If you happened to be shopping online this weekend while signed in on your Google account, then chances are you saw Google’s new shopping platform.
Google recently launched this new portal for users in the United States. When you click over to Google Shopping while logged in, you’ll be immediately greeted by name with a personalized homepage offering different categories for you to browse.
Scroll down even further and you’ll see personalized product recommendations based on your web behavior and past search history.
In addition to personalized recommendations, Google Shopping implemented a major change in the way product searches are displayed. When doing a product search, whether at a low funnel or high funnel search query, you’ll notice that all search results present Google Express products first and product listing ads (PLAs) last.
Let’s say that you are looking for men’s size 12 Nike running shoes. The example shown below are the display results of a low funnel search, where Google highlights a single product, almost as a feature product. It’s the equivalent of a bold H1 tag in a Google Doc.
When performing a high funnel search query for Nike running shoes, you’ll see that Google shows an entire top row of Google Express products and the second row features products that are PLAs.
Lastly, Google now offers the ability to filter out products not being offered on Google Express in low funnel searches.
What this represents is Google’s use of the old Shopping module that traditionally was only PLA’s and slowly giving preference to Google Express.
Google Express products are denoted with a blue “Buy with Google” tag which means that you can check out on Google’s universal shopping cart using your stored payment information. Those purchases are backed by a Google guarantee with customer support and returns handled by Google.
With this new launch, there is more emphasis on Google Shopping Actions and less on the PLA portion. Even though the transition of Google Express to Google Shopping hasn’t fully happened, we anticipate the next move is the compete merging of Google Express with Google Shopping. In fact the design of Google Express vs Google Shopping seems to be headed in that direction.
As of late, shoppers have been turning to Amazon as their starting point for product searches. This new Google Shopping platform with a fresh and modern design is clearly meant to compete, but will it be enough to give Amazon a run for their money? Only time will tell!
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Brian Roizen is the Cofounder and Chief Architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels. He has been featured on numerous podcasts and eCommerce webinars, and regularly contributes to Search Engine Land and other industry-leading blogs. Brian graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.