Google Shopping for Shopify book
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Google Shopping for Shopify:

The Definitive Guide

by Joshua Uebergang of Digital Darts

9. Google Merchant Center Programs

How to Use Each to Increase Profit of a Shopify Store

Advertising is totally unnecessary. Unless you hope to make money.
Jef I. Richards, Professor of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at Michigan State University

Google Shopping Merchant Center Programs

The shopping feed is optimised, you continually work on bids plus bid adjustments, and you manage the structure of campaigns. How can you further optimise your Google Shopping or Performance Max campaigns? The answer is with Google Merchant programs that include product reviews and free listings, to drive further sales.

The Nine Types of Google Merchant Programs

There are strategies to squeeze even more sales out of Google Shopping by applying for Merchant Center programs. The programs give retailers more value for shopping ads. Not all are relevant to all stores, but they often boost conversions so it is wise to implement what you can for your store.

You can apply for each program by clicking “Growth” in the left navigation of Merchant Center. Click “Manage programs” or “Manage programmes” then enable the program you wish to participate in. Some will instantly enable while others require an application form.

1. Shopping Ads

Google Shopping ads let you promote products across Google and partner websites. A feed is submitted to Merchant Center containing product information such as price, title, and an image.

You can get started with Google Shopping ads by clicking “Shopping ads setup” from the cog icon in Merchant Center. Run through the setup of Merchant Center by doing the tax configuration, shipping policies, verifying your website, providing business information, submitting products in a feed, then linking your Google Ads account.

Google shopping ads setup

2. Free Product Listings

Showcase your products on Google without paying a pretty penny. Free product listings let shoppers see products from your store across Google properties like Google search, Google images, Google Shopping, and Google Lens.

In the screenshot below, the first row is paid shopping ads. The second row is free product listings.

Free product listings example of Japanese food

Free product listings do not replace shopping ads since the paid ads get far more visibility and sales volume.

Every Shopify merchant needs to be on this program since it costs nothing and takes little effort to set up. Once we set this up for Google Ads clients, most get an easy 1% of total store sales through this channel.

Set Up

The set up for free product listings is the easiest of all Merchant Center programs to configure. Enable “Free product listings” from Merchant Center by clicking “Growth” then “Manage Programs”. Once you follow Google’s guidelines, your free listing status will be marked as “Active”.

If you use the Google channel app in Shopify and haven’t followed anything in this book on Google Shopping, you can follow Shopify’s tutorial that contains a detailed PDF to get going.

Best Practices

  1. Everything you do to optimise the Google Shopping feed for shopping ads will help free product listings.
  2. Enable auto-tagging to track conversions. From the cog icon in Merchant Center, click “Conversions Settings”. Google adds an identifier to your product page URLs to track each click from your free listings to your online store. Use auto-tagging to view performance for free listings in Google Analytics.
  3. On the same “Conversions Settings” page, link your Google Analytics account to configure the attribution model and lookback window that suits you.

3. Customer Reviews

Not to be confused with the “Product Ratings” merchant program that focuses on product reviews, Google Customer Reviews let customers review their purchase experience. The ratings are different from product reviews in that they are about the store as a whole.

A pop-up is presented to customers on the order confirmation asking if they wish to receive a survey via email after their order has been delivered. The review email asks for a 1-5 star rating followed by a request for comments to inform other shoppers.

Google Customer Reviews lightbox in Shopify

One unique benefit to Google Customer Reviews is the review widget that is able to be placed across any page of a store. Few merchants today use this feature.

The real benefit comes in the form of seller ratings. Customer reviews fuel seller ratings that appear in shopping and search ads. A seller rating can show up as a percentage rating such as “86% positive”, or as a 1-5 star rating alongside the number of reviews, in ads.

Google seller ratings for coffee cups

A store’s seller rating changes over time. This is partly attributed to customers leaving new ratings and partly Google tweaking the ratings feature to exclude irrelevant or incorrect ratings.

