How to Get Products on Google Shopping: A Step-By-Step Guide - Sellbrite

How to Get Products on Google Shopping: A Step-By-Step Guide

how to get products on google shopping

Most product discovery today starts online. In fact, 85% of product searches begin on either Amazon or Google, with search accounting for 36% of product discovery.

Surfacing your products across Google’s many different customer interfaces will help you reach the hundreds of millions of consumers who conduct shopping-related searches each day.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll detail how to get products on Google Shopping so that your brand can reach new customers and take advantage of Google Shopping campaigns to grow sales.

What is Google Shopping?

google shopping

Google Shopping is a shopping engine that lets consumers search for, compare, and shop for products from multiple retailers online. It’s actually a combination of multiple different services & destinations, all powered by a new platform, Google Merchant Center.

Google Merchant Center is a tool that enables sellers to upload a catalog of product data to Google. From your catalog on Merchant Center, sellers can expose their products to buyers in a variety of different ways, including paid ad promotion, organic search discovery, and placement within a traditional marketplace shopping experience.

The essential Google Shopping destinations

There are 3 key destinations or services that sellers can take advantage of with Google Shopping. The first is simple discovery within organic search, which means when a shopper types in a product on Google, that item will appear without needing any paid promotion.

Google calls this Surfaces by Google, referring to the fact that Google presents relevant information to shoppers in many different places other than the traditional Search Engine Results Page (SERP) of Google’s classic interface. Surfaces by Google includes displaying your product in image results, vs. the traditional text search results. It may also include showing your product within Google Lens (Google’s image recognition tool for mobile phone cameras). In the future, it’s rumored you’ll see product results in Youtube videos as well!

The second destination available within Merchant Center is Google Shopping Ads, which lets sellers set up shopping campaigns, including setting budgets, managing bids, and viewing insights about ad performance. Shopping Ads is the paid version of Surfaces by Google, where you’re paying Google to show your product as a search result across all of the same customer touchpoints.

If you’ve ever created a Google Ad campaign to drive traffic to a website, it’s effectively the same thing, but for commerce!

Lastly, the newest experience from Google for customers to interact with is called Google Shopping Actions. This is Google’s very own marketplace shopping experience and is similar to Amazon or eBay, meaning a shopper will find your product, “add to cart” using a universal Google shopping cart, and complete their checkout process, directly on Google.

Shoppers can filter results based on price, brand, and category. Reviews also appear on Google Shopping to help customers research items. If they filter “Buy on Google” in the top left-hand menu, they will see only those items available to purchase via Google Shopping Actions.

buy on Google

Google powers the vast majority of internet search traffic. Literally billions of people use Google to search for information every day. Because of this, the combination of destinations available to sellers on Google make it an essential part of your multi-channel ecommerce strategy.

How much does it cost to sell on Google Shopping?

Until recently, the Google Shopping tab contained only paid listings via the Shopping Ads service, but now the majority of search results are actually free listings exposed via Surfaces by Google!

In response to COVID-19, Google announced on April 21, 2020, that eligible retailers can list products on Google Shopping for free. Currently, this applies to US sellers only, but Google plans to expand this globally by the end of the year.

Like every other major marketplace, Google Shopping Actions takes a percentage commission for each transaction made (since they are processing the order). However, Surfaces by Google is basically a free advertisement that sends shoppers back to your website to purchase.

Essentially, if you want to expose your products to shoppers via the many Google Shopping destinations, the real cost is time. And fortunately for you, you’re reading this article on the Sellbrite blog, which means we might know a think or two about making marketplace listing faster and easier than normal. =)

After you get your product catalog into Google Merchant Center, and your products are exposed to hundreds of millions of shoppers, you can then decide if you want to invest more money in paid ads via Shopping Ads to further promote your products, in addition to the free services.

Read on to learn how to learn how to get started.

What do I need to do first?

You can be set up on Google Shopping in just a matter of hours. But before you can start adding products, you must create your Google Merchant Center account.

Google Merchant Center is your home base for all of your products and accompanying information, so your first step is to sign up for an account.

If you don’t already have a basic Google account (like you would have for Gmail or Youtube), you’ll need to create one before you can proceed.

The new (easy) way to get on Google Shopping

Sellbrite’s multi-channel listing software makes getting onto a new sales channel faster and easier than ever before. With just a few clicks, you can push your Sellbrite product catalog to Google and be ready to go.

