Left a career in Enterprise technology sales to start my own thing and haven't looked back since 2005.
SaaS Business - started in 2020
Commercial Indoor Cannabis Producer & Cultivation Consultant - 9 years
Medical Cannabis Dispensary Owner, over 6500 patients - 5 years
Marketing Agency Owner, my main clients were ADT and Brinks Home Security - 1 year
Prime Electrical Service Vendor to American Home Shield - 1 year
Licensed Electrical Contractor, Energy Efficient Lighting Specialist - 5 years
Enterprise Technology Sales, Oracle EBS - 3 years
I not an expert but I have owned a small manufacturing company in the past. And based on my limited experience here is how I would approach your project.
You first need to figure out what your goals are for this project. What exactly is your business objective? Is it to produce and sell the Bentley of electrician belts on the market and differentiate by only using the very best materials on the planet? Is the goal to be the most affordable belt on the market? What is your value proposition and how will you stand out from the competition? The answer will determine how you get your product made. If you want the Bentley of belts, you might be looking at a hand made operation based in the US and if it's the cheapest priced belt, you're probably looking at a certain type of manufacturer in China to outsource the belts to.
The next step I would take, depending on what type of market you will be competing in, is to determine whether or not you should be using a private labeled product. A private labeled product is a product that you order from a manufacturer who already makes that product but with your company logo on the product labels and packaging. This is how most products are made because it's the most economical choice due to economies of scale. If someone is already making that product, they will have more experience and they can combine buying power of the raw materials to bring the prices down even more.
There are certain types of products that work the best with private labeling. For example, private labeled products work well with products like a toilet bowl brush or shower curtain or clothes hanger because people don't care about the brand as much as they care about the brand for a product like a TV or an audio system for your home theater or living room. When purchasing an audio system people care a great deal about the brand. Whether the brand is Samsung, Toshiba, Sharp, Sony. JVC, Pioneer, Denon, Yamaha, or Harman Kardon, the brand makes a big difference in how the product and price is perceived by the consumer. I have no idea if the brand makes a difference for Electrician belts or what type of market position is the most profitable so you'll have to do your homework.
If you want to be the Bentley of belts and make a completely different design, you have less of chance going the private label route but it's not impossible for the design to be changed so you'll just need to find the comparable type of manufacturing company that can make a product at the quality level you expect.
If you don't go the private label route, your job will be to set up your own manufacturing operation and you'll need to hire a textile engineer to help you with material selection and a VP of manufacturing with the relevant experience to oversee the entire operation.
If selecting the materials is your only concern, you can hire a boutique consulting company that provides this type of service and their consultants will be ex textiles engineers etc. Or you can find retired people who used to work in that role. Or someone who changed industries recently. The reason for this is because people who are currently employed as textiles engineers for an employer is probably working under an NDA that prohibits them from giving out trade secrets or any sensitive information for obvious reasons, competitors etc.
After you determine the materials, you can ask the private label companies to use those materials. Personally, I would simply use what everyone else is using because you don't know what you don't know and there is usually a good reason 80% of the competitors are using the same material. And that reason might not be immediately apparent to you which might cause headaches down the line.
I have no experience with this but my initial thinking is that you might have a setting that needs to be set correctly so you might want to double check all the settings and options. The reason I feel like this might be the case is because I would think most terms would provide at least some type of result. But since the Shopping system is completely separate from the regular search results, maybe they are tighter with the search results and require some degree of relevancy before they feel justified in charging the advertiser for that impression or click. With the standard organic google search results, they're not hurting anyone monetarily by providing completely irrelevant results.
You will probably get more or better responses posting this type of question on a forum for software developers like stackexchange because the people who actually know the answer to your question are most likely people who work at this company or used to work here, who might have signed an NDA that prevents them from giving away company secrets or any information that might be sensitive in one way or another. Given that it's better to be safe than sorry, this type of information might fall under that category. My assumption could be wrong but if I was the owner or even an employee, I see zero benefit to answer this question because without a much larger discussion, the information won't even be useful to you.
Generally speaking for most business types, in-house custom software is a very bad thing because it forces the new owner to also become a software developer rather than being able to focus on their primary business. If you can't call another company to deal with system issues, that means you ARE the company. If you build in-house software, that means there is no company who is responsible for that software to work properly so you are forced to do it.
Even if you give them the phone number to the person who programmed the software originally, what happens if that person doesn't answer the phone or gets hit by a bus?
If you have to hire other people to work on the software, they will be slower because they have to learn the system as they go, so it will probably double the cost and expense of any maintenance or customization work that needs to be done.
Software usually has to be upgraded and maintained every year with operating system or database patches and scripts constantly. Think about how many updates a simple Wordpress website needs every time you open the admin panel. We can click "update" ourselves because it's a personal website but if an entire business with employees and lots of revenue depends on that software to work correctly, it would be very dangerous for us to click that update button ourselves because when you update software, there is a high probably that the update will cause some sort of issue.
When it comes to business software, you want a specialist to perform any work on the system in case there is a problem because the cost of downtime is much higher than the cost of paying a specialist to perform the update.
I can think of tons of reasons why in-house software is bad but I can't think of any reasons why in-house software would actually be good.
Your chances of success will be much higher if you do something that other people are already doing successfully because they've proven that people are willing to pay for that service or product. If your idea doesn't solve a problem, then you essentially don't have a market. It's much easier to sell to an existing market than to create a new market because you don't have to spend as much time or money on educating people. Educating people with no guarantee of a sale is an expensive activity.