Google partners with Shopify on online shopping expansion

By: Sarah Perez

Google today announced it’s partnering with Shopify, giving the e-commerce platform’s more than 1.7 million merchants the ability to reach consumers through Google Search and its other services. The integration will allow merchants to sign up in just a few clicks to have their products appear across Google’s 1 billion “shopping journeys” that take place every day through Search, Maps, Images, Lens and YouTube.

The company didn’t offer extensive details about the integration when it was announced during Google’s I/O Developer event this afternoon. But the news follows a series of updates to Google Shopping resulting from Amazon’s increased investment in its own advertising business, which threatens Google’s core ads business.

Google made its pitch to online advertisers today, describing how its so-called “Shopping Graph” would now begin to pull together information from across websites, price reviews, videos and product data pulled directly from brands and retailers, to help better inform online shoppers about where to find items, how well they were received, which merchant has the best price, and more.

For example, when you now view screenshots of products in Google Photos, there will be a suggestion to search the photo using Google Lens, to help you find the item for sale. And Google announced earlier this year it was pilot-testing a new experience on YouTube that allows users to shop products they learn about from their favorite creators — a move to counteract the growing threats from TikTok and Facebook, and their own investments in e-commerce.

But before any of this Shopping Graph functionality can really work, Google needs consumers to find shopping for products via Google actually useful. That’s partly why Google made it free for merchants to sell their products across Google this past year — a change that Google says drove an 80% increase in merchants on Google, with the “vast majority” being small to medium-sized businesses.

That’s where the partnership with Shopify comes in, too. Though this integration doesn’t mean that every Shopify storefront will be included on Google — the merchants have to take an action to make that happen — it would be almost a no-brainer for them not to leverage the new option.

Shopify isn’t playing favorites when it comes to distribution, however. It’s integrated with other large platforms, too, including Facebook and TikTok. And it’s been working with Walmart to expand the retailer’s online marketplace, as well.

Investors seemed happy with the Shopify news this afternoon. Shortly after Google’s announcement, the stock popped 3.52%.


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