• Rucha Bajpai

How to Google Merchant Center charge Zero commission fees when customers buy your products on Google

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

What is Google Merchant Center?

Definition: The Google Merchant Center is a single online dashboard where online businesses manage their appearance across all Google e-commerce products and make changes to their online listings as needed.

The primary goal of the Google Merchant Center is to allow businesses to upload and maintain product information, including pictures and pricing, to be displayed in relevant Google Shopping searches. The Google Merchant Center also integrates into other Google services, such as Google My Business, to allow robust oversight and control of Google-based marketing and e-commerce.

How do User access Google Merchant Center?

In order to access a Google Merchant Center account, you must be added as a user by a Merchant Center account admin. Multiple users are able to access a single Merchant Center, and users can connect their individual Google account with multiple Merchant Center accounts as needed. Account admins can specify different access levels per user, and each user may receive different types of emails.

Standard: Ability to Google Merchant Center sign in and access everything in the account, except the "Users" tab and the "Merchant Center programs" tab.

Admin: Standard account access, plus the ability to add, delete,or edit user roles in the "Users" tab.

Email contacts: No account access, but will receive emails based on preferences.

Depending on what services are enabled in your Merchant Center account, you may see additional roles listed.

Note: If you use Google Search Console to manage your website, we recommend that each Admin user is also listed as an Owner of your website in Search Console.

Invite a new user: Admin users invite others to gain access to your Google Merchant Center account from the Users tab under tools icon dropdown. These invited users Google merchant centre sign in to your account with their own logins, so you can safeguard your own login information.

The user you invite must have a Google account in order to receive the invitation. If they don’t have a Google account, they can create or Google merchant account sign up.

To grant access to additional users, follow these steps: for GoogleMerchant Center account sign up.

  1. Click the tools icon, then select Account access under the “Settings” menu.

  2. Click the plus button .

  3. Enter the email address of the person you want to invite.

  4. Click Add user.

  5. On the next page, select the level of user access you'd like to grant, and email preferences for that user.

  6. Click Save.

Revoke user roles: If you no longer wish to allow a particular user or users to access your Google Merchant Center account, you may remove them from your account. The user will no longer be able to Google merchant centre sign in once you have removed account.

Before removing a user, please ensure that your website URL verification status is not associated with that user. If it is and you remove that user from your account, you’ll also lose your verification status (and subsequently your claim status) and will need to complete website verification and claiming with another user.

To remove a user:

  1. Make Google Merchant Center sign in.

  2. Click the tools icon,then select Account access under the “Settings” menu.

  3. Under “Users,” click the email of the user you would like to remove.

  4. Under “User status,” click Remove user.

Edit user roles:

To edit a user’s role:

  1. Make Google Merchant Center sign in.

  2. Click the tools icon, then select Account access under the “Settings” menu.

  3. Under “User status,” find the email address whose role you wish to edit.

Remove your Merchant Center account access : If you no longer wish to have your Google account linked to a Merchant Center account, you can remove your own access in the Preferences section.

Once you remove yourself from a Google Merchant Center account, access is revoked and you will not be able to view or make changes to the account. You must reach out to a Google Merchant Center account admin to regain access.

Note: If you are a Google Merchant Center admin, you will not be able to remove your Google account unless there is another Admin user already associated with the account.

To remove your own account make Google Merchant Center account sign-in and do following steps...

  1. Click the tools icon,then select Preferences under the “Settings” menu.

  2. Select Preferences.

  3. Click Remove access.

  4. Click Remove access again to confirm the removal of your account.

Buy on Google using Google Merchant Center account ID which is now open and commission-free

Over the past few months, we’ve made significant changes to help businesses reach more consumers and help people find the best products, prices and places to buy online. We made it free for retailers to list products on Google Shopping in the U.S., and we brought these free listings to Search as well.

