Author Archives: Commerce Blog

Testing, Testing – One, Two, Hands Free

Calling all South Bay residents: we are piloting a new payment app and would love your feedback!

First, some background. Since we launched Android Pay, we've averaged 1.5 million new registrations each month in the US alone and there are now over 2 million locations that accept tap and pay. But we’re not stopping there—we're busy working to bring the convenience of Android Pay to more countries and a growing list of stores and apps.

At the same time, we also wanted to explore what the future of mobile payments could look like. Imagine if you could rush through a drive-thru without reaching for your wallet, or pick up a hot dog at the ballpark without fumbling to pass coins or your credit card to the cashier. This prompted us to build a pilot app called Hands Free that we’re now in the early stages of testing. It lets you pay in stores quickly, easily, and completely hands-free.
While the pilot is still in early stages, we’ve come to a point where we're ready to invite people in the South Bay to test Hands Free with us. Hands Free is currently available on Android and iOS devices and is rolling out to a small number of McDonald’s, Papa John’s, and local eateries in the area.

Once you’ve installed and set up the app, Hands Free uses Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi, and location services on your phone to detect whether you’re near a participating store. When you’re ready to pay, you can simply tell the cashier, “I’ll pay with Google.” The cashier will ask for your initials and use the picture you added to your Hands Free profile to confirm your identity.

At select stores, we’re also in the early stages of experimenting with visual identification so that you can breeze through checkout even faster. This process uses an in-store camera to automatically confirm your identity based on your Hands Free profile picture. All images captured by the Hands Free camera are deleted immediately.

To learn more about the Hands Free pilot, please visit the Hands Free website.

We’ll continue to improve the technology behind Hands Free, and we’re excited to hear your feedback. As an added thank you for testing Hands Free, we’re offering up to $5 off your first Hands Free purchase at participating stores.

Posted by Pali Bhat, Senior Director, Product Management

Source: Google Commerce

Fresh grocery delivery to your doorstep

Everyone wants milk delivered with their cookies -- that’s why we're excited to start adding fresh groceries to Google Express. Since we launched Express, you’ve ordered enough water to fill 10.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools and enough toilet paper to circle the earth 15 times. But we’ve also heard your feedback that you’d love for Express to help you check off your entire grocery list, including fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, dairy, and frozen foods.

And so today we're launching a pilot in select Los Angeles and San Francisco neighborhoods, so that you can get same-day delivery of your fresh groceries. We’ll start in areas of LA including Pacific Palisades, Westwood, Venice, and Marina del Rey, and in San Francisco neighborhoods such as the Financial District, the Mission, and Potrero Hill, along with many others. You can check the maps below to see if you’re eligible.

Below: pilot coverage areas in Los Angeles and San Francisco

Whether you need to restock your pantry, get some ingredients for tonight’s dinner, or just need some help carrying the heavier stuff -- all you have to do is place your order, and we'll take care of the rest. Fresh grocery deliveries start at $2.99 for members and $4.99 for everyone else, and you can choose when you want them delivered in two-hour windows, available every day. While you’re going about your day, your groceries are kept fresh and cold from the grocery store all the way to your doorstep.

If you’re new to Google Express, sign up now to get a free 3-month trial membership.* Enjoy $15 off your first purchase by entering code TRYGROCERY at checkout.**

We’re always working to make Google Express better, and we hope that fresh groceries make the service even more useful for you.              

Posted by Prabhu Balasubramanian, Product Manager, Google Express

*3-month trial offer expires Jan. 31, 2017. After free trial, membership auto-renews. Cancel at any time.
**Applies only to 1st purchase (even if it’s less than the coupon value). Valid until 3/31/16 while your account’s active. Alcohol, gift cards, membership costs and shipping & service fees excluded. For complete terms and conditions, see

Source: Google Commerce

Send money to anyone in your contact list with Google Wallet

No email? No problem! Now you can send money to anyone in your contact list using just a phone number.

When you send money to a phone number, the recipient will get a text message with a secure link. They can simply enter their debit card to claim the money and it will be available in their bank account within minutes.

To start using this feature, look for a new version of the Google Wallet app on Google Play or in the App Store in the next few days.

Keep the feedback coming
We’re thrilled with the great feedback we’ve received on the new Google Wallet app, and we’re working hard to make the experience even better.