According to Google, seller ratings can be collated from the following sources:

  • Google-led shopping research.
  • Google Customer Reviews—a free program that collects reviews from customers after they’ve made a purchase.
  • Shopping reviews for the store domain, which include comments from independent review websites like and, in addition to Google search customers.

Set Up

Your goal is to benefit from seller ratings, not necessarily use Google Customer Reviews. For seller ratings to function, you must have 100 reviews through a partner platform and be in an eligible country.

The most popular way to get setup with seller ratings in Shopify is to follow my tutorial on implementing Google Customer Reviews. A second way is using your own review system, like Yotpo, which is compatible with the program.

4. Product Ratings

Google Product Ratings show an aggregated 1-5 star rating for the advertised product. The program is different to seller ratings in that it applies to individual products rather than the whole store. Our client Etrnl uses the program. You can see how much an ad stands out for “wedding rings” because they have 5-yellow stars and 93 reviews.

Google product ratings for wedding rings

A store with Product Ratings can grab the searcher’s attention. Likewise, a product with no ratings among a slew of products who do have ratings, will struggle to attract the click.

Curious as to its effect on shopping ad performance, at Digital Darts we implemented Product Ratings for a client that had over 500 reviews across a SKU range slightly larger. Most SKUs did not have a review. After 30 days, the click-through rate increased 6% and transactions through shopping ads were slightly higher.

Set Up

Product Ratings are available in any country that has Google Shopping. The store needs at least 50 product reviews to be approved in the application. When approved and everything is set up right, Product Ratings will show when a product has three or more reviews.

My recommended app for product reviews that integrates with the Product Ratings program is Its features are comprehensive at an affordable price. Other review apps that we’ve successfully got Product Ratings set up on, are reviews, Yotpo, and Loox.

Most review apps will provide you with an XML feed to upload to Merchant Center as well as an additional support page or staff to get you setup. I have found Google’s support team, who you’ll hear from when applying to the program, excellent in helping you get set up on Product Ratings. The setup with Yotpo is a little different as you enable the feature inside their app for it to work. (That’s what you get when you pay five-figures a year for the software.)

You can inspect the “Product reviews” section in Merchant Center to see what reviews do not have the green “Ready to serve” status. Any that have a yellow or red status need your attention. The most common reason for product reviews having a yellow or red status, is the shopping and Product Ratings feed do not include a strong identifier of either the gtin or mpn attribute.

Product ratings approved in merchant center

5. Dynamic Remarketing

After you look at products in a store, how often do you see ads from that website following you around the web? It happens often because it is profitable.

Google’s dynamic remarketing program allows advertisers to show products that someone viewed or may be interested in. Google fills the ad space with the most recent items a user has viewed. To give you an example, I was looking at a product called the “DJI Mavic Pro Drone” on I have zero interest in drones, but alas, work beckons me for your benefit. I then jumped back to Google search to get tips on picking a good drone. This lead me to read a Drone buying guide where dynamic remarketing ads displayed at the bottom:

Google Dynamic Remarketing

The dynamic remarketing ad is a flexible format. Its appearance depends on the website, the ad location, and what Google thinks will perform best.

Set Up

To create dynamic remarketing ads for a Shopify, follow three steps:

  1. Link your Merchant and Google Ads accounts.
  2. Add remarketing code to your website. You only need one global site tag installed on each page. Few guides actually tell you how to do this because they don’t know themselves. I’ll help you out.
  3. Create the ads with the new audiences.

What I’ll cover is the remarketing code as well as best practices to profit from dynamic remarketing.

