“Okay Google, Buy It Now.” Sell More With Buy on Google

Julie Stewart • August 2, 2019


People are starting to discover they can shop quickly for familiar products using Google voice commands on their phone or Home device. Once you learn how to sell with Buy on Google, it’s your store that could be making the sale.



Their wish is now Google’s command.

One of the most potent features that Google has built into its Buy on Google program is full integration with Voice Assistant and Google Search. Using their mobile device or on Google Home, a consumer can use voice commands to search for a particular item they need to buy, make a selection, verbally toss it into their shopping cart, and buy it through Google Express Instant Checkout using saved payment information. Google is moving further toward giving everyday users the convenience of a personal assistant–and also moving further into Amazon’s territory.


A different kind of selling opportunity, with a different fee structure

The main difference is how the Buy on Google marketplace works on the transaction end. While Google handles the payment transaction, they aren’t the seller or reseller. This is where the opportunities look more interesting for e-merchants. You pay a 1.5% “convenience fee” to Google for handling the payment, but the product comes from the individual brand or store that was selected from the initial organic Google search (rather than clicking over from an ad that you paid for).

E-merchants don’t have to buy ads to participate. If their products come up in an organic search, one click or voice command will take a buyer to the Google Express Instant Checkout page. This is a huge advantage because when shoppers have their payment info saved in Google, it removes the buying friction and cart abandonment that happens when people don’t want to create an account at an individual store before checking out. (Something they would likely never do if shopping hands-free via voice commands.) It allows the same kind of convenience to the consumer that they enjoy in self-contained search and one-click or Alexa-command shopping on Amazon, combined with the wider search capabilities of Google.



Yes, wow.

Google’s Big E-Commerce Play If you’ve ever done a general Google search when shopping for an item and then an Amazon search for the same thing, you quickly realize that while Amazon and AliBaba may be the world’s biggest stores, Google is the world’s biggest locator of things, whether or not they’re sold through marketplaces. Once those search results start linking conveniently to a universal shopping cart, it’s a potential bonanza for the merchant.


Buy on Google’s powerful combination of Google Search, Google Express shopping service, and Google Assistant on home devices and mobile is fully robust. With their saved payment credentials, shoppers can use all-verbal commands to make purchases from multiple retailers with a single instant checkout. They can even link their separate retailer loyalty accounts through the program. All items can be purchased together through what the company calls a “Google-hosted checkout flow.”

So far, mostly larger companies and brands like Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco Wholesale, Samsung, Kroger and Ulta Beauty have signed on for the program. However, it is open to US retailers of any size. Although Walmart exited the program in early 2019, they still want the power of voice-command shopping.




So, why haven’t more e-merchants started to sell with Buy on Google?

As with any new online marketplace, merchants have to precisely sync all of their workflows, product tags, inventory and pricing information to database requirements that are both unique and strictly enforced. Errors mean your products won’t turn up in search. This can be daunting, but with Google you absolutely have to do it.


Sellers with accurate and up to date product information are rewarded by Google with higher rankings in search results.

Many mid-size and smaller merchants or startup brands don’t realize there are e-commerce software services that will syndicate, manage and sync all of those workflows for you. ShoppingFeed was one of the first services to work with merchants looking at Buy on Google and we see a lot of upside potential for early adopters to get in and dominate their niche, with the support of a good product syndication service to ensure error-free product listings.

See how Google Shopping Actions works


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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