Supplemental Product Feeds – What are they & how to use them?

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A supplemental feed enriches your primary product feed with more data. It can't be set up as a stand-alone feed and needs to run alongside a primary one. It will only update product data if it contains product IDs already available in the main data input.

You can use the supporting upload to modify or add product details, GTINs, promotions, material, specific attributes, and other information. It's also valuable for fixing errors in the Merchant Center to resolve any primary feed disapprovals.

Regional product inventory feeds

Another type of feed is a regional product inventory feed. You can use it to override any current data in the primary to display regional pricing or availability. It's best used for a selection of products in your predefined regions. 

You can't add or remove products, but any changes you make affect items that already exist in the primary feed. 

Product inventory feeds use the following attributes:

  • ID [id] (offer id)
  • Region ID [region_id] (region id)

You can also use the following optional elements:

  • Price [price]
  • Sale price [sale_price]
  • Sale price effective date [sale_price_effective_date]
  • Availability [availability]

Why do you need a supplemental feed?

Most primary feeds are set up to contain basic product information to get your ads up and running on the various Google Channels. The supplemental feed improves the listing by adding corrected or extra product information. 

The feed allows you to include more than 50 pieces of information in your shopping ads. This extra data sends Google more relevant signals, allowing for better targeting, less wasted spending, improved campaign performance, and stronger search relevance. 

If you're in a competitive field, it's best to rely on something other than the primary feed alone. The 50 data points allowed in the supplemental can help set your shopping listings apart from your competitors. 

We suggest you use this type of product feed if:

  • Your titles must include essential details such as brand, color, or size.
  • You don't have a Google product category attribute set, and you want to make sure that it's categorized correctly.
  • You want to use product highlights attributes to call attention to the benefits for each of your products.
  • Specific products need promotion IDs.
  • You use custom labels based on seasonality, price, or best-sellers.

How to set up a supplemental product feed

Setting up a Google Merchant supplemental feed takes three short steps.

Step 1

Login to your Google Merchant Center account, click “Products” on the left-hand menu, then “Feeds.” You'll see the primary and supplemental feeds displayed on the open page. Next, click on “Add Supplemental Feed.”

Primary Feed Screen

Step 2

Name the new feed, choose your preferred connection option, and click “Continue.”

Add Name

If you choose “Google Sheets,” you can generate a new sheet or use one you've already created.

Google Sheets Upload

Take note: When creating your supplemental feed, the product ID in this feed must be identical to the one in the primary feed. This is because attributes such as title, price, custom labels, etc., are linked to the product ID.

Step 3

On the next screen, you'll need to choose the primary feed associated with the supplemental one you're creating. Once you pick the relevant one, click on “Create feed.”

Supplemental Feed Upload

The first time you upload a feed, Google will prompt you to go to your feed window, and you must press “Fetch Now” to apply it to the primary feed.

Fetch Feed

Once that's done, you can adjust the timing for how often the feed populates under the settings tab. If you use content API, it may take between 10-30 minutes before you see an update.

Summary

Supplemental feeds are helpful for feeding Google relevant data about your products. It's one way of ensuring that any unique attributes your products have, which could be different from your competitors, are recognized by Google's algorithms. 

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Jo Vucic

Jo Vucic

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