In your Shopify theme, go to the “Snippets” folder then create a file named dynamic-remarketing.liquid. Copy-and-paste the following code:

<!-- START Google Ads dynamic remarketing by v1.6 -->
{% assign AW-ID = "AW-GOOGLE_CONVERSION_ID" -%}{%- comment -%}Google Ads conversion ID.{%- endcomment -%}
{%- assign product-id = "product-id_variant-id" -%}{%- comment -%}The format of the product IDs in the feed. 3 accepted values "sku" (SKU of the variant e.g. aga-012), "variant-id" (variant ID e.g. 21283160948841), or "product-id_variant-id" (product ID underscore then variant ID e.g. 28541777444969_21283160948841).{%- endcomment -%}
{%- assign product-id-prefix = "shopify_AU_" -%}{%- comment -%}Prefix to product-id. Leave blank if there's no prefix. This is likely needed if product-id_variant-id is selected so 28541777444969_21283160948841 becomes shopify_AU_28541777444969_21283160948841.{%- endcomment -%}
{%- assign price-decimal-fs = true -%}{%- comment -%}If the decimal separator is a full stop like in USD and AUD currencies, set to true. If it is a comma like in some European countries, set to false.{%- endcomment -%}

{% if template contains 'product' or template contains 'collection' or template contains 'search' or template contains 'cart' %}
<!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics -->
<script async src="{{ AW-ID }}"></script>
  window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
  function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
  gtag('js', new Date());
  gtag('config', '{{ AW-ID }}');
  {%- if template contains 'product' -%}
    gtag('event', 'view_item', { 'items': [
      {%- if product-id == "product-id_variant-id" -%}
        { 'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ }}_{{ }}', 'google_business_vertical': 'retail' }
      {%- elsif product-id == 'variant-id' -%}
        { 'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ }}', 'google_business_vertical': 'retail' }
      {%- elsif product-id == 'sku' -%}
        { 'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ product.selected_or_first_available_variant.sku }}', 'google_business_vertical': 'retail' }
      {%- endif -%}
    ] });
  {%- elsif template contains 'collection' -%}
    gtag('event', 'view_item_list', { 'items': [
      {%- for item in collection.products limit:3 -%}
        {%- if product-id == "product-id_variant-id" -%}
          { 'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ }}_{{ }}', 'google_business_vertical': 'retail' }{% unless forloop.last %},{% endunless %}
        {%- elsif product-id == 'variant-id' -%}
          { 'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ }}', 'google_business_vertical': 'retail' }{% unless forloop.last %},{% endunless %}
        {%- elsif product-id == 'sku' -%}
          { 'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ item.selected_or_first_available_variant.sku }}', 'google_business_vertical': 'retail' }{% unless forloop.last %},{% endunless %}
        {%- endif -%}
      {%- endfor -%}
    ] });
  {%- elsif template contains 'search' -%}
    gtag('event', 'view_search_results', { 'items': [
      {%- for item in search.results limit:3 -%}
        {%- if product-id == "product-id_variant-id" -%}
          { 'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ }}_{{ }}', 'google_business_vertical': 'retail' }{% unless forloop.last %},{% endunless %}
        {%- elsif product-id == 'variant-id' -%}
          { 'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ }}', 'google_business_vertical': 'retail' }{% unless forloop.last %},{% endunless %}
        {%- elsif product-id == 'sku' -%}
          { 'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ item.selected_or_first_available_variant.sku }}', 'google_business_vertical': 'retail' }{% unless forloop.last %},{% endunless %}
        {%- endif -%}
      {%- endfor -%}
    ] });
  {%- elsif template contains 'cart' -%}
    gtag('event', 'add_to_cart', { 'items': [
      {%- for item in cart.items limit:3 -%}
        {%- if product-id == "product-id_variant-id" -%}
          { 'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ item.product_id }}_{{ item.variant_id }}', 'google_business_vertical': 'retail' }{% unless forloop.last %},{% endunless %}
        {%- elsif product-id == 'variant-id' -%}
          { 'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ item.variant_id }}', 'google_business_vertical': 'retail' }{% unless forloop.last %},{% endunless %}
        {%- elsif product-id == 'sku' -%}
          { 'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ item.sku }}', 'google_business_vertical': 'retail' }{% unless forloop.last %},{% endunless %}
        {%- endif -%}
      {%- endfor -%}
    ] });
  {%- endif -%}
{% endif %}
<!-- END Google Ads dynamic remarketing by -->

There are adjustments to make so the remarketing code works for your store:

  1. Replace AW-GOOGLE_CONVERSION_ID with your unique numerical number that is tied to the Google Ads account. Your value can be retrieved by going to “Tools” from the top-right, “Audience manager”, “Audience sources”, then clicking on “Details” under “Google Ads tag”.
  2. If needed, change other settings described at the top of the code so product IDs match the id attribute of your shopping feed.
  3. If the decimal separator for your store is a full stop like in USD and AUD currencies, set price-decimal-fs to true. If it is a comma like in some European countries, set it to false.

