Thursday, March 29, 2012

Updates to Google Merchant Center Terms of Service

Back in January, we announced our new Google Terms of Service to provide a more consistent experience for users across Google's products. Starting today, March 29, Google Merchant Center will be covered by the new Google Terms of Service along with a short set of additional terms and conditions specific to Merchant Center.

While the substance in the additional Merchant Center terms and conditions remains unchanged from the previous version, the new additional terms and conditions are shorter and reworded to be easier to understand. We encourage you to take the time to review the new Google Terms of Service along with the additional Merchant Center terms and conditions.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Google Offers Food Truck Day in LA

Google Offers connects you with deals at great places in your city. And sometimes those places are on wheels. We’re joining the food truck craze and kicking it all off in the city where you need a car to do pretty much everything (even cooking): Los Angeles. Enjoy Food Truck Day this Friday, March 23 with offers from some of LA’s most buzzed-about, award-winning food trucks.

Here’s what’s on the menu:

Kogi BBQ: Hailed by Zagat as “the forerunner of all food trucks,” Kogi BBQ, LA’s own traveling landmark, is known for putting Korean barbecue tacos on the map. Corn tortillas, double-caramelized meats, salsa roja, onion-cilantro relish and fresh Asian slaw make up the iconic Kogi taco that has both LA locals and TIME magazine buzzing. Believe the hype: $4 gets you $8 of Korean BBQ tacos.

The Grilled Cheese Truck: These sandwiches “might change your life” according to Zagat. Try their Cheesy Mac ‘n Rib or S’more Melt and it’ll be no surprise why The Grilled Cheese Truck was voted Best Food Truck by LA Times Readers’ Choice. Get in on the grilled goodness: $5 gets you $10 of sandwiches and more.

Grill ‘Em All: Zagat rates Grill ‘Em All as one of LA’s top 10 food trucks—and the competition is stiff. Winner of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race, this local favorite serves epic, gourmet burgers and (cheese-filled) tator tots while cranking jams from their favorite bands. Get ready to rock ‘n roll: $7 gets you $14 at this hamburger hotspot.

The Buttermilk Truck: For those who believe breakfast shouldn’t be confined to any hour, keep an eye out for The Buttermilk Truck. Zagat declares this “the truck to chase,” but don’t forget to bring your Offer with you. $5 gets you $10 of chicken ‘n waffles, red velvet pancakes, fresh donuts and other breakfast favorites morning, noon, and (late) night.

Frysmith: This innovative food truck knows great things are worth doing twice—like deep-frying your french fries. Here they dole out crisp, twice-fried spuds that are meant to be meals, like the rave-worthy Rajas Fries loaded with steak, onions, chili, and cheese or the sweet potato Vegan Chili Fries. This here is your main course: $5 gets you $10 at Frysmith.

Be sure to subscribe to Google Offers Los Angeles so you don’t miss out on these fantastic offers. Foodies in San Diego and Houston: subscribe to Google Offers San Diego and Google Offers Houston, because Google Offers Food Truck Day will rolling into your cities soon!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

REI’s first daily deal is a success, thanks to Google Offers

People love saving money. According to eMarketer, almost 88.2 million people--or half of all U.S. adults who use the Internet--redeemed an online coupon in 2011, and this number should increase to 96.8 million by 2013. So it’s no wonder why so many companies, big and small, are using discounts, in the form of daily deals, to drive increases in sales.

In November 2011 Google Offers partnered with REI, the nationally loved outdoor retailer, to run REI’s first-ever daily deal and Google’s first-ever national offer: $15 for $25 worth of outdoor gear from REI.

Co-branded landing page used with marketing campaign to increase awareness of the offer

“REI was looking for ways to learn how we can use daily deals to drive the business during a non-promotional period, both within our stores and online, and a partnership with Google was a great fit,” said Teresa Harting, REI’s Marketing Manager. “We wanted to partner with a company that understood our brand and could manage it appropriately in the midst of a large-scale promotional announcement.”

In the weeks leading up to the offer, REI and Google worked closely to develop an offer that accurately reflected the REI brand. The companies also worked hand in hand to craft a well-executed pre-offer campaign that would drive interest and awareness among REI customers. The campaign, which ended on the date the offer ran, included the following tactics:

      • A 10 day teaser campaign on Google’s GDN, which drove people to a co-branded landing page for the offer. 
      • An email campaign sent to REI’s opted-in subscriber base and to Google Offers opted-in subscribers on the day of the offer. 
      • REI Facebook and Twitter posts were published the day before the offer and the day of the offer.
      • Facebook promotion on the REI brand page, including real-time interaction with customers to answer any questions about the offer. 
Email campaign sent to REI’s opted-in subscriber base

Beginning on November 3rd, the REI Google Offer ran for 24 hours and was purchased by nearly 90,000 people across the U.S. The one-day deal has driven a significant amount of sales, both online and offline, and the average order value exceeded REI’s already high expectations. Further analysis will continue through the end of the redemption period to understand the total business impact, but it’s clear that REI will continue to see a benefit from their Google Offer.

