Google is scrapping charged for retailers to place their products on the Google Shopping search page in a major challenge to Amazon.
The tech giant has until now charged merchants a fee for showing their items in its “shopping” tab whenever the product is searched for.
In a bid to win back both sellers and shoppers, the majority of which now start their product searches on Amazon, Google is scrapping listing fees in the US starting next week, rolling it out worldwide by the end of the year.
While Amazon sellers can list items for free on its platform, it is common for them to pay for their products to feature prominently amid the sea of products, and Google is expected to introduce a similar model.
It is understood that this policy has been in the works for a while, but Google took the chance to one up its rival as it struggles with backlogs of orders and mass employee protests during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Google will be hoping to entice sellers who lost sales on Amazon after it temporarily stopped handling non-essential orders with its “Fulfilled by Amazon” service, which offers warehouse space, logistics management and delivery for its users.
This is the latest initiative Google has launched to make its shopping function more enticing for sellers, who have flocked to Amazon in recent years.
In July last year it announced a major revamp of shopping platform which allowed shoppers to compare millions of products from thousands of stores then buy directly from Google, instead of simply being linked to third party pages.
“These new shopping experiences let people shop and purchase frictionlessly right where they already turn to for research and inspiration: Search, Google Images, YouTube and a redesigned Google Shopping destination,” Google’s vice president of product management Surojit Chattarjee said in a blog post.