B2B Supplier Shopping Gets a Facelift
Google Shopping has expanded into a new market. Late last month, the creators from Google launched a new beta program for businesses: a shopping outlet just for businesses and suppliers. If successful in this testing phase, Google could be changing the way B2B shopping is done forever.
The current innovative Google Shopping experience gives consumers all the power in making the best purchases for their money. By searching for a specific item, Google Shopping allows users to sort their results by their priority. These rankings range from price starting with the lowest or the highest, brand names, category, store or relevance. Users can view seller ratings and avoid any bad businesses.
Google Shopping was first created in 2002. It puts all available options for buying a product in one place, listing both store purchases and online only purchases. Users can even sort by price including the total shipping charges. And to just add icing to the cake, Google Shopping is free for personal users as well as businesses. There is no cost to having your listing included for consumers.
The new Google Shopping outlet for suppliers is being tested in select industries right now, primarily of an electronic or electrical nature. Together with business users, Google is making the necessary changes to adapt the experience to be beneficial for both businesses involved in the transaction.
The new outlet would come with a one-time fee for suppliers to be listed as a “verified” seller. This will eliminate scams and fraud amongst businesses and help keep unnecessary advertisements off the website. During the beta phase, only American suppliers are being allowed after paying the $1,000 fee. It is presumed that other international suppliers will be included in the near future though higher prices for Chinese suppliers have already been announced.
The current world of B2B shopping is not quite as easy. Google Shopping hopes to streamline the process. Social media marketing is an important tool businesses use for gaining supplier leads today. Businesses use wholesale pricing when doing transactions with other businesses. There are often a great deal of negotiations, and typically no two businesses will pay the same price. The shopping experience is headed up by a team or individual researching available options. There is person to person communication back and forth. If comparing dozens of companies, this can be a time consuming and wasteful task.
If the last few weeks mean anything though, this shopping experience will take a new turn. There are still glitches to work out like examining the implications of existing Google Shopping policies for consumers regarding taxes, shipping and other fees: Since B2B shopping will likely still include some negotiating, these policies may need to be modified or eliminated.
There are some important things to watch for as this new supplier outlet develops. We hope to see bulk listings become available, more industries included with more advanced testing, and possibly an expansion on the advertising plans to include PPC upgrades and supplier ads. This is truly a watch and see experiment but if it goes well, businesses everywhere will be applauding.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. Through ChamberofCommerce.com’s business directory you can find a local business near you.