What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping offers users a centralized online location to be able to easily find options for a product that they want to buy. To use Google Shopping, users enter keywords into Google and can sort through results from a multitude of sellers to see multiple brands, styles and colors that match what they were searching for. As a merchant you can list your products on Google for free, so that they appear to users in their searches for products like yours.
For many years these listings were only available through paid advertisement, but in April 2020, in direct response to the effects of Covid-19 on the retail community, Google started to roll out free product listings to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to connect with their customers. While this program started with only US merchants able to take advantage, by the end of 2020 free product listings were available globally. Since listing products on Google is accessible to all businesses, the quality and accuracy of the product information that you send to Google is incredibly important.
Taking advantage of these free listings is a great advertising source for your business and is a marketing opportunity every business should take advantage of.
Getting started with Google Shopping
Opening a Google Merchant Center account
To get started with Google Shopping, you will need to open a Google Merchant Center account. Navigate over to the Merchant Center and use your Google account to sign in. If you don’t yet have a Google account (such as with Gmail), then you’ll need to create one. You’ll then need to enter your business information and configure settings for where you would like your customers to checkout (information about checkout options can be found here in Google's help guides).
Setting up free product listings
Once you have a Google Merchant Center account, you should set up free product listings. In order to do this, you will need to complete a few steps, such as verifying your website, setting up any shipping or tax policies that you might need and adding products in your account. For help with this process, you can follow Google’s instructions found here.
While there are multiple options for ways to add your products in the Google Merchant Center, ShopWired’s Google Shopping app allows you to automatically and easily send products from your ShopWired account directly to the Google Merchant Center, and will be the best option for you to use. To install the app select INSTALL THIS APP.from the menu. Find and select the ‘Google Shopping’ app and select
Once the app is installed, you can add the information that Google requires and recommends for each of your products, and then select which products you want to send to the Merchant Center. Once you have sent your products, they will be populated within your Merchant Center account. You will also be able to see directly within the app which products have item or destination issues which would prevent them from being shown by Google.
Full installation and setup instructions for the app can be found below.
Connecting your accounts
Once you’ve installed the app selectfrom the menu to connect your accounts.
In the 'Google Merchant Center Account' section select login:
Login to the Google account which you would like to connect to the app, and then, when prompted, allow the ShopWired app access to your account. If your Google account is associated with more than one Merchant Center account, you will be asked to choose which account you want to connect to. You will then be returned to the app configuration page within ShopWired, and the ID for the connected Merchant Center account will display:
Use the ‘App Settings’ section to configure your settings:
Which products do you want to send to Google?
Use this setting to determine which of your products you want to send to the Merchant Center. You can choose between ‘Selected products only’ (which you would then choose in the 'Products' section of the app) and ‘All published products’. Inactive products and products without at least one image cannot be sent to the Merchant Center. Select send now as soon as you are ready to send your products to Google.
Relist expiring products automatically
If you want products which have expired to automatically be relisted, select ‘Yes’ here.
Send new products to Google Shopping automatically
If you want any new products that you create in your ShopWired store to be automatically sent to Google, select 'Yes' here.
Include shipping details in the listings
If you would like the shipping attribute to be sent with products, select ‘Yes’ here. If this setting is enabled, a delivery rate for the base location of the account will be sent (e.g. for an account based in the UK, a delivery rate for UK shipping will be sent). The best available rate, meaning the cheapest rate that is applicable to the product, will be sent.
Include a shipping rate for all shipping zones configured
This setting will only appear if you have selected ‘Yes’ for the previous setting. If you would like a shipping rate to be sent for every shipping zone that you have configured in your account, then select ‘Yes’ here.
Rates for some delivery zones won’t be sent even if you have configured rates for them. Those zones are: Rest of the World Northern Ireland Scottish Highlands Scottish Islands Channel Islands Isle of Wight Mallorca Ibiza EU VAT ZONE European Countries Canary Islands BFPO
These zones will be ignored by the system. If you need delivery rates to show for a specific country that is covered by one of these zones, then you will need to configure new rates in a zone for that country which is not in the above list.
Google's best practice tips recommend that you configure your delivery settings within the Merchant Center to create delivery rates. They recommend that shipping rates only be sent with products as a last resort. To follow this best practice tip you would need to choose 'No' for both of the above mentioned settings. Click here to read more about this from Google.
List variations as separate items
Use this setting to determine if you want to send each product variation as a separate product to Google. Select ‘Yes’ to send each variation individually. Select ‘No’ to send products with variations as a singular product.
Use SKU codes instead of IDs in variation listings
This setting will only appear if you have selected ‘Yes’ for the previous setting. Select ‘Yes’ for this setting if you would like variations to be listed with their SKU code instead of their product IDs.
Use SEO meta title
If you want the SEO meta title that you have entered for your products to be sent to the Google Merchant Center, select 'Yes' here. For any of your products that don't have an entered SEO meta title, their regular title will be sent instead. Select 'No' if you want the regular title to be sent for all of your products.
If you have selected to send ‘Selected products only’ to Google, then you should use the 'Products' section to decide which of your products to send to Google:
The section is sorted alphabetically, and you can use the search box at the top of the section to search for a specific product using its name, SKU, GTIN or MPN.
Each product will display with the product name and image you have given it in your ShopWired account. You can select View to see the product on your website. In the ‘Export’ column place a tick in the box next to each product which you would like to send to Google. If you want to send every product listed on a page, place a tick in the box beside ‘Export’. Move through the pages to choose products on those pages to send as well. Once you have selected which products you want to send to Google, scroll back up to the ‘App Settings’ section and select send now.
Updates made to your products, either through the admin system or through the CSV import system, will send to Google Merchant Center within 30 minutes.
If you want to delete products from your Google Merchant Center account, you must use the delete functionality within the app on ShopWired. Don't delete them from within the Merchant Center. If you don’t use the app to delete the products, then they will not delete properly and you won’t be able to resend the products to Google.
To delete products within the app, scroll down to the ‘Products’ section. In the ‘Delete’ column place a tick in the box for each product that you want to delete from Google. Place a tick in the box beside ‘Delete’ to delete all products on that page. Move through the pages to choose products on those pages to delete. If a product hasn’t been exported to Google, you won’t be able to select it from the ‘Delete’ column. Once you have selected which products you want to delete from Google, scroll to the bottom of the ‘Products’ section and select delete.
Use the ‘Product Status’ section to see the current status of each of your exported products in the Google Merchant Center:
You can use this section to identify what, if any, issues your products have that need your attention. Select the icon under 'Status' to see the list of issues. For each product issue you will see a description of the issue along with a link to a Google help guide that explains how you can fix it.