Today, we’re taking another important step to make it easier for retailers to sell on Google. Soon, sellers who participate in our Buy on Google checkout experience will no longer have to pay us a commission fee. And, we’re giving retailers more choice by opening our platform to third-party providers—starting with PayPal and Shopify.

These changes are about providing all businesses—from small stores to national chains and online marketplaces—the best place to connect with customers, regardless of where a purchase eventually occurs. With more products and stores available for discovery and the option to buy directly on Google or on a retailer’s site, shoppers will have more choice across the board.

  • What’s new for retailers: Zero commission fees when customers buy your products on Google.While retailers have several options for driving traffic to their website with free listings or with Shopping ads, many also use Buy on Google to give shoppers a convenient way to purchase something right when they discover it. By removing our commission fees, we’re lowering the cost of doing business and making it even easier for retailers of all sizes to sell directly on Google, starting with a pilot that we’ll expand to all eligible sellers in the U.S. over the coming months. Learn more about the requirements for the pilot and sign up to join the waitlist.

  • Bring your own third-party providers, starting with PayPal and Shopify We’ve heard from retailers that they want the ability to choose their preferred services for things like payment processing, inventory, and order management. That’s why we’re opening our platform to more digital commerce providers, beginning with Shopify for inventory and order management and PayPal and Shopify for payment processing. 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. 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.

  • Import your inventory with just a few clicks To simplify our tools and make them more compatible with merchants’ existing processes, we’re enabling commonly-used product feed formats. This means retailers can connect their inventory to sell directly on Google without having to reformat their data. We’re also adding a new option to let retailers add product information (like images or technical specs) by pulling from our existing database rather than having to upload it themselves.

  • More products, more sellers, more choice As we’ve made it easier for a broader set of retailers to sell on Google this year, we’re also seeing a significant increase in demand to buy from and support small businesses. To help people discover these smaller merchants, we also plan to add a new small business filter on the Google Shopping tab and will continue adding features to help small businesses participate in online commerce.

  • Everything we’re announcing today will roll out first in the U.S., and we’re looking toward international launches later this year and in 2021. While we still have much work ahead of us, our goal is to make digital commerce more accessible for retailers of all sizes all around the world, giving consumers more choice and more ways to find the best products, stores, and prices.

WHAT are The benefits of Google Merchant Center?

Google Merchant Center is used for to allow you to submit comprehensive and accurate ads for your products to Google Shopping. For the ecommerce industry, Google's average CPC is $1.16. In comparison, Amazon has an average CPC of $0.77. While that's only a difference of $0.39, it adds up. For example, if your ad receives an average of 75 clicks per month on Google Shopping, that's $87 a month — or almost $1045 a year.

Which 6 things are every retailer should know about Google Shopping vs. Amazon

With Amazon’s continued dominance of the e-commerce market, it’s no surprise that retailers are revaluating their digital advertising and marketing strategies, which often focus on Google. That is why Google Shopping versus Amazon is becoming a hot topic for online retailers.

Which is best for increasing your revenue and online visibility? Keep reading to find out.

For e-commerce stores, Google Shopping and Amazon each offer value. With the increased presence of Amazon in advertising, however, there are several things that retailers need to know about these two platforms.

Here are the six most important things you should know about Google Shopping versus Amazon:

1. Google Shopping decides when your product appears in search results

While the average retailer credits Google Shopping for generating most of their website orders, you are at Google’s mercy when it comes to your ad’s display. Unlike Amazon — or even Google Ads — you can’t specify the keyword you want to target in Google Shopping.

If you sell white tennis sneakers, for example, you can’t create an ad group that targets keywords related to that product. Instead, you rely on Google to display your ad for relevant searches, like, “white tennis sneakers,” or, “white canvas tennis shoes.”

Google uses your product title, description, and category to determine when to display your ad. So, while you can optimize your listing for certain keywords, you don’t have the same control that Amazon’s advertising services offer.

