An Item Group ID [item_group_id] is an attribute that can be used within a product data feed. This ID refers to a shared attribute for products with close variants. They must be unique between the products. Such variants could include sizes or colors of a specific product.

For example, clothing stores sell specific products (Parent SKU) and then have product variations. A clothing retailer with a specific summer maxi dress can use the item group for the range of colors this dress is available in. Also, there can be a range of sizes it can be purchased in.


Countries with Item Group ID

The following countries require item group ID to be used for product variants:

  • UK
  • US
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Brazil

Note, the item group ID should not be confused with ID. Group ID is for products with a range of close variants, whereas ID is entirely unique for a single product only.


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Within Google there are a number of minimum requirements for Group ID. You will need to adhere to each in order for your products to be shown. If you’re having issues getting your products approved, you may need to check you’re following these minimum requirements.

These requirements include:

  • All variants of the same product must have the same Item Group ID even if there are different variants. For example, if you sell shoes that come in a range of colors and a range of sizes, these will all need the same Group ID.
  • Despite the shared attribute, each item uploaded must have its own unique ID. Just like the Title, this cannot be changed once submitted and certainly cannot be duplicated.
  • There should only be one parent item of an item group.
  • Where there is an item group ID used, a product variant must be submitted. A group ID cannot be attributed to just one item with no variety.
  • Ensure your product’s landing page matches the listing. This includes variants such as color.


Best practices

To help you make the most out of item group ID when you have the bare minimum requirements in place, you can employ the following best practices:

  • Don’t make consistent feed changes and expect Google to reflect the changes immediately. For the crawlers to pick up on this and make changes it can take up to 3 full days to process.
  • Refrain from using an item group ID for an unsupported variant. For example, if you sell personalized greetings cards with more than 30 variations, do not use item group ID for this.
  • Try including the variant within the title but ensure the titles are otherwise similar. This helps customers find the product and the exact variant they are looking for quickly and easily.
  • Be aware of duplicate group IDs. This is a common issue with Google feeds where the algorithms look at certain product attributes. Then deem the products as duplicates or repeat products. Clothing retailers generally suffer this more than others. For example, if you’re selling products that have a color range and material range within the same group ID, it is a best practice to include a fabric column to differentiate where there are two black colored items. This will prevent one or the other being considered a duplicate causing one of both of them to go ‘missing’.

Overall, Group IDs are useful and required in some instances (mentioned above). However, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the requirements and best practices.

Incorrect implementation of an item group ID can result in products not being shown or simply not being approved.


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