Google Shopping for Suppliers – Paid, Owned and Earned Media

May 24th, 2013

What Is It?

Shopping for Suppliers is Google’s first foray into the B2B Shopping space. The program is designed to make shopping easier for both customers and suppliers by accommodating the unique elements that often accompany a B2B transaction (e.g. pricing and payment terms, shipping costs, volume discounts,etc.) At this time, Google’s revenue model is driven by a Verified Suppliers program (one-time fee of $1K), with benefits including having your products show ahead of those from unverified suppliers. It’s important to stress that the search results are largely “organic,” so at least for now there isn’t anything an advertiser can do to influence the listings beyond becoming a Verified Supplier.

What Does This Mean for Clients and Brands?

Currently, the program remains a Beta and is only open to the Electronic Components industry.Additionally, with low volume/awareness, Google Shopping for Suppliers is unlikely to significantly impact B2B companies in the near future. Early adopters may benefit from additional data, experience and optimization that could lead to decreased exposure/visibility for laggard entrants into the space. Additionally, as Google continues to tweak the offering—and if users/suppliers continue to participate in the program—Google will most certainly look for additional ways to monetize the platform. In fact, Google has already set the stage for a paid model in the Shopping for Supplier documentation, noting that Verification Fees “may change in the future, including to a pay-per-action model.”

What’s Next?

Given the relevance of results/audience, and potential benefits for early adopters, this as a test opportunity for applicable/brands clients. In the end, data and performance will dictate how this program fits into the overall marketing mix. Additionally, as with many Google betas, there is a possibility that low adoption/usage rates could lead to the program never making it out of Beta.

Additional Information

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