One of the benefits of using Amazon is that platform helps new manufacturer standardize their product listings and descriptions. Though an easy feature to overlook, it’s invaluable to new businesses that need help getting their products seen by the right people. Standardization also presents information in a way that helps the consumer know what they’re getting from a new brand. Google has launched a new Manufacturer Center to accomplish a similar goal of standardizing product data for Google Shopping and other systems.
There are more than 100 billion searches per month on Google and many of them deal with questions people have about products in the global marketplace and international online retailers. For the sake of comparison, online shoppers want the product information they get (e.g. images, descriptions and variants) to be accurate, rich and consistent. A standardized manufacturer product data system, like that on Amazon, is needed in order for Google to deliver this experience.
“Today we’re launching Google Manufacturer Center: a tool that helps brand manufacturers accurately represent their products to shoppers across Google.com, Google Shopping and other Google services,” wrote Matt Henderson in a blog on Adwords. “By uploading authoritative product data to the tool, manufacturers enrich their product listings across Google to help shoppers make more informed buying decisions.”
The Manufacturer Center takes Google closer to becoming a comprehensive catalog of all the products people can buy online with easy to use comparison tools. It seeks to reverse the trend from the early days of Google Shopping, which one marketing expert described as “the Wild West of product data accuracy and consistency.”
In addition to ensuring their product data is accurate, manufacturers can also gain product level insights into the data they provide through a dashboard with information that wasn’t available to marketers before. For example, the dashboard shows how many times their products appeared on Google within a given timeframe and how many times shoppers clicked on their products versus competing products in their category.
Those who have already tried the new system have reviewed it favorably (though to be fair, Google wouldn’t have told us if they didn’t).
“The reports available through Google’s Manufacturer Center help us understand how shoppers interact with our brand so we can optimize our product data and grow impression volume as well as shopper engagement,” says Sonesh Shah, Director of Digital, Bosch Power Tools, in the blog post cited above.
There are several ways that manufacturers can use this new feature. There’s the direct way, where they upload their product data directly to Manufacturer Center. They will need to first apply for access by contacting Google with an interest form.
Alternatively, they can select an approved Google Shopping Partner, such as Salsify and Shotfarm, whose services are integrated with Google’s Manufacturer Center for product information management.
For more information about recent updates to Google, read this article on Google’s test of a new Hotel Finder interface.