What Is Google Shopping? How Does It Work?

 Google Shopping can help you grow your online business, but is it right for you? Check out our expert guide to learn all about it.

As an online business, the visibility of your products is key – and with the sheer amount of competition out there, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for your products to be easily found by shoppers. Many businesses use online marketplaces to improve the visibility of their products, but these marketplaces have drawbacks: they’re expensive and limiting. 

Enter Google Shopping, a comparison platform that allows shoppers to browse products across various retailers. As a result, businesses are able to list and advertise their products on Google’s platform and reach more shoppers, without having to sacrifice control over their sales. 

If you're not sure whether Google Shopping is the right step for your business, I can tell you that I've been there, and I'm here to make your choice easier. In this article, I’ll walk you through the ins and outs of Google Shopping, how it works, and how to easily get your products listed on the platform. 


What Is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is Google’s product search and comparison platform. Customers can browse and compare products based on certain search terms. This comparison can be done across all retailers and advertisers who list their products on the platform. 

As a business owner, you use the Google Merchant Center to set up and maintain your product listings. 

While you can add products to Google Shopping for free, you can also use paid Google Ads to promote and advertise your products across Google’s various domains. These ads will appear on relevant searches on Google and show up as sponsored results on Google Shopping.

Who Can Use Google Shopping?

Most businesses are eligible to apply for Google Shopping. All you need is a Google account in order to sign up with Google Merchant Center. 

Google does have certain terms and conditions worth keeping in mind before signing up, such as limitations on the types of products you can advertise or sell. It’s worth taking a close look at these to make sure the products you want to sell aren’t disallowed by Google’s terms and conditions. 

The Benefits of Google Shopping for Retailers

As a business owner, Google Shopping can help improve your sales in a number of ways. Here are some key benefits it could have for your business:

1. Expand Your Online Presence 

Google is the most widely used search engine on the internet. By listing your products on Google Shopping and promoting them through Google Ads, you can boost traffic to your site. This expands your reach and gives your business the opportunity to attract more customers. 

2. Improve Your Customer Trust

If you’re just starting an ecommerce business, it can take a while to build customer trust. When you list your products on Google Shopping, customers can view your products in the same pane as those from major retailers on their Google Shopping Feed, making you appear trustworthy and reliable. 

Google Shopping requires businesses to submit applications in order to list their products on the platform beforehand, so having your products listed helps provide social proof to customers that your business could be worth buying from. 

3. Improve Your Targeting

Increasing the amount of traffic to your website and the number of people who view your products is important, but this doesn’t automatically mean more sales. 

Google Shopping provides potential customers with detailed, relevant product information relating to search terms that they seek out. 

As a result, the traffic it redirects to your website are customers who are already informed about your products and have a clear intent to complete their purchase. This, in turn, could allow you to enjoy a higher conversion rate among people that visit your website.

4. Create Insightful Reports

The Google Merchant Center gives businesses access to streamlined products, ads, and sales tracking, as well as the ability to create custom reports. Additionally, you can narrow this down based on the specifications of your choice. 

Having access to these analytics and reporting tools can give you useful insights into which of your products brings in the most business. Knowing this can help you set future goals for your company’s metrics going forward.

How to Add Products to Google Shopping in 3 Steps

Setting up Google Shopping and adding products to it is slightly different from getting your products listed on other online marketplaces or setting up traditional text-based ads. Let’s go over the 3 steps you can take to get your products listed on Google Shopping.

1. Sign Up to Google Merchant Center

The first thing you need to do to get started with Google Shopping is to sign up for a Google Merchant Center account. This is where you’ll add and manage your product listings and ads, and later, track their performance.

To sign up for a Merchant Center account, you’ll first need a legitimate Google account. You’ll then need to fill out some basic information about your business that Google asks you for in order to determine whether your business is suitable for Google Shopping.

Next, you’ll need to verify ownership of your website. You can do this either through any Google products that you already have set up on your website, such as Analytics, or by adding a tag to your website’s code.

Once you’ve verified ownership of your website, you’re ready to start using all of the features available from Google Merchant Center!

