Marketing 2 min read

Google Crawler may be Increasing Your Abandoned Cart Metrics

Jarretera / Shutterstock.com

Jarretera / Shutterstock.com

A report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that GoogleBot can add products to shopping carts, leading to a spike in abandoned cart metrics.

A shopper named John Smith may have single-handedly caused a slight spike in seller’s abandoned cart metrics.

According to the Wall Street Journal, sellers have complained about a buyer called John Smith, and for good reasons. The shopper has been hopping from one e-commerce store to another within the last few weeks.

He would begin his online shopping journey at an auto supply store, before jumping to a home-goods merchant site, and so on. In all the websites, John would add goods that range from $80 to $500 to the shopping cart, then leave without making a purchase.

As you can imagine, sellers were not thrilled about the serial cart abandoner’s habit. But, it turns out that John Smith isn’t human — it’s a Google bot.

A Google spokesperson told the WSJ that the company built systems to ensure accurate pricing information. The bots verify whether the pricing on a product page is reflected when users add an item to the cart.

In another statement to Search Engine Land, Google confirmed the bot’s existence.  “We use automated systems to ensure consumers are getting accurate pricing information from our merchants.”

Google’s Price Verification and Abandoned Cart Metrics

Google Merchant Center provides a quick way for sellers to share their store and product info with shoppers across Google. Based on the tool’s terms of service, Google is allowed to perform regular pricing verification.

So, the bots can crawl e-commerce sites to ensure consistent pricing, from the product page to when a buyer adds items to the cart. That way, the system can disapprove of items that don’t pass the verification process.

Google, however, admits to the WSJ that the price verification process can lead to merchants seeing abandoned carts. What’s more, the data can make the abandoned cart metrics appear higher than they actually are.

Unfortunately, you can’t block John Smith.

Whether you’re using Shopping or other Surfaces across Google, the terms of service for Merchant Center allows Google to crawl your site. Meanwhile, you can use the site’s robots.txt file to control the crawling.

Read More: Google Extends Free Product Listings to Search Results

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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