As it is wont to do, Google recently announced the creation of a new certification initiative called Google Shopping for Suppliers. For now, the certification and its attendant search system are available in beta version and could be subject to changes in the weeks and months to come.
What Is Google Shopping for Suppliers?
Google Shopping for Suppliers should excite business owners who seek new markets and distributors for their manufactured products. The certification is designed to connect B2B manufacturers that meet certain key criteria with distributors and end-users that demand quality parts and systems from trusted suppliers. It might never replace your entire sales force, but you shouldn’t ignore its power to shorten and broaden your sales funnel by weeding out non-performing leads.
According to Google, Shopping for Suppliers creates “a shopping experience that is customized to the unique needs of the B2B industry.” Prospective buyers who use the service don’t have to weed through irrelevant search listings or consumer-facing ads to find what they seek. Shopping for Suppliers only shows results for approved B2B firms in specific product categories.
What Are Its Benefits?
Per Google, some of the new service’s benefits include:
- Easily customized product data, including lead times and specifications, that can be tailored to your specific buyer personas and previous clients
- Company profile with industry associations, certifications, capabilities, locations and more
- Tailor-made contact forms that make it easy for prospects to get in touch
- A “verification badge” that identifies you as a Google Verified Supplier and sets you apart from competitors that lack this certification
- High search rankings between paid ads and organic search results
There’s a small catch. Unlike the organic search function, Shopping for Suppliers doesn’t automatically index eligible companies in Google’s results pages. Business owners who want to leverage the added visibility that Shopping for Suppliers offers must make sure that they meet the eligibility requirements and apply for certification.
Who Is Eligible for Certification?
At the moment, Shopping for Suppliers is only open to buyers based in the U.S. and suppliers based in China/Hong Kong/Taiwan and the U.S. While it offers hundreds of product sub-types, most fall into three broad categories: mechanical components, electronics/electrical parts and testing/measurement devices.
If your business deals in any of these product categories, Shopping for Suppliers is worth a look. To apply for certification, you’ll need to fill out your company profile at merchants.google.com/suppliers and provide the information that Google needs to conduct a full credit check. Once you submit your application, you’ll need to speak with a representative from a verification company to complete the documentation process. According to Google, the process shouldn’t take more than eight business days.
How Can We Help?
Google Shopping for Suppliers has the power to reduce the intangible costs associated with expanding your distribution network and finding new end-users. We understand that many of our manufacturing clients have deep, complex and often sensitive relationships with their distributors and resellers. When our clients want to expand, they often face resistance from existing partners who worry how the move will affect their contracts. Any time or capital spent on repairing these relationships can sap productivity and alienate other clients. We’ll help you leverage Google Shopping for suppliers to find willing suppliers and end-users without complicating your relationships with existing distributors and partners.
Guiding You to New Opportunities
Google regularly releases new initiatives in beta form. Despite making every effort to educate the public about them, users may find it confusing and time-consuming to navigate through the company’s educational materials for important information. As a full-service marketing firm that has partnered with Google from the get-go, we can provide deep insights into Shopping for Suppliers.
We’ll be the first to let you know when Google decides to add new categories, expand the program’s geographical scope or change its basic parameters. We also won’t hesitate to provide candid advice on how your company can leverage this new tool for its own purposes. Perhaps more importantly, we’ll integrate data about your company’s interaction with Shopping for Suppliers – from lead-generation data and conversion metrics to buyer-persona information and market penetration statistics – to strengthen your overall marketing plan.
If Google Shopping for Suppliers seems like an arrow that you’d like to have in your company’s marketing quiver, don’t hesitate to get in touch.