Alphabet (GOOG 0.02%) (GOOGL -0.01%) will allow sellers to list ads for free on its Google Shopping platform. The new policy will go into effect in the U.S. before the end of April and roll out globally over the next few months.
Google said the new policy has been in the works for some time, and had been expected to be introduced later this year, but the coronavirus pandemic caused the search giant to accelerate the timeline.
Taking on e-commerce again
Google's announcement may induce more sellers to give the Google Shopping platform consideration. It's also partnering with PayPal (PYPL 0.63%) to let merchants link their accounts to the service to receive payment.
Although a start, it may not be enough to convince many to abandon Amazon, as it remains the place where most consumers begin their search for a product they want to buy. It will, however, give third-party retailers another avenue of gaining exposure for free, although Google will continue to charge for sponsored listings on the site.
In a blog post announcing the change, Bill Ready, Google President of Commerce, said "For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings."