We have always said that when there is a negative thing that happens, there are always many positive things that happen following that one negative thing. Now, if you consider the COVID-19 outbreak as a negative thing for the e-commerce industry and the industry in general which it definitely is then there are positives out of the pandemic as well. For example, we have seen that the e-commerce industry is seeing trends that were not heard of before this crisis emerged at the end of last year. Everyone was shopping for the holiday season sales while this virus was spreading in China.
Due to the Coronavirus, we have also seen that Amazon has reduced its commissions handed out to the affiliates and while it seems to be a permanent move, it is likely because of lower revenues while still having higher orders due to delivery costs and additional measures. This will definitely be considered as a negative move for Amazon Affiliates who have been driving traffic to the website. But there is one positive news after this move from Amazon which is that Google has made its shopping platform almost free.
Google says that changes to its shopping algorithm will mean that unpaid listings picked by the algorithm will dominate results displayed on the Google Shopping tab instead of mostly paid product listings. In the announcement, Google says that coronavirus pandemic is a catalyst for Google to speed up a pre-existing plan to switch from Shopping results being determined by paid ad auction to mostly free listings.
The company wrote that “search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free product listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google,” meaning that even if you don’t pay for the listings, your listings will be highlighted meaning that it will sell more and more.