Getting Started With Buy on Google

Julie Stewart • August 8, 2019


Buy on Google is a powerful new buying platform integrated with Google’s other products, aimed at capturing buyer data and steering new business to participating merchants. Here’s what to know about how it works for sellers, and how to get an early-adopter advantage.




Some background on Buy on Google

The program first debuted in 2014 and was in development through the past four years. By 2019, it was fully rolled out and open for business. buy on google is designed to change the company’s relationship with its merchant partners by creating seamless, fast transactions for their customers for a small transaction fee, and less reliant on its main PPC revenue model via AdWords.

Now you don’t have to pay for ads; Google will just serve up your customer’s orders to you direct from their Google Express Universal Shopping Cart, process the payment, and remit to you, minus their fee. As a data-driven company, Google came to this new revenue model by analyzing its own data.




Google’s strategy: Add more touchpoints

As Google executives observed customer behavior, they realized people were using Google Search throughout the sales funnel. For example:

  • Top-of-Funnel: 75% of users start their shopping through a search engine.
  • Mid-Funnel: There was an 80% YoY increase in web searches with the term “best,” starting in 2013.
  • Bottom-Funnel: “Where to buy…?” mobile searches grew by more than 85% in 2013 & 2014.

Customers most often are starting their buyer journey with Google, using it to research the competition before approaching their buying decision. Therefore, it’s natural that Google would use its technology to build a different profit structure for its e-commerce business. Enter buy on google.

Applying a cost-per-sale business model helps Google align more closely with its advertisers. With a CPC model, the search engine has to constantly encourage advertisers to increase budgets or the number of listings. The premise is, you can make more sales if you’re willing to take a hit to your ROI. However, with the Cost Per Sale (CPS) model, Google only makes money when it sells products.




How Buy on Google is working so far

Early results look positive. Google reports that retailers in the Buy on Google program are seeing 30% increases in basket size, and lower conversion costs than for brands that just use traditional Google Shopping ads.

Google lists multiple benefits to sellers who wish to get in on the action:

  • Order management
  • Transaction handling & reporting
  • Multiple payment options
  • Consistent experience
  • 1-click re-ordering
  • Cart-building.
  • Increase loyalty with personalized recommendations
  • Integration with the merchant’s loyalty or points programs
  • Integration with Google’s voice shopping assistant on Google Home



Who is eligible for Buy on Google?

You must sign up through an interest form. You’ll also have to pass various trust, safety and data quality tests. Google has now opened the program for all merchants, but you still must apply.




How to get signed up

Google is encouraging early adopters who want to get started on buy on google as the function rolls out to customers. The limited number of brands like Target and Ultra already signed on are enjoying consistent success.

You can sign up by selecting it when you’re creating a Merchant Center account. If you already have one, go to Growth in the left navigation menu, then Manage programs and from there you can select Shopping Actions from the list of available programs. See more details on Google’s support site. The main categories that Google is working with right now are apparel, electronics and media, grocery, health and beauty, and home and garden. More categories are rolling out this year, so check here for the latest updates.


As a Google Partner, Shoppingfeed already has an established relationship to onboard retailers into the platform. If you think you may have issues qualifying, we can help expedite the approval process to add your brand to the search results.


Shoppingfeed is a certified Partner in Google’s Shopping platform, as well as in every major online marketplace worldwide.

Get a complete guide to Google Shopping, one of the best new marketplaces for everything.


Julie Stewart

My mission at Shoppingfeed is explaining how to leverage e-commerce platforms and SaaS technology to e-merchants who just want to run their business and make more money.

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