Retailers were up for a pleasant surprise this week when they logged in to their Google Merchant Center: they were welcomed with a friendlier and more intuitive new look. The new Google Merchant Center (GMC) interface has that fresh Google look and feel: simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly.
Compared to the previous version, there are small changes in terms of functionalities, but the major change is that they have reorganized the GMC by aggregating tasks and actions. On top of that, Google is clearly pushing other services dedicated to merchants by creating a separate section for them.
Programs like: Dynamic Remarketing, Product Ratings, Local Inventory Ads, Merchant promotions and others are easier to find, and get informed about. If it suits the overall strategy of the merchant, it is also easier to submit an application form.
How is the new interface organized?
The Home page is organized around four major areas: products overview, GMC announcements, the list of the product feeds and a chart with the paid clicks from the shopping campaigns.
The Business Information page is where merchants can manage all the information related to their businesses such as name, website, address, contacts, logo and others.
The Products page is where advertisers not only handle everything related to the feed and products but can also quickly spot trends or opportunities for advertising their products. On the Diagnostics page they can see if there are issues with the feed and in the Feeds section handle everything related to the feed, such as correcting the errors and optimizing the feed. They can also have a quick overview of the submitted products, and if necessary review their information in the List section of the products page.
The Shopping ads section allows merchants to enable the Currency Conversion and Adult Content and they can set up to receive Assortment reports on the most popular products on Google that they're not advertising.
What are the new features?
Explore programs - With this dedicated section it has become easier to learn more about what other programs are available in Google Merchant Center and see if they are a good fit for the PPC strategy of the retailer.
Feed Rules Update - they've made some consistent updates in this area, focusing on pointing out the errors in the feed and urging the merchants to act on and fix these errors.
On top of that, it's easier to create rules for custom fields, combining values or extracting the values from other attributes. For example if the campaign manager knows that the ''brand'' attribute might be missing from some of the titles he can quickly create a rule that says: for all products where ''brand'' is absent from the ''title'' the new value of the title has to be: ''brand'' + 'title''.
Currency conversions - it's a neat update that we were expecting to see at the beginning of this autumn. Merchants looking to broaden their reach have been given a huge helping hand because Google will do the currency conversion in the ads for them. The major advantage of this update is that the retailer can show ads for his products in other countries without having to change the product pages on his website to reflect other currencies. Another advantage worth mentioning is that there will be less hassle when preparing the feeds for other countries.
Diagnostics - Instead of two daily updates merchants will now have access to real-time data about their feed uploads and product updates. Real-time information about the disapproved, pending, expiring and approved products will allow them to stay on top of their feeds and products at all times.
Our verdict at DataFeedWatch? We like it!
It was about time for a new look for Google Merchant Center and we want to know in the comments section what your thoughts are on this interface update.