happened to Google Shopping? Additionally, get a glimpse at Google Shopping Vs “Buy On Google” (Google Shopping Actions) Vs Google Merchant Center.
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Do you know, around 31% of people go to Google for Shopping without even a specific product on their minds? Apart from that 30-32% of people start the purchasing process right from Google itself, once they have a basic idea of what product they want. This is the highest rate of shopping research done on any platform, based on several reports. What can you conclude from these stats, when it comes to selling through Google?
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Here is what you might want to know:
- A walk down the Google Shopping History Lane
- 2002: What does Froogle Mean
- The Times of Google Product and Google Products Searches
- 2012: What is Google Shopping?
- 2013: What is Google Express?
- 2018: What is Buy On Google(previously known as Shopping Actions)?
- Google Shopping Vs Google Shopping Actions Vs Google Merchant Center
- People Often Ask
- All in All
Moving forward, the history recollection here is starting from the beginning point, where Google for Shopping first became a thing.
A walk down the Google Shopping History Lane
With numerous updates to bring only the best for users, the evolution of Google Shopping has only become a lot more flawless, seamless, and absolutely frictionless for both, customers as well as sellers.
It only evolves to become better each day. So if you want to know how it became such a magnificent platform, here is the storyline of what has happened so far in the world of Google Shopping.
What does Froogle mean?
First launched in 2002, Froogle came out to be a popular and well-accepted platform, where customers could compare prices of products listed on multiple platforms, all in one place. This is marked as the starting point of Google Shopping history.
Even though it was the first time when the concept of Google for Shopping came into the picture, the platform did well for itself. The initial idea was inspired by the observation that a large number of product searches start on Google.
The most recent stat being, around 35-45% of shopping intent searches start with Google itself, before taking off to the specific landing page.
Google for shopping not only models the Google Shopping history, but it changed the whole eCommerce for good.
Froogle was quite popular for its comparison features, aiding customers in exploring all of their favorite brands, without having to switch platforms.
Listing products on Froogle was free and served the purpose of reaching the right audience at the least possible costs. Although, the additional cost was required to be paid for displaying sponsored links.
What is Comparison Shopping?
Based on the general consumer behavior, where they prefer to compare the products and prices, listed by multiple vendors, to make the most profitable decision, Comparison Shopping Marketplaces have come into existence.
Search engines that return contesting listings from different vendors, stores or marketplaces are Comparison Search Engines.
Froogle started out as one such search engine. One feature common in most of the Comparison Shopping Search Engines is that the buyer is taken to the original website of the product listing.
This means, Froogle, at this stage, merely acted as a surface on which products were seen and then the buyer purchased it from the cart of the original website.
The Times of Google Product and Google Products Searches
Froogle gained its well-deserved popularity and evolved to a more centric role of a platform where customers can start the process of shopping. The name was officially changed to Google Product Searches in 2007. Which soon became known as Google Products as a cut short version of Google Product Searches.
The model of comparison shopping remained the same, despite the change in the name. Even now, the listing was free of cost, sellers could enjoy the extra surface availability to showcase their products.
The major change seen was in the context of Froogle’s Integration with Google Search. Which implies that, apart from acting as the price comparison platform, the products also appeared right along with other SERPs, in response to queries.
Attributes such as cost, name, brand, possibly the description of the product, image if available, etc., were displayed for the benefit of the customers.
But above all, one key information is associated with products is the name of the original website on which the said product has been listed.
It could be a marketplace, with multiple vendors participating or a store owned by individuals.
For the longest time, Google Product remained the customer’s preferable place to start online shopping. With rapidly evolving features of all the Google services, Google Product Searches saw another change.
What is Google Shopping (back in 2012)?
Came 2012, and brought a major change with it. Google Product Search became Google Shopping. The payment model, on the other hand, saw a major change. Now, Sellers had to pay Google, in order to get their products listed.
Google Shopping is an official Google service that offers a platform to surface your products no matter where you sell. The goal essentially is to provide a flawless, all-encompassing platform for price comparison, without having to switch multiple websites and taking much pain in research. This was also, sometimes referred to as Google Shopping Express.
Google Shopping or Google Shopping Express, was made available in only a select few states across the US.
What is the Google Merchant Center?
Google Merchant Center is your centralized account where you can upload the inventories. Google Shopping, Google Product Ads, Google Assistant or Google Search can access this feed to surface the products either through Ads or in response to search queries.
Hence, in order to use Google Ads, Google Shopping Ads or Google Shopping, one must have a Google Merchant Center Account.
Various Google surfaces and platforms are discussed in the later sections.
What happened to Google Shopping?
Google Shopping further evolved involving Google Express, a service popular for its rapid fulfillment services. As a club together feature, now Googe took the initiative to deliver the product as well.
What is Google Express?
Google Express was an evolved service of Google Shopping, where a customer could purchase products from various major brands and stores, all at one place extending to which, customers, could add products from giants such as Target or Costco in one single cart and checkout from the Google Express itself.
What was more impressive with this platform, was the fact that Google took the initiative to deliver it as well. Thus, not only products from different marketplaces could be bought from one place, they all could be delivered in the same package.
