**Definition:**The Google Merchant Center is a single online dashboard where online businesses manage their appearance across all Google ecommerce products and make changes to their online listings as needed.
The primary goal of the Google Merchant Center is to allow businesses to upload and maintain product information, including pictures and pricing, to be displayed in relevant Google Shopping searches. The Google Merchant Center also integrates into other Google services, such as Google My Business, to allow robust oversight and control of Google-based marketing and ecommerce.
Once a business has successfully navigated the setup process, the Google Merchant Center — along with tied-in services — brings several benefits.
**Accurate Google Shopping listings:**Buyers searching Google for products will see the business's offerings in a catalog-like format, increasing visibility.
**Google AdWords integration:**Every product in the Google Merchant Center can be tied to specific AdWords ads quickly and easily. Remarketing techniques can also be deployed to remind visitors of previously-viewed products.
**Google Analytics support:**Analytics users can add a Custom Segment specifically for Google Merchant Center hits, which keeps its stats separate from other hits.
Online product reviews:Public reviews of products are integrated into their listing, with their star ratings visible as part of the listings. 4.5- and 5-star products receive preferential placement.
**Direct website funnels:**Buyers clicking the public listings can be taken directly to its store page on an ecommerce site.
**Google Local Search integration:**Listings can include geographical tagging which direct buyers to nearby local stores.
Because of its integration into so many other Google ventures, setting up the Google Merchant Center is a multi-step process:
**1. Have at least one existing Google account,**although Merchant Center can also be configured for multiple logins.
2. A verified website and business within Google My Business, which itself requires adhering to several Google guidelines such as providing a valid physical address, contact number, technical support, and a secure checkout process.
3. Full product data, including pricing, availability, and shipping information in a format Google can accept, such as TXT or XML files derived from Excel spreadsheets. In some cases, it is also possible to import product data from an existing ecommerce platform.
4. Integration offered by ecommerce platform to sync all data required by GMC.
Learn how to sync your Bigcommerce store with Google Merchant Center: Selling on Google Shopping