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Google Express to Rebrand to Google Shopping?

By Anthony Capetola on May, 6 2019

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Anthony Capetola

Tony is the Marketing Manager at Sales & Orders heading up our inbound marketing and advertising team. His latest adventure, though? Being a dad!

With Google Marketing Live just around the corner (May 14th), some very interesting yet vague news has many search marketers and retailers scratching their heads.

Is Google Express really being rebranded to Google Shopping?

Where did it come from?

Originally reported by The Information, a tech industry blog, according to “two people familiar with the business” Google plans to rebrand Google Express to Google Shopping.

Sounds a bit odd since there already IS a Google Shopping, the one that came to be in 2012. However, at this time, we have no way of officially confirming or refuting this report.

The claim itself in the article is very nicely glazed over in a mere sentence since the entirety of the article is far more dedicated to the news that Google has added “Shopping ads” to YouTube with the kicker being that the ads are actually coming from Google Express.

The report has been picked up wildly, with other tech blogs like Engadget, 9to5Google, and AndroidPolice all hopping on the bandwagon.

All in all though, its not a complete stretch that Google is looking to make some changes. Express has always invoked a feeling or expectation of rapid delivery or something that’s a bit more synonymous with a shipping company.

What is Google Express?

In a strategy to try and compete with Amazon, Google launched what could be considered a “marketplace” in Google Express. It was first set in 2013 but only covered a small test area in California that included San Francisco.

It also happened to replace the now defunct “Purchases on Google” which many thought would become Google’s compete against the Amazon “Buy Button”.

Acting much like an online shopping mall, Google Express allows brands and retailers to list their products on its comparison-shopping-like entity.

Express

For shoppers, Express provides some unique benefits such as 1-click reordering, Google Voice-Assistant aided purchasing, and a universal shopping cart.

Not to be confused with Google Shopping, the pay-per-click advertising campaign type within Google Ads that is just for e-commerce merchants, Google Express actually shares quite a few similarities with its pseudo cousin:

  • To list products on Google Express, retailers must submit a product feed via Google Merchant Center. The same feed that they use for Shopping Ads can double as a feed for Express, only requiring a checkbox to be marked off to then include listing on Express.
  • Google advertises its merchants’ products via Google Shopping, with ads being labeled with a ‘G’ tag to indicate that the purchase will take place on Express and not on the retailers own website.
  • The very same policies that govern product data quality for Shopping Ads also covers those for Express when submitting a feed via Merchant Center.

So, is it true?

To be completely honest, we don’t know yet.

It is a very intriguing move to say the least, however. It has far reaching effects on the e-commerce and search marketing industries.

Since its launch, Google Shopping has a certain expectation when seen by a merchant. That it is a paid advertising program, and the ads appear in Google search which were formally known as PLAs or Product Listing Ads.

That feeds must be submitted to Google Merchant Center, and campaigns must be set up in Google Ads (formerly AdWords).

That when shoppers click on ads, they are taken to the retailer’s website to complete their purchase.

Are Google Shopping and Express to become one entity? Will Shopping Ads / Campaigns be renamed once again?

There are many questions to be asked, but right now it’s just a waiting game.

Come May 14th, during Google Marketing Live, there is a hope that we will get all the answers and see what the future has in store for both Google Shopping and Google Express.

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