Sellbrite lets you connect all the channels on wish you sell in one simple, intuitive interface, so you can avoid overselling and streamline your fulfillment.

After you select Google Shopping, provide a channel nickname, then enter your Google Merchant ID.

Not sure where to find your Google Merchant ID? It will be on the top right corner of your Merchant Center overview page:

Before connecting your account, you will have the option to enable Google Shopping Ads and Google Shopping Actions. Don’t worry, this does not mean you’ve agreed to spend any money on ads. It just enrolls you in the services, so if you decide in the future to spend money promoting your products, you can do so!

If you choose to disable these options, you can always enable them later in your Google Channel Settings.

By default, you will be registered to list your products on surfaces across Google, meaning they will appear for free in search results around the web.

Once you click “Connect Your Account”, a popup will appear, asking you to grant Sellbrite access to your account. Click “Allow.”

If you have multiple Google accounts, you will first need to select which Google account you are connecting to Sellbrite.

Once your account is connected, Sellbrite will begin importing any existing listings from your Google Shopping account.

That’s how easy it is to connect to Google Shopping with Sellbrite! Once that is done, you simply visit the All Products page in your Sellbrite account to do final prep to list on Google Shopping.

If you have enabled surfaces across Google or Google Ads, you will need to make sure that your Store Product URLs are included in your product information before you start building listings. Without these, Google won’t know where to direct customers to purchase your products.

You can find the Store Product URL field in the Edit Product page. You can also add Store Product URLs to your products in bulk, using a Product CSV file. Sellbrite will send these URLs to Google automatically whenever listings are published.

Just like the other marketplaces you sell on, Google listings are best built using Templates & Recipes. When listings are published, Sellbrite will send your product information to every Google Destination that you have enabled. You do not need to create separate listings for each Destination.

You will notice a Destination column in your Google Listing’s Manager, which lets you know which Destinations currently have active listings:

And that’s about all there is to it! Not only can you publish listings to Google Shopping quickly and easily with Sellbrite, but any changes you make to your products in Sellbrite will update automatically on Google, as well as on any other marketplaces you have connected to Sellbrite.

The old (difficult) way to get on Google Shopping

Google relies on uploaded product feeds to populate its search results. So before you input your products, ensure that your product data and photos are optimized for Google Shopping.

Follow Google’s image guidelines to ensure product imagery is high-quality and that the photos will be accepted. Learn more about taking perfect product photos.

The following instructions will help you understand all of the data you’ll need to have in order to effectively submit a spreadsheet of data to Google. There is a lot you’ll need to gather, so if you choose to go this route, prepare to spend some time. Here’s a complete list of the information you’ll need to provide in a feed.

Basic product data

This information lays the foundation for both Google listings and ads, so not only is it important that the data be correct, but everything you submit should be of the quality you want a customer to see.

  • id (required): the product’s unique identifier, often a SKU or stock-keeping unit
    • 50 characters max
  • title (required): the product’s name, which should match its name on the item’s landing page
    • Include a distinguishing feature, such as color or size, for variants
    • 150 characters max
  • description (required): accurately describe the product and match the copy from the item’s landing page
    • 5,000 characters max
  • link (required): the item’s landing page
    • The URL should start with http or https
  • image_link (required): the URL of the product’s main image
    • Image file must be a JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, or nonanimated GIF
    • At least 100 x 100 pixels for nonapparel products
    • At least 250 x 250 pixels for apparel products
    • Image must be smaller than 64 megapixels or 16MB
  • additional_image_link (optional): URL for another product image
    • Must meet the same guidelines outlined above
  • mobile_link (optional): product’s mobile-optimized landing page

Price and Availability

Information about your products’ prices and availability also appears in ads and unpaid listings. Keep in mind that Google will need to be kept informed if your prices or inventory change often.

