How to Set up Google Merchant Center on Shopify?

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Google has officially announced that users will be able to list products and sell them on Google Shopping starting April 21st 2020. Google made this announcement to help many store owners who are facing too many difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Shopify store owners: Is Google Shopping important for us? How can we connect Shopify to Google Shopping using the correct Google Merchant Center Shopify setup?

Let’s find out more about this topic!

What’s Google Shopping?

Google Shopping, a Google platform that allows customers to compare and buy physical goods from many retailers, is available for customers. Researchers can view thumbnail images, prices, and retailers of products. Paid advertised products will also be displayed separately from the organic results.

Google Shopping is powered both by Google Merchant Center (for store owners) and Google Ads (for advertisers). Google Ads allows you to promote your products and manage advertising campaigns. Google Merchant Center contains your product feed.

What does Google Shopping do?

Google Shopping can be described in many different ways. For a simple explanation, you’ll upload your products to Google Merchant Center. Then, you’ll use Google Ads to advertise the goods. Here are some details:

  • Product information Merchants must submit products that comply with Google Shopping policies if they want to have their products listed on Google Shopping. Google may suspend merchants who do not follow the requirements and policies for their listings. Support.google.com has more information about how to list products in Google Shopping
  • Product listings: Merchants who spend money on Google Ads will see your products at the top of search results.
  • Advertising Google Shopping allows you to see the performance of your advertising campaigns so that you can optimize them and improve them.
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Why Shopify storeowners should use Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is a powerful platform that can dramatically increase your sales. These are the benefits of Google Shopping

High search volume

Google is well-known for being one of the most popular web search engines (the monthly searches on Google exceed 90 billion). Google Shopping is a great sales channel, allowing you to get tons of traffic per day.

This example will help you understand the concept better:

Imagine that you are searching for Adidas shoes on Google and you see many options. Clicking on one product will take you to the shop that sells it.

You can also click on the ” more on Google” button, or the shopping tab, to view additional options.

You can get more traffic by listing your products on Google Shopping. To get your products at the top of search results, you will need to spend money to Google Ads.

Target with accurate traffic

You know that eCommerce retailers don’t always have more customers. You need to target the right people who will buy your products to increase conversions.

Targeting potential customers has never been easier with Google Shopping. You can easily find potential customers by using the clear process provided by Google Shopping. The platform also allows you to target specific markets with your advertising campaigns. You can target a specific niche, such as “Shoes over $500”, for example.

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Intuitive product information

Your products will appear very intuitively on Google Shopping when you display your goods. The image is below.

  1. Product title
  2. Price
  3. Your website

This information will allow customers to quickly access more details about common products. Clear details about your products will help customers find your store.

Shopify Google Shopping Integration

Customers can use Shopify and Google Shopping in many different ways. Apart from the Shopify integration, Google Shopping also offers a variety of third-party apps to help you connect your Shopify store with Google Shopping.

We now move on to Google Merchant Center, which is one of the most important parts of Google Shopping.

Google Shopping is powered, as we have already mentioned, by two platforms, Google Merchant Center (and Google Ads), and Google Merchant Center is where you will find your product feed. To list your goods on Google Shopping, you must first import them that meet Google’s requirements.

To keep it simple, we will show you how to set up Shopify Google Merchant Center.

How to set up Shopify Google Merchant Center easily?

These are the steps to get a Shopify Google Merchant Center set up.

  • Step 1: Sign up to Google Merchant Center
  • Step 2: Configure shipping and tax settings
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Step 1: Sign up to Google Merchant Center

It is easy to sign up for a Google Merchant account. Simply visit the official website of Google Merchant Accounts and click on the Begin link to create your account.

After you have registered an account, follow these simple steps:

1. Add your business information

During this step, it is important to note that your store information must match Shopify store details.

2. Accept the Terms and Conditions

3. Website Verification

Your Google Merchant account can be used after you have completed 3 steps.

Step 2: Setup Tax and Shipping Settings

Click on the Shipping and Tax tabs to go to each section. The settings sections will appear as images below.

