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Section 2.4: Google Merchant Center Setup

How to set up your Shipping and Returns Settings in Google Merchant Center

Get Your Refund Policy Template Here!

In this video, Sam shows you how to link your Google Merchant Center account with your Google Ads account, a mandatory step to start running your Google Shopping campaigns.

What is a product feed?

A product feed is a file that contains all the data that Google uses to categorize your products and show them in the Google Shopping ads.

It's a file or bridge between the products shown on your website and what actually gets shown in the shopping ads.

The product feed contains all the information about your products. It's like a giant table of data all in a file that Google can understand.

You can imagine that your product feed is like a giant table with all your product information.

Here's a simplified example. Right here. 

Product Feed Basics

You can see that we have the columns id, title, description, price, and link. Under this first row, we can see that we have two different products with their information under each column heading.

This is a simplified version. The feed that we're actually gonna build out with our videos is a bit more complex, but this gives you an idea of what it looks like.

These columns are each called product fields, some are mandatory, and some are optional. It's our job to fill in these product fields.

Some will get pulled from our Shopify store automatically, and some we will have to enter manually. Let's go through the mandatory fields for your product feed right now.

Number one id, this is the unique identifier for your product. You can use your SKU or a random number. It doesn't matter too much. Next, we have the title. This is one of the most important fields for your product feed. Google gives your title the most weight when it's deciding who to show your products to.

We'll learn how to optimize this in a later video. 

Product Feed Title

Next, we have the description. This describes your product, and you can often have the same description as what you have on your product page.

Next, we have the link.

This is your link to the product page for that product. With Google Shopping campaigns, you have to send traffic to the product page for that product, not the homepage or another page, the product page.

Next, we have image link. This is a direct link to the image of that product. It doesn't need to be the image that we already have on our product page. We can adjust this to an image of our choosing if we want to optimize our click through rates.

Next, we have the price. Obviously, this is the price of our product. It must match what's on our product page and what people pay when they check out with our product.

If you're not using a product feed, this is one of the things that can cause disapprovals. This is because people forget to update their product feed when they update their price on their website.

Next, we have availability. Availability is the last mandatory field. This is whether your product is in stock or not. If your feed says the product is in stock, but your website says it's not in stock, then you're going to have a problem, and Google will probably disapprove your product.

Make sure to keep this updated or use a dynamic feed, which we'll learn about in the next few videos.

There are also some other fields that are mandatory, but only in specific scenarios. One brand. This is the brand of the product. You can put your brand or the actual brand of the product. This is mandatory for every store.

That is not selling movies, books, and musical recording equipment. In most cases, you will need to add the brand. Next, we have condition. This is whether your product is new, used or renewed. You only need to add this if you're selling a used or renewed product.

Next, we have the color. This is the color of the product and is mandatory for apparel. It's used in Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the us. Next we have the size. This is the size of the product, like small, medium, large.

It's used for all products under the categories of clothing and shoes in Brazil, Germany, France, uk, Japan, and the us. Next we have age group. If you're selling apparel, then you'll need to put this in for your products, same as the others. This is required for Brazil, Japan, France, Germany, the US and the uk.

Next we have gender.

This is also for apparel, and you'll need to put in the gender of your product if you're selling to Brazil, France, the us, uk, and Japan. Okay.

Next we have the shipping weight. This is the actual weight of your product. Google Merchant Center uses this to provide accurate pricing based on your shipping settings.

It's mandatory for products where the weight of the product is going to influence the shipping price that the customer pays.

Next, we have adults. This is just mandatory for products that are only appropriate for mature audiences.

Most stores don't have to include this. And lastly, multi-pack. This is mandatory when you bundle products together and you're selling to Australia, Brazil, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

They're the mandatory fields for product feeds. There are a lot of optional fields too. We'll go through the optional fields that we'll need when we actually set up our feeds. In the next videos, just to know, ideally, you want to add as much product information as you can to your feed.

Don't just add the bare minimum and what you need for the mandatory fields. We want to add as much as we can to inform Google about what our products are so they know who to show them to.

In ecommerce, seamless shipping and returns processes can make or break a business.

Customers expect transparency, simplicity, and reliability when it comes to receiving their orders and navigating return procedures.

Fortunately, with the right tools and know-how, setting up these essential functionalities can be a breeze. In this blog post, we take a look at configuring shipping and returns within Google Merchant Center.

Why Google Merchant Center?

Google Merchant Center stands out as a robust platform for managing product data and advertising across Google's vast network. Within this ecosystem, configuring shipping and returns is crucial for providing a smooth customer experience and maximizing sales potential.

Direct Configuration for Simplicity

While there are two methods for adding shipping information—via product feed or directly into Google Merchant Center—the latter is recommended for its simplicity and ease of troubleshooting.

With direct configuration, making changes and resolving issues becomes far more straightforward, ensuring a seamless process in the long run.

Setting Up Shipping

Navigating to the ‘shipping and returns' section within your Google Merchant Center account is the first step. From there, adding shipping information tailored to your business becomes a guided process.

Our video takes you through a detailed step-by-step process.

Whether you ship internationally or locally, Google Merchant Center accommodates diverse shipping needs with intuitive options.

Streamlining Returns

Efficient returns processes are equally vital in fostering customer trust and satisfaction.

Google Merchant Center facilitates this by allowing you to add your return policy URL directly from your website.

This ensures that customers have easy access to crucial information regarding returns, enhancing their shopping experience.

Optimizing for Success

Whether setting up free shipping or specifying shipping costs based on various parameters, Google Merchant Center offers flexibility to align with your business model.

Additionally, leveraging free shipping can significantly enhance sales, as evidenced by its influence on consumer behavior.

Ensuring Accuracy

As you finalize your shipping and returns configurations, attention to detail is paramount.

Verifying that the information provided matches your website ensures consistency and builds credibility with both customers and Google's verification process.

The Verification Process

Once all details are submitted, it's essential to understand that Google's verification process may take up to three business days.

During this time, Google ensures that your returns policy aligns with the information provided, further cementing trust within the ecommerce ecosystem.

Add Your Comments & Questions Below

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1 year ago

Hello. My question is about setting shipping. What's the diffrence between setting it on Shopify va Merchant center?

Jo Vucic
1 year ago
Reply to  Melis

Hi Melis,

Shipping settings on Shopify only affect your store and the way your customers can select the shipping method.
Setting shipping in Google Merchant Center is done so Google knows your shipping price, times and such and show that in Shopping ads.
You might get visible badges on your ads if you have free and/or fast shipping.

1 year ago

I Need Full Support on gMC

Jo Vucic
1 year ago
Reply to  Samar

Hi Samar,

If you have a GMC suspension, you can book a GMC audit here :

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