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In this help center, you can find content for both Merchant Center Next and the classic Merchant Center experience. Look for the logo at the top of each article to make sure you're using the article for the Merchant Center version that applies to you. 

Add a checkout link for your free listings

A custom icon for Merchant Center Classic Article Header.

This article only applies to products for sale in the United States.

Using the checkout feature, you can make the shopping experience quick and easy for customers by giving them the option to go directly to your checkout landing page or cart from your free listings. One way you can do this is to provide a URL template of your checkout or cart page at the account level. Another way is to turn on checkout at the individual product level by providing the checkout link template [checkout_link_template] attribute in your product feed.

On this page:


Benefits

Typically, all traffic from free listings goes to a merchant’s product details page. From there, some shoppers make a purchase. The checkout feature allows shoppers who are ready to buy to go directly from a free listing to a merchant's checkout or cart page. This allows merchants to retain traffic to their product details page while also making it easy for shoppers who want to buy now.

  • Better results: Drive more gross merchandise value (GMV) and gather higher conversion rates.
  • Ease of shopping: Help ready-to-buy shoppers complete their purchase with less friction.
  • Ease of participation: Minimal effort is required to participate.

To track performance of this feature Google recommends turning on auto-tagging in Merchant Center and linking your Merchant Center account and Google Analytics property.


How it works

Any free listings with a valid checkout or cart URL will display a checkout capability which redirects ready-to-buy customers directly to your checkout or cart page for products with a valid checkout URL. The existing “Visit site” link will remain for all free listings, allowing users who want to learn more about the product to visit the existing product details page.

Note: If you implement the checkout feature, shoppers may not view the product details page on your site prior to making a purchase. You may want to clearly provide product warnings and other required disclosures on your checkout page, in addition to the product details pages, or opt these products out of this feature.

An illustration of the checkout feature going directly from the Buy now button to merchant's cart.

Minimum requirements

  • You must be opted into free listings
  • Follow all free listing policies
  • Provide a valid checkout or cart URL

Instructions

You can opt in the checkout feature by providing your URL at an account level or at a product level. Only one method is allowed, so be sure you only opt in at the account level or the product level, not both.

If you have a general URL template that is applicable across all of your products we recommend you provide your URL template at the account level (Method 1 below).

If you have a customized checkout or cart URL and would like to opt in a subset of your products for checkout, we recommend you use the product level option (Method 2 below).

Checkout URL requirements

The URLs that you provide must:

  1. Support the HTTP GET method which enables adding an item to the cart or checkout to allow users to complete purchase. You can find URL examples in the following section.
  2. Match the domain of your free listings or your products won't be approved for checkout.
  3. Direct the customer to a checkout or cart page that doesn’t require signing in.

Products from Feed/API

Method 1: Opt in at the account level

Opting in at the account level will apply the URL template you enter to all eligible products. If you opt in at the account level, make sure you aren't sending the [checkout_link_template] attribute in your product feed.

  1. In your Merchant Center, click the tools and settings icon Tools and setting menu icon [Gear] and select Business information from the “Tools” menu.
  2. Go to the “Checkout” tab and click Include link to your cart or checkout page.
  3. Add the URL and click Submit.
  4. To test the URL, click Test.
    1. This will randomly select a product and open the checkout page for that product in a new tab. If the URL has any issues, a blank page will be displayed. If you receive a blank page, we suggest reviewing your URL for accuracy.

For more information on URL formatting, expand the “Account level URL formatting” below.

Account level URL formatting

Merchants will need to provide a standard URL template that will be applied to all eligible free listings products. The URL template should include the {id} parameter to ensure shoppers are directed to the correct checkout experience:

  • {id} (required): Associated with a product ID. Google will substitute this with the ID [id] product data attribute.

