This CEO Thinks Google Shopping Is Good For E-Commerce

    June 4, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Google created some ripples throughout the e-commerce industry this week when it announced that Google Shopping will be replacing Google Product Search. This is way more than just a name change, it’s a transition from a free service for merchants to essentially a paid inclusion vertical search engine, which will see “sponsored” listings appear on regular Google search result pages.

Some have equated the whole thing to Google shifting its policy away from “do no evil” to something along the lines of, “OK, do some evil.” Not everyone considers this to be so evil, however (the evil talk really just comes from Google’s own wording in its Founders’ letter at IPO time, which mentioned paid inclusion).

Amit Kumar, CEO Of marketing app provider Lexity, sees it all as a very good thing for e-commerce.

“We think this is the right direction for merchants and Google,” Kumar tells WebProNews. “While the free Google Product Search program was great for some SMB retailers, in general the results were hit or miss – there was very little predictability on whether products would show up in search results, how often, and detailed statistics were not available.”

“On the other hand, our customers that participated in paid advertising through the Product Listing Ads program have much more visibility into how their products are faring, and have much more control (for instance, the ability to control which products get promoted more aggressively, which products should not be shown in Google’s search results, etc),” he adds.

“In addition, having multiple potential display units showing essentially the same kind of products was very confusing to the users, and also to merchants who were trying to manage their presence on search results,” says Kumar. “Having all of these consolidated into one helps brands manage their presence better, and users get a better shopping experience.”

On the other side of the coin, one WebProNews reader commented, “Many small companies have used Google ( Froogle, Base, Shopping ) as their resource for free advertising of their products. This is just an attack on those small companies and only allow companies who can afford to pay to do so. The only thing I think Google should do to help the small companies is make a CPA Cost per acquisition model were a small amount say 5% of each sale would be taken.”

Another reader commented, “This is clearly an attack on small business that use Google Shopping to advertise products. Google basically used their user data for the future purpose of creating this mess. Who is making these decisions? What the users think is no longer important? It’s all about money now, and I really think it’s time for class action and antitrust suits.”

Well, there are plenty of regulators with their eyes on Google these days. That doesn’t mean, however, that Google will actually face antitrust regulation, though the European Commission has given Google about a month to come up with some changes before possibly moving forward to court and fines for the company.

Google tends to stick with the “competition is always a click away” stance. That’s hard to dispute.

  • integrity

    This is good for Google and Google only. The first 2 scrolls will be ads and then, thanks to Panda and Penguin, only “organic” SERPS from companies that are brands and advertise on Google.

    Like with Flight Search where prices are higher because Google excludes discounters, consumers will suffer. Bad for sites, bad for users.

  • http://www.LAokay.com Steve G

    Competition is just a click away, but the competition is from Google, not somebody else jumping into an area of online publishing to step on Google’s toes, it’s that Google has been jumping into as many areas of online business just so they can to step on everybody else’s toes. Google needs to close up everything that isn’t search based and get back to basics when it comes to search. If they do that there is no doubt in my mind they will improve search. I’m reminded of this time a Google employee once told me that Google spends like 70% of it’s resources just for search and I replied “Imagine what they could do for online search if they stop wasting the other 30%”.

  • http://kareemsat.forums-free.com منتدى كريم سات2013

    منتدى كريم سات 2013 كنز الفضائى الذى تم اكتشافة عام2012الفضائيات

  • http://www.the-black-angel.com Gothic Clothing Shop

    If Google had a functional product portal / search system for shoppers, as a small business owner I think it would be something good, provided they make their system so that results and ranking are not purely a matter of means. They must make sure that corporations with big budgets can’t simply overflow the whole marketplace with their products because they can afford it, and thus push out competition.

    For example, we’re a gothic clothing shop, which is mostly a niche market, and most companies are of fairly the same size, and thus have the same kind of budgets to compete. So it would be fair competition. But throw in Hot Topic, a huge retailer with massive budget, if they chose to put the financial means into it, they could afford to simply buy the whole listing, and push out all the rest of us. And this probably is true for most other industries too, some companies have just more money than the rest, but not necessarily the better products.

    So from a consumer point of view, keeping balance is vital for Google if they want their product marketplace thing to work. And from a merchant point of view, if I am going to sink money into a product placement system, I need to feel that I have a fair chance at getting a decent ranking.