For example, if you’re creating a Sponsored Brands advertisement on Amazon, you can use manual targeting to list keywords that would make your ad appear in search results. Plus, you could optimize your product listing for those high-value keywords. In short, if you want maximum control of your ads, Amazon is the way to go.

2. Amazon uses several types of advertisements to reach shoppers

While advertisements from Google Shopping display across Google’s various platforms, like YouTube, Amazon offers variety in the appearance of your product ads. You can choose from Sponsored Products Ads to Sponsored Brands to Product Display Ads.The appearance and placement of these ads in Amazon search results can help you reach your target shopper.

For example, a Sponsored Brands ad dominates search results on Amazon — it’s the first thing users see.Meanwhile, Product Display Ads, reach consumers looking at a similar or alternative product. With these kinds of advertisements, you’re connecting with users as they shop, not while they’re watching an unrelated video.The versatility of Amazon ads is useful, especially if Amazon is your prime channel for product orders.

3. Google Shopping offers access to shoppers in more than 35 countries

In the Google Shopping versus Amazon debate, however, Amazon doesn’t match the reach of Google Shopping. With Google Shopping, you can reach consumers in more than 35 countries. With Amazon, you can only advertise to users in 10 select countries.

Countries that both platforms reach include:-

For some businesses, this difference in reach may not matter. If you only ship to the U.S., Canada, and U.K., for instance, it doesn’t matter that Google Shopping can reach users in Brazil, Japan, or Australia.

What if your target audience is in China, though?
Unlike Google, which China’s Internet blocks, Amazon can advertise to shoppers in China. That is a massive win if your target shopper resides in China. Google Shopping, however, offers similar wins if you’re targeting audiences outside the reach of Amazon ads.As a result, it’s critical to consider the demographics of your audience when comparing these platforms.

4.Amazon has a lower average for CPC

While Amazon and Google Shopping both operate on cost-per-click (CPC) models — note, Amazon’s display and video ads have an upfront cost of $35,000 — they vary in their average CPC. The difference is significant too. For the ecommerce industry, Google’s average CPC is $1.16. In comparison, Amazon has an average CPC of $0.77. While that’s only a difference of $0.39, it adds up.

For example, if your ad receives an average of 75 clicks per month on Google Shopping, that’s $87 a month — or almost $1045 a year. If your Amazon ad earns the same number of clicks, that’s $56 a month or $672 a year. That’s a difference of almost $400.If you saved that much on your advertising efforts, you could reinvest it into your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.

That could lead to more clicks, more purchases, and more revenue for your ecommerce store.As Amazon takes credit for more than 40 percent of online sales, its lower CPC is a big bonus in the Google Shopping versus Amazon debate.

5. Google Shopping increases brand visibility and awareness

A win for Google Shopping? It increases your brand’s visibility and awareness among shoppers.While Amazon’s Sponsored Brands include your company’s name, it does so in a tiny font. Other Amazon advertisements, like Sponsored Products, don’t include the name of your business at all. Instead, Amazon prefers that companies incorporate their brand name into their product titles.

Google Shopping, however, displays your business’ name. The name of your brand appears below your product image and title in a green-colored font. It’s easy for users to spot, which can help them remember your company.If you’re focused on growing your brand awareness, however, it’s worth considering other digital marketing channels. With Google Shopping and Amazon, you want to drive sales and see immediate results — that’s why you’re paying to advertise your products.

In comparison, brand awareness focuses on more of a long-term, ongoing return.That’s why another channel, like social media, can offer better and more cost-effective results when it comes to building brand awareness. So, while Google Shopping offers value for brand awareness, it’s not what the platform is really for — it’s for an immediate improvement to your bottom line.

6. Amazon reaches audiences with a high-purchase intent

Amazon and Google Shopping focus on audiences that are ready to buy. Amazon’s share of the ecommerce market has reached 50 percent, however. That is a massive amount, emphasizing that when people shop, they do it at Amazon.While Google Shopping can still help you reach consumers in your target audience, Amazon offers access to more of them.

