Financial Data
Updated 22 Apr 2018

Why and how you must prepare your e-commerce business for Google Shopping

A new shopping search engine from tech conglomerate Google is coming. You can use it to your advantage, but you must ensure your business systems are compatible or you could lose market share. 

Nicole Crampton, 15 February 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

Google is launching its ‘Shopping’ search engine in South Africa. If your e-commerce platform isn’t compatible, and up-to-date, it could take your retail business a while to pop up on Google shoppers’ search results page.

While your larger competitors have the budgets to seamlessly incorporate with Google’s search engine and enjoy its benefits, you’ll need to seek cost-effective ways to align and protect your market share. Preparing your systems before Google Shopping launches will enable you to instantly take advantage of it when it goes live.

Related: The top 5 ecommerce trends you should look out for


Google Shopping is set to launch in South Africa in the next few months. This platform is a dedicated shopping search engine created by Google. Its aim is to allow customers to find the products they’re searching for from online merchants faster and more accurately.

How does Google Shopping work?

Google Shopping will take the guesswork out of your advertising strategy, because product searches trigger your adverts. Once the consumer has clicked on your advert they will go directly to your product page, which increases your conversion rate compared to someone coming across your website from a generic search.

When your online store is paying for Google Shopping Campaigns or Product Listing Ads, you are targeting the customers who are searching specifically for your types of products – so instead of promoting your website or business; it’s just promoting your products and sales capabilities.

Clicks2Customers have been using earlier versions of Google Shopping since 2012 for its large e-commerce clients. These shopping and digital accounts experienced a year-on-year growth curve, which accounted for 65% of online revenue. The shopping accounts’ return on investment improved by 120% in the four years that the campaign was run.

How you can prepare for Google Shopping

What -is -Google -Shopping

If you start preparing for this search engine, you can compete with the e-commerce giants. When using Google Shopping, you’ll need to set up product feeds or inventory feeds that list all the features such as:

  • Product titles
  • Descriptions
  • URLs
  • Images
  • Stock Keeping Units (SKU’s).

All of these are then housed in the feed and offer granular identification, as well as the ability to manage your inventory. Because of this, it’s critical that your e-commerce business has its product feeds correctly set up and prepared in advance. This allows you to instantly start leveraging the benefits of the Google Shopping platform as soon as it goes live.  

Related: The real state of ecommerce in South Africa

For customised content management system (CMS) users

Many smaller ‘e-tailers’ have custom built CMS platforms, and these retailers will need to update their product feeds to allow for seamless integration with Google Shopping campaigns when it launches. However, those that use traditional CMS platforms can integrate Google Shopping’s feed directly into their back end.

Your Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and digital personnel should also familiarise themselves with Google’s Merchant Centre guidelines before your team integrates your systems with the new engine, which should be released in the coming months. 


  • Google is launching a Google Shopping search engine for e-commerce retailers to host their products on.
  • It’s critical that your e-commerce business has its product feeds correctly set up and prepared in advance, as it will allow you to instantly start leveraging the benefits of Google Shopping as soon as it goes live.
  • If your CMS is customised you’ll need to update your product feed to allow for seamless integration with Google’s new platform.
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About the author

Nicole Crampton

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