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Google Shopping Holiday Update for Merchants

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In the last two weeks Google has added updates to their new paid Google Shopping program to further improve the search experience. Here’s a quick look at the new shopping features, so you can quickly continue with your holiday festivities.

New Google Shopping Commercial Model Released Globally

This month, Google announced it will be expanding its commercial shopping engine for sellers globally, in the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and Switzerland. The transition will be complete in Q2 2012.

If you’re a U.S. seller that sells abroad, make sure you jump into this commercial model now to get a jump on your competition.

360 Images

Google also recently announced it will now include 360 degree product image detail on Google Shopping. These are great features which adds even more to Google’s already very visual feel, while also helping shoppers organize and further understand products.

360 degree product image view, which is available in the toy category currently, gives shopper the option to view an item from all angles:

fisher-price-google-360-view

This convenient feature doesn’t require you to manually select multiple item views to get a holistic product image. It’s a small intuitive change which makes a big difference.

However, with a majority of traffic not going through Google.com/shopping and clicking on PLAs directly from Google.com, how effective will the new feature be if most people aren’t able to use it?

Shortlists

I wasn’t overly enthused with Shortlists when I first saw the option, since the new Google Shopping feature appeared to be very similar to the Amazon's wish lists. Having tried it out though, I would argue it rivals Amazon with its usability.

What’s neat about Shortlists is that you can create multiple lists to organize what you’d like to buy. Here’s a look at of a some lists I made to start my holiday shopping:

my-shortlists-google

More User-Friendly Features for Shoppers

Google Shopping also has other very user-friendly elements, including personalized search results, shopping guides, and the option to sort by shipping, category, price, brand, store or gender (depending on the item):

google-shopping-filter-options

These are all features which make the online shopping experience more intuitive for shoppers by themselves, and together offer a definite user experience that is difficult to compete with. But it’s also important to note that all of these features are based on the merchant data feed.

Google has done a nice job of refining how users can search with search options that are extremely user friendly. Another example of this are listings which vary depending on what you’re looking for.

If you’re shopping for women’s shoes for example, you have sorting options which aren’t available with other queries:

red-heels-sorting-options-google-shopping

Depending on who is searching, from where, and for what, you may also see different sorting options and listings based on what Google has learned about your preferences.

For me, Google can clearly tell I like Toms, and flats, as those are some of the top results for a shoe query:

red-shoes-google-shopping

But those may not be the same results for someone else who prefers sneakers, or even for someone shopping who is incognito or logged out, etc.

For merchants, these features underscore the importance of sending Google the most accurate and detailed data feed possible, with detailed product descriptions, images, categories, etc.

And is also a good indicator that your listings are hopefully showing up for relevant searches. More importantly, those items are more likely to show up on searches for users who are more likely to purchase that item.

Add to these user-friendly features the security associated with shopping from Google Trusted Merchants, the fluidity of Google Checkout and Google Wallet, and you’ve got a bright and shiny, user-friendly shopping engine, with a myriad of opportunities for sellers to take advantage of.

What is your favorite user-centered feature on Google Shopping?


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