It also appeals to user behavior, which is to go to Amazon to find and buy a product. It’s another reason in the Google Shopping versus Amazon debate that emphasizes Amazon’s growing importance in the advertising market. Just as Google is the go-to hub for searching, Amazon is the place for shopping.

What ‘free product listings’ mean for the future of Google Shopping campaigns?

On April 21st, Google announced that it was going to bring free listings in the Google Shopping Tab. Originally, these listings wouldn’t be included among Shopping results integrated into the main Google Search results page. But a further announcement on June 29th signalled that this would change — at least for the US. We expect both of these features to be rolled out globally over the course of this year.So, is this a big deal? The answer is a mixed bag, and not 100% clear.All other online shopping platforms offer organic and paid listings.

Google will continue to sell Shopping ad space. Traditional PPC Shopping ads will remain the main means of product promotion on Google, and paid advertisers will have the advantage of appearing above the free listings. Arguably, Google is playing catch-up, or even going “back-to-the-future” by reinstating some of its long-gone Froogle functionality.Now that some preliminary results have filtered in, it’s time to look at what free listings likely means for the future of Google Shopping.

Although it’s hard to make a definitive prediction, our belief is that increased accessibility will lead to greater competition on Google Shopping, and more total listings — making the platform more relevant and more important to online sales. But that starts with understanding why Google made this change in the first place.

Why did Google want this change?

On the face of it, this change seems daft — why provide something for free when people are willing to pay for it. Google cited the Coronavirus crisis as a factor in accelerating its plans — hoping to help lessen the impact on brick and mortar retailers who had to shut up shop. But there are longer-term reasons, and the plan had been in the pipeline for some time.

  • Threats from Amazon: Shoppers are increasingly going directly to Amazon to begin shopping searches, and Amazon is busy building an ad business to exploit this traffic. This change to Google Shopping seems like a response. Although Google has always been a ‘middleman’ when it comes to ecommerce (forwarding searches with purchasing intent to other destinations), free product listings may be part of a strategic effort to transform the Shopping Tab into a destination in its own right.

  • Bill Ready, head of Google E-Commerce, wants Shopping to evolve to be a place where consumers can find products from anywhere, whether they are sold by large or small merchants. A search for shoes could return listings from Nike or a neighbourhood shoe shop.

  • A long-term plan:This offer is part of Google’s ongoing ecommerce strategy, focused on its Surfaces program and Merchant Center (MC). Google first launched its new way for customers to explore products on mobile with Surfaces Across Google in clothing and accessories categories.Google has now expanded its Merchant Center “Surfaces” program to include the Shopping tab. As a result, anyone opted into the Surfaces Across Google program in their MC will be eligible for free Shopping clicks.

For retailers this change means free exposure to millions of potential customers.
For shoppers it means more visibility of more products from more stores.Increased traffic from shoppers and more listings from retailers makes this a win-win for Google.

Are free product listings on Google Shopping a big deal?

This offer likely won’t change things very much, particularly in the short-term. Long-term trends are harder to identify, but there is little reason to think that this upends the Google Shopping paradigm. Rather, it just gives ecommerce markets one more option when it comes to Google Shopping, and increases the accessibility of the platform.

What will be the impact on Google Shopping?

It makes sense for Google to offer these clicks for free if you assume:

  • Free clicks are low volume

  • Shopping Tab engagement is inherently valuable to Google

  • Budgets will still be spent — just more fully utilised on the SERP.

There really shouldn’t be impact on Shopping ads campaigns, even if the click share of the Shopping Tab is high — which is unlikely. No urgent action is really needed, you just need to opt in to get your free clicks. There is time to observe what is happening and then share what you find.

What are the preliminary results?

Since the launch of free listings, Google has recorded an increase in both clicks on the Shopping Tab and a lift in impressions on the Shopping Tab.

