How to Sell On Google Shopping

How to Start Sell On Google Shopping — A Complete Guide

New to eCommerce and have the perfect website and products but not yet getting the expected traffic and sales?

Well, you are not alone. 90% of eCommerce startups fail, and getting visitors to their online store is one of the biggest challenges they face.

Besides having a great website, you also need to have a sustainable marketing strategy in place to earn the attention of your customers and lead them to your e-store.

One treasure trove of a marketing method is product feed marketing and the crowning king of this method is Google Shopping. This incredibly powerful channel allows you to showcase your products to millions (if not billions) of potential customers.

And the icing on the cake is, this channel lets you promote your products for absolutely free.

In this beginner’s guide, we will explore how Google Shopping works and how to sell on Google Shopping from your WooCommerce store.

Let’s get started.

What is Google Shopping, and how does it showcase products?

The official domain of Google Shopping is a price comparison engine, a specific search engine for finding products. Users can search for a product, and the engine will return relevant product results.

You, as a Woo store owner, can list your products and expect them to appear in your customer’s searches on the platform. Of course when they are searching for similar products to yours.

However, Google Shopping is way more than that. Think of it as the mighty tree with branches sprawling across the vast landscape of the internet.

Google Shopping has two types of product listings –

  • Free listings – Also known as organic listings. Any online/offline store can list its products on Google Shopping for free.
  • Paid listings – Also known as product listing ads or Google Shopping product ads. The platform allows you to run paid promotions on some or all of your free listings.

Coming back to the analogy of Google Shopping is a mighty tree; Google displays Google Shopping listings across its display network, partner sites, and search engine results.

Here’s a list of platforms where your customers may see your product listings –

  1. Google search engine result pages (SERP)
  2. Google Popular products on SERP
  3. Google Rich results on SERP
  4. Knowledge panel on SERP
  5. Google Shopping
  6. Google Images
  7. Google Maps
  8. Gmail ads
  9. YouTube
  10. Google Lens
  11. Google News
  12. Google Finance
  13. Blogger
  14. Mobile apps
  15. Millions of Google partner sites

In other words, Google will display your products all over the internet. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to connect with a vast audience and boost your overall traffic and conversions.

Before we jump to learning how to sell on Google Shopping, let’s take a look at how the platform displays your products.

How does Google Shopping showcase your products?

Let us walk you through the process with a practical example.

Let’s say a shopper is looking for “earbuds”. The first thing that people would do is go to Google.com and search for it.

Google Shopping is integrated into Google’s mothership (Google.com), and the result page it returns is known as the SERP. Here’s what the SERP looks like for “earbuds.”

Google Shopping SERP

When a user searches, particularly for a product, Google activates Google Shopping features on SERP. One of the tools of Google Shopping is the filter bar in the left corner. Users can filter and refine their search in this section.

Filter bar on SERP

The search giant also activates the shopping tab when someone searches for a product.

Shopping tab

This button will take them to the official Google Shopping domain and display the comparison results for “earbuds.”

How to sell on Google Shopping

The Google Shopping result page showcases relevant results from different brands that have listed similar products on Google Shopping. Here, users can also extensively filter their search from the filter panel.

Shoppers can check product details by clicking on any entry.

Google Shopping single entry

They can visit the retailer’s product page to complete the purchase by clicking the listing’s title. In addition, they can choose to view more product details.

Product detail page

How Google displays Google Shopping ads

Google Shopping is the most effective advertisement platform for running product ads online. These shopping ads have a 30% higher conversion rate than traditional text ads and you can achieve an exceptional return on ad spend through these ads.

In the above example, we have only covered Google SERP and Google Shopping domains. Let’s examine how Google displays the Google Shopping product ads on these platforms.

Let us inform you that Google prioritizes shopping ads over any other content.

How to sell on Google Shopping

Therefore, shoppers will see the Google Shopping ads at the top for the search – “earbuds”

Google Shopping SERP ads

Similarly, the Google Shopping result page will also display the ads at the top of free listings.

Google Shopping ads

Now that we have a better understanding of how Google Shopping works, your next question is – how do I sell on Google Shopping or how to add my products to Google Shopping, right?

Let’s find out.

