Google Shopping can be a powerful tool for online retailers to get their products in front of millions of users on the web, but it’s always come with a fee. Today, Google has announced that it will allow any business to list products on Google Shopping for free.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 sweeping the globe and impacting the United States especially hard, online shopping has become more crucial than ever before. In light of that, Google has announced that “search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free product listings” starting next week.

Speaking to The Verge, Google’s president of commerce, Bill Ready, said that the company has been working on implementing this free service through Google Shopping for “some time,” but the coronavirus outbreak and the potential good the company could do pushed it to accelerate the launch.

This move enables retailers to “better connect with consumers” even if they don’t advertise with Google. Google says that by making Google Shopping free, retailers that have essential goods in-stock may become more discoverable through Google Search. The company explains:

For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings. If you’re an existing user of Merchant Center and Shopping Ads, you don’t have to do anything to take advantage of the free listings, and for new users of Merchant Center, we’ll continue working to streamline the onboarding process over the coming weeks and months

google shopping free listings merchants

Google is also working with PayPal to help get things going. The company says that PayPal will help “speed up the onboarding process” by allowing merchants to link their accounts.

Google Shopping will start accepting free listings next week — April 27th, to be specific — and the same functionality will be available to merchants around the globe in the coming months.

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