Shopify, Google expand partnership to make merchants more discoverable online


Shopify and Google are expanding their partnership to help Shopify merchants reach more customers through Google’s services, including Search, Maps, Images, Lens, and YouTube.

The news was announced at Google I/O, the tech giant’s annual developer conference, and comes months after Shopify initially partnered with Google on an e-commerce integration for YouTube (a Google subsidiary).

Shopify said this latest integration is aimed to help merchants to become more discoverable to consumers. The integration will allow merchants to get their products in front of shoppers at the right time, boost their ads through free listings, and create what Shopify called “Smart Shopping campaigns.”

“Having a deep understanding of the world’s products is just one piece of the puzzle,” said Bill Ready, president of commerce and payments at Google, in a blog post. “To help more merchants get discovered, it’s important that we support like-minded partners who share in Google’s mission to democratize e-commerce.”

Google is extending its partnership with Shopify as it looks to strengthen its own e-commerce business. At its developer conference, Google also unveiled its Shopping Graph feature, a dataset of billions of products and merchants.

As e-commerce has remained a lucrative sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, other large tech companies have worked to grow their own e-commerce capabilities. Shopify, which became one of Canada’s most valuable companies last year, has seen explosive success amid the pandemic’s impact on retail, catching the attention of many large tech companies.

Before announcing last year’s YouTube integration, Shopify and Google worked together on a feature that allowed Shopify merchants to list products on Google Shopping for free.

In May 2020, Shopify partnered with Facebook to launch Facebook Shops, a free tool aimed to help merchants create customized online storefronts for Facebook and Instagram. Late last year, the Ottawa company also teamed up with TikTok aimed to simplify the advertising and selling proceeds for TikTok’s more than 100 million user base as well as Shopify’s merchants.

RELATED: Shopify working with Google on YouTube e-commerce trials

News of Shopify’s deepened partnership with Google also comes amid new developments with Amazon, a rival to both Shopify’s e-commerce offering and Google’s advertising business. According to Amazon’s financial results, the company generated approximately $21.5 billion from advertising in 2020. Amazon also claimed 10.3 percent of the United States’ digital advertising market in 2020, up from 2019, indicating that Amazon is encroaching upon Google and Facebook, which dominate the online advertising sector.

At the same time, competition between Amazon and Shopify has increased recently. As Shopify continues to blow past financial estimates quarter after quarter, the company has also begun pursuing lines of business that put it in direct competition with Amazon, including its fulfillment network, which launched last year.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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