Online selling platforms have become an almost indispensable part of several economies and most businesses greatly benefit from using them to sell inventory online and keep the business growing and thriving. 

One of the more recent online selling platforms that generated massive interest and excitement in the world of eCommerce was Google Shopping Actions which was launched initially in 2018. 

Google Shopping Actions combines the massive reach and online clout of Google along with a unique blend of its very own ad-delivery system and marketplace. The added benefit of not having Google as your competitor cannot be ignored either.

Table of Contents

What is Google Shopping Actions?

Image Source

Google Shopping Actions is an online marketplace developed by the tech-giant Google that enables online retailers to provide convenient, personalized, and frictionless shopping experiences to their customers. 

Shopping Actions allows these retailers to display their products across a variety of Google services such as Google Shopping, the Google Shopping mobile applications, Google Home, and assistants as well as through the popular Google search. 

The service, as claimed by Google, attempts to offer a seamless conversion of browsing to buying with the help of features such as a universal shopping cart and instant check-out. 

Customers can therefore shop on the platform via a mobile phone, a desktop, or a voice assistant without any hassle and can also have access to their shopping carts and preferences when they switch from one device to another. 

Convenience and speed are therefore two of the major checkboxes that the Google Shopping Actions service strives to tick and it would be safe to say that it does just that.

Where do Google Shopping Actions Appear?

Shopping Actions, as already explained earlier, offers retailers the chance to market their inventory across a large number of Google services.  Retailers who opt to use Shopping Actions are able to surface their products across the following platforms that are supported and managed by Google.

1. Google Search 

With over 92% of the market share, the Google Search engine is almost synonymous with online searches and browsing queries and products related to the search queries are displayed to the users. When you use Shopping Actions, your product will be displayed to all users who make the relevant search query.

2. Google Shopping

Google Shopping is an online service that allows users to search for and gain access to a large number of products being sold by different online stores and websites and also compare products and prices under one online roof.

3. Google Assistant 

The Google Assistant on phones is a very popular service and enables voice shopping where users are easily able to access and place orders for online products with just a voice command. This service is also made available to users of the Google Home devices.

4. Google Images Search 

Google Images Search is an exclusive online tool that allows users to search for specific images through queries. If you opt to use Google Shopping Actions, your products along with the attractive product images will be displayed to all users who search for related images on the platform.

5. YouTube

The product advertisements and catalogs are also displayed on YouTube which is the worlds largest video sharing platform with a wide audience. This thereby offers a tremendous boost to the marketing reach of a retailer that would be unimaginable without the help of Google Shopping Actions. 

Benefits of Google Shopping Actions

Image Source

Using Google Shopping Actions offers an array of benefits to not only buyers and users of Google services but also to the online sellers and retailers looking to grow their businesses and generate more revenue. Some of these benefits are listed below. 

1. Acquire new and valuable customers

With the help of Shopping Actions, retailers will be able to throw open the doors of their online stores to millions of potential customers who would otherwise be impossible to reach. This helps them acquire new customers and thereby boost their businesses.

2. Increase sales and customer loyalty 

Shopping Actions ensures that personalized recommendations are sent to all users which allows for a potential increase in sales and revenue. Moreover, there is an in-built option to re-order items with just one click or command that greatly cultivates customer loyalty as it is convenient and efficient.

3. Elevate your brand on Google 

By giving a retailer access to a large platform via the numerous Google services, Shopping Actions grants increased brand reach and visibility on the internet that allows it to be viewed by as many individuals and potential customers as possible.

4. Easy to implement

With the help of a Google Merchant Centre account, retailers can easily opt for their products to be broadcasted by Shopping Actions in just a few simple and easily followable steps.

5. Competitive pricing

Unlike other advertising mediums, Google Shopping Actions does not work on a pay-per-click or pay-per-action model but instead offers retailers a pay-per-sale option where retailers only have to make payments based on the number of final sales that Google is able to generate for them. This is especially handy for new and growing retailers who are on a tight budget.

6. Actionable insights

Shopping Actions also allows retailers to view how their products are performing on the market in terms of sales and conversions as well as overall competitiveness which grants crucial insight that can be used to make certain changes to further boost revenue.

Google Shopping + Google Shopping Actions: A Must-have Combo for Success

So now we’ve covered the basics of Google Shopping Actions, there is yet another Google Shopping service that allows retailers to upload product information and data via a Merchant Centre Account and these products are then listed on various Google platforms. 

