What are the Requirements to Google Shopping feed?

 

requirements_to_google_merchant_center_data_feed

 

Google Merchant feed is where you want to upload product details from Google. This is where Google Shopping and Google's eCommerce assets put up your stuff.  Users in Google Shopping Search results see some items and these goods They also appear on Google's key search results pages with organic listings. Google Merchant Center is a platform that lets you upload product lists for Google Store, product ads and google market search. You will need to ensure that your company complies with the Merchant Center google feed guidelines listed here before establishing a Merchant Center account and setting up your product details.

Requirements for Google Shopping feed

 

1. Follow the Merchant Center guidelines

 

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  1. Advertise only products available for direct purchase: The goods that you advertise in Shopping Ads must be available for purchase through your store. You are not permitted to use Shopping Ads to support affiliate or pay-per-click links to items, either as a member of the Affiliate Advertisement Beta or as a Comparison Shopping Service (CSS). Links promoted in Shopping Advertising need to directly lead users to a page that allows them to purchase the advertised product.

  2. Use an official language: Use the official language of that country when selling the goods to a specific country. You may also place your goods on advertising in more than 1 official language. Just make sure you send specific product data for each language, and that the product data links in the same language to the landing pages. Using the same official language explicitly for:  

      1. Your website  

      2. The product data that you apply 

      3. The language you pick when you register your user data.

  3. Tell customers about your return and refund policy: People who buy from your website should be able to use your return and refund policies. Ensure the policy on returns and refunds is transparent and easy to find. Even if you don't give returns or refunds, still specifically mention your policy. Your policy should explain exactly how you treat returns and refunds, including:

      1. What the user is supposed to do 

      2. Under what conditions you give returns and refunds

      3. The Time frame in which you accept returns 

      4. When your user can request a refund

  4. Collect user information responsibly and securely: Be careful with the user-gathered information. In particular, follow these guidelines: 

    1. Collect personal information, such as credit card numbers, safely on an SSL-protected page.

    2. Do not sell contact information of your users 

    3. Do not use personal information or photos of users in ads without their permission 

    4. The primary purpose of your site should not be to collect personal information of users.

    5.  Do not give free products or discounts except under such circumstances: purchasing of a product as part of a marketing campaign where the primary objective is not to obtain users ' personal information.

  5. Follow the relevant Shopping ads policies: Google has other rules that are not specifically referred to this article about just what kind of advertising you can and cannot advertise about Google through shopping advertisements and surfaces. And make sure that the items you plan on advertising comply with the applicable Shopping Policy before you sign up for a Merchant Center account. There are rules for Shopping Advertising, Shopping Activities and other Merchant Center programs.

  6. Verify and claim your website URL: You may need to assert and check your domain in Search Console to ensure you are the owner of your site, and to prevent anyone from claiming your account. You'll need to be able to edit your website's HTML or upload files to your server to check your URL.

  7. Fulfil the Website requirements: We have a set of policies detailing criteria at the site level for your site. We can search your website for some specific requirements based on the merchant center programs that you are participating in:

    1. Accurate contact information: Your website must show appropriate and reliable contact information, including a phone number and/or email address.

    2. Secure checkout process: Payment and transaction processing, as well as the collection of any sensitive and financial personal information from the user, must be done through a secure processing server (SSL-protected, with a valid SSL certificate https://). 

    3. Return policy: Your site must provide simple and clear return policy.

    4. Billing terms and conditions: Provide clear and conspicuous billing terms and conditions in your sites to users.

 

2. Product data specification requirements

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You will need to format your product data to follow the product data Google feed requirements when you are ready to send your products through the merchant center. There are design guidelines that clarify how to apply the data so that we can understand it. While there is a lot of information in the specification, reading through it can be useful now so that you can understand what kind of information you are going to get:

 

Required attributes for Google Merchant center feed

 

ID

Required
Product’s unique identifier



  • Using a unique value for every single product. If possible using the SKU of the company.
  •  Keep the ID the same when updating the data.
  •  Use only valid Unicode characters. Avoid invalid characters such as power, feature, or private area characters.
  •  Use the same identity for the same product in different countries or languages

Title

Required
Product’s name

  • Exactly identify your product and suit the title from your landing page.
  •  Do not include promotional text in all capital letters.
  • For variants: Provide a distinguishing feature such as colour or size.
  • For mobile devices: Provide "with contract" when sold with a contract 
  • For the United States: Include "with payment schedule" when sold in instalments
  • For Russia: For books and other data items, provide the age rating at the start of the title

Description

Required
Your product’s description

  • Describe your product accurately and suit the description on your landing page.
  • Don't include promotional text in all capital letters.
  • Provide just product details. Do not include links to your shop, sales statistics, competitor data, other products or accessories.
  • Use line breaks, lists, or italics to format your description

Link

Required
Your product’s landing page

  • A Verified domain name should be used.
  • Start with https or https.
  • Use an encoded URL that complies with RFC 2396 or RFC 1738. For example, a comma would be mentioned as "%2C"
  • Don't link to an interstitial page unless legally required

