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We first reported on the Google Shopping GTIN update back in February and recently publications have been writing about it left right and center… This is because the new rule will officially be enforced next week Monday, 16 May 2016.
WHY IS GOOGLE DOING THIS?
As is the case with most updates, Google is continually finding ways to enhance the shopping experience of its users. The more Google knows about your products, the higher the chances of it serving the right product ad to the right shopper. Search Engine Land shared a nice little summary supporting this update and although it may seem unnecessary at first, it will in fact help increase the number of impressions and conversions you receive. Read Google’s announcement here.
WHICH PRODUCTS NEED A GTIN?
From 16 May onward, all products that are new, brand-name items sold by multiple merchants, are required to have a GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) value, which is the completely unique but globally standard code for every individual product. The only exceptions are items that are not new and/or are only sold by you, including custom, handmade and vintage items. In the case of used items, adding the GTIN is recommended (if available), but not required.
FOR WHICH COUNTRIES IS THIS RELEVANT?
This update applies to anyone targeting Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, or the US.
If you have not updated your feeds to include GTINs by the effective date, you’ll start seeing products being disapproved by Google. In short: For Google to continue to serve your ad, you need to supply the GTIN. (Only those products that do not have a GTIN will be disapproved. Google won’t suspend your whole account.)
WARNING NOTICE TIME
Once GTIN becomes mandatory, how much time do you have until Google will disapprove your product?
Getting GTINs takes time. If you have not yet made this change to your feeds, we strongly recommend you begin now.
YOUR NEXT STEPS
There are different ways of finding this out.
At Productsup we also have a great feature where you can import your feed errors from Google and the actual description or reason for the error will appear in a separate column for each applicable product in your feed.
There are different types of GTINs and Google will accept any of the values, as long as the field is not empty.
There are different ways of acquiring your GTINs
Here’s how you find it:
Note: This seems to be limited to the US and to certain products. For example, we’ve seen this for some electronic products but not yet for apparel. Keep this in mind though as Google may eventually expand this to all products categories and countries.
You can either import your main feed with GTINs contained in it already, or you can upload a separate file that contains your GTINs and your unique product ID (at least). As long as your unique product ID is the same in both feeds, the columns can easily be matched, and your GTIN values will be added to your master feed within seconds.
KEY THINGS TO NOTE
For more information, refer to this article about unique product identifiers.
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