How to sell on Google Shopping

Here’s how to start selling on Google Shopping process works –

  • Product feed – If you have an eCommerce store with a decent number of products or regularly make changes to your products, you must create and submit a product feed file. This file includes all your product details.
  • Google Merchant Center – Google Shopping is a search engine and doesn’t have a product management panel of its own. Google Merchant Center is the platform that manages product listings and distribution for Google. It’s free to open and requires you to go through some basic and advanced steps in two stages.
  • Connecting WooCommerce to Google Merchant Center – To add your products to Google Shopping, you need to connect your Woo store to GMC (Google Merchant Center) and complete a series of steps to confirm you are a valid online store.
  • Uploading product feed – Once you have done all of the above, you can then upload your product feed to GMC. GMC will then create product pages for your products and distribute them on Google platforms, including Google Shopping.
  • Creating Google Shopping ads – You need to connect that GMC account to a Google Ads account to create Google Shopping ads.

This was your answer to how to list my products on Google Shopping and How to sell on Google Shopping. Let us now explain every step in detail.

Creating a Google Merchant Center account

The product feed is the most important element of this entire process. Therefore, we will cover that later in detail.

Let’s start with the easiest task: Creating a Google Merchant Center (GMC) account. Go to GMC’s official domain and sign up or log in with a Gmail address.

Google Merchant Center

The Gmail ID should be your official or regular-use email ID because you will need this same Gmail to create a Google Ads account as well. Right after you input your Gmail and set a password, the platform will ask some basic questions.

Enter business info

The next screen will ask you whether you want to lead your audience to your WooCommerce website or to your brick-and-mortar store.

select How to sell on Google Shopping

We have already mentioned that Google Shopping allows offline store owners to list their products on the platform as well. When a user clicks the title of those product listings, they will be redirected to the store’s map location (Google Maps).

The first option is for you as a WooCommerce store. It will redirect the users to your product pages.

Buy on Google Checkout experience update

The middle option you saw in the above screenshot refers to the Buy on Google Checkout experience. Through this option, shop owners/retailers in the USA and France were able to directly sell on Google Shopping.

Shoppers were able to check out directly on Google Shopping without visiting the store. Retailers like you could use this feature without any monthly or other fees.

The platform allowed you to integrate third-party payment gateways of your choice and receive payments. This Buy Now button was available for SERP, Google Shopping, and YouTube.

However, Google officially ended the Buy on Google service in October 2023.

Instead of this service, Google has introduced a more streamlined checkout experience that takes your customers directly to your checkout flow. It automatically adds the products to your store’s cart and leads them to checkout quickly, saving them from the multistep checkout process.

select platform

In the final GMC account setup window, you can select your platform and sign up for their newsletter. You will receive a confirmation email, and after account verification is complete, you can proceed to the next steps.

sign up GMC

We must mention that GMC has a new version called Google Merchant Center Next. They are slowly rolling out the new version to new users. You may get redirected to the new user interface after signing up.

How to sell on Google Shopping: Setting up Free product listing on GMC

Here’s the list of steps you need to complete for GMC to distribute and showcase your products.

How to sell on Google Shopping

Step 1 – Input your WooCommerce store business details

Enter business details

Enter your business address, location, and phone number in this tab.

Step 2 – Verify your WooCommerce website

This is a crucial step. Before you learn or implement how to sell on Google Shopping, you need to confirm with GMC that you have a valid online store and that you are the owner of the website.

Start by entering your website URL in the following box.

input website link

Now comes the technical part. GMC offers several ways to verify your website.

verify website
  1. If you have a custom-made eCommerce website, you can get a code in your email and place it in your header section.
  2. If you are using a hosted eCommerce platform, for example, WordPress.com, you can verify by following the instructions.
  3. If you have access to your hosting server, you can add a meta tag under your <head> tag or upload an HTML file to verify.
  4. You can also verify through Google Tag Manager.

We assume you have developed your own WordPress WooCommerce website on a hosting server. In that case, you will have to pick the Add an HTML or File option.

Option 1 – Adding an HTML tag to the header

add HTML tag

Copy the given code and log into your WordPress admin panel. Go to Appearance>>Theme Editor and then find the file named Header or Theme Header (header.php).

Paste the code within <head> </head> tags as you can see below.

adding HTML tag

Update the header.php file, come back to GMC, and hit the verify button.

Option 2 – Upload an HTML file to your server

If you have access to your hosting server control panel, you can access your file server and upload the given file. After that, click the verify button on Google Merchant Center.

