Pros And Cons Of Google Shopping Actions

how to get started on google shopping actions

Pros and Cons of Google Shopping Actions 

What Is Google Shopping Actions?

In their own words, Google Shopping Actions is “a shopping program that allows retailers to surface their products across different Google platforms”.

Google Shopping Actions was introduced in March of 2019 as a way for customers to make purchases from participating merchants through the Google Home, Android, and App platforms. Essentially, Google Shopping Actions enables you to sell products from your own site, directly on Google. Customers never have to leave Google nor visit your personal website. With Google Shopping Actions you have the ability to have your products appear all over Googles platform, pages, etc.

The Google Shopping Actions program has both pros and cons for customers and merchants. Knowing these will allow you to make a great decision if you want to use Google Shopping Actions or not.  One other item is that to aid the helpful experience on Shopping Actions, Google have got an algorithm that is continually machine learning. As a retailer, it’s worth leveraging this machine learning for your own benefit.

Our Test Of Google Shopping Actions

We have setup numerous shops on Google Shopping Actions for various customers and their brands.  It has the ability, once accepted into the program, to bring a huge amount of customers to purchase your products directly anywhere on Google they are shown.

While Google Shopping Actions can be extremely beneficial to setup and sell from, and people think ‘wow, once I am listed on Google the sales will pour in.” But just like anything on the Internet you have to do the marketing yourself.  Having your products on Google Shopping Actions doesn’t mean it will gain any sort of traction by itself. You have to do the work and this involves knowledge of marketing, bidding on listings, and having a decent budget.

For customers, the pros of using Google Shopping Actions include:

-One-stop shopping from a variety of merchants 

Having a single resource to find just about any product a customer needs is a great con.  Hey why do you think Amazon is so popular (it’s not the books :D). Did you know that in 2022 85% of all product searches start on Amazon or Google. In other words, more than four out of five people who (probably) want to buy something start looking for that something on one of these two platforms.

-Ease of use – just say “Hey Google, buy paper towels”

The ease of using Google to buy something is simple and it is growing. In 2022 44% of customers who use their voice-activated speaker weekly say they use the device to order household items weekly.

-Frequent promotions and discounts from merchants

Promotions allow you to distribute online offers in your Buy on Google listings. When you add promotions to your Buy on Google inventory, customers see a promotional banner on the product details page for applicable products. This link can increase the appeal of your products and encourage customers to buy.
-Order history and purchase tracking across platforms

– People Are Comfortable On Google

Shopping actions allow for increased visibility of your brand, and  being able to shop directly through Google will definitely increase trust among potential customers. What is good about Google Shopping Actions is that even if someone has never bee on your website, they know and trust Google and are comfortable making purchases.

The cons of Google Shopping Actions include:

-Extreme Competition

The best thing about Google Shopping Actions for customers is the wide variety of pricing.  Customers can instantly see who is selling what and for what price. For the merchant though this means you have to have very competitive pricing to even compete in this marketplace.

-Can be cumbersome to setup for comparison shopping

For a product to be listed in a compare, you must accurately add all product data, and this can be a lot if you are not used to adding these thing.  The product data includes such things as product identifiers – brand, gtin, mpn, and everything else you can add. You also must have accurate product identifiers in your structured data and visually on the product landing page. The main issue is that even if you have everything correct does not guarantee you will be in a listing, many other factors are considered by Google, many of which are not publicly known.

– You Must Use Google’s Shipping Guidelines

You cannot be casual with Google Shopping Actions shipping. You must at all times follow Googles shipping guidelines and get products packaged, mailed, and delivered within their time-frames too.  This isn’t an issue for a large retailer with a big staff, but at a sole-proprietor who does all this themselves or even with 1 or 2 people it can be a huge time sink.  Make sure you factor in hourly rate to product cost when determine value and profit.

How Do You Get Setup On Google Shopping Actions?

If you’re not already set up with Google Shopping, you will need to set this up prior to using Shopping Actions. You will need two plaforms to do this:

  • Merchant Center: This is where your feed lives and is managed. Click here to get started on Merchant Center.
  • Shopping Campaigns: To run Shopping ads, you will need to create your ads in the AdWords platform. From here you can import the feed information, optimise the ads and campaigns and manage click costs and budgets. Do that here at the Google Ads set up page.

Once you’re done with the above you have just a few more steps.

  1. You will first need to fill out a form by Google for Retail to express your interest in joining the program.
  2. Once approved, you will need to accept the terms & conditions in the Shopping Actions Tab of your Google Merchant Center account, along with finalizing the settings
  3. Once completed, request validation from your GMC account and you will be notified by Google once you receive the approval.

To be a top retailer, your defect rate needs to be less than 2%, meeting standards is 2-10% and any retailer with a defect rate above 10% will be considered ‘below standards’. You will not get penalized for not being a top retailer.

Two other factors for top retailers as of this writing.

  • 300+ Orders: Over the last 90 days you need to have had over 300 orders or more.
  • $15,000 in sales: Your total sales over the last 90 days need to be $15,000 USD or more.


Google Shopping Actions

Google Shopping Actions







Shopping Actions is a Google program that allows customers to purchase items directly from Google search results and through the Google Assistant. The program has both pros and cons for businesses.

The main con of Shopping Actions for merchants is the level of price competition.

For businesses, the main pro of Shopping Actions is that it allows businesses to reach more customers. Additionally, businesses can track purchases and measure the effectiveness of their ads.

The main con of Shopping Actions for businesses is that it is a new program and businesses are still figuring out how to best use it. Additionally, businesses have to pay a commission on items that are sold through Shopping Actions.

If you have questions about Google Shopping Actions or need help getting setup, contact us.

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Joey Stardust Founder
Creator of quality designs and thinker of fresh ideas. Started working with computers in the distant past 1997. Was a long time Solaris and Windows NT administrator. Moved to Web & Social in 2002.

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