On Tuesday 3rd May, Australians were introduced to Google’s latest addition – Google Shopping.

The arrival of this product search engine into the Australian marketplace could dramatically change the way that users shop online.  Instead of having to visit a number of different retailers’ websites to shop around for the best product or best price, the ‘Shopping’ tab within Google takes away a lot of the hard work.

For example, say I want to purchase a coffee machine for the office (wishful thinking!).  I type coffee machine into the search and select Shopping from the left hand menu.  I am given a large list of products, with the ability to refine my results via Category, Price, Brand, and Store.

Interestingly, I can also refine via In Stock Nearby, those who offer Google Checkout, those with Free Shipping, and any New Items.

Upon selecting a particular item, I am taken to a page that has kindly summarised all of the information that I need:  Description, Reviews, Ratings, Base Price, and Total Price (included delivery, if applicable).

Already, it is easy to see that the introduction of Google Shopping heralds a new day in both online retailing and online shopping.

For online retailers, there is many things to consider when submitting a product feed to Google – Are you price competitive?  Are you charging for delivery while your competition is not?  Unlike previously, these things are now lined up together right in front of a potential customer, making it easier for them to compare and easier for them to disregard your product.  It doesn’t make a difference if your site is prettier than your competitors, if they are cheaper and have free shipping, the likelihood is that the customer won’t even visit your site.

For online shoppers, this is a fantastic little tool.  It gives you all of the information you need to make a quick decision without having to visit 6 different online stores and wrangle with their different product catalogues, trying remember which ones offered free shipping and which did not.

What do you think of Google Shopping?