Google Merchant Center requirements
New GTIN requirements
Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) are unique product identifiers that define the product you are selling in the global marketplace. In 2015, Google required GTINs for products from a list of 50 brands. Moving forward, the requirements for GTINs will expand beyond those 50 brands to include all products with a GTIN assigned by the manufacturer.
For custom, handmade, or vintage products a GTIN will not be available or required. If you sell new, brand-name products that are sold by multiple merchants however, a GTIN will be required – and you may have already seen some item-level warnings within the Diagnostics tab. In order to avoid any ad disapprovals, address these warnings ahead of the requirement enforcement on the 16th May 2016. To do this, ensure the data in your database or CMS system is updated in line with the requirements, and that the data is then being pulled through correctly into your Google Merchant Center feed.
Allowing Google to understand the product or service you are selling will add value to your ad by enabling it to be more relevant. It also encourages further exposure as your ads will be served in more frequently on Google, YouTube, and other partner sites. In a recent instance, one of our clients, updated their GTINs for their product data and have seen a huge 50% increase in impressions and 34% increase in clicks!
What To Be Aware Of
Whilst gaining this extra exposure is great, It is important to note that it will also initially require close monitoring of activity and costs, in order to prevent the cost per acquisition from soaring. Monitoring and re-optimising your Shopping campaigns will help ensure that your ads are not only being seen much more, but also converting more efficiently.
On the opposite side to this, failure to bring GTIN data in for all of your products, in advance of the deadline, will begin to significantly hamper your efforts and vastly reduce your impressions and potential clicks and sales, as competitors begin to add them in. Continue forward after the deadline without this data and your limited exposure will drop even more drastically!
In summary, if Shopping campaigns are an integral part of your AdWords activity, the quicker you bring accurate GTIN data into your Merchant Center feed, the bigger the window of opportunity you will have over your competitors. On the provision that you or an agency, preferably a Google Partner, re-optimise your Shopping campaigns effectively based on the changes to your activity this additional data brings about.