The code is now correct so let’s make it live. In theme.liquid, insert {% include 'dynamic-remarketing' %} immediately after the <head> tag.

With that done, your theme is set up for dynamic remarketing. You’re not done though. An alternate version of the code needs to be inserted on the order confirmation page because it is not connected to your theme.

Go to “Settings” in Shopify then “Checkout”. In the “Additional scripts” section, copy-and-paste the following:

<!-- START Google Ads checkout dynamic remarketing by v1.8 -->
{% assign AW-ID = "AW-GOOGLE_CONVERSION_ID" -%}{%- comment -%}Google Ads conversion ID.{%- endcomment -%}
{%- assign product-id = "product-id_variant-id" -%}{%- comment -%}The format of the product IDs in the feed. 3 accepted values "sku" (SKU of the variant e.g. aga-012), "variant-id" (variant ID e.g. 21283160948841), or "product-id_variant-id" (product ID underscore then variant ID e.g. 28541777444969_21283160948841).{%- endcomment -%}
{%- assign product-id-prefix = "shopify_AU_" -%}{%- comment -%}Prefix to product-id. Leave blank if there's no prefix. This is likely needed if product-id_variant-id is selected so 28541777444969_21283160948841 becomes shopify_AU_28541777444969_21283160948841.{%- endcomment -%}

<!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics -->
<script async src="{{ AW-ID }}"><script>
  window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
  function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
  gtag('js', new Date());
  gtag('config', '{{ AW-ID }}');

gtag('event', 'purchase', {
  'value': checkout.total_price_set.presentment_money.amount,
  'items': [
  {%- if product-id == 'product-id_variant-id' -%}
    {%- for item in checkout.line_items limit:3 -%}
    {%- unless forloop.first -%},{%- endunless -%}
      'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ item.product_id }}_{{ item.variant_id }}',
      'google_business_vertical': 'retail'
    {%- endfor -%}
  {%- elsif product-id == 'variant-id' -%}
    {%- for item in checkout.line_items -%}
    {%- unless forloop.first -%},{%- endunless -%}
      'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ item.variant_id }}',
      'google_business_vertical': 'retail'
    {%- endfor -%}
  {%- elsif product-id == 'sku' -%}
    {%- for item in checkout.line_items -%}
    {%- unless forloop.first -%},{%- endunless -%}
      'id': '{{ product-id-prefix }}{{ item.sku }}',
      'google_business_vertical': 'retail'
    {%- endfor -%}
  {%- endif -%}
<!-- END Google Ads checkout dynamic remarketing by -->

Like before, replace AW-GOOGLE_CONVERSION_ID. If needed, change other settings described at the top of the code so product IDs match the id attribute of your shopping feed.

You may notice there are already pre-existing audiences set up for you in these campaigns like homepage viewers, product page viewers, category page viewers, cart abandoners and converted customers. It’s certainly worth going further than these five to maximise your results. I have other best practices for you to follow.

