Google has replaced its ‘Product Search’ feature with a new business model named ‘Google Shopping‘. The new change would charge merchants and retailers for product listings and displaying product info in the usual search results. The company says that the commercialized Google Shopping program would deliver an improved shopping experience for searchers.
Sameer Samat, Google’s Vice President of Product Management wrote in a blog post, “Today we’re announcing a new initiative to improve our shopping experience over time—so that shoppers (your customers) can easily research purchases, compare different products, their features and prices, and then connect directly with merchants to make their purchase.”
Google has been in the product placements and search for almost a decade and has been offering merchants free access for product-listing so far. Now, Google is altering some of the ground rules of Product Search to provide an efficient shopping service to users via the new Google Shopping. First of all, merchants have to pay for product placements on the search results. Google will decommission a search product that formerly listed companies for free.
Google will insert the paid product-listing into the search results with larger product images and they would be labeled as ‘sponsored’. Google hopes that this strategy would help shoppers view details of the product in a single place. Users can also make an instant decision of the product and merchants of their choice.
Samat said, “Google Shopping will empower businesses of all sizes to compete effectively—and it will help shoppers turn their intentions into actions lightning fast. Today’s changes are a first step toward providing technology, tools and traffic to help power the retail ecosystem.”
Google will be starting the transition for U.S. users this summer with a series of experiments of the new program and is expecting to complete it by fall. The new Google Shopping program will not be available to users outside the U.S. until next year.