The Update: How Google is making commerce more accessible
In this episode of The Update, Google Global VP of Ads Marketing Marie Gulin-Merle talks to Google President of Commerce Bill Ready about the digital transformation of retail and what comes next. Bill discusses how his team is making commerce more accessible to all merchants and building more helpful experiences for all shoppers.
BILL READY: We want to make sure that we’re democratising access
to great digital commerce tools for retailers,
from the very largest to the very smallest,
so that consumers have the greatest degree of choice available,
just as much in the digital world as they did in the physical world.
MARIE GULIN-MERLE: In today's episode of The Update,
I talk with Bill Ready about
how Google is helping accelerate businesses’ digital transformation,
to be ready for what comes next.
Your first announcement was to make it free to list products on Google in the US.
Can you let us know the thinking, the strategy, behind such a massive change?
BILL: As we think about shopping,
we want to make sure that consumers can discover
all the best sellers, and all the best products, and all the best values available to them,
and that there's not something standing in their way.
We announced a 70%+ lift in clicks on our shopping property as a result of that,
and that's many more people finding many more of the things they need,
and, importantly, from a broader set of inventory and a broader set of providers.
While we've seen every size retailer benefit, from the largest to the smallest,
we've seen small and mid-sized businesses benefit the most.
MARIE: And then, the second significant announcement even more recently
was to make the Buy on Google checkout experience
to be offered at zero commission.
So again, can you let us know the thinking, the motivation behind the change?
BILL: We're not trying to be the retailer.
We're trying to empower retailers with these tools
and free listings that allow a user to click out to the merchant site
as we present Buy on Google as another option for that listing.
But the user has a choice to say, if I know enough to make a purchase right now,
I can hit Buy on Google and complete that purchase.
Or, if it's a higher-consideration purchase,
or I need to know a little bit more from the merchant,
if they need to know more,
then we'll give them a really great handoff over to the merchant site directly.
MARIE: What would you say to retailers
who still want to promote their local store inventory?
And how they can navigate all this?
BILL: Even as consumers have shifted a lot of their behaviour to online,
there's still a tremendous amount of commerce
that is still happening in the physical world,
because sometimes the consumer wants to have it shipped directly to the door.
At other times, the consumer might be driving past the shop anyway
and wants to know where they can go pick something up,
and we want to make sure that both of those are equally accessible.
Because we know that for many retailers,
that’s still a big way that they're engaging consumers as well.
So you've seen us make those available through Local Inventory Ads,
with kerbside pickup that can be highlighted right inside the Local Inventory Ad.
Buy on Google has a buy online/pick up in-store option now as well,
and we recently put new filters in for the consumer so that consumers can toggle
and say they're looking for local inventory or they're looking to engage a small business.
MARIE: I remember how dealing with different platforms can be super challenging.
I remember the fear of the applications, the complexity,
so I know that this was on the top of your mind for you and your teams,
to make the new features as easy as possible to get started.
How is it working, and can you tell us more?
BILL: We're saying to merchants, come as you are,
bring the providers that you already use and trust –
as well as things like inventory feeds
where we're opening up to more, different feed formats.
Whatever feed formats the merchants are using already,
we're saying, bring those feed formats to us.
And we're going to try to work with the existing formats you may have
as much as possible.
This is a long-term commitment from us.
We really appreciate the partnership on all those things through this,
and we're going to continue to make sure
we go the extra mile to be a great partner on our side of it as well.