In recent weeks, we’ve released a number of updates, including:
  • Improved contact suggestions, so you see the people you send money to most often first 
  • A security feature that lets you lock the Google Wallet app with the tap of a button 
  • The ability to link a second bank account 

We’d love to hear more about what features you want to see in Google Wallet. Share your feedback with us in the app or on our Twitter or Google+ accounts.

The Google Wallet Team
Get it on Google Play   

Source: Google Commerce

Google Express: you be Santa; we’ll handle the rest

Every year, there’s a joyous feeling in the air as excitement builds to that special holiday moment with friends and family. Leading up to the holiday break, though, we know you have loads to do, like shop for gifts, pick up holiday decor, and (of course) bake cookies for Santa. Last year, folks from Boston, Chicago, DC, Manhattan, West LA and the Bay Area trusted Google Express to get their holiday must-haves delivered — whether it was the gingerbread cookies in the nick of time for the holiday party, festive lights for the home, toys for the kiddos, or an epic ugly sweater for the company contest. This year, we’re thrilled to reach more than 95 million people (nearly 1/3 of the US — hurrah!) with massive new coverage across most of the Midwest and all of California.

Give me s’more, you say? To help with your to-dos, we’re pleased to work with more of your favorite stores so you can relax and do all your holiday shopping in one place — the palm of your hand.
Last year, we noticed that average searches for ‘tableware’ grew three times in December compared to the rest of the year, while searches for ‘baking’ related items peaked a week before Christmas. So, to help with your holiday meal prep, we’re delighted to bring you Bed Bath & Beyond and Sur La Table, where you can find bakeware and festive dinnerware perfect for your holiday gatherings.

In the Bay Area, we saw four times the number of searches for ‘Christmas tree’ right after Thanksgiving, while searches for ‘holiday decor’ tripled the week after. This year, we’re thrilled to work with Orchard Supply Hardware and Balsam Hill to have beautiful trees, home decor and so much more, delivered right to your door.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Google Express and get a free 3-month membership trial* to see how we can make your holidays all the merrier. And for a limited time, enjoy $15 off your first purchase by entering code REINDEER15 at checkout.**

Happy shopping and happy holidays!
The Google Express Team

*3-month trial offer expires Jan. 31, 2017. After free trial, membership auto-renews. Cancel at any time.
**Applies only to 1st purchase (even if it’s less than the coupon value). Valid until Dec. 31, 2015 while your account’s active. Alcohol, gift cards, membership costs and shipping & service fees excluded.
For complete terms and conditions, see

Source: Google Commerce

Google Express: Now available to over 25 million more people in the Midwest

Today, we’re delighted to launch Google Express to over 25 million more people, with overnight delivery in the Midwest—across six different states and the Greater Chicagoland area. That’s right, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin: we’re coming to a doorstep near you.

Since launching Google Express just under two years ago, we’ve made many shoppers very happy, alongside our wonderful stores. Whether same-day in our seven metro areas or overnight in Northern California, it’s been a pleasure to see the service become part of people’s lives.

One thing is especially clear: people love saving time with us. That’s what we’re really about. Think back-to-school shopping that gives back those last moments of summer. Or family shopping that leaves more time for the family.

In the Midwest, we’re delighted to offer Google Express with the following wonderful stores. Deep breath... Ace Hardware, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Fry’s Electronics, Kohl’s, L’Occitane en Provence, Moosejaw, PetSmart, Road Runner Sports, Staples, Toys “R” Us & Babies “R” Us, Treasure Island Foods, Ulta Beauty, The Vitamin Shoppe, Walgreens and Wrigleyville Sports. Phew!

So, we hope you enjoy easy, convenient and speedy shopping, Midwesterners. We’re certainly going to enjoy being in your part of the world—getting things you need delivered from stores you love.

Posted by Brian Elliott, General Manager, Google Express

Source: Google Commerce

Reach more customers online: Add GTINs to your Google Shopping data feed

With Google Shopping, finding the right customers starts with creating a good product data feed: the better your feed, the more easily we can connect you with online shoppers, searching for what you sell. Key to creating a complete feed is clearly and accurately specifying which products you have for sale.

