Shoppers may soon be able to message merchants via Google Shopping

Google is testing a new messaging feature that would allow customers to send messages to the customer service email address provided in your Google Merchant Center account. Google has invited a small subset of merchants to participate in this pilot via email.

The messaging pilot invitation email Google sent to merchants
The messaging pilot invitation email Google sent to merchants. Image: Kirk Williams.

Tip of the hat to Kirk Williams for bringing this to our attention.

Why we care. Providing potential customers with a way to contact retailers via Google Shopping may increase the value of the platform for both merchants and customers. Winning over more shoppers and retailers will also help strengthen Google as a shopping destination, helping it compete with the likes of Amazon, eBay and other marketplaces.

The company has not announced when (or whether) this feature will become widely available.

How it works. Customers will see a “Message Store” button within a product listing. Clicking the button will open a new tab with a messaging interface where a customer can type a message. Replies from the merchant will be sent to the email address connected to the customer’s Google account.

What Google said in the email. “We’re excited to announce a new messaging pilot to help you connect with customers and improve your sales through Google Shopping,” Google wrote in the email. “This optional feature will allow customers to send messages to the customer service email address you’ve provided in your Merchant Center account.”

“We anticipate that questions will typically be about product availability or specifications, and believe that this will improve customer trust and traffic to your site,” the company also said.

Merchants that have received this email can opt into the pilot by completing the associated questionnaire.

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