You can fill in your sales tax rates online or select the states that you wish to charge. The platform will calculate the rate. You have the option to choose from a calculated rate, depending on your carrier, a rate based upon a table or rules or a flat-rate (which includes free shipping).

You can now upload your Shopify products directly to Google Merchant Center.

How to set-up a Google Merchant Center product feed

Although the Google UI might seem overwhelming at first, it will soon become easy to understand. To set up a successful setup, you will need to retrieve your feeds from Shopify. Then, format the data correctly in the Google Merchant Center. You can then run paid promotions for your products in the Google Shopping Inventory.

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Merchant Center – Product feed creation

After Shopify and Google Merchant Center are successfully connected, an API connection will be required to transfer products from Shopify to Google. Select “See all methods” to push products to the Merchant Center.

Follow the instructions and then click on “Content API.”

Next, select a language or country. After these steps, you will be able to successfully connect with the Content API. Google will still need approval, which can take up to five days. There is no way to speed up the approval process or force Google to approve products sooner. This information is important to know in advance so that you don’t have to schedule problems when you promote your products via Google Shopping.

Successful API Connection

Now your products are in the Google Merchant Center, and you can promote them. An easy diagnostic screen will show you the status of your products, which have been fed from Shopify into Google.

Items in the green box can be sold through Google Shopping if they are active. Google has established strict criteria and a list of factors that can cause problems, which eventually leads to disapproval.

Google Merchant Center approves items

Google might not approve a product due to a variety of reasons, such as: Google may not approve a product for a variety of reasons (e.g., promotional overlay, missing price or incomplete description). Google lists all of these issues so it is easy to identify the problem and find a solution. Sometimes, the problem is simple enough to fix.

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A common problem sellers face is the message “Missing Value [shipping]”, which informs them that key information is missing. However, this can be easily fixed. Other issues alert you to the fact that your products and information are not in line with Google’s policies. All of these can be found on Google’s item disapproval webpage.

Resolving issues triggers the Google approval process again, which can take another three to five days.

How to get Google to update your feed in hours instead of weeks

Let’s suppose your product is disapproved because of an image issue. You would normally go to Shopify to update the image. Hopefully, Google will notice the changes soon. Google can take up two weeks to notice that something has changed if you don’t change their URLs or landing pages.

We could tell you that there is a way around it! ?

This same problem was encountered while creating a feed for a client. Because of a promotional overlay created by Shopify landing pages, the products were not approved. They did this without consulting the business concerned. We couldn’t wait to promote the new products at the same time.

We were able to identify a shortcut that cut down the wait time to just a few hours . Google was able to fetch new images without altering any images on landing pages.

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We were able to find a way for Google Merchant Center to update product information and force new information. You will need an additional feed to do this. Select “Products & feeds” and then “Add supplementary feed”.

This Google sheet can be connected with the Merchant Center, and added to your main Content API product feed. Only make sure your product IDs match the main feed, and that any new images are in line with Google’s policies.

This update takes only hours and allows you to quickly update product data. This feed does not overwrite Content API data, and saves you waiting days!

Final product inspection and update of the feed

Shopify will update the products after you have added the additional data source to your feed. You can see the results almost immediately in the diagnostics.

Now you can start selling products via Google Shopping. You have all the media and information you need and don’t have to wait for days. This hack can be used to add additional images, headlines, descriptions and prices without having to modify Shopify.

It is important to keep in mind that these platforms can be complicated to navigate, especially with the way they are connected and the policies that each has. There are always solutions if you ask. We will gladly assist you if you find yourself in an awkward situation with Shopify or Google Merchant Center, Google Ads, Facebook Ads. Also, make sure to read our best practice article about smart bidding strategies in Google Ads. You will be able to save more time and money by having this additional knowledge.

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Final thoughts

We hope that you now understand the reasons why Shopify Shopify Store owners are increasingly using Google Shopping and how to set-up Shopify Google Merchant Center.

In the next blog we will provide more information on these powerful platforms and show you how to make use of them.