Checkout URL template example:

The account level checkout URL template can either specify the required product parameters as part of the query string or as part of the URL path. For example, if your product feed had the following attributes:

title

color

item_group_id

id

Red Google Malibu sunglasses

red

12345

12345-R

Green Google Malibu sunglasses

green

12345

12345-G

Example #1: Take users to your store’s cart page:
https://www.mystore.com/cart?productid={id}

If your store supports the above URL template, Google will then substitute {id} with your product ID from the feed. Users will be redirected to your store’s cart page to complete the purchase.

title id URL

Red Google Malibu sunglasses

12345-R

https://www.mystore.com/cart?productId=12345-R

Green Google Malibu sunglasses

12345-G

https://www.mystore.com/cart?productId=12345-G

Example #2: Take users to your store’s checkout page:
https://www.mystore.com/checkout/{id}

If your store supports the above URL template, Google will then substitute {id} with your product ID from the feed. Users will be redirected to your store’s checkout page to complete the purchase.

title id URL

Red Google Malibu sunglasses

12345-R

https://www.mystore.com/checkout/12345-R

Green Google Malibu sunglasses

12345-G

https://www.mystore.com/checkout/12345-G

Method 2: Opt in at the product level

If you wish to opt in to the checkout feature only for certain products, or if your URL uses parameters other than ID, add a checkout URL to your product feed using the checkout link template [checkout_link_template] attribute. You can upload checkout URLs to your main product feed or you can use a supplemental feed as well. If you opt in at the product level, make sure you haven't entered a checkout URL at the account level in your Merchant Center settings.

Product level URL formatting

Each product variant should have a unique URL and the URL domain should match the domain that's being used for your free listings. This URL redirects users to your checkout page with the specific product variant added and available to complete purchase.

Product level checkout URL example:

In this example, update your product feed using the checkout link template [checkout_link_template] attribute with a unique checkout link for each product.

title item_group_id id

checkout_link_template

Red Google Malibu sunglasses

12345

12345-R

https://www.mystore.com/checkout?sku=12345-R

Green Google Malibu sunglasses

12345

12345-G

https://www.mystore.com/checkout?sku=12345-G

Alternatively, you may use a supplemental feed in which case you could upload a supplemental feed with the following attributes:

id checkout_link_template
12345 https://www.mystore.com/checkout?sku=12345
67890 https://www.mystore.com/checkout?sku=67890

Opting out

To opt out of the checkout program, select the “Don't include a link to cart or checkout” button and make sure there aren’t any values added to the checkout link template [checkout_link_template] attribute in your product feed.

URL validation

To ensure continuity and a good shopping experience, we validate the checkout or cart URLs to confirm that they work as expected and redirect shoppers to a valid, working checkout or cart page. This is a recurring process that can take up to 24 hours to complete each time.

Note: Google regularly examines the checkout or cart pages to check if the URL template works as expected. Ensure that you allow Google Storebot to access your site.

Landing page recommendations

If your checkout or cart experience has the right information to build customer confidence, it'll help them complete their purchase more efficiently. It’s important that your customers can verify who they’re purchasing from, what they’re purchasing and how much they’ll pay for it. We recommend clearly communicating your brand and order details by making sure the following details are visible on your checkout landing page:

  • Your brand: This helps your customers verify that they’re in the right place.
  • Product information: Include all relevant details such as image, quantity, price, and product variants like color and size.
  • Price: Cost breakdowns give users confidence that they’re paying the right price.
  • Product disclosures: You may want to provide product warnings and other required disclosures on your checkout or cart page, in addition to the product details pages.

Tip: We recommend that products you're providing to Google have complete and accurate data attributes which help users buy with confidence. If you’re not already sending the following information for each product, you may consider updating your feed to include:

  • Returns cost and window
  • Shipping times and cost
  • Minimum order value
  • Free shipping thresholds
  • Availability

Crawled products

Add checkout links to crawled products
Google retrieves up-to-date information about your products and offers directly from your website. You can mark up your product pages with a cart or checkout url using the checkoutPageURLTemplate [checkout_link_template] schema attribute. The URL should correspond to a specific product or variant.

Once you have marked up your product pages, Google can retrieve the cart or checkout URL and turn on the option for ready-to-buy shoppers to go directly to your cart or checkout landing page from your free listings. The existing “Visit site” link will remain for all free listings, allowing users who want to learn more about the product to visit the existing product details page.

Note: If you implement the checkout feature, shoppers may not view the product details page on your site prior to making a purchase. You may want to clearly provide product warnings and other required disclosures on your checkout page, in addition to the product details pages, or opt these products out of this feature.

Remove checkout links from crawled products
To remove the checkout capability for your crawled products, remove the checkoutPageURLTemplate schema attribute from your product pages.

Note: Product data passed via feed or content API will be prioritized over crawled data.


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