Earlier this year, Google surprised merchants by opening up the Google Shopping tab in its search results to free product listings. Now for the next phase of the shakeup: commission-free access to Buy on Google, the company’s native checkout from product listings. It is also integrating with third-parties to make it easier for merchants to streamline order management and payments.
Why we care. The combined moves of making Google Shopping and Buy on Google checkout free for retailers will make it much more accessible to a wider range of sellers than other marketplaces. Not charging a commission is a significant differentiator for Google Shopping from other marketplaces — most significantly Amazon, which charges fees typically ranging from 8 to 15% per item sold.
In turn, Google is betting that more sellers, more products and easier checkout, particularly on mobile, will make it a product search destination for more users. Integrations with third-parties, including Shopify and Paypal (more on that below) will be attractive to sellers because it gives them more control over their order management and data.
Buy on Google debuted as Google Shopping Actions in 2018. (That product name is no longer.) Items available to Buy on Google are indicated with a shopping cart icon. Items bought through the program are covered by Google’s guarantee for a refund if something goes wrong with an order.
SMB focus. Google said it has seen “a significant increase in demand to buy from and support small businessses. It will add a small business filter to the Shopping tab to make discovery easier and focus on adding more features to make digital commerce onboarding easier for SMBs.
Shopify, PayPal integrations. In addition, Buy on Google will integrate with third-parties, starting with Shopify and PayPal. When users opt to buy from participating merchants via “Buy on Google,” they can choose Shopify or PayPal payment options when available. For Shopify merchants it also means inventory and order management from Buy on Googleorders can flow directly through Shopify.
“So, if a retailer wants to sell directly on Google, they can get started even faster and continue using the tools and services that already work for their business,” said Bill Ready, Google’s president of commerce in a blog post Thursday. “Or, if they’re new to selling online, they’ll be able to choose from multiple options when they sign up in our Merchant Center.”
Google had already enabled an integration with Google Merchant Center and PayPal in May, so this next step makes sense.
Available in U.S. first. The changes to Buy on Google will roll out in the U.S. first, with availability in international markets coming later this year and in 2021. Free listings on Shopping are expected to be available in all applicable markets by the end of this year.