Exclusive Features

Google Shopping for Suppliers Closes Down

After operating for less than 18 months, Google has pulled the plug on its Google Shopping for Suppliers, quietly closing down its operations last month.

In an announcement on its web site, Google said it was shutting down the supplier site effective June 20th, 2014.

“After this date, the Supplier Center, Shopping for Suppliers product/company pages and related ads on Google.com will no longer function. We’ve learned a lot throughout the pilot and will integrate many of the learnings into other Google products,” Google said. “We are committed to supporting your business and helping you to download the data you have stored in Supplier Center through the shutdown period. To this end, we’ve addressed many common questions and you may also contact us directly. We greatly appreciate your participation in the Shopping for Suppliers pilot.”

Google said it has no plans to introduce another Shopping for Suppliers like product. “Instead, we recommend that eligible customers consider Google Shopping and Google AdWords,” Google said.

Google offered instructions for those companies that have downloaded product data.

Google Shopping for Suppliers launched early last year as a beta site, several months after Amazon introduced its AmazonSupply.com, a site that was devoted to B2B purchasing. Many industry experts had predicted that Google would prove to be a strong competitor. The Google Supplier site originally only offered products in the electrical and electronic areas but a few months later Google added mechanical components such as power transmission products, and bearings. It turned out those were to be the last products added.

Unlike Amazon, Google did not directly supply businesses with products but assisted buyers by linking them to suppliers in the U.S. Google’s revenue model was apparently based on its Verified Supplier program, which included a one-time verification fee I of $1,000 in the U.S. By becoming a Verified Supplier, companies received a badge on their listings and having products show ahead of those from unverified suppliers. The company also noted that as a Google Verified Supplier “your products appear higher in the Sponsored results section on Google” as well.

It was unclear as to how many companies enrolled in the Verified Supplier program.

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