For most products, the manufacturer will provide a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) to uniquely and completely identify a product in the global marketplace. We’ve found that providing GTINs in your product data feed increases the likelihood that your offers are matched to the Google Shopping product catalog. This helps us surface relevant, accurate results on Google Shopping; in fact, early experiments indicate that offers matched to the catalog receive up to 40% more user clicks than those that do not1.

That’s why, as part of the 2015 update to the Google Shopping Products Feed Specification shared in June, we refined our guiding principles and requirements around GTINs. Starting September 15, we’ll require Google Shopping feeds targeting Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or the United States to submit valid ‘gtin’ and ‘brand’ for all products when the ‘brand’ is a designated brand and the ‘condition’ is ‘new’. At that time, we’ll disapprove offers that do not meet this requirement or are submitted with invalid GTINs.

If you don’t already have correct, complete GTINs in your data feed, here’s how you can easily find them:
  • Find GTINs individually. Look for the 12 or 13 digit number printed below the barcode on your product’s packaging. For example, the ASUS Flip C100PA DB01 10.1″ Touchscreen Chromebook should be submitted with a ‘gtin’ as 00889349062166 and ‘brand’ as ASUS. 
  • Find GTINs in bulk. GTINs are used in many warehouse management systems to identify and manage inventory and can often be exported from this in bulk. Check with your IT colleagues to see if they can help you get GTIN data in your feeds. 
  • Make sure you’re using the correct brand. Merchants may mistakenly give us the incorrect brand for a product by using ‘brand’ to indicate that a product is compatible with, or an accessory or replacement part for a product from that brand. For example, a mobile phone case that is compatible with an Apple iPhone 6 listing “Apple” as the brand is misleading to shoppers and can result in your ads being disapproved. Instead, it should provide the brand for the product, and use the ‘title’ and ‘description’ fields to explain compatibility information instead.
Note: It’s important to not try to make up a placeholder GTIN or use the same one for multiple, different products, as our systems will detect this and disapprove your offers. Once you’ve updated your data feed with valid, accurate GTINs, you can resubmit your feed for processing and get more of your products on Google Shopping.

In some rare cases, you’ll find products from a designated brand where no valid GTIN exists (these are often products where you are the sole merchant selling this product or for replacement parts). If you encounter this situation, we’re rolling out a new feature in Merchant Center that allows you to request a review of disapproved offers. Starting September 15, if you believe your item was incorrectly disapproved and would like to request a manual review, follow these steps to get your products approved and showing on Google Shopping:
  1. In the Products tab, click on the title of the item to view the page for that individual item. 
  2. Click the link for "Why is this item disapproved?" 
  3. Review the policies related to your item disapproval, and then check the box that acknowledges that you reviewed the information. 
  4. Select "Request manual review."
This gives our team a chance to review your products; if we determine that there is not a valid GTIN available, your offer will be reinstated.

We’re really excited to be working through this new requirement with you. Not only will it help improve the richness and relevancy of ads we show to potential customers, it has the chance to improve your performance on Google Shopping.

Posted by Rob Rekrutiak, Product Manager, Google Shopping

1.Google internal data, 2015

Source: Google Commerce

Pay your way with Android

Credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, cash, coins. Forget fumbling through your wallet next time you’re in a store—what if you could pay with just a tap?

Introducing Android Pay, the simple and secure way to pay with your Android phone.

Things are more interesting when we create them together. So we’ve approached Android Pay the same way we approach every other part of the Android family -- partnering with the ecosystem -- bringing together mobile carriers, payment networks, banks and retailers to deliver you choice and flexibility. And offering developers an open platform to collectively push mobile payments forward.

Tap to pay in stores
With Android Pay, you can simply unlock your phone like you normally do, place it near a merchant’s contactless terminal, and you’re good to go. Android Pay does all the heavy lifting. You don’t even need to open an app—just tap and go. You’ll also see a payment confirmation and get transaction details right on your phone.

Also, with select retailers, your loyalty programs and special offers will be automatically applied at checkout. For example, when you tap to buy a Coke at a vending machine, your MyCokeRewards will be automatically applied. With Android Pay the contactless terminal not only receives your payment info, but also your loyalty programs and offers.

Tap to pay in apps 
Making an online purchase? The days of entering your credit card and shipping address each time you make a purchase online will be a thing of the past. Just select “Buy with Android Pay” and leave the rest to us; checkout is as fast as a tap.