It is a form of advertising as Google only redirects interested users to the concerned website and does not have its own shopping cart. Many e-commerce experts recommend that online retailers opt for a mixture of both pay-per-click Google Shopping advertisements as well as list their products on Google Shopping Actions in order to maximize the brand reach and conversion rates. 

It is therefore a perfect combination of advertising and ease-of-access since one greatly improves advertising capabilities and the other offers a seamless shopping experience for users.

Key Information you Need Before Starting with Google Shopping Actions

Before you place your products on the Google Shopping Actions platform, you will need to keep certain key details ready that are required to set up and use the service. 

1. Your business information 

You will need to provide the Google Shopping Actions with some basic information about your business such as the location of your head office or the location at which your business is registered and your contact details. 

2. Shipping details 

You will have to provide information on the shipping methods that you will use as well as mention the locations to which you will deliver your products. Shipping rates that are to be paid by the customers must also be mentioned according to their location. 

All orders will have to be fulfilled by the retailer and the retailer has the freedom to pick from a list of supported shipping services on Google Shopping Actions.

3. Tax details and settings 

Depending on which part of the world you are operating out of and which parts of the world you are delivering to, there are different tax rates that shall be applicable to the products that you are selling. 

These tax details and settings need to be updated accurately and then you can add the applicable amount to the final price of your products.

4. Payment and billing details 

In order to utilize the Google Shopping Actions services and benefit from the increased reach and visibility on the platform, you will be required to pay a subscription fee based on a pay-per-sale model. 

You will therefore have to provide your company’s business details to which a monthly invoice will be sent. You can set up the payment method you wish to use in order to facilitate the hassle-free monthly payments of these invoices.

5. Return policy 

Any online business must be prepared for eventualities where the product delivered is either defective or damaged or the customer is not satisfied with it. 

You must clearly mention the conditions that need to be fulfilled that make a product eligible to be returned by formulating a comprehensible and simple return policy.

6. Return address

You will also have to provide the address to which products must be returned, if eligible.

Termed a branding asset, a brand logo that is used by your business should be uploaded as a round and transparent image that will be used on the Google Shopping Actions platform. 

By picking a clear and innovative brand logo, you will be able to enhance brand memory and loyalty among your customers and ensure that more and more customers return to your store in the future.

How to Set Up a Google Shopping Actions account and Storefront

Step #1 – Set up a Merchant Center account

To place your products on Google Shopping Actions, you will necessarily have to sign up for a Google Merchant Center account which will be the base from which you will be able to manage your online store and the products you are selling. This is an incredibly simple process that hardly takes much time.

Step #2 -Locate the Shopping Actions service 

Once your Google Merchant Center account is set up, you will have to find Shopping Actions by clicking on the Growth option from the left navigation pane on the home page and then click on the Manage Programs option. 

Once this is completed, you will need to follow five easy steps in order to get your online store activated on Google Shopping Actions.

Step #3 -Set up your product and business information

As already mentioned, you will be required to provide details about your products as well as business. Basic details include your business address where your business is registered or where the primary office is located, the contact details of your business, the customer service contact that will be provided to your customers who visit your product pages, and the preferred marketing settings. 

You will also be required to update the tax settings on the platform that allows Shopping Actions to automatically calculate the applicable taxes during checkout. 

In addition to these details, shipping rates and settings also need to be added in accordance with the shipping options that you are using to fulfill the orders that are placed via Shopping Actions. 

Step #4 -Place your products on Google Shopping Actions through feeds

If you want your products to be sold via Google Shopping Actions, you will need to provide accurate product information in line with the product information specifications on not just Shopping Actions but also on Google Shopping Ads. 

This can be done by using the Google Shopping Content API and you can go ahead and create your product feeds by accessing the Feeds option under the Products button from the Merchant Center landing page. 

Details such as country of sale, language, the name of the feed, and the preferred input method need to be submitted.

Step #5 -Choose how you want to manage orders 

Google Shopping Actions gives you three options to help you manage the orders that users place via the platform. You can either manage the orders from the Merchant Centres Orders page itself which requires minimal technical support but also requires the manual entry of data regularly. 

Retailers can also opt for Order Feeds that allow them to receive, process, and manage their orders automatically with minimal manual effort or even opt for the Orders API which helps you create an Order Management System that can automatically manage and update orders. These two options however require more technical work to set up and maintain. 

Step #6 -Link your payment service provider 

In order to receive orders and participate in the Google Shopping Actions platform, you will need to link your preferred payment service provider to your Merchant Centre account. You will then be required to authorize the payment processing and billing agreement. 

