New Zealand food exporters are expected to benefit from access to a Google platform which makes it easier to compare prices of products according to a local marketing expert.

Managing director of Pure SEO Richard Conway says the introduction of the Google Shopping platform to the New Zealand market will allow users to search for products on online shopping websites and compare prices between different retailers – ultimately making it easier to save money.

“Kiwis using Google may have already started to find a ‘carousel’ of images of products and their prices at the top of the search results.

“What used to be a manual process of opening each site and checking for the correct product and lowest price will now take a fraction of the time,” says Conway.

“Most consumers don’t search past the first page of search engine results but this ‘prime real estate’ is often dominated by those businesses with the largest marketing budgets – not necessarily the lowest prices,” he says.

Conway says recent research into New Zealand shopping habits found that more than half (53%) of shoppers compared products and pricing online before purchasing.

The research also found search engine results were the most popular online source of pre-purchase information with almost four in ten (39%) consumers using them.

He says in addition to businesses targeting the domestic market, many New Zealand exporters will also benefit from the introduction of Google Shopping as it makes it more cost effective to reach global markets.

“What this will mean for Kiwi businesses is a levelling of the playing field against dominant larger competitors.

“As the cost to reach each consumer comes down, those Kiwi businesses which sell direct to consumers will find it easier to compete with the marketing spend of larger players,” he says.

Conway cites the example of one food exporter which was able to reduce their marketing spend with Google by 45 percent in a recent trial of the Shopping platform.

“New Zealand businesses spend tens of millions each year advertising online and this is expected to reach $900million by 2020.

“The introduction of new technology like Google Shopping will help improve the online shopping experience for Kiwi consumers and we expect it to open up new markets for Kiwi retailers almost overnight.”

Conway says that Google Shopping will not replace the traditional text adverts and will help anyone with an ecommerce presence in their ability to compete including bricks and mortar with a smaller ecommerce presence.

“Research has found that this new advertising service actually complements traditional AdWords, as when a consumer is faced with both Shopping and text ads, more than 90 percent visit the website and 83 percent make a purchase.

“Because of this, we expect to see to see businesses incorporating the new technology rather than replacing an existing one,” he says.

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