Best Practices

  1. Update your privacy policy. The remarketing audiences feature in Google Ads lets you advertise to people who visited the store. There is information you need to include in your privacy policy to deal with this. Of course, consult a legal professional for advice. For further information, read “What to include in your privacy policy for remarketing“.
  2. Set a frequency cap. It’s great to show ads to people who are interested, after all, it can take six-to-eight touchpoints on average to get a conversion. However, bombarding the same select people in a short space of time can be infuriating for your potential customers and this can cause a negative impact on the brand. A good default frequency cap is 6 impressions per ad group. An alternative for frequency management is to let Google handle what’s ideal by selecting the campaign setting of “Let Google Ads optimize how often your ads show (recommended)”.
  3. Don’t run ads for products that a user wouldn’t want others to see on a shared computer. Engagement rings, creams for an itchy bum, hair regrowth shampoo are all examples of products you may wish to exclude from your remarketing campaign. Aside from the potential embarrassment for visitors, embarrassing product ads often violate Google remarketing policy.
  4. Set lower bids for people who didn’t view products. It’s still best practice to remarket to them. Since they haven’t been looking at specific products, they’re less likely to convert.
  5. Set higher bids for cart abandoners. On the flipside to the last point, people who got as far as putting items in their basket but didn’t purchase are more likely to convert as they are in the latter stages of the buying cycle. These audiences are worth bidding higher for. Other candidates for higher bids are those who show engaged behaviours like higher time on page, or more page views, on site than normal.
  6. Consider audience membership duration. This is the length of time the user will remain in your remarketing list. For product sales, you generally want to set this to 30 days.
  7. Use a different product title compared to Google Shopping. People have already shown interest in the product so you may want to use a different title compared to a shopping ad. Do this in DataFeedWatch by submitting the display_ads_title attribute.
  8. Test various ad copy. Someone who abandoned cart is in a different mindset to someone who viewed a page on the store 30 days ago. Use various ads in the different ad groups to test what works. A coupon may do well for a shopper who abandoned cart while a message of free shipping could resonate more with someone who recently visited the store.
  9. Use exclusions. Add customers to the various dynamic remarketing ad groups. If you want to remarket to these excluded audiences, create a dedicated ad group where you can customise messaging for them. Exclusions can be coupled with membership duration of audiences to target different time frames. For example, you can target people who visited the store 31-60 days ago by having a list of people who visited the store 60 days ago then excluding the 30-day audience.

6. Merchant Promotions

Google Merchant Promotions showcase special offers from the store. Acceptable offers include percentage discounts, tiered discounts, BOGO, free gifts, shipping offers, and more. Retailers often see an increase in click-through rate and a boost in transactions when running a promotion.

Google Shopping promotion example with promotion ID

Not all special offers can be advertised. Exclusions include vague discounts, restrictive promotions, and some other conditions. For more help on what is permitted to get promotions approved, download then keep on hand the Merchant Promotions Quick Guide.

Set Up

The Merchant Promotions program is limited to fewer countries compared to Seller Ratings, Product Ratings, and Dynamic Remarketing. You can apply for the program by clicking the three vertical dots in Merchant Center, going to “Merchant Center Programs”, then enabling the program. You will be taken to an application form.

Once the Merchant Center account is approved, follow Google’s guidelines to get setup on Merchant Promotions.

Best Practices

  1. Allow at least 24 hours to accommodate for the review time and corrections. Promotions submitted around Black Friday Cyber Monday should be done at least one week before. Disapprovals and feed errors happen all the time. Google is strict about Merchant Promotions.
  2. You can either submit a promotion directly in Merchant Center or create a promotions feed through software like DataFeedWatch. I find it easiest to do directly in Merchant Center. If the promotion does not apply to all products, your shopping feed needs a promotion_id attribute that corresponds to the unique ID of a promotion so Google can match the two. One promotion_id can apply to multiple products.
  3. In the event you forgot to set a timeframe of when you want the promotion to run in Merchant Center, use the promotion_display_dates attribute so the promotion displays in a period after approval.
  4. The promotion must add value to customers. The discount or promotion must not already be in the product price, or on the landing page, of the shopping feed.
  5. Avoid overly promotional text, punctuation, and capitalisation. For example, “BUY TODAY For 10% OFF!!” or “Mega Christmas Sale On!”.
  6. Keep the promotion title free of redemption codes and numerical dates.
  7. Double-check promotional codes. There are fewer frustrating things for a shopper than finding a promotion code only to reach the checkout to discover the offer doesn’t work. Expect these people to abandon cart and hate your brand.
  8. Once a promotion is approved, you cannot edit it. If you want to change it, stop the promotion then submit a new promotion_id.

7. Buy On Google

Buy on Google for Search and Shopping will no longer be available starting September 26, 2023. Eligible merchants will be able to use Buy on Google for YouTube in the US.

