Buy on Google for Search and Shopping will shut down Sept. 26, the company announced today via an email sent to participating retailers.
Why we care. Google says it is dropping Buy on Google to create a new “streamlined buying journey for shoppers” that makes it easier for retailers to sell on Google and YouTube.
What Google is saying. A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land:
- “Our goal is to support an open ecosystem by connecting shoppers directly with merchants, and this is a big priority for us. We developed a new streamlined checkout process that allows shoppers to go directly from Google to the checkout flow on a merchant’s website when they’re ready to buy. We’ve received great feedback from merchants and users. Buy on Google was a small feature that a very limited number of merchants used, so we’re investing in this new buying experience instead.”
New pilot. We’re told that more merchants are already using Google’s new checkout pilot than Buy on Google. Google has created a new form if you’re interested in the new checkout pilot.
Here’s what we know about Google’s plan for a “more streamlined buying journey for shoppers,” according to this page:
- “Instead of a multi-step buying journey, people who are ready to buy will now have the option to go directly from Google to the checkout flow on your website. Once there, they will see the chosen product already in their shopping cart and can checkout on your site with whatever payment method they select. We will be piloting this experience on Google and YouTube with select merchants and will share more information as we’re ready to take on additional partners.”
The email. Here’s a copy of an email Google is sending to merchants today:
Building great checkout experiences is something we’re focused on, and are always evolving. We’re writing to inform you that, as of September 26, 2023, the current Buy on Google program will be ending in the United States. We have some new channels that we’re excited to be testing (more info below), however, we wanted to share some key details about Buy on Google.
- Your participation in Buy on Google will end on September 26, 2023 and no listings on Search or Shopping will show the Buy on Google option. If you are currently onboarding, you will be removed from the process today.
- All orders received through September 2023 should be fulfilled with return policies honored, regardless of program termination.
- You have the option to terminate your participation in the program sooner than September if you feel this choice is more beneficial for your business. Please reach out to support for assistance with doing this.
- Order data will be available for one year post program ending. You can access your reports via the instructions here.
- No action is required from you to end the program.
We will continue to introduce new ways to optimize the way users navigate to checkout on our platforms, and look forward to continued engagement with our retail partners on other products such as our new checkout pilot and all other areas of collaboration through our tools, insights and training.
We’re excited about the streamlined checkout experience we introduced last year, wherein consumers who are ready to buy will have the option to go directly from a listing on Google to the checkout flow on your website. Once there, they will see the chosen product already in their shopping cart and can checkout on your site with whatever payment method they select. *Merchants using the new Google checkout feature see an improvement in gross merchandise value (GMV) between 1-10%
- *Source: Google Data, US, Retail, March 2023. [Caveat: Data pulled for existing pilot merchants]
- If you are interested in joining the checkout pilot, please complete the interest form here.
- Please note, if you are selected to join the checkout pilot ahead of September, any current Buy on Google experiences you have running will stop showing effective immediately.
- For those not selected to participate in the pilot, we will reach out to you once the solution is more widely available so you can onboard then!
For any questions or support regarding terminating your participation, please contact our support team or reach out to your Google contact.