Onboarding Guide

Choose your programs

Each Merchant Center program — including Shopping ads, surfaces across Google, and Shopping Actions — offers a different way for you to get your products in front of customers. After you’ve entered your business information, you’re ready to select programs. We recommend selecting all of the programs that meet your business objectives. You’ll be able to add more programs, or cancel existing ones, after you’ve finished onboarding.

You don’t need to complete the onboarding process all at once. Your progress is saved automatically, and you can return to finish the process at a later time. You’ll see your progress for each of the programs you’ve selected in the “Pending tasks” section of your “Overview” page in Merchant Center.

Note: To see a full list of available programs after you’ve created your account, click on Growth in the left menu, then click Manage programs. Information about relevant programs may also appear on the “Opportunities” page of your Merchant Center account. You can sign up for and explore these programs at any time.

Choose the programs that fit your objectives

Pick the programs that fit your needs. Information you share when you enroll in one program will automatically populate in any other programs you choose. This means you’ll only need to enter program information, such as product data or shipping policies, one time.

Surfaces across Google

Enable product data to show on surfaces across Google and let people find information about your products across various Google touch points. Showing your products across Google is free. Learn more about surfaces across Google


Surfaces across Google is available in the US.


  • Deliver rich information widely. Your detailed product information can appear on Google Search and other Google services.
  • Connect with customers where they are. Reach customers when they're searching for your products.
  • Increase your visibility. Drive traffic to your website for order fulfillment.

Read the policies you need to follow to advertise products using surfaces across Google. 

Shopping ads

With Shopping ads, your product data, rather than keywords, is used to decide when and where your ads show. The product data you submit to Merchant Center contains details about the products you sell. We'll use these details when we match a user's search to your ads, making sure to show the most relevant products. Learn more about Shopping ads


Shopping ads are available in more than 40 countries.


  • Better qualified leads: Increase the quality of your leads by featuring product information directly in your ads. This can help people make informed purchase decisions, and also makes them more likely to complete a purchase on your site.
  • Easy retail-centric campaign management: Instead of using keywords — the main tool Google Ads uses to surface relevant products — Shopping ads use the product attributes you defined in your Merchant Center data feed to show your ads on relevant searches. 
  • Broader presence: More than one of your Shopping ads can appear for a given user search and, if relevant, a Shopping ad and a text ad can also appear at the same time. This means your reach or a single search could double.
  • Powerful reporting and competitive data: See how your products are performing at any level of granularity you want. For example, you can see how many clicks a particular brand of high-heeled shoes got just by filtering your products view — no new product groups needed. Use benchmarking data to get insights into your competitive landscape. Identify growth opportunities with impression share data and the Bid Simulator tool.

Types of Shopping ads

You can advertise your store and your products using 3 types of Shopping ads: 

  • Product Shopping ads. These highlight your product details based on the product data you submitted. They’re shown to potential customers who are searching for your products.
  • These ads are created based on the product data that you submit in Merchant Center. Learn more about what makes up a Product Shopping ad
  • Showcase Shopping ads. These highlight your product details based on the product data you submitted. They’re shown to potential customers who are searching for your products. 
  • You’ll create these in Google Ads by grouping related products together. That way people can compare several of your products and click the right one. Learn more about what makes up a Showcase Shopping ad
  • Local catalog ads. These highlight related products together on the Google Display Network based on the product data you submitted for local inventory ads.
  • These use feed data provided from local inventory ads to engage users on the Google Display Network, and help drive traffic to your local stores. Learn more about local catalog ads 

Read the policies you’ll need to follow when using Shopping ads.

Shopping Actions

If you’ve selected the US or France as the country for your business, you may be eligible to participate in Shopping Actions, which allows you to sell your products directly on Google. Learn more about Shopping Actions


Shopping Actions is available in the US and France.


  • Promote customer loyalty: Let users know they can get items quickly and directly from your store or warehouse without shipping delays.
  • Appear across Google platforms: Improve the shopping experience with a frictionless experience across multiple Google surfaces. 
    • In the US, you can sell your products directly on Google.
    • In France, you can sell your products on shopping.google.fr and on Google Assistant.

Read the participation criteria to learn if Shopping Actions is a good fit for your business, and review the policies merchants need to follow when participating in the program.


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