What Your Google Shopping Marketing Plan Doesn’t Know Can Hurt You.
Want to leave your online competitors in the dust? Keeping up-to-date on the shopping arm of the web’s largest search engine is a necessity.
Here’s a rundown of five of Google’s most important Google Shopping updates in the last six months, and why they matter to your business:
All Products Now Need To Be “Identified.”: Prior to their most recent Google Shopping update, merchants with products that were unique, ID-wise, were generally exempt from providing the identifier attribute. Ina Steiner of eCommerceBytes.com stresses that this attribute, typically filled in with a MRN or UPC number, needs to be designated as “FALSE” for these unique products in feeds submitted after 9/16/13.
High Res Images Aren’t Required….Yet: The search engine giant generally avoids jumping at shadows, however, so you can bet that this isn’t the last the eCommerce industry will see of this issue.
Google’s 5/8/13 update clearly calls out a recommendation for product images of at least 800×800 pixels. Lexiconn’s Robert Magiafico notes that this move seems to hint that better images will be less of a “suggestion” down the road. Keep ahead of the game by upgrading existing photos and procedures to adhere to these specs and you’ll be ahead of the competition when the hammer drops.
Classifying Multi-Pack Products Just Got Easier: In the never-ending quest for value, customers and sellers alike have been embracing the multi-pack. Google has now made it easier for sellers to offer this option, with a new feed guideline on creating and submitting merchant-defined multi-packs and bundles of products. This function allows sellers to not only market manufacturer-created packs, but to create discounts such as 2-for-1 savings within their own inventories.
There’s Increased Support For Certain Product Designations: If you’ve been targeting EU countries in sales of certain products, there’s good news on the international front. Google has rolled out additional support for designating products with energy-efficient labels, as well as made unit pricing available to better appeal to overseas shoppers.
Products That Are Family-Friendly And Otherwise Can Now Coexist: Previously, marketing a product that was “not family-friendly” in a otherwise family-friendly product mix or venue was difficult, if not impossible.
Google has adjusted product information fill-ins to allow merchants to mark individual products as “not family-friendly” and thus remove them from popping up in an otherwise kid-friendly mix. This option gives a lot of flexibility to merchants with a varied inventory, freeing them up to push more stock through familiar venues without worrying about censorship or alienating a customer base.
While Google Shopping feed rules inevitably change as the marketplace does, these new updates offer a lot of tantalizing opportunity for those willing to jump on them. Working with Google’s new requirements and implementing “suggestions” now is a good idea, and one that will let you snap up a rival’s customers while they’re struggling to catch up.