“Our objective in running a Google Offer was to understand if we could attract new REI customers and increase traffic to our stores and to our website. Additionally, we wanted to gain a better understanding around how daily deals work for REI and if it would yield similar or higher average order values across both new and loyal customers. We have seen strong redemption and are continuing to track the results through the end of the redemption period. Overall, we are happy with the results of our very first daily deal with Google Offers,” said Harting.

If you’re a merchant and are interested in running a Google Offer, please visit:

Posted by Robin Lien, Google U.S. Retail Team

Monday, March 19, 2012

Get 10% off Pinkberry with Google Wallet ‘til April 30

Who doesn't love frozen yogurt? We certainly do and we’re happy to announce that Google Wallet is now accepted at 69 Pinkberry stores across the U.S. You can also use the Pinkberry Featured Offer in Google Wallet to get 10% off any one Pinkberry when you use your Google Wallet to pay. This offer is good for use at select stores until April 30, 2012.*

The popular yogurt retailer now accepts Google Wallet at select stores in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., so now you can buy delicious and refreshing frozen yogurt with your phone. Yum!

To celebrate our partnership with Pinkberry we’ll be holding a free tasting event at several Pinkberry stores in the Los Angeles area. Come by to try out Google Wallet on Tuesday, March 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the following locations:

Santa Monica, 3rd Street Promenade
1456 3rd St
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 394-4982

120 E Palm Ave
Burbank, CA 91502
Phone: (818) 841-1981

Our partner ecosystem continues to grow, so visit our website for up-to-date information on retailers that accept Google W`llet. Google Wallet is available on the Sprint Nexus S.

Posted by Peggy Mangot, Strategic Partnership Management

*This offer is only valid for redemption with Google Wallet via NFC. Not valid on paper or non Google Wallet phones. Single use only and non-transferable. Cannot be combined with other offers. Valid at participating locations in LA, SF, NYC, DC and CHI until April 30, 2012.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Working with 30 deal experts to bring you more great offers

Matching you with the deals that you want is our focus, but we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’re working with a select group of deal provider partners -- including 11 new partners that we’re announcing today -- to bring you more of the greatest deals out there. Also, we’re expanding the availability of all of our partners’ deals to four new cities including: Austin, Houston, Philadelphia and Miami.

This means subscribers in 23 of the 40 cities where Google Offers is available now have access to more deals each day, from both Google and our partners, in a single place. Whew! That’s a lot of deals! But don’t worry, we'll only send you the best deals in your area, in one email a day. And if you take the Google Offers personalization quiz, we'll send you deals that match your interest too.

Our newest partners bring a unique variety of deals to the Google Offers platform. They include: 8Moms, APDailyDeals, AT&T Interactive,,, DoubleTakeDeals, Half Off Depot, Morgan’s Deals, Savored, Signpost and Urban Dealight.

Learn more about Google Offers and subscribe by visiting: If you are a deal provider and are interested in partnering with Google, please get in touch with us via our partner program form.

Posted by Ji Yang, Software Engineer, Google Offers

Friday, March 9, 2012

Join us for a Google+ Hangout: ‘Using Google client libraries to submit product data’ on March 28, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. PT

For all you retailers already using the Content API for Shopping or looking for a way to automate your product data upload to Google, we’ll be hosting a technical webinar in a Google+ Hangout. Join us for “Using Google client libraries to submit product data," on March 28, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. PT. 

This webinar is for those interested in getting up and running with the Google Content API for Shopping without worrying about constructing XML or figuring out how to make an HTTP request in your language of choice. We’ll show you how to leverage open source client libraries written by Google engineers so you can focus on the important stuff: your product data.

In this 60 minute session, we'll cover the following:
  • The way a product is represented and sent with the API
  • Using batch requests to send multiple product updates at once
  • Writing and running code to insert your product data
  • Q&A with Google Product Search team members

    Register now for the webinar with your Google+ account, and you’ll receive an invitation to join the Google+ Hangout in your stream on the day of the hangout. To add a reminder to your calendar, click the link below.


    We hope to see you there!

    Posted by Daniel Hermes, Commerce Developer Relations Team

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Merchants: Get deeper insight into your product performance on Google Product Search

    We frequently hear from merchants that data is gold - especially when that data provides insight into the performance of their products and their customers’ buying habits. We’ve listened to the feedback, and today we’re rolling out the first in a series of improvements to Google Merchant Center to put more data in the hands of merchants.

    Starting today, retailers who submit product feeds to Google Product Search can view more detailed product performance data directly on the ‘Performance’ tab of their Google Merchant Center account.