People seek an easy way to purchase with relevant and meaningful assistance. How people search today is different to 2018 with the growth of voice-activated systems like Google Home leading to longer search queries.

One of Google’s answers to this trend is Buy On Google, which streamlines the purchase process by enabling people to buy directly on the Google platform through Google Assistant and Google Search. Formerly known as Shopping Actions, it used to charge commission upon sale, but now the big G takes zero commission fees.

Qualities of the platform according to Google is a “shareable list, universal shopping cart, and instant checkout with saved payment credentials [that] work across and the Google Assistant.” The shopping cart works across multiple devices so someone can add makeup to their cart while on their phone. Later that night in the kitchen using Google Home, they add a spatula to their cart then purchase both items at once.

Buy on Google example in shopping

It is early days for Buy on Google. I suspect stores selling consumable products, selling a large number of commodity SKUs below $30 (as product research is minimal), or with a loyal customer-base benefit most from the program that enables quick purchases.

Set Up

The program used to be stupid hard to get set up on, requiring API work, unique feed rules, and custom policies. Today, it is easier than ever yet still takes some effort.

Requirements are strict. Buy on Google is only available in the US. Retailers need to ensure their products are not on the restricted policy that is tighter than Google Shopping. Returns need to be processed in two days.

Once you meet the criteria, how you get setup depends on your feed solution. If you use the Google channel in Shopify, follow Shopify’s steps to set up Buy on Google.

If you manage the feed through another provide, follow this overview to get setup:

  1. Apply for “Buy on Google” from Merchant Center by clicking “Growth” then “Manage Programs”.
  2. Enter your business information.
  3. Choose how you want to manage orders.
  4. Link a payment provider.
  5. Review the terms of service.
  6. For more help, see Google’s comprehensive documentation.

Best Practices

To drive growth from the program, you need to excel in Google’s retailer standards. Each retailer receives an updated rating at the start of each month analysing key performance indicators over the past 90 days. The rating considers metrics like item defect rate, shipping different rate, and item availability. High performers get prominent visibility and other benefits. The retailer standards are in the platform’s best interest because a poor customer experience may lose Google a customer for life to Amazon.

8. Local Inventory Ads

Do you have a physical brick-and-mortar store? Local inventory ads is for you. The program drives footfall to your store and boosts customer experience by letting people see what is available for purchase offline while online. Local inventory ads allow brick-and-mortar stores to gain market share against pure ecommerce business models.

The ad format does great at blending retail and online together. A local inventory ad is similar to a regular shopping ad, but it contains a distance on the image of how far the product is from the user’s location. Let’s say I’m a hermit with no idea of the bakeries or shops around me so I search “white bread” on my Nest Hub:

Local inventory ads example for Coles on Nest Hub

If I click the Coles listing, I’m taken to a page known as the “local storefront”. The storefront page provides information including store inventory, opening times, and directions to the store. Since the business also sells in the online store, I can click to the product page like a normal shopping ad.

Local inventory ads storefront for Coles on Nest Hub

Local inventory ads lets you choose to drive traffic to either a Google-hosted page or your own store. The program lets you promote your offline inventory to an online audience.

Set Up

To qualify for local inventory ads, the business must have a physical store in the list of eligible countries.

If you qualify, get set up by following the local inventory ads onboarding guide. There is a fair bit to do like getting your Google My Business configured with Merchant Center, creating then submitting multiple feeds, verifying inventory with Google, and configuring your Google Ads to run local inventory ads. See the local inventory FAQ for further help.

When you pass the verification process, I recommend you set up Google Analytics for local storefront. This puts tracking on the local storefront page, which is a Google-hosted page, to measure pageviews, clicks, directions, and calls to the shop. The more you measure offline, the better.

