While previously not required for Google Shopping listings, Google has upped the ante for all sellers by requiring unique identifiers, known as Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN’s), for all new in-stock products by May 16th. The most common GTIN format in North America is the Universal Product Code (UPC).
Google claims that GTIN’s significantly boost ad performance and help shoppers find the right products. And, while Google made a similar demand last year, it only impacted around fifty national brands. Now, virtually all sellers and brands that rely on Google Shopping face a difficult choice – comply or risk losing critical search result and advertising opportunities. Early indicators from Google show that approximately 10% of products are already receiving compliance warnings with a prediction that up to 50% of products could be excluded from Google shopping for non-compliance.
With the May 16th deadline looming, all is not lost for retailers and brands needing to fill in the blanks within their databases. And although this may appear to be a long, arduous process, it’s not as daunting of a task as you might think – at least, not with the tools you have at your disposal in today’s market. Here’s a quick step-by-step to get you back on track on Google Shopping.
Step 1 – Make a list of identified gaps or potentially outdated unique product identifiers (GTIN’s, UPC’s, etc.).
Step 2 – Send the list to a product intelligence company equipped with the tools for accurate product identification and data capture. In as little as 10 days, you will receive the completed list.
Step 3 – Import the updated list into your internal system. You’re done!