    In addition to seeing clicks on all products in aggregate over a specified period of time, merchants can now drill down to view click metrics for specific product categories, brands, condition and country. With these tools, it’s easy to compare the performance of different types of products, brands, and more to assess how you’re doing and identify areas that may need additional optimization.

    With these improvements, merchants now have more detailed insight into product performance, allowing them make informed decisions about their business and drive increased ROI. We’re continually working to improve the Google Product Search experience for merchants and more tools are on the way. Check back soon for updates!

    Mayuresh Saoji, Senior Product Manager, Google Merchant Center team

    Visit the Google Commerce Team at the SXSW Google Village

    SXSW Interactive 2002 starts tomorrow and we’re excited to be a part of this year’s festivities in Austin! As we announced last week, we’re transforming Rainey St. into the “Google Village” on March 10-11. Only a few steps away from the Austin Convention Center, the “Google Village” will consist of four houses packed full of demos and fun, drinks and music. The Commerce team will be at the Google Village too, and here’s what we got going on:

    Google Offers
    Google Offers will be set up throughout Google Village and our goal is to connect you to our product by allowing you to experience great Austin businesses that we’ve partnered with to run Google Offers.

    Your journey begins at the Maps House, where you can pick up a Google Offers passport. This passport gets you access to all the Google Offers carts outside every house in the village:

    • Developer House: Get a taste of local favorite Frank’s unique artisan hot dogs
    • Discovery House:  Play our record toss game for a chance to win swag from Waterloo Records
    • Android House:  Whip up a refreshing drink while burning some calories by testing out blender bikes courtesy of Jack and Adam’s Bicycles

    Like what you see?  Then sign up for Google Offers at or download our mobile app to purchase offers from our featured businesses in your city.

    Google Wallet
    As you walk through the Google Village, stop by the Android House to try out Google Wallet. You can play the Google Wallet-enabled claw and pinball games to win prizes, and Google Wallet team members will be on hand to demo the app and answer any questions you might have.

    If you’re not able to stop by, find out how you can get Google Wallet here:

    Commerce Developer Hangouts
    Have technical questions around In-App Payments  or other Commerce APIs?  Sign up for 15 minutes of one-on-one time with a member of the Google Developer Relations team on March 11th at the Developer House. Get answers and insights from Googlers who are experts on these products.

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Visit Google In-App Payments at GDC

    Last week we wrote about some recent updates to In-App Payments that help developers monetize their apps in fewer steps, across more countries. In addition to improvements in the in-app payment process, Google is also investing heavily in helping developers create and distribute their games.

    For those of you attending GDC at the Moscone Center this week, stop by and see us at our developer days March 5th-6th in Room 2020 and at booth #1901 March 7th-9th on the show floor. If you’re not able to attend the show, check out our new site for game developers where you can learn about the Google tools, technology, and services that can help you build, distribute, promote, and monetize your games.

    For even more game developer goodness, check out today’s post on the brand-new Google Developers Blog.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Making it even easier to monetize your games

    (Cross-posted on the Google Developers Blog)

    As any merchant knows, the easier the path to purchase, the more likely the sale. That’s why the In-App Payments team is dedicated to developing a simple, yet intuitive API that makes the in-app purchase experience effortless for your customers -- leading to a higher conversion rate for you. Over the last few weeks, we’ve made some improvements to the API that we wanted to share:

    Additional Currencies Accepted
    With the recent international expansion of In-App Payments, we’ve expanded the types of currencies accepted so you can sell your goods in your customer’s native currency. For example, if you’ve set up shop in the United Kingdom but your customer base is mostly in Japan, you can specify prices for your good in Japanese Yen and Google automatically handles currency conversion for you.

    As of today, the supported currencies for In-App Payments are:

    To use a different buyer currency, just specify the currency code in the JWT request:

       "request" => {
          "name" => "Piece of Cake",
          "description" => "Virtual chocolate cake to fill your virtual tummy",
          "price" => "1000",
          "currencyCode" => "JPY",
          "sellerData" => "user_id:1224245,offer_code:3098576987,affiliate:aksdfbovu9j"

    Card Details Minimized
    In order to purchase through In-App Payments customers must first create a Google Wallet account, but entering payment information can be cumbersome. So, we’ve cut the amount of information that your customer has to enter when adding a new credit card to their Google Wallet. Now customers in many countries only need to specify their postal code instead of a full address, making the experience of creating or updating a Google Wallet quick and painless.

    Terms of Service in Context
    We’ve incorporated the Terms of Service into the purchase confirmation page to reduce the number of pages a new Google Wallet user sees before completing a purchase. This means that your new customers can easily review the Terms of Service and get to enjoying their purchases faster.

    If you have any questions about Google In-App Payments, please reach out to us in the forum. We’ll also be hosting a regularly scheduled Google+ Hangout the first and third Thursday of every month at 9 a.m. PST to answer any technical questions about implementation of the API or about these new updates.

    Stay tuned as we have plenty of new features to be released in 2012. Happy monetizing!