Google Might Roll Out a Suspension for Ecommerce Sites That Raise Price at Checkout

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February 15, 2021 Digital Marketing
While buying online has always been convenient and, for the most part, safe, there are a few different issues that customers have had to deal with. One such issue is price gouging. Unscrupulous eCommerce websites have found ways to price gouge. One such way is to feed Google’s Merchant Center one price and then increase that price once an item is in the shopping cart. Google plans to begin strictly monitoring for price accuracy and warning or suspending websites that attempt price mismatches. If you are working with an eCommerce Digital Marketing Agency in Toronto, you will want to make certain that marketing agency is not attempting to do this with your site.

What Google Will Watch For

  Google has stated that they will begin monitoring the Merchant Center for price gouging in two different ways. The first, as mentioned, is to make certain that the price Google is given for an item is not lower than the price that appears at checkout. Second, they want to make certain the price on your website is the same as that in the Merchant Center. If either of these mismatches occur, Google will send out a notice to the website giving them 28 days to fix the issue. If the prices are not the same at the end of that period, Google will suspend the site’s ability to use the Merchant Center.

This Isn’t New

  One thing an Ecommerce Agency in Mississauga may notice is that this isn’t anything actually new or different about Google’s terms of service. The Merchant Center rules have always stated that the price in checkout or on your website could not be higher than what’s listed. However, Google has not strictly monitored or enforced this policy. Started on April 6, 2021, however, that will change as new algorithms and monitoring systems go into place. In fact, Google actually began laying the groundwork for this back in July of 2020. Then, they discussed how their automated bots could add items to the shopping cart and compare the prices. They stated that this function was added so that Google could validate an item’s price. Now, it’s being used to protect customers.

Who Will Be Impacted by these Changes?

  Fortunately, very few eCommerce businesses will be affected by Google’s new enforcement of their regulations. That’s because most of the companies on the Google Merchant Center follow the rules and are not engaging in any form of price gouging. However, for those that are trying to harm their customers by charging them more, they will quickly find their accounts suspended. If you don’t use Google Merchant Center but sell online, you’re missing customers. The team here at MacRAE’S can assist you in joining the Merchant Center and serve as your Ecommerce Marketing Agency in Mississauga. Contact us today to discuss what we can do for you.