Once you are done, GMC will display a similar screen.

How to sell on Google Shopping  - website verification

Step 3 – Adding Shipping, Tax and Return policies

You can set your Shipping, sales tax, and return policies according to what you have set on your WooCommerce store.

Return policies

Step 4 – Adding products to Google Merchant Center

This step is your answer to how to add products to Google Shopping. First, you need to decide whether you want to add products one by one or in bulk. As a WooCommerce store, you must upload products in bulk through a product feed.

GMC offers you multiple ways to add products.

Here’s how it looks in the classic version of GMC.

add products

And here’s how it looks on GMC Next.

adding products on GMC

Let’s discuss the options.

Connect to WooCommerce

If you’re already using WooCommerce, you can easily link it to your Merchant Center. Your product management stays in WooCommerce, and everything smoothly shows up on Google without any changes to your WooCommerce setup.

However, we would discourage this method, because you can’t control any attributes or add GMC preferred custom attributes to it. As a result, your products may not appear in all expected search results.

Add products from a file

This is the best option for you. You can create a product feed file and connect/upload using this method. We will explain and walk you through this method later in the article.

Use a Google Sheets template

You can choose to create a feed file in Google Sheets.

Google Sheets

Simply connect your GMC to your Google Sheets using the “Use Template” button and insert your product details under the template.

Google Sheets template

GMC Next will automatically update the file according to your set time. However, this method is manual in terms of inserting product details. You need to manually collect your product data and paste them under the attributes.

Add products one by one

If you only have a few products to add, you can fill out a form with all the necessary details about your product. After adding, you can make changes, delete them, or add more whenever you want.

Add products using API

For big inventories or frequent updates, you can use the Content API option. But fair warning – it needs some tech know-how. It lets you schedule updates, so you’re in control of when your changes go live.

Step 5 – Agree to Google Terms & Policies

View and agree to Google’s terms and policies.

Step 6 – How to sell on Google Shopping – Final Review

How to sell on Google Shopping complete

Google will review your data to verify whether it meets their product data specifications. If not, GMC will recommend you fix the Merchant Center errors you have in your account before they can display your products.

What is a Google Shopping product feed and how to create one?

Through product feed marketing you can promote your WooCommerce products on multiple channels across the vast expanse of internet. But what is a product feed in the first place?

If the marketing channels are different airports and the products are the passengers then the product feed is the airplane itself. It carries your products and delivers them to different channels for promotions.

A product feed file is nothing but a Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet export file. You can insert all your product data in it and upload it to different channels and the channel will create product pages based on the data inside the feed file.

Let’s take a look at what a feed file looks like –

Google Shopping product feed

You can upload product feed files to different channels such as Amazon, Google Shopping, Facebook, Bing Shopping, Instagram, Idealo, PriceGrabber, eBay, TikTok, Snapchat, etc. When you upload the feeds, these channels will fetch your product details from the file and generate product listings/pages inside their platform.

Thus you can reach a massive audience with minimum effort. You must also create and submit product feed files to generate product ads on different platforms such as Google Shopping, Meta channels, Snapchat dynamic ads, etc.

As a result, you can significantly boost your traffic, conversions, ROAS, and revenue. When it comes to the question of how to add items to Google Shopping or how to sell on Google Shopping, the product feed takes center stage as the essential prerequisite.

Google Shopping product feed specifications

Every channel including Google Merchant Center or Google Shopping has some product feed specifications you need to follow. The channel has some specific guidelines and attribute requirements.

What are attributes?

Let’s take a look at a product feed example –

Google Shopping product feed example

Notice the column headers? These are different characteristics of your products such as prices, descriptions, titles, brands, categories, discount or sale price, availability, etc.

In a product feed, these are known as or called Attributes. Google supports a wide range of attributes, 55 to be exact.

However, not all of them are required. But we must remind you that the more info you provide (attributes), the better chance your products will have to be seen by the right shoppers.

Here are the most common or essential Google feed attributes –

  • Product ID
  • Title
  • Description
  • Product URL
  • Category
  • Image URL
  • Stock Availability
  • Regular Price
  • GTIN/MPN
  • Product Condition
  • Brand

How to create a Google product feed

You can create a Google Shopping product feed in several formats such as XML, CSV, TXT, and TSV. As we have already mentioned, you can use software such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or any code/text editors to create a feed file.

