Google announce they will allow UK businesses to list products on their shopping service for FREE by the end of 2020. 

Joshua Barr

Joshua Barr

Google has announced today that they will be changing their Google Shopping platform model, allowing any e-commerce business to list their product inventory free of charge. The change will be implemented by the end of April 2020 in the U.S, with a global roll out expected by the end of the year. 

The plans were already in the Google pipeline well before the Covid-19 pandemic, however given the current state of economies globally, they have brought forward the launch to support businesses.

Bill Ready, Google’s President of Commerce said:

As consumers increasingly shop online, they’re searching not just for essentials but also things like toys, apparel, and home goods. While this presents an opportunity for struggling businesses to reconnect with consumers, many cannot afford to do so at scale.

How will it work?

Advertisers who currently use Google Shopping through paid methods will automatically be eligible for free listings for any product that is already listed in the Google Merchant Centre platform. 

This doesn’t however mean that advertisers will automatically stop paying for the shopping listings they already bid for. Free listings will be shown in addition to paid listings, very similar to how Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) already work; paid search ads appear in more prominent positions, with free organic listings shown further down the page. 

As we know, just because those free organic listings haven’t been paid for, does not mean they don’t offer more value to the user. In most cases, free listings are more relevant and the advertiser is likely to have less margin aspirations for products, than one who pays to be there. Free Google shopping listings are likely to perform in a very similar way to this. However, like organic search, a combination of both paid and earned strategies are likely to reap optimum profitability.

It’s expected that with these changes, Google shopping will become a more competitive market place for consumers to buy products through. More listings from more businesses, means that prices will be competitive, the range will be increased and so users of the platform and purchases through it will increase too. Watch out Amazon!

What does this mean for UK SMEs? 

Clearly this does represent an opportunity for UK SMEs, once the programme is rolled out at the back end of 2020. For businesses who already sell products through their own website and take payments online, the transition should be a swift one and have huge benefits to revenue. If a business wants to take advantage of the opportunity but doesn’t currently sell online, then the process will be more complex and will incur set-up costs, even if the listings are free. 

Requirements for Google shopping: 

  • An e-commerce platform
  • Good user-experience (no barriers to purchase)
  • Payment systems 
  • Security
  • Product listing pages
  • Competitive pricing or niche, unique products
  • Comprehensive, well optimised content for better searchability
  • Operate within Consumer Contracts regulations.  


All of these aspects are vital, in order to exploit the full benefits of Google’s shopping services.  

If UK businesses implement the necessary systems to list on Google shopping for free, it could be the lifeline they need on the other side of Covid-19. Online browsing and purchases have increased 10-fold over the last few weeks and it’s expected that consumers’ use of online will not drop to pre-coronavirus levels. More dependence and confidence in online services has definitely been a side-effect of the pandemic and that isn’t going to slow down any time soon. 

For SMEs, there’s never been a better time to focus on the future, especially businesses who are not able to open their doors at the moment. Whilst we appreciate that cash flow is low and times are uncertain, one thing is for sure, we will see a continued increase in online browsing and purchases.  

Companies who diversify have the best chance of survival. If you want to understand how this opportunity could work for your business once rolled out, contact us today for a no obligation consultation.

The Latest from Instagram

© 2020 Browndog Design Ltd, Registered in England and Wales No. 3422883

Security and Hosting

It’s important to consider where your website is hosted and if other websites are hosted on the same server. When you use our hosting service, your website is hosted on a dedicated server with 24/7 support, should anything go wrong. We know that understanding server security and website hosting can be complex, so our experts are here to talk you through it all and find the best plan that works for you.

To read a recent review of the WP Engine platform by please click here.

We’re pleased to say that the majority of our clients choose to host their websites with us.


How much does a good website cost to build?

  • A brochure site (a place to share information about your products or services) will cost between £6,000-£12,000 depending on the volume of pages, functional elements and any bespoke design requests you may have.
  • An ecommerce website (a place where you can sell your products or services and visitors can complete their transaction online) will cost from £10,000.
  • If you’re looking for completely bespoke design or just a website refresh, we’ll be happy to chat with you and provide a quote for your requirements.

We’ve developed over 200 websites. You can look at our catalogue of work here and chat with our clients if you’d like to get a feel for what it’s like to work with our team before we become partners in your project.

When you work with us, you’ll get that perfect combination of great design and technical development from our whole team, not just one person.

How long does it take to build a website?

Before we start any work, we’ll share a project plan which will include deadlines for providing content, and we’ll keep you updated if the expected times change.