Google Express was, especially popular for groceries, a fair result of its efficient and quick delivery program. It started out as a same-day delivery service, only to add overnight deliveries to the mix.
In addition to this, the listing price was also at first the same as the store price, only to be slightly increased later, due to additional costs involved in the online selling process.
Furthermore, the shipping costs also varied from $25 to $35, depending upon the distance. The Google Express service was available only in a select few states, although the number of states kept increasing.
What happened to Google Express?
With the launch of “New Google Shopping”, Google decided to integrate Google Express with Google Shopping under the wrap of Buy On Google(previously known as Shopping Actions) in 2019. Now the new Google Shopping comes with the benefits of Google Express, Google Shopping, and a few more way to advertise better than ever.
Agreeing with these updates, the logo of Google Express, which was a colorful parachute changed to a colorful price tag with the symbol of Google on it.
Also, the products which can be bought directly from the Google Shopping store carry a colorful cart symbol with a plus sign on it. The “find in the nearby store” feature also came as an added benefit.
One of the newest selling points of Google Shopping is a Google-backed guarantee on the products, encouraging customers to purchase more confidently, from Google Shopping.
What is Google Shopping Actions?
Buy On Google(previously known as Shopping Actions) enhances retailers of all scale to sell through and surface on all platforms
associated with Google such as Google Assistant, Google Home, Google Search, etc.
Major features that Buy On Google(previously known as Shopping Actions) promises to customers are Universal Cart, one-step instant checkout without switching platform, access to shareable Google Shopping List, shopping while browsing, etc., which makes Google Shopping an appealing platform, inevitably improving your sales.
With so many platforms and services offered by Google, and such a happening Google Shopping history, it is important to keep track of everything that is being offered, in order to utilize these to the maximum potential.
After tackling questions such as what happened to Google Shopping and Google Express, now explore further for comparative analysis.
Google Shopping Vs Google Shopping Actions Vs Google Merchant Center
Google Shopping Actions
It is a platform that allows you to surface your feeds on various platform services of Google such as Google Assistant, Google Search, etc. Sellers can upload their products on Google Merchant center and enjoy all the benefits of listing products on Google Shopping Actions. Apart from that you only pay when you sell.
From the customer’s end of the deal, features such as Universal Cart, One-step checkout from Google Shopping Actions itself, and the opportunity to buy as they browse prompt an increased size of the basket, making your sales rise effectively.
Additionally, with Buy On Google, you get access to the customer’s contact details, making follow-ups easier.
Google Shopping (Now):
On the flip side, Google Shopping displays products from sellers who are using Google Ads (PPC model). Also, products form those who have used either structural data on their own website for the benefit of Google while listing products. Lastly from sellers who are using “surface across the Google program of Google Merchant Center.
These listings appear in the Google Shopping section of Google’s search engine. The product on display is customized based on the customer’s preferences and previous searches. Additionally, the advertiser’s campaign structure and keywords, customer’s search query, product’s performance, and many more such criteria also affect it.
Customers cannot buy products from Google Shopping directly unless the product is from a seller who has onboarded Google Shopping Actions. Such products have an image of a colorful cart with a plus symbol on it. Google Shopping serves to make the process of the search for a product easy for customers. Google calls it, “Product Discovery Experience”.
Using Google Shopping you can also, promote your products as Product Listing Ads on various Google platforms. It uses the Pay per click model. It uses the Feeds with a description that you have uploaded on the Google Merchant Center.
Google Merchant Center:
Google Merchant Center is a platform that acts as the interface for sellers, where they can upload and update feeds. Product Feed is the inventory or catalog of a seller, which they intend to sell or advertise. The product feed involves all attributes associated with the listings such as price, variants, images, descriptions, product identifiers, categories, etc.
You must have a Google Merchant Center account in order to use some services. These include Free Listing, Buy On Google, Shopping Ads, Google Shopping, Google Ads, Local Inventory Ads, etc.
People often ask:
Is Google Shopping safe?
Yes, for customers as well as sellers, Google Shopping is perfectly safe. It comes with a Google-backed guarantee. So if you list your products on Buy On Google(previously known as Shopping Actions), with little effort you can expand your business.
Did you hear about the fantastic news from Google? Google has now allowed sellers to showcase their products on Google Shopping through Google Merchant Center. Thus, a major part of the Google Shopping page is going to be occupied by these free listings. All they need to do is create an optimized Shopping Feed via the Merchant Center and make sure Surfaces Across Google is Active. Enjoy this unpaid experience and create your Google Shopping Feed now:
All in All
Google Shopping Actions has only evolved to become a magnificent platform for customers to experience a seamless process. Google for Shopping is a highly appealing idea since customers can buy products while they browse.
A comparison of products form multiple platforms all in one place is an attention-grabbing feature. It helps customers in making educated decisions leading to higher satisfaction. An added benefit is that Buy On Google(previously known as Shopping Actions) is a Retailer-first marketplace.
If you are from India or Canada, you can start selling to the US customer base through Google Shopping Actions. Want to start now?