This payment service is the one that will be used to charge you for the Google Shopping Actions service based on the pay-per-sale model as well as process payments that are made by users towards the purchase of your products through the Google Shopping Actions storefront.

Step #7 -Review and agree to the Terms of Service 

If you wish to use the Google Shopping Actions service, you will compulsorily have to agree to the Terms of Service provided. These terms include your responsibilities as a seller on the platform and the basic guidelines that need to be followed. 

The terms of service are designed to restrict the use of the platform for legal purposes only and prevent any untoward incidents such as fraud. The terms of service also cover the information that needs to be provided by you and the manner in which Google Shopping Actions uses this information to serve you as well as your customers better.

Step #8 -Request a review of your account and publish 

Once you have followed all the aforementioned steps, it is important to review the storefront that you have set up to ensure that all tax calculations, cart-adding functions, display of brand assets, and so on are working as they are supposed to. 

To do this, visit the Review section and click on the Review My Storefront option. If you believe that the storefront is ready to go live, click on the Request final validation option that is found in the same Review section and this will submit your storefront for review. Once the review is complete, your storefront if approved will go live.

Google Shopping Actions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

#Q1 – What is Google Shopping Actions?

Google Shopping Actions is an online marketplace developed by the tech-giant Google that enables online retailers to provide convenient, personalized, and frictionless shopping experiences to their customers. 

Retailers stand to benefit greatly from the increased reach and visibility and are able to therefore build a loyal and bigger customer base and earn more revenue.

#Q2 -How to set up Google Shopping Actions?

In order to participate in the Google Shopping Actions service, you will need to create a Google Merchant Centre account that will serve as the control page for your Shopping Actions storefront. 

Once this is completed, you should create the storefront by uploading all the necessary details about your business, your products, and payment and billing and then submit it for review. 

Once the review process is completed and your storefront is approved, it is activated and users can then access and shop for your products.

#Q3 -How do I exclude items from Google Shopping?

While creating your product feeds on Google Shopping Actions, you will be able to exclude certain products that you have included in your Google Shopping product feeds by using the excluded_destination attribute. 

Therefore, in order to exclude any product on Google Shopping from your products list on Shopping Actions, simply use the attribute and set the value to Shopping Actions.

#Q4 -How can I sell on Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is a platform that allows retailers to pay for advertising space and these Google Shopping Ads, sometimes referred to as Product Listing Ads (PLAs), allow customers to gain access to the seller’s website if they want to purchase a product. 

These listings or ads are available to Google users depending on their search queries and customers can then easily compare the pricing and other details of a wide number of products under one digital roof.

#Q5 -Which platform allows the merchants inventory to automatically surface on the Google Assistant?

By using Google Shopping Actions to market and sell your products, you are given the opportunity to display your inventory on the Google Assistant which is an extremely popular service that is mostly used in handheld devices such as mobile phones where users are easily able to use voice commands in order to add items to their carts, make payments and place orders. 

This allows for an easy and seamless shopping experience that retailers can take advantage of to boost their sales. This service is also made available to users of the Google Home devices

#Q6 -Where do my products appear on Google Shopping Actions?

If you choose to sell on Google Shopping Actions, your products are displayed across a range of Google services such as Google Assistant, Google Search, Google Images Search, YouTube, and Google Shopping. 

This allows for a vastly improved reach that can do wonders for brand development while at the same time helping you rake in more revenue through more sales and a better conversion rate.

#Q7 -What promotions are available in Google Shopping Actions?

Google Shopping Actions allows you to add certain Promotions to your storefront with the help of promotion feeds wherein you can provide your customers with offers and promotional concessions on products of your choosing. 

These offers and promotions if used correctly can greatly increase customer interest in the product and also help retailers improve their conversion rates and thereby generate more revenue. 

#Q8 -How are refunds processed in Google shopping Actions?

If a customer has returned order and the return has been successfully processed by the merchant, the merchant can process refunds from the Merchant Centre Page. Understand the refund policy of the Google Shopping Centre service by reading the terms of service.


We hope that by reading this article, you now have a better understanding of how Google Shopping Actions works and how it can benefit your business and help you improve sales and online retail performance. 

If you need further information on how to boost your business with Shopping Actions, you can read this article. For more comprehensive information on how to use Google Shopping Actions, visit the official Google Merchant Centre help page.


CEO and co founder of AdNabu. Exploring the intersection of data and marketing