In spite of the fact that the widow of Shopping Ads is still wearing black and eating casseroles from neighbors, Google continues down the path of making changes to the way that Product Listing Ads work. The change is likely to be hailed as a positive one, but it still involves a bit of work on the merchant’s part.
The update is designed to ensure that people no longer see a different final price on Google Shopping than the one they end up getting when they arrive at a merchant’s site. This inaccuracy is the result of shipping calculation issues, and Google has stated that it was a major cause of frustration for businesses. (No kidding. How many pissed off consumers believed that it was a company trying to bait and switch them, not Google failing to price shipping correctly?)
A very long and sleep inducing post explaining the exact changes can be found here, but the gist of the changes is that users can now select from a variety of predetermined shipping configurations or create their own. Users will be able to set different levels of shipping, including ground and express, as well as setting rates for different locations. While final prices may differ if someone upgrades their shipping type, the lowest shipping cost should reflect the lowest price listed on Google Shopping.
If you leave your account as it is, Google will merrily continue to randomly list incorrect final prices, so you can put off making changes as long as you’d like. However, while the new process does create a bit of busy work, it seems well worth the time to make the updates needed.