  • availability (required): the product’s availability, which should match what’s on the item landing page
    • Supported values: in stock, out of stock, preorder
  • availability_date (optional): date a preordered item will be available
  • cost_of_goods_sold (optional): all the costs associated with the sale of a single product, including material, labor, freight, or other expenses
    • Submitting this information will provide you with insights about certain metrics, including gross margin and revenue generated
  • expiration_date (optional): the date you want your product to quit appearing in search results
  • price (required): product’s price and currency, which should match what appears on the item landing page
    • If you’re a U.S. or Canadian seller, don’t include tax
    • For all other countries, include value-added tax (VAT) and goods and services tax (GST)
  • sale_price (optional): the item’s sale price
  • sale_price_effective_date (optional): the date rang for which the product’s sale price applies
  • unit_pricing_measure (optional unless required by local regulations): measure and dimension of product without packaging
  • unit_pricing_base_measure (optional unless required by local regulations): item’s base measure for pricing
    • Supported units:
      • Weight: oz, lb, mg, g, kg
      • Volume US imperial: fl oz, pt, qt, gal
      • Volume metric: ml, cl, l, cbm
      • Length: in, ft, yd, cm, m
      • Area: sq ft, sq m
      • Per unit: ct

Product Category

These attributes are used to organize ad campaigns and override Google’s automatic product categorization when needed.

  • Google_product_category (optional): This is what Google uses to classify an item in its official taxonomy. Google uses a breadcrumb-like string to create subcategories to home in on and index products more efficiently.
    • Example: Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Outerwear > Coats & Jackets
    • These categories and subcategories already exist in Google’s system, but you have the option to customize your own; if you choose to customize this attribute, you can put a product in one category only at a time
  • product_type (optional): This section allows sellers to use their own product attribution terms. If you find Google’s taxonomy doesn’t quite cover the keywords you create or use for your products, you can cover the gap with the product type.
    • Example: Home > Women > Dresses > Maxi Dress
    • 750 characters max

Learn more about how to optimize Google product categories to ensure consumers receive relevant results and to help you get the most out of Google Ads.

Product Identifiers

This data distinguishes the items you’re selling and helps match search queries with your products.

Unique product identifiers are assigned to each product by the manufacturer, so if you sell the same product as another retailer, the identifiers will be the same. Not all items have unique product identifiers, but some common ones include Universal Product Code (UPC), Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPN), International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN), and brand names

  • brand (required for all new products except movies, books, and musical recordings)
    • Only use your store name as the brand name if you manufacture the product or if you sell white-label products
    • 70 characters max
  • gtin (required for all new products with a GTIN assigned by the manufacturer)
    • 50 numeric characters max
  • mpn (required if the product doesn’t have a manufacturer-assigned GTIN)
  • identifier_exists (optional): Use this section to indicate whether unique product identifiers are available for the product
    • Supported values: yes, no

Detailed Product Description

These attributes identify particular product characteristics that people commonly search for, such as color and size.

  • condition (required for used or refurbished products): the condition of the item at time of sale
    • Supported values: new, refurbished, used
  • adult (required): indicates a product that contains sexually suggestive content
    • Supported values: yes, no
  • multipack (required for multipack products in Australia, Brazil, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, and the US): Submit this attribute if you’re selling a set of products as a single unit
    • Example: a package that contains 10 stickers
  • is_bundle (required for bundles in Australia, Brazil, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, and the US): indicates that a product is a merchant-defined custom group of different products featuring one main product
    • Supported values: yes, no
    • Submit “yes” if you’re selling a custom bundle of different products that you created and the bundle includes a main product
      • Example: a snowboard that comes with boots and bindings
  • age_group (required for all apparel items that target Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US): demographic for which the product is intended
    • Supported values: newborn, infant, toddler, kids, adult
  • color (required for all products available in different hues) item’s color(s)
    • If the item features multiple colors, list the primary color first.
    • 100 characters max
  • gender (required for all apparel items in feeds that target Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US, as well as all gender-specific products): the gender for which the product is intended
    • Supported values: male, female, unisex
  • material (required if necessary to distinguish product): item’s fabric or material
  • pattern (required if necessary to distinguish product): item’s pattern or graphic print
  • size (required for all items listed as Apparel & Accessories > Clothing and Apparel & Accessories > Shoe) item’s size
  • size_type (optional, for apparel products only): apparel’s cut
    • Supported values: regular, petite, oversize, maternity
  • size_system (optional, for apparel products only): country of the size system used by your product
    • Supported values: US, UK, EU, DE, FR, JP, CN, IT, BR, MEX, AU
  • item_group_id (required for Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US if item is a variant): identifying term for a group of products that come in different versions

Shopping campaigns and other configurations

The data in this section is used to control how product information is used in ad campaigns.