Simply collect the attributes, set them as column headers, and paste your product details under them. However, this manual method can crash your plane, or worse the airports may even reject it to land and overall, it would be a nightmare to manage and fly this thing!

In short, you will need a product feed management tool. The best on the market is CTX Feed, a product feed management plugin for WooCommerce.

Let us quickly explain why it is the best Google Shopping plugin.

  • It has a built-in template for Google Shopping that automatically populates all necessary attributes and knows all formatting and guidelines.
  • CTX Feed automatically collects and pastes your product data in the feed.
  • It has an automatic update feature on set intervals.
  • The plugin supports feed connection through URL/SFTP/HTTP/FTP methods.
  • Comes packed with all necessary custom fields that can be enabled on a single toggle.
  • You can map your website categories with Google’s category structure.
  • Allows you to exclude incomplete and out-of-stock products from the feed automatically applying filters.

Overall, CTX Feed automates the feed generation, connection, and update process to streamline your tasks.

How to create a product feed using CTX Feed

If you are wondering how to sell on Google Shopping, CTX Feed has the majority of the tasks covered for you. The plugin is the most popular in the WordPress plugin repository.

However, we recommend the CTX Feed pro version for optimal results.

Let’s first install the plugin and go to settings.

CTX Feed settings

Click on the Custom Fields tab and enable the necessary custom attributes.

enable custom fields

MPN, GTIN, and Brand attributes are some of the most essential attributes of a Google product feed. But, unfortunately, WooCommerce doesn’t have these fields on its product pages.

Adding custom fields through a plugin or coding is a complex task. CTX Feed saves you from that hassle as you can see.

Now, you can go to your product pages and find the custom fields under the Product Data >> Inventory tab. Input your value so that CTX Feed can automatically collect this data when creating a feed.

input custom field values

To add brands you can either create from individual product pages or go to Products>>Brands by CTX Feed menu.

adding brands

Finally, assign the brand from product pages.

assign brands

Another task we want to do before we get into feed generation is mapping categories.

category mapping

Click to create a new category mapping attribute.

add new mapping attribute

Select your merchant.

select merchant

Finally, map your existing WooCommerce website categories to Google categories.

category mapping

This gives you better chances to appear in relevant searches. Let’s create the feed now.

create a new feed - How to sell on Google Shopping

Select your channel from the dropdown.

select channel

CTX Feed will automatically populate necessary fields.

product feed - How to sell on Google Shopping

For Google Categories, make sure you select your custom attribute.

assign attribute

Hit the generate button to create your feed.

Here are the filter options if you are using the pro version.

product feed filters

Find your feed file on the Manage Feeds page. This page also lets you set automatic updates.

feed list - How to sell on Google Shopping

Here are the available feed file settings.

feed settings -  How to sell on Google Shopping

How to create a product feed using CTX Feed: Video Tutorial

How to sell on Google Shopping – Uploading or Connecting the product feed

Coming back to step 4 – adding products to Google Merchant Center. Let us walk you through the classic GMC version first. Select the multiple options.

How to sell on Google Shopping - add products

Next, select your target country, language, and checkmark where you want to showcase your products (free listings, shopping ads, etc.).

setup destinations

Select the Scheduled Fetch option. This option allows you to connect your feed through a URL.

Scheduled fetch - How to sell on Google Shopping

Enter your feed link and set automatic GMC update frequency.

feed setup

This update frequency works parallelly with CTX Feed’s update features and always keeps your data across the platforms accurate and updated.

Hit Fetch Now for GMC to collect your product data immediately.

Fetch now

After successful upload, it will display the available products.

How to sell on Google Shopping

If you are using GMC Next then select the Add Products from a File option.

product upload options

Paste your Google Shopping product feed link and set your update fetch frequency.

product uploaded

Click continue and GMC will upload your products from the connected feed link. The best thing about CTX Feed is the plugin already knows what Google requires and generates feeds according to that without you worrying about it.

As a result, you will probably never have rejection issues or errors if you follow the above simple steps. Along with free listings, you can connect your GMC to a Google Ads account and create product listing ads through shopping campaigns.

Wrap up

This was our answer on how to sell on Google Shopping. I hope this article will guide you to list your products on Google Shopping and grow your online shop business manifold.

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