Such a far-reaching company as Google - well, in fact, the company is now called Alphabet -, aiming to actually become synonymous with the world wide web itself, just couldn’t stay out of e-commerce platforms. While Google used to provide payment solutions for e-commerce (and still kind of does), a Google Merchant account is not quite the same as a merchant account as understood elsewhere in this guide. But rather, an account to use Google Merchant Center. What is it all about then?
The complicated story of Google products for e-commerce
Sure, one could argue that as soon as you have a live website to sell things on the internet, you are using e-commerce tools by Google, simply because most of your clients will find you through the search engine. And that is already quite something, so that may be why Google doesn’t do payment processing anymore.
Origins of Google merchant accounts
Google merchant accounts are in fact accounts for using Google Merchant Center. Google Merchant Center is part of Google’s Business solutions, together with AdWords, AdSense, Analytics, Local Business Center, and so many other apps which nearly every e-commerce uses or has used at some point.
Google did in fact go further when it marketed Google checkout, an online payment processing service built to compete against PayPal and launched in 2006. The problem was that eBay was owned by PayPal and Amazon, which offered Amazon Payments, did not want to hear about Google Checkout on their sites, so the solution was barred from the two main e-merchants and Google pulled this service out in 2013.
Google still has a limited e-wallet product called Google Wallet, though.
So what does Google Merchant Center do? It’s basically a way to publish one’s product to a marketplace owned by Google. But more generally, a way to promote one’s business on Google, that is, on the Internet.
Google Merchant Account holders can therefore:
- Upload their product data to Google Merchant Center and earn many benefits in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation);
- Use Google Shopping Campaign promotion tools;
- Track and remarket visitors;
- Push online ads to the phones of customers near your stores,
- Use Google express same day or next-day delivery services where applicable.
Setting up a Google merchant account
The key benefit of a Google merchant account is that it’s as easy as 1-2-3 to get up and running with it. It just takes a few steps, to complete the administrative and technical parts necessary to start using Google merchant center.
Setting up a Google Merchant account is easy. On the “administrative” side, you’ll only need to submit:
- website URL,
- shop name,
- country of origin,
- customer service information,
- private contact information.
Understandably, Google will care relatively more about how “good” your website is, in order to let you use their service.
Google therefore requires business websites to provide:
- accurate contact information,
- complete and secure checkout process,
- clear return policies,
- clear billing terms and conditions.