Writing keyword-rich copy will keep visitors on your website and encourage them to work with you. If writing isn’t for you or you just don’t have time, we can produce a content plan on your behalf.

Why you need a website

Most customers will expect you to have a website and may question your legitimacy as a business if they can’t find you online. When a potential customer does find you, what should their first impression be? You want them to be confident when buying from you and to have a good feeling about your brand.

If growing your business is a goal, then having a website is a great place to gain leads. Using the right mix of keywords and a thorough digital marketing plan, you can become good friends with Google! Google will play a significant role in helping your customers find you online and giving you a positive return on investment for the cost of your website and online strategy.

Even the most basic of websites should serve as an informative tool to answer frequently asked customer questions and offer your first port of call for customer service. Your opening times, address and latest news or offers should be easy to find. Ultimately, the better your website is, the easier it will be to find, and a great website will help you to reach more customers.

Being online helps you to reach a much bigger pool of customers than a bricks and mortar store. Your website can be the key to extended success, with no limits on the scope of your customer geography other than your product/service capabilities.

Working with an agency like Browndog will give you a technically sound, fresh and functional website which is responsively designed, and provides consistent brand messaging for your customers. We’ll also take the guess work out of your online strategy and make sure your website is targeting the right customer segments to increase sales opportunities and raise brand awareness.

How much does it cost?

  • A marketing campaign animation or company/product introduction between 90-120 seconds in length will cost between £2,500 and £3,000. This will depend on the length of the video, the content, and any additional options such as a voice over or music. Don’t worry, we can guide you through best practice and find a plan that fits for you.
  • If you’d like us to produce a logo ident or gif animations for you to use on social media and in smaller campaigns, you can expect to pay between £250-£300. This will be a much smaller brief and will take less time than a campaign animation.
  • We’re more than happy to put together a bespoke package for you to include multiple campaign videos, logo idents, voice overs and photography or videography as needed. We do it all!

You can look at our catalogue of work here and chat with our clients if you’d like to get a feel for what it’s like to work with our team before we become partners in your project. 

How long does it take to produce an animation?

But here’s the kind of time you can expect your animation to take:

  • Marketing campaign animations – this will usually take us about three weeks to prepare. We like to allow a week for content and styling, followed by storyboarding and revisions. Finally, we’ll take another week to animate your work. These things are a work of art, you can’t rush them (and we won’t).
  • Logo idents, gifs and short animations – we estimate that this will take up to two weeks.

Are you ready to get started? Send us your brief today or give us a call to talk through your ideas. We’re a friendly bunch!*

*If you visit us, our office dogs may take part in your meeting.

What kind of animations can we help with?

Ideally, your marketing strategy will include a range of media content to achieve the greatest engagement and response from your audience.

We can help with animations and videos that include company and product introductions, as well as content for specific marketing campaigns. These types of animations can showcase who you are, and what you have to offer. Plus, they are an exciting way to launch a new product or service and get your customers on board.

When you work with us on your branding, why not include a logo ident to add that extra bit of personality to your business and content, setting you apart from your competitors.

Another growing area for animated content is social media and your website. We produce gifs, short video clips and motion graphics for use on web pages and in social posts. This is a great way to captivate the viewers’ attention, share your brand values and advertise your latest campaign or event.

Finally, when you work with us on your website, we highly recommend adding a range of graphics, animations and videos to keep visitors on your site and share your messaging in captivating ways. We’ve provided many website banners and short looping animations for our clients.

We will guide you through each of your animation journey, from assessing the content that will work best for you, to how long your animated content should be and where it should be placed.

Why is animation an important element of your content strategy?

Not only is it effective but using animation can be a cost-saving way to grab the attention of your audience and keep them looking at your content for longer. It’s considerably cheaper than producing recorded video footage because it can be easily edited and updated when needed.

Animation is the fastest growing type of content created by marketers for use on websites and social media, so if you’re not doing it yet, now is the time to start…

We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to explain complex ideas, products or services in text form or with images. That’s why many of our clients work with us to produce animations that take the information off the page and jump out at the audience.

Most importantly, animation has been proven to boost conversion rates on your website. Users are significantly more engaged and more likely to spend longer on your site or complete an action, such as filling in a contact form.

How will animation help my marketing strategy?

Animation is a powerful marketing tool and a great way to show some personality in your brand, making you more memorable (think: the Aldi carrot or the Netflix Tudum).

One of the great benefits of animation is that it can help you to share a lot of information in just a few seconds, because sometimes that’s all the time you have to attract a user’s attention.