To make it easier for developers to add Android Pay to your favorite apps, we’ve designed our platform to work with any payment processor. And we’re partnering with top payments processors including Braintree, CyberSource, First Data, Stripe and Vantiv to make integration even easier.

The choice is yours 
With Android Pay you will be able to pay with your credit or debit card, across multiple Android devices, and at thousands of stores and apps that you already know and love. And by enabling bank apps to integrate with our platform, you’ll be able to add your credit and debit cards directly from bank apps for use with Android Pay.

It's still early days, but we're very excited and think that this type of open platform will help drive adoption in mobile payments.

Security is at the center of Android Pay
We know how important it is for you to keep your personal and financial information secure. Therefore, we’re working with leading payment networks and financial institutions in the US to deliver industry standard security tokenization, to support Android Pay’s launch later this year.

So when you shop at a store, Android Pay won’t send your actual credit or debit card number with your payment. Instead we’ll use a virtual account number to represent your account information -- providing you with an extra layer of security. And if your phone is ever lost or stolen, simply use Android Device Manager to instantly lock your device from anywhere, secure it with a new password or even wipe it clean of your personal information.

Shop at your favorites 
Android Pay will soon be accepted at over 700,000 store locations from your favorite brands across the US, and in over 1000 Android apps. And we’ll be adding more every day. 

Android Pay in stores

Android Pay in apps

Stay Tuned
Android Pay will be available on Google Play for download soon. And when your bank integrates, you could also activate Android Pay directly from your bank app. We are also working with major US mobile carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon) to help ensure that when you buy a new Android phone, you can walk out the door ready to use Android Pay.

Look forward to sharing more in the coming months.

Posted by Pali Bhat, Director, Product Management

Source: Google Commerce

#ExpressYourLove this Mother’s Day with Google Express

This Mother’s Day, everything is coming up roses.

Google Express is excited to celebrate this Mother’s Day by teaming up with 1800-Flowers this Sunday, May 3rd for a celebration in perhaps one of the most colorful (and sweetest smelling) ways possible -- with roses, gerbera, lilies and more.

So what’s on deck?

The party kicks off at The Village at Corte Madera located at 1618 Redwood Highway at the Center Court. Surprise mom with your own bloom creation at our free DIY workshop where you can learn a thing or two about the various flowers you can choose from: roses, oriental lilies, bells of ireland and more. Event starts at 11am and lasts until 6pm, with the “Build-A-Bouquet” bar open from 11am - 3pm or while blooms last.
A photographer will be on hand to capture your smiling face in front of our blooming backdrop featuring 30,000 fresh flowers, so you can send mom a digital postcard, wherever she may be.

And if you want to really go the extra mile for mom this Mother’s Day, enter the code EXPRESSLOVE at checkout for $15 off1 your first purchase on Google Express. Consider this your chance to finally settle who’s her favorite in the family. -- start shopping for gifts and win her over today.
Hope to see you and your families there!

1Applies only to 1st purchase (even if it’s less than the coupon value). Valid until May 15, 2015 while your account’s active. Alcohol, gift cards, membership costs and shipping & service fees excluded. For complete terms and conditions, see

Source: Google Commerce

Helping small businesses reach new customers with Google Shopping

When it comes to attracting customers, small businesses know that showcasing their products online can help them get in front of more people -- even when their physical store doors are closed. In fact, one-third of small business owners said new or existing clients engaged with them through their e-commerce websites at least once daily.1

But getting started with a website is just the beginning. Google Shopping helps small businesses like you tap into the power of customer intent to reach the right people with relevant products ads, when it matters the most. Here’s how two local businesses, Paper Culture and PUBLIC Bikes, used Google Shopping to gain a competitive edge and spark shoppers’ interest across the country by leveraging their strengths: unique designs and inspired products.

Paper Culture uses Shopping ads to connect with design lovers online

Unique, modern design is a top priority for Paper Culture, an environmentally-conscious stationery company that sells 100% post-consumer recycled cards, coasters, and other personalized products online. To complement their AdWords text ads, Paper Culture turned to Google Shopping to put their product designs front and center, and reach new customers with rich, visual ads that jump off the search page.

“One of the toughest challenges for us as a small business is that we don’t have the brand of our larger competitors,” says Chris Wu, CEO and co-founder of Paper Culture. “Google Shopping helps us tell our story through showing searchers our unique product designs, right on Google search.”

