Onboarding guide

Choose your programmes

Each Merchant Center programme – 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 programmes. We recommend selecting all of the programmes that meet your business objectives. You'll be able to add more programmes, 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 later. You'll see your progress for each of the programmes that you've selected in the 'Pending tasks' section of your 'Overview' page in Merchant Center.


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


Choose the programmes that fit your objectives


Pick the programmes that fit your needs. Information that you share when you enrol in one programme will automatically populate in any other programmes that you choose. This means that you'll only need to enter programme information, such as product data or shipping policies, once.

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 fulfilment.

Read the policies that 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 that you submit to Merchant Center contains details about the products that you sell. We'll use these details when we match a user's search to your ads, making sure that you 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 that you have 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 for a single search could double.
  • Powerful reporting and competitive data: See how your products are performing at any level of granularity that 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 shop and your products using three types of Shopping ads: 

  • Product Shopping ads. These highlight your product details based on the product data that you have 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 that you have 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. Find out more about what makes up a Showcase Shopping ad
  • Local catalogue ads. These highlight related products together on the Google Display Network based on the product data that you have 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. 



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