  • ads_redirect (optional): URL used to specify additional parameters for product page
    • 2,000 characters max
  • custom_label_0-4 (optional): label the seller assigns to an item to help organize bidding and reporting in Shopping campaigns
    • examples: sale, clearance, holiday, seasonal
    • 100 characters max
  • promotion_id (optional, but required for promotions in Australia, France, Germany, India, the UK, and the US): an identifier that allows sellers to match products to promotions
    • 50 characters max

Destinations

Specifying destinations in your product feed allows sellers to control where their products can appear. For example, you could indicate that an item appear in a remarketing campaign but not a Google Ads campaign.

  • excluded_destination (optional): setting to exclude a product from participating in a specific type of campaign
    • Supported values: shopping ads, Shopping Actions, display ads, local inventory ads, surfaces across Google, local surfaces across Google
  • included_destination (optional): setting to include a product in a specific type of campaign
    • Supported values: shopping ads, Shopping Actions, display ads, local inventory ads, surfaces across Google, local surfaces across Google

Shipping

Consumers consider shipping costs when making purchasing decisions, so it’s important to submit accurate information.

  • shipping (required): item’s shipping cost
    • Supported prices: 0-1,000 USD
  • shipping_label (optional): label seller applies internally to product to help assign correct shipping costs in Merchant Center account settings
    • This value isn’t displayed to shoppers
    • Examples: same-day, oversize, only FedEx
  • shipping_weight (optional): item weight
    • Supported weights: 0-2000 lb for imperial, 0-1,000 kg for metric
  • shipping_length, shipping_width, shipping_height (optional): length/width/height of item
  • transit_time_label (optional): label seller applies internally to product to help assign different transit times in Merchant Center account settings
    • This value isn’t displayed to shoppers
    • Examples: from Atlanta, heavy package, fragile
  • max_handling_time, min_handling time (optional): longest/shortest amount of time between order placement and shipment
    • This value isn’t displayed to shoppers
    • For items that ship same day, enter 0

Tax

These attributes are used together with what you’ve submitted in Merchant Center to provide accurate sales tax costs.

  • tax (required): item’s sales tax rate in percent
  • tax_category (optional): category that classifies product by specific tax rules

Create a Product Data Feed

To begin adding your products, you must first create a product data feed. This feed informs Google of all your products and their data, which allows the search engine to pull the correct information and display it properly.

Google Merchant Center feed

You can create a product data feed by selecting “Products” and then “Feeds” in the left-hand menu of your Google Merchant Center account.

create new product feed

Then, select the blue plus sign icon.

You’ll be prompted to enter your country and language. Then, you’ll need to name your product feed so it’s easily identifiable.

product feed input method

Next, you’ll select your input method. You can create your product feed via Google Sheets, a scheduled fetch, upload, or content API. If you’re new to Google Merchant Center, Google recommends using Google Sheets.

Once you’ve made your decision, you’ll have the option of selecting an upload schedule. This should reflect how often your inventory changes. Google recommends setting it to update daily.

Now that your product feed is created and named, you’ll be returned to the product feeds section of Google Merchant Center. Select the feed you want to add products to so you can begin inputting information.

open google sheets

We’ve opted to create our product feed in Google Sheets and begun filling it out, as illustrated below.

google sheets product feed

Once you’ve input data about all the products you want to sell on Google Shopping, submit it to Google Merchant Center.

As you can see, the steps above are not nearly as easy, convenient, or powerful than having all of your products in one system, managing all of your marketplaces, keeping things in sync.

Join the thousands of sellers big and small who use Sellbrite to help them grow their multi-channel ecommerce business, and see just how easy it is for yourself.

Google Shopping is just getting started

Now that you know how to get products on Google Shopping, it’s time to get started so you can get your products in front of millions, maybe even billions, of potential customers.

With Sellbrite, you can get your products enabled for Surfaces across Google, Shopping Ads, and Shopping Actions, all at once. This innovative ecommerce channel seems poised to make a big entrance into the conversation of essential commerce channels in the coming years, so be sure to get started as soon as possible.

Give Sellbrite a try with unlimited free access for 30 days! New businesses will be able to use Sellbrite for FREE indefinitely until they exceed 30 orders per month. Learn more