  • Clicks on Shopping Tab: 70% lift

  • Impressions on the Shopping Tab: 130%

This aligns with our predictions. It also supports the idea that longer-term, this shift will increase competition on Google Shopping and boost the platform’s relevance in ecommerce.

  • Increased competition over time Free listings are likely to increase Merchant Center adoption by brands. This might start with brands solely looking for free clicks. However, once on the platform, some of those brands will start paid campaigns. Ecommerce competition was always going to increase. The speculative question is whether or not access to free listings will result in brands engaging in paid advertising on Google that otherwise would not have done so.

Ultimately, that is an impossible question to answer. But free listings, and the Surfaces programme more generally, are part of Google’s strategy to expand their ecommerce importance. It seems wise to speculate that free listings will lead to increased competition on Google Shopping overtime.

  • ‘Surfaces’ might be more important than just free Shopping listings If you want to look at long-term ‘sea-changes’, the entire ‘Surfaces’ program is a bigger deal than free listings within the Google Shopping Tab. Although consumers treat Google like an ‘objective’ information repository, as a marketer you know that it’s more complicated than that.

  • Google is an ads platform, a marketing tool, and communication channel for brands. What individuals see when they type in a search query isn’t always the same — regardless of sponsored content. Surfaces represents one more step by Google to blur the line between ‘search engine’ and ecommerce platform. By ‘surfacing’ product listings within Google Search, Shopping, and Images — it’s simply become more important for retailers to think about Google as an avenue for delivering product listings, as well as informational content.

  • The biggest potential change comes down to how the public views Google. If people start to think of Google differently, it may dramatically change how they interact with it. There isn’t a clear answer here, but it is clear that you should be using the Surfaces program in the meantime.

4 things that will let you benefit from change

As we’ve said, there isn’t a lot to do right away. Opt into Surfaces Across Google and start taking advantage of free clicks. Then, just watch and wait. However, there are a few things worth trying to take full advantage of this new offering.

1. Get your entire product catalogue uploaded

Free listings means there is no need to prioritise which products go onto Google Shopping. Or rather, you target a selection of your catalogue at biddable listings and additionally target the remainder of your catalogue at the free surfaces. You still need to strategically think about bidding, but you might as well get all your listings online. That will also help you gather data about volumes for free clicks.

2. Optimise your product listings

Applying SEO scrutiny to your Google Shopping product listings has always been important to CTR and listing for relevant search queries. However, more listings, and the possibility for organic (non-paid) listings, adds to the importance. Go back over your listings (product descriptions, landing pages and schema markups) and make sure they include critical keywords and as much detail as possible.

3. Optimise your bids

Although you aren’t competing against free product listings for advertising space, you are competing against them for conversions. It’s also likely that free product listings will increase Merchant Center adoption, leading to increased competition for ad-buys long-term. Both of these outcomes mean that it is all the more important to optimise your bidding strategy.

Product-level bidding has always been the key to maximising the effectiveness and efficiency of your paid Shopping campaigns. That means picking the right bid automation tools and providing them with essential strategic information. If you want to get into the details, check out our eBook on the future of PPC automation on Google Shopping.

The diagnosis: watch and wait

Although this is a big change as far as Google is concerned, it really doesn’t impact the fundamentals of Shopping PPC on Google. We should, however, recognise that this will give small businesses and advertisers access to free traffic they didn’t have before. And potentially giving Google a global-to-local advantage over Amazon as a consequence.

It is a smart marketing move from Google as it manages to cover three objectives:

  • Provide a counter to Amazon ecommerce dominance

  • Raise awareness for its Shopping offering to a potentially underserved audience

  • Provide an upsell path for retailers/brands to get used to Google Merchant Center and eventually move to paid advertising.

The impact of the change at this stage is more PR than actual and we shouldn’t drop everything or make any major efforts to measure its impact. Most importantly, we should definitely avoid any temptation to hype the free traffic possibilities. Let’s see how this one pans out. In real time so that your visitors always have access to valid information.