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Google Shopping as Marketplace


To understand the requirements and services of a shopping platform, we look at the process structure of online-business in detail. Every trader has to think about offering the service himself or contracting a third party like Amazon, eBay, Bertelsmann, Zalando, a logistics expert, a payment processor or Google.

The decisions for “make or buy” at each stage of the process have different functions and constraints, of which we don´t want to talk in detail right now. Using the example of Amazon we want to show three big parts of the Shopping Platform und analyze which modules Google already offers or prepares.

Selling via Amazon

1.     Product data is uploaded to the Amazon-Account. This happens either via web-interface, an API or a data-upload.

2.     Amazon advertises with a high visitor frequency on the websites, where the products are shown structured in many categories to the customer.

3.     After selecting the customer can order and pay the chart via Amazon.

4.     The trader pays commission for advertising on the Amazon platform.

5.     The shops of the traders on Amazon are evaluated to strengthen the trust of the customer in the platform.

6.     Amazon offers a shop-software for a complete Webshop that is hosted by Amazon.


Selling via Google

1.     Product data is uploaded to the Merchant-Center. That happens either via product database in the data-upload or a programmable API-interface.

2.     Google connects AdWords to the Merchant-Center with the aim of high visitor frequency on the shopping portal. Google has increased the requirements for the data-upload since 2011 to show the products structured in many categories to the customer.

3.     The customer fills his/ her shopping list with products from the Google Marketplace. Outside the USA the customer cannot put the shopping list into a shopping cart and pay it- yet.

4.     The trader only pays the marketing fee of the AdWords-Account. An extension to a commission base is indirectly possible via Product Listing Ads. The trader defines the cost per acquisition. He/ she determines a percentage that he/ she is willing to invest of each sales profit.

5.     The shops of the traders can be valuated with the certificate “Google Trusted Store”.

6.     As an extension of Checkout, Google offers a simple store, which can be created out of an Excel-list or the Shopping database.


Delivery via Amazon

Amazon sends the stored articles under favorable conditions for the trader and offers a professional customer service.


Delivery via Google

Google doesn´t offer delivery and logistics for the trader.


Paying via Amazon

For existing Amazon-customers it is a comfortable way of paying, they don´t have to register themselves again. For the trader it is a complete solution without own infrastructure in the backoffice.



Paying via Google

Google Checkout is offered to traders in the USA and provides a slim solution for all customers with a Google account. Checkout can be connected to the Merchant Center and the trader can create a flexible implementation.


This comparison is not a comparative study of the marketplaces. Amazon has further offers like shop-software for rent, music downloads, audio books; other providers like eBay offer auctions in addition to the marketplace. There are many traders, who use more than one product platforms for their web business.

The comparison shall be a framework, where the different pieces of Google Shopmarketing can be put together. From that we derive a recommendation for the Web-Business with Google.


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