By coupling customer intent with Google Shopping’s image-focused approach, Paper Culture was able to highlight their designs in a cost-effective way -- ensuring that each shopper that clicked on a Google Shopping ad was an already-interested buyer. Through Shopping campaigns, Paper Culture decreased their cost-per-lead (CPL) by 50%, and saw 3x ROI overall when compared to their other online channels.

PUBLIC Bikes reaches more searching cyclists with Google Shopping

Multi-channel retailer PUBLIC Bikes is in the business of selling colorful, trendy city bikes with a mission to help people fall in love with urban biking. But as a small business that designs, manufactures, and sells their own merchandise, the team often found themselves short on time and resources.

“With a small team, it’s challenging to do everything we want to do and get our brand and products out there,” says Dan Nguyen-Tan, founding executive of PUBLIC Bikes. “We need a way to scale our marketing efforts and get in front of potential customers where they can discover and engage us. That’s why Google Shopping is so important: it helps us reach customers looking for our products across the country.”

PUBLIC Bikes used Google Shopping to find new customers beyond their brick-and-mortar stores. Bidding by product allowed them to more easily prioritize those products that were new or on sale, turning once low-converting search terms into profit. For every $1 invested in Shopping campaigns, PUBLIC Bikes was able to see 2x the ROI as compared to their other online channels.

A new hub for retailers, large and small

Whether you’re an ecommerce business or a multi-channel business, the new Google for Retail offers a one-stop hub to learn more about Google’s solutions for retailers of all sizes.

If you’re a small business like Paper Culture or PUBLIC Bikes, we’re introducing a new Shopping Campaigns page as a go-to resource to help you get up and running on Google Shopping and make the world your storefront. Here, you’ll find product overviews, success stories, tutorial videos, and help resources to show how Google’s various retail tools work together to let you find your shoppers, wherever they are.

Posted by Kim Doan, Product Marketing Manager, Google Shopping

1eMarketer, Do Small Business Websites Drive Client Engagement?, Feb 2015

Source: Google Commerce

Ordering food? Let Google Wallet help you with faster checkout.

After a long day, you're on your way home, phone in hand and click on your favorite app to have food delivered in no-time. Sound familiar? You're not alone. People are ordering food and drinks through their smartphones more and more, everyday. But having to type all your credit card information through that tiny keyboard can be a hassle. So we’ve joined forces with many of your favorite food and beverage brands to add Google Wallet at checkout, allowing you to place orders in as few as two clicks.

This week, we welcome Dunkin’ Donuts and Seamless, who have integrated with Google Wallet, bringing fast, convenient and secure checkout to their Android users.

You can get your cravings filled fast by placing your order using Google Wallet on a variety of apps and mobile sites, including:

Dunkin’ Donuts now brings its guests a faster way to purchase and recharge their mobile Dunkin’ Donuts Cards in the Dunkin’ Donuts Mobile® App on Android. By simply selecting Google Wallet at checkout, Dunkin’ Donuts guests can recharge their cards with a couple of clicks—no need to type in credit card information anymore. And hungry Seamless customers will start to see the Google Wallet payment option available in their Android app, helping them get their grub – a delicious array of 80+ cuisine types – in a snap.

Papa John’s is also excited to have integrated with Google Wallet in November last year.  "In today's digital economy, consumers are increasingly turning to their smart phones for online purchases, highlighting the importance of convenience and payment security," said Bob Kraut, Papa John's chief marketing officer. "Google Wallet was Papa John's first venture into mobile payments, and now with more than 50 percent of our sales taking place on mobile or computer, the partnership provides our customers a better and more secure ordering experience."

Download the Dunkin’ Donuts,  Seamless and Papa John's Android apps today to order using Google Wallet.

A recipe for business success
Having to type shipping and billing information on mobile devices can be a difficult experience—it's one of the ​main ​reasons mobile shoppers abandon their shopping carts. Google Wallet ​helps make checkout simpler so we've been partnering with platforms like Shopify, ChowNow and Shopgate to bring faster checkout to thousands of stores and restaurants.

Next time you're shopping on your mobile phone, look for Google Wallet and you're done! 

Posted by Hana Chang, Head of Commerce Platforms 

Source: Google Commerce