Google changes shopping feed specifications

As of June 1, 2015 Google introduces new Google Shopping feed specification. However, the new requirements wil not be enforced instantly. Google will give merchants some time for adjustment.

Most of the required changes need to be implemented by September 15, 2015.
The idea behind the update is to create a richer experience for customer searching for products and simplify the feed specification.

The changes to the specification include:

  • GTINs: For AU, BR, CZ, FR, DE, IT, JP, NL, ES, CH, UK & US, you need to submit ‘gtin’ and ‘brand’ attributes for all products sold in ‘new’ condition from a designated brand. The list of designated brands will grow over time. The requirements remain the same for products that don’t meet these criteria.
  • ID Attribute: You need to submit valid and unique strings. For example trailing whitespaces or control characters will no longer be accepted. Invalid submissions will be disapproved.
  • Apparel and Variant attributes: For Brazil, the attributes ‘color’, ‘age group’ and ‘gender’ are now required for the ‘Apparel & Accessories’ category and the ‘size’ attribute is now required for the categories ‘Apparel & Accessories > Clothing’ and ‘Apparel & Accessories > Shoes’. These requirements are already in place in France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US.
  • Shipping: Will be required in Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Japan. Enforcement of this requirement begins February 1, 2016.
  • Units & Quantity Attributes can now also be submitted in the US to support products sold in bulk or by volume like tiles or floorboards.

From all the changes above the GTIN requirement can potentially have the biggest impact on merchants. Unless you already put GTIN in your Google Shopping feed, make sure that your products do not include designated brands. If they do, you will need to acquire GTIN from your supplier. Otherwise you Google Shopping feed will be disapproved mid-September.

We will notify our customers on any changes in feed specs they should be aware of. There for we send out a news mailinglist and put out an alert within the WordPress plugin.

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