Image_Link

Required
The URL of your product’s main image

  • For the image URL: The main image of the product should be linked. Use http or https. Use encoded URL. The URL can be crawled by Google 
  • For the image: Display the product you are selling correctly.Use approved format: non-animated GIF(.gif), JPEG (.jpg/.jpeg), PNG(.png), BMP (.bmp), and TIFF(.tif/.tiff)
  • For fashion goods: Use an image of at least 100x 100 pixels, use an image of at least 250x 250 pixels. Do not submit an image larger than 64 megapixels or a file greater than 16 MB. Do not scale up a picture or submit a thumbnail. Do not include advertising text, watermarks or borders. Do not submit a prototype or a generic picture Exceptions.

Availability

Required
Your product's availability

  • Precisely submit the product's availability after matching the availability.

Price

Required 
Your product’s price

  • Precisely submit the product's availability after matching the availability.
  • Include the price prominently in the currency of the country of sale and in a place that is easy to find.
  • Ensure that the product can be purchased online for the price you have submitted.
  • Make sure that user in the country of sale can buy the product without paying for a membership in the submitted price. 
  • For products sold in bulk, bundles or multipacks- Submit the total price of the minimum purchase quantity, bundle or multipack 
  • For the US and Canada: Do not include tax in the price.
  •  The value added tax (VAT) or goods and services tax (GST) should be added in the price.
  •  See unit price measure and installment attributes for additional options to submit price-related information.

Brand

Product’s brand name is required except movies, books, and musical recording brands)

  • Provide the brand name of the product generally accepted by consumers.
  •  Only provide your store name as a brand if you manufacture the product or that your product falls within the generic brand category. For example, if you sell white-label products or custom jewellery, you could use your store name as a brand name.
  • If the product does not have a brand name, submit the name of the manufacturer or supplier under the Brand Attribute.
  • Do not submit values such as N / A, Generic, No brand, or Does not exist.
  • For compatible products: submit a GTIN and a brand from the manufacturer that built the compatible product.

Gtin


Your product’s Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is required

  • Exclude space and dash. Only submit valid GTINs as defined in the official GS1 validation guide, the checksum digit is present and correct.
  • For compatible products: submit a GTIN and a brand from the manufacturer who built a compatible product.
  •  Don't indicate to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) brand that your product is compatible with or a replica of the OEM brand product.
  • For multipacks: use the product identifiers that relate to a multipack.
  • For bundles: Use product identifiers for the main product in the bundle
  •  If you offer customization, engraving or other customization of the product assigned to GTIN by the manufacturer: submit GTIN and use the is bundle attribute to let us know that the product includes customization.

 

 

Optional attributes for Google Merchant center feed

 

Additional_image_link

Optional
Mention the URL of an additional image for your product

  • Include the product staging and product in use image.
  • Graphics or illustrations can be included 

Mobile_link

Optional
Your product’s mobile-optimized landing page when you have a different URL for mobile and desktop traffic

  • Meet the requirements for the link attribute

Availability_date

Optional
The date a pre-ordered product becomes available for delivery

  • Use this attribute if you submit availability as a pre-order

Cost_of_goods_sold

Optional 

Costs associated with the sale of a particular item as defined in the accounting convention you have established. These costs may include material, labour, freight, or other overhead costs. By submitting COGS to your products, you will gain insight into other measures, such as your gross margin and the amount of revenue generated by your Shopping Ads.

 

Expiration_date

Optional 
The date that your product should stop showing

  • Use a date less than 30 days in the future

Sale_price

Optional 
Show product's sale price

  • Meet the price attribute requirement.
  • Please submit the sale price in addition to the price attribute with the non-sale price.
  • Precisely submit the sale price of the product and match the sale price on your landing page.

Sale_price_effective_date

Optional 
The date range during which the product’s sale_​price applies

  • Use the sale price
  •  If you do not submit sale price effective date, the sale price will always apply 
  • Use the start date before the end date.

Google_product_category

Optional 
Google-defined product category for your product

  • Include only 1 category.
  • Include a specific category for certain products: alcoholic beverages must be submitted in one of the following categories: Food, Beverages & Tobacco > Beverages > Alcoholic Beverages or any of its subcategories.
  • Mobile devices sold under a contract must be submitted as Electronics > Communications> Telephony > Mobile Phones.

                   

Conclusion

 

These attributes are used to indicate the specific characteristics of the product that users commonly search for. Attributes can help you control the appearance of your ad when you advertise variants. These attributes are also used to help potential customers filter attributes when searching for Google shopping Ads.

 

Further readings on Google Feed 

 

  1. How to Troubleshoot your Google shopping feed?

  2. What are the Requirements for Google shopping feed?
  3. Tips to Optimize Your Google Shopping Feed

  4. How to create the correct Feed for multiple countries?

  5. Google shopping Feed Guide.