Best Practices

  1. Enable local inventory ads with shopping ads in the same campaign. Google says this action allows them to serve the best ad format for a shopper based on their location, device, and product availability.
  2. Consider the time and day. The temptation may be to only run local inventory ads while your store is open. Running your ads around the clock is still worthwhile. The ads are crammed with information, which may lead a customer to either purchase online or wait for the store to open. I recommend bidding up in peak times with a custom ad schedule.
  3. Set granular locations in your location settings to see the performance of different regions. You cannot change the maximum radius for local inventory ads. Google serves local inventory ads when a shopper is within a reasonable driving distance from a store’s location.
  4. Experiment with the variables in your control. Like everything else in Google Ads, optimisation involves testing then testing again. Experiment with different imagery, titles, and account features. You may find a lever to pull harder.
  5. Split product groups by channel. Separate items that can be bought in-store from those that are online only. Such segmentation can be done by using the “Channel” and “Channel exclusivity” subdivisions in a product group. This way you are able to bid more or less where it could be advantageous. For example, if retail converts well at 1pm, but your online sales convert great at 7pm, you may want to bid higher for the in-store items at 1pm and online items at 7pm.
  6. Segment by click type. This is done in the dimensions tab. There are two click types of local inventory ads that let you know what someone clicked on: 1) to view an ad with the online product shown and 2) to view an ad with the local product shown. The click types are helpful for Shopify stores running both local inventory and shopping ads to understand performance between the two.
  7. Segment by device and store visits. First, make sure you are eligible for store visit conversions to see the influence of ad impressions and clicks on store visits. Then in Google Ads, add the “store visits” data as a column. Next, click the Dimensions tab then the download icon to segment by click type and device.
  8. Enhance the customer experience by directing people to the Shopify store, advertising products that are on display to order, or showing a click-and-collect option in the ad. More information can be found on local inventory ads optimization.

9. Free Local Product Listings

Free local product listings for local inventory ads are what free product listings are to shopping ads. The program lets you promote in-store products for free across Google properties like search, images, shopping, and maps.

Back to my search for white bread, I hate having to drive 25.8km to pick a loaf of bread. So I scroll down to discover free local product listings on my Nest Hub to find a supermarket 7.5km away:

Free local product listings

Set Up

The steps and requirements to setup free local product listings are nearly the same as local inventory ads:

  1. Follow policies for free product listings on Google and policies for local inventory ads.
  2. Apply for “Free Product Listings” from Merchant Center by clicking “Growth” then “Manage Programs”.
  3. Add your business information.
  4. Link your business profile to Merchant Center.
  5. Submit your product feed and local product inventory feed through Google Merchant Center.
  6. Verify your inventory. A Google representative will make sure you have inventory in a brick-and-mortar store.

For more help, see Google’s implementation guide.

Google Merchant Center Programs FAQ

  1. Product Ratings.
  2. Promotions.

The product ratings program lets merchants show a 1-5 star rating for their products.

The promotions program lets merchants showcase special offers.

  1. In Merchant Center, click “Growth” from the left navigation.
  2. Click “Manage programs” or “Manage programmes”.
  3. Click “Get started” for the program you wish to participate in.

Some programs instantly enable while others require an application form.

Yes, Google Merchant Center is free. There are features like free listings and product ratings that cost nothing to use. If you wish to run shopping ads, you will pay per click.

Infographic: Google Merchant Center Programs

This whole chapter has been turned into an infographic! And it’s now yours to easily reference how you can get setup on, and optimise, all Google Merchant Center programs.

Download It

Right-click the original, full-size image link here then save it to your computer. If you do Google Ads for a living, may I suggest you get it professionally printed and hang it in your office.

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You are welcome to share the infographic on your website, blog, or elsewhere online. Here is the embed code for you to copy-and-paste:

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About the Author

Joshua Uebergang
Joshua Uebergang is owner and Head of Strategy of certified Shopify Marketing Expert company Digital Darts. He helps Shopify stores rapidly get more visitors and profit. At 6’9″, he plays basketball. To save your store from wasted ad spend and tap into growth opportunities, you can claim your free Google Ads audit. See the Digital Darts Google Ads service for Shopify. You can also contact us if you’re interested in working with a Google Partner and Shopify Expert on your Google Ads.