What is Google Shopping? How the e-commerce service works for buyers and sellers

What is Google Shopping? How the e-commerce service works for buyers and sellers
Google Shopping is a great way to compare prices and products from different retailers. Westend61/Getty Images
  • Google Shopping is a Google service that hosts a variety of online stores and allows users to easily compare prices on products from various vendors.
  • Google Shopping offers its comparative item listings with accompanying photos and prices on a single, filterable search results page.
  • Among other benefits of the service, online sellers can list their products for free on Google Shopping as of 2020.

Given that e-commerce sales in the US increased more than 32% in 2020, it's clear that for many people, online shopping is becoming the preferred way to purchase new products.

By using Google Shopping, buyers are given a plethora of options and information before making a purchase.

What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is a service from Google that hosts products from a wide variety of online vendors in a searchable format. For users, the service aims to make the process of finding and purchasing things easier, offering comparisons between sellers' listings on particular items that allow consumers to choose the best item at the best price.

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Originally known as Froogle, the service now features items as thumbnail images that display the item, its price, and the shop it's coming from. As of April 2020, any online vendor can list products on Google Shopping for free.

The simplest way for consumers to access Google Shopping is to search for items directly on the platform's website, shopping.google.com. You can also perform a regular Google search for an item in a web browser and tap or click on the Shopping tab underneath the search bar to access the service.


What is Google Shopping? How the e-commerce service works for buyers and sellers
Select the Shopping tab at the top of a search page to view Google Shopping results for your search. Insider

Some of the notable features of Google Shopping include:

  • Filterable consumer information: Google Shopping shows search results based on relevance that's determined by your query as well as your advertising habits. Additionally, Google Shopping allows you to filter search results to increase the likelihood of finding exactly the item you're after. You can filter by brand, price, shipping cost, and more, from the lefthand column of a Google Shopping page.
What is Google Shopping? How the e-commerce service works for buyers and sellers
You can use the categories in the sidebar menu on the left to filter your results. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  • Product information: Companies selling products must comply with Google Shopping policies, ensuring that companies aren't selling something they shouldn't be, or something with misleading or out-of-date information.
  • Product reviews: Google Shopping offers reviews from volunteers, advertisers, sellers, and third-party review providers to give a better perspective on products, whether it's positive or negative, in order to help users make an informed purchase.
What is Google Shopping? How the e-commerce service works for buyers and sellers
On an item's product details page, you can see reviews from other buyers. Grace Eliza Goodwin/Insider
  • Comparative shopping: When making a decision on what to buy, Google Shopping shows the item's cost and any applicable taxes in your state. The product's page also offers a range of how much it typically costs across other websites, and you can choose to be notified if and when the price drops.

Advantages of Google Shopping for consumers

  • Google Shopping pulls results that match your query from a variety of shops, meaning you can see more items from a larger variety of stores rather than having to visit each retailer's website individually.
  • Image thumbnails of the item in question are included under every listing, allowing you to visually see the items on a single page for a more efficient browsing experience.
  • Filtering options allow shoppers to pare down search results to find exactly what you're looking for.

Advantages of Google Shopping for retailers

  • Any online seller can list products on Google Shopping for free as of April 2020.
  • The service can allow businesses to show up several times within Google's Search Engine Results Page (SERP): a text-only result, a Shopping result, and a website result. This could translate into higher engagement and revenue.
  • Tracking products and sales is streamlined and easy to manage via the Google Merchant Center.

Because Google Shopping functions as an extension of Google, both retailers and consumers will likely find it easy to navigate, making it a convenient option for shopping online.

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