What is the Google Merchant Center?
Google Merchant Center helps you get your store and product info into Google and make it available to shoppers across Google. That means everything about your stores and products is available to customers when they search on a Google property.
“Today we’re announcing that the option to submit products for surfaces across Google will be available in all countries where Google Merchant Center is launched. If you’ve submitted a product feed to Google Merchant Center, products from your store may automatically appear in unpaid results on Google surfaces when these launch in your country.” – Google, May 5, 2020
What is Surfaces Across Google?
The Surfaces Across Google program allows searchers to see in-store products on unpaid product listings across Google Search, Google Images, Google Shopping, Google Maps, Google My Business, and Google Lens.
Which Businesses Can Participate in Surfaces Across Google?
Businesses eligible for the program must follow the required policies to show products on Surfaces Across Google, as well as meet the following:
- Merchants must be fully-intergated to Locally, maintain current, up-to-date inventory feeds, and accept Buy It Locally transactions.
- Submit a feed through Google Merchant Center to participate in Surfaces Across Google by opting-in to the corresponding program in Merchant Center.
- Sites with structured data markup will automatically have products shown on Surfaces Across Google without directly participating in the program. They can opt-out at any time.
Setting Up Google Merchant
To get started, you’ll need to open a Google Merchant Center account and upload a product feed. Sellers must opt-in to “surfaces across Google” to be eligible for organic visibility.
When you’re ready, go to merchants.google.com and sign in with your Google Account to get started.
Your business information will be used in each program you sign up for. You’ll only have to enter this information once.
Add the country where your business is registered as the “Business country.”
Your business display name can be your business’s name, your website’s name, or your store name. Remember: The name you enter as your business display name will be used as your Merchant Center account name, and users will see this name across Google.
Setting Up A Product Within Google Merchant
- Once your account is setup, head over to the Products tab on the left, and select All Products.
- Select the big blue plus button to start adding a product.
- You do not need to enable Shopping Ads so untick that option.
- Enter in the details of the product as best as possible.
You can add as many products as you need. But if you have a whole shop, you may want that automated…
What is A Facebook Page Shop?
If you have a Facebook business Page, you can add a shop. You can use this section to list products you’re selling and connect with more customers on Facebook.
While any business can have a shop, this feature best serves merchants, retail and e-commerce advertisers. We recommend it for businesses selling apparel, accessories (including bags and luggage), home furnishings and baby or kids’ products. But other types of businesses can still use a shop to reach more people on Facebook.
Your Facebook shop must:
- Sell physical items
- Agree with their Merchant Terms
Setting Up A Shop With A Facebook Page
To add a shop to your Facebook Page:
- On a computer, select the Shop tab on your Facebook Page. If you don’t see this tab, you can change your Page template to the shopping template.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to add a shop to your Facebook Page. Fill in all the required fields.
- Select Finish when you’re ready.
Your shop will appear on your Facebook Page for your customers to see after you add at least one product and it gets approved.
Add products to a Facebook Page shop
You can only add products to your Facebook shop from a computer.
Remember that you can only sell physical products in your Facebook shop.
To add products to your shop:
- On a computer, click the Shop tab on your Page. It’s not currently possible to add products from a phone.
- Click Add Product. You can add products into collections as well.
- Add images or videos and a title for your product. We recommend using a short title and avoiding symbols (such as ! * $ ?).
- Add product details. Describe major features and list information such as size, dimensions, care instructions, fitting charts and warranty information. Avoid including website links or company-specific information.
- Add an inventory count. To add options such as size and colour for your product, click Edit Options.
- Choose your delivery options, return policy and product category (if available).
- Click Save when you’ve finished.
Your item will say Processing when you first add it to your shop. If your item complies with Facebook’s policies, they will approve it and it’ll appear in your shop within 24 hours. Some items take longer to review.
Keep an accurate inventory for every item in your shop. You can update an item’s inventory from the Edit button on the item.
Setting Up An Automated Product Feed For WooCommerce
For reference, here are several essential requirements:
- Basic product data with a unique identifier, title, description, image, link, etc.
- Price details, availability, expiration date, etc.
- Product type and category.
- The brand name of the product and identifiers like GTIN, ISBN, etc.
- Attributes like color, gender, etc. and other relevant conditions.
- Information on promotional campaigns and where to include or exclude a product.
- Shipping and tax details.
Install A Product Feed Plugin For WooCommerce
There is a free plugin that will help you automatically generate product feeds for you to import into Google Merchant.
- Install, activate and on the left will be a new menu item called Feed Manager.
- Enter in a File Name, and select Google Merchant Center option for the Channel. New fields will appear.
- Enter in your country and the default category of your products. If you have multiple product categories, you may need to create multiple product feeds later.
- More fields should appear with the options on the right to tick which product categories to include. Do so now.
- Enter in a feed title.
- Scroll down to Brand and select from the field “Fill with static value“. Enter in your business brand name in the new input box that appears.
- Now scroll back up and select Save & Generate Feed.
- Once it saves, look for the tab above Feed List and select that. You will be taken to all the feeds available (you should only have one for now).
- On the right next to your feed is an Auto On link, select that to enable the auto generation of your feed daily.
- You can now copy the URL of the feed.
Adding A Product Feed To Google Merchant
- Head over to your Google Merchant account page and on the left, select Products > Feeds.
- Select the Blue Plus Button to add a new product feed.
- On the screen Basic Information, follow the instructions as required and when it appears untick Shopping Ads. Then select Continue.
- On the screen Name and input, enter in your feed name (anything will do) and select Scheduled fetch. Then select Continue.
- On the screen Setup, enter in a File Name (again anything will do) and move onto the File URL where you now paste the product feed URL you copied from before. Select Create Feed.
- You should be taken to the feeds page where your newly added feed will be displayed. Select the feed name (blue text).
Once the page is loaded, select Fetch Now and it will manually pull your products in from your feed.
Requirements for Creating Google Product Feeds
When it comes to creating product feeds, Google offers actionable guidelines. If you are manually uploading product feeds, you need to comply with these guidelines. If you are using a plugin to generate the Google product feed, it will take care of all the requirements.
Product Structured Data Markup
If you do not want to do a feed but still want to appear, then adding dynamic product structure data markup is your next option.
Adding A Product Feed To Facebook Page Shops
Facebook supports CSV, TSV and XML (RSS/ATOM) formats for data feeds.
Using the above plugin, you can create an automatic feed import into Facebook Page Shops.
- Go to Catalogue Manager and select the catalogue that you want to add items to.
- Ensure “Upload Product Info” is selected and your information is added in.
- Create and view your catalogue.
- On the left, select “Product data sources” and select the blue button “Add Products” on the right.
- Select the option “Use bulk upload” and select Next.
- Select the option “Scheduled feed” and select Next.
- Enter in your product feed URL and select Next.
- Enter in your required feed update options and select Next.
- Name your feed and set your currency and select Upload.
Your products will be set as pending and will need to be approved before they can start displaying. