As you likely already know, Google Shopping is a must-have tool for retailers who want to optimize their sales.
The service delivers by advertising your products to high intent, low funnel users from its more than 3.5 billion searches per day. In other words, it gets your products seen by a targeted audience of users who are very likely to buy them.
So, naturally, Google Shopping Ads outperform simple Google Search Ads by a long shot.
But in order to use the Shopping campaigns feature, you first need to be set up on Google Merchant Center. And under the umbrella of your Merchant account are two important items that will be addressed in this article, both of which can have a major impact on your business: Google Free Product Listings and Merchant Center product reviews.
According to Google, the new Free Product Listings feature produces a “significant increase in user engagement, with both clicks and impressions up substantially for merchants.” And as of June 2020, most listings on Google’s U.S. Shopping tab now fall under that category — a huge win for retailers because, as this feature’s name implies, it allows them to generate sales without having to spend any money.
The success of these free listings, however, depends heavily on their Merchant Center product reviews.
After your products meet Google’s requirements and are listed, their details, such as availability, cost and reviews, show in free listings. As such, Merchant Center product reviews are vital to the success of your business! Quality product reviews (or lack thereof) make (or break) Google Shopping campaigns. In fact, the data shows that reviews are the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart.
You can get your products in front of the right eyes; but if the reviews aren’t there, the sales won’t happen. In this way, Merchant Center product reviews are absolutely critical for improving sales conversions.
Kliken can help you unleash your Google Shopping store’s potential by significantly increasing its traffic with fully automated product reviews solutions.
Read on to learn more about Google Merchant product reviews, Google Free Listings, and how they impact your e-commerce business.
Google Shopping Merchant Center product reviews with Kliken
Before you make a purchase — be it a product, a service, or even your breakfast — you first check the reviews.
Pictures are great, but nothing can sell a product quite like what previous buyers had to say about their experience with it. Negative reviews are one thing. But too few of them, or a lack of reviews altogether, will harm sales conversions just as much.
Enter Kliken, the ads marketing platform that seamlessly integrates product reviews with the rest of your store.
Here’s how Kliken’s Merchant Center product reviews solutions can expand, enhance, and enable your Google Shopping experience:
These services are proven to benefit any retailer, new or existing, using Google Shopping.
That means whether you already have a store or you’re just starting out, choosing to optimize your Merchant Center product reviews with Kliken will result in increased traffic and more sales.
Kliken’s Merchant Center product reviews integration will distinguish your products from the rest of the pack. And this is more important now than ever, as that pack is growing larger by the day thanks to Google Free Listings.
How do Google Free Listings work?
They say nothing in life is free. Well, Google’s new Free Listings feature is challenging that.
Prior to June 2020, Google Shopping Ads were paid-only. But because of the pandemic, the tech giant has accelerated its free listings program that was planned to have been rolled out over the years to come.
So, is it really free? If so, what’s the catch?
At least for now, there isn’t one! As long as merchants meet Google’s qualifications, they can profit from this incredible resource at no cost to their business.
To be considered a qualified merchant, retailers in eligible countries need to:
Product Feeds can be submitted through Google Merchant Center, which makes the process simple. Although, getting them right is critical to the success of your future Google Shopping campaigns. That’s because each individual merchant’s product feed is aggregated into one massive Google data feed, which is basically an inventory of every available product that shoppers can select from. We’ll return to this important topic in more detail in the next section.
In addition to meeting the above outlined criteria, retailers need to agree to Google’s policies and restricted sale items, which include, among other things, illegal substances, firearms, and the like.
So, as you can see, the qualifications are very attainable for most merchants. And while this feature is available, every retailer should be jumping at this opportunity.
Now let’s expand on Google Merchant product feeds, an important component of Google Free Listings for retailers.
Google Merchant product feeds for Free Listings
Say a Google user needs socks. But not just any socks — furry red socks, to be exact.
That user will open the Google Shopping tab and type the keywords “furry red socks” into its search bar. It’s then Google’s job to best match the products in its data feed with that user’s keywords.
This is where you, as a retailer, come in with your store’s product feed.
If the shopper’s keywords are one in the same as the attributes, or descriptive details, that are listed alongside your products in the product feed you submitted to Google, then Google will match your products with this shopper’s search query. That’s why accurate product feeds are critical to the success of your business.
To have impactful Google Shopping campaigns, you need to make sure you're properly defining the attributes of the products listed in your product feed. In general, “the more information you include on them, the better your results will be on the Free Listings Google Shopping tab,” says Stefano Cazzulani, a Product Manager at Google.
Therefore, if you sell fuzzy red socks and you properly list their attributes in your product feed, shoppers searching for these types of items are more likely to be matched with your products.
This is called relevance, which is the foundation of the Google Shopping experience. The whole purpose of the Google Merchant product feed is to ensure that shoppers are matched with products that are relevant to them. When high intent shoppers are shown relevant products, sales conversions are the result.
Data Criteria for products on Google Free Listings
In addition to listing product attributes, Google requires that the following data be defined for each entry in a merchant’s product feed:
While some data points are more important than others, Google takes all of them into consideration when determining your product’s relevance to a shopper. Ultimately, the quality of your product feed will be the key to ensuring your products are matched with the right shoppers.
How Product review gathering optimizes Google Free Listings for your store
So that’s Google Free Listings in a nutshell.
Simply put, it’s an excellent resource for getting your products in front of prospective buyers at no cost to your business. Even better, the requirements are simple and the barriers to entry are few.
But despite this feature being beneficial in its own right, just opting in isn’t enough. Your store won’t see the profits of Google Free Listings without a product reviews strategy.
To reiterate, reviews are the single most important aspect of your product’s listing. The right picture and price can entice shoppers, but neither are enough to get them to pull the trigger on making a purchase.
That’s where reviews come in.
Product reviews build trust with prospective buyers. They offer that final confidence booster to assure them that your product is actually what it claims to be.
This should be intuitive to anyone who has ever made an online purchase: the more positive reviews the product you’re searching has, the more confident you become in your decision to buy it. Products with few or no reviews come across as sketchy at best.
But you don’t need to rely solely on your own personal online shopping experience to understand this. The enormous impact reviews have on buying behavior is supported by data science as well.
The presence of online product reviews increases a product’s conversion rate by more than 270%, according to Northwestern University's Spiegel Research Center. Additionally, 81% of U.S. customers say they’ll pay more for a product with reviews; and 90% say they’re the most important part of the purchase decision.
Google understands this reality and has established its product review entry requirements for free listings accordingly. Only stores with at least 50 cumulative product reviews can have their ratings displayed in Google Free Listings. Product ratings are shown in the Google Shopping tab beneath each product’s image. They’re depicted as five stars, with five being the highest rating and one being the lowest.
Products that do not meet the 50-review minimum threshold appear in search results without any stars.
This can be a problem for merchants who are just starting out on Google Shopping. Even if your products have reviews on other platforms, Google won’t allow you to import them independently. Partnering with Kliken eliminates this issue altogether.
When Kliken integrates with your store, Google allows for the import of reviews from external sources. In this way, merchants that are new to Google Shopping but have an existing presence on other platforms can avoid the opportunity cost of a lengthy review collection period and the lost traffic and conversions that come along with it.
Additionally, Kliken will manage communications with your customers. Each customer will receive a request to leave a review after making a purchase, not just the few who choose to “opt-in.” Kliken will also use your company’s branding and language, which bolsters the legitimacy of your store and makes for a better customer experience. The result is more frequent positive reviews that will quickly get your store over the 50-review threshold in no time.
In a sentence, Kliken’s fully-automated product review gathering solutions collect as many reviews for your store as possible in the shortest timeframe all while optimizing your customers’ experience.
Automate Google Merchant product reviews and increase traffic to your store with Kliken
We’ve discussed here the amazing benefits that Google Free Listings provides to retailers. But to really profit from them, merchants need to make a plan for handling their Google Merchant product reviews. This is one of the ways in which Kliken can help.
The experts at Kliken understand the value that product review automation delivers for Google Shopping merchants.
It's safe to say that more reviews leads to increased customer traffic and greater trust, which equates to more sales and the growth of your business. This is the principle that guides Kliken’s Google Merchant product reviews solutions.
That being said, let’s recap what we’ve covered in this article on the topics of Google Free Listings and Google Merchant product reviews in five bullet points:
As the world’s #1 Shopping and Ads marketing platform, Kliken has helped over 1,000,000 small businesses worldwide grow their sales on Google. Its proven marketing solutions can help you to unleash the potential of your e-commerce business. Partnering with Kliken will result in more traffic, more leads, and more sales for your Google Shopping store.
Learn more about how customers use Kliken to grow their businesses online here.