2. Optimize Your Product Images

Google Shopping is a primarily visual experience for consumers. Many shoppers consider product images to be a key factor when they’re deciding whether or not to make a purchase. As a result, it’s crucial to have quality images for all your products

Google does regular quality checks on these and can reject or suspend Google Shopping campaigns on the basis of poor-quality photos, so it’s worth taking the time to optimize them. To make sure your photos are up to scratch, check out Google’s image guidelines and try to follow them as closely as you can.

After you’ve optimized your product images and are happy with them, it’s time to start creating your product data feed. 

3. Create Your Product Data Feed

To start creating your product data feed, navigate to Products in the Merchant Center, and then click on Product Feeds. Click on the “plus” icon, and then enter the basic information that is requested. 

Next, you have two options for how to set up your product data feed:

  • Enter your product information manually: Google Merchant Center gives you the option of entering information for each of your products manually. However, if you have more than a few products in your catalog, this is an impractical option.
  • Import a product feed spreadsheet: Google also lets you enter your product data using Google Sheets. You’ll need to set up the document to be in line with Merchant Center guidelines, and include all the necessary data for each product, including its price, links to its product page, and image links.

Whichever option you choose to go with, be sure to follow Google’s best practices for optimizing your product data. The better you do this, the more shoppers are likely to discover your products and purchase from you.

The Best Way for Your Ecommerce Business to Accept Payments

Google Shopping can help make your products more visible, but that alone won't help you close the sale. It's equally important to streamline the shopping experience on your end, and an important part of that is making the payment process simple and reliable.

Pay.com lets you quickly and easily start accepting all major credit cards, as well as other payment methods such as mobile wallets and ACH transfers. You can rest assured that you’ll always be paying industry-leading processing rates. 

Pay.com also gives you the ability to create custom checkout pages that match your brand and the rest of your online store, creating a seamless payment experience for customers that find your products through Google Shopping.

Click here to create your Pay.com account now!

The Bottom Line: Is Google Shopping Right for Your Business? 

Google Shopping can be a little overwhelming to set up at first, with its sheer number of options available. 

However, once you have your products all set up, it can be a great way to advertise your business, and reach customers that you otherwise may not have been able to – all while retaining full control of your sales.

When you use Pay.com as your payment service provider, you can accept a wide range of payment methods and provide your customers with an easy and effortless checkout experience. Click here to get started now!


What's the best way for an ecommerce business to accept multiple payment methods?

As an ecommerce business, you can easily start accepting a wide variety of payment methods by using Pay.com as your payment service provider.

Pay.com’s setup process is very approachable, even for a first-time business owner. You can be up and running accepting online payments in no time. Click here to find out how you can get started.

How do I get on Google Shopping?

To get started with Google Shopping, all you need is a Google account. You can apply for a Google Merchant Center account by filling out some basic information about your business, and then get started listing your products by following the steps outlined in this article.

Is Google Shopping free or paid?

Google Shopping is free to sign up for; however, Google Shopping Ads are a paid option that can help boost your product visibility and sales. It’s free to list your products on Google Shopping. If you opt to use Google Ads, you pay for them based on the number of clicks they receive.

What products are not allowed on Google Shopping?

You can sell a wide range of products through Google Shopping, however, just like various other platforms, there are certain types of items that are not allowed. Some prohibited items include alcoholic beverages, gambling-related content, counterfeit goods, and dangerous products.

What's the difference between Google Ads and Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is a term that refers to the platform powered by Google Merchant Center and Google Ads. Google Ads are typically text-based ads that appear alongside regular search results, whereas Google Shopping Ads are specialized product advertisements that include specific information such as product images, names, and prices.

Meet the author
Monica J White
Monica is a journalist with a lifelong interest in technology. She first started writing over ten years ago and has made a career out of it, with a special focus on fintech. She enjoys the challenge of explaining complex topics to a broader audience.
Give Your Customers Multiple Ways to Pay

When you get new customers through Google Shopping, you can let them pay with their preferred payment method. With Pay.com, all it takes is one click to add payment methods to your online store, including all major credit card brands and mobile wallets. 

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