We have created a list of the most important Google Shopping updates in 2016 that every campaign manager should be aware of.
In the online marketing industry being up to speed with the latest changes, trends and updates is a job requirement. However, Marketing Managers often end up putting this on hold in favor of more urgent tasks. Therefore we have put together all the Google Shopping changes worth taking into consideration. With a quick glance over you will be able to decide which update is worth further investigation.
Without further ado, let's see what Google has cooked up this year for the Google Shopping users.
Feed Specification Updates
The feed data is crucial to Google in serving its users the most relevant ads to their queries and that's why we see a lot of updates of the product data attributes.
1. ''Unit Pricing'' - Is an attribute used for the cases in which you need to show the price per unit because the products you sell are sold by a quantity of units or because you need to adhere to specific regulations. For these products, you'll no longer need to use the price attribute, but the unit_pricing attributes: ''unit pricing measure'' and ''unit pricing base measure''. This update will be implemented for all markets by September 1st, 2016.
2. ''Color'' and ''Size'' - Both attributes are currently required in six countries, but will be strictly imposed in Germany, France, Japan and UK as of September 1st, 2016. Not providing these values for apparel products will result in items being disapproved from the feeds.
3. ''GTIN'' and ''Google product category'' - Are required for all products that have GTINs assigned by manufacturers within the ''Apparel&Accessories'', ''Media'' and ''Software'' categories. The due date for proving these items is February 14th, 2017 for Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, India, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Turkey. If you don't know how to get the GTIN for your products we've got you covered here: How to find GTINs for your products?
4. Minimum image size - Apparel image size will remain 250 x 250 pixels, and providing images smaller than this will get your products disapproved. For non-apparel products, the image will be increased to 100 x 100 pixels, and all products with smaller images will not be approved. This feed update will go into full effect starting September 1st, 2016.
5. Maximum feed file size - Will expand from 1GB to 4 GB starting September 1st, 2016.
Features, such as replacing field names to Google Shopping supported attribute names; replacing the existing values in the feed with Google Shopping supported values; filling in missing attributes with static values based on conditions will make feed management and optimization a lot easier especially for small merchants.
Mobile Shopping Updates
According to recent Google data, 34% of online retail purchases in the US were made via mobile and the numbers keep on growing. As a result of their intent to create better experiences for shoppers and making the life of retailers easier Google came up with some neat mobile updates.
7. Shopping ads on image search - Latest Consumer search trends say it clearly: the image is the fastest way for users to get an idea whether a product is corresponding to what he's looking for. With this update every time a shopper is browsing Google Images on his mobile, he'll see the ad for associated products, which he can click and purchase.
8. Store pickup - If the retailer is using Local Inventory Ads, by simply adding a store pickup link to the local product page users will have the possibility to buy the products online and pick them up in the store.
9. Inventory searchable on Google - With local inventory ads. If the shopper is already looking for opening hours and directions to one of the retailer's stores, he'll be able to check the inventory of that store and make sure that the product he's searching for is in stock.
Other Updates10. Customer Match for Shopping
This is an excellent opportunity for a retailer to target his most important audience in his Google Shopping campaigns: previous customers, newsletter subscribers, in-store shoppers. All the retailer needs to do is to upload a segmented list of email addresses that will be matched to the corresponding Google users.
Next, based on data intelligence the retailer will target these users at the right moment with the right products.
If you currently want to try Customer Match for Google Shopping you need to sign up for the beta.11. Google Merchant Center Interface Update
This autumn saw a face-lift for the old Google Merchant Center. With this interface update the new GMC has that simple and fresh Google look and feel. There haven't been major changes besides the interface update, just a reorganization of tasks and actions by grouping them into a logical structure. Go to Google Merchant Center interface update if you want to learn more about it.
12. Showcase Shopping ads
This is a new feature aimed at those shoppers that are early in the buying process and their search queries are for broad terms. With showcase ads, users will be able to better evaluate and discover what are they really looking for. Take for example a shopper who is looking for summer dresses. Instead of seeing a Product Listing Ad for a summer dress, she will see an ad featuring the entire collection of summer dresses of various retailers. This will be rolled out in the following weeks for merchants in Australia, US, and UK.
13. Currency Converter
Recently launched the currency converter will be a game changer for retailers aiming to play in the international market. Without having to change their websites or product pages, the currency from the data feed will be converted to the local one in Australia, Canada, Switzerland, and UK.
Constantly testing out and releasing new features, Google is clear in its intent of becoming the biggest outlet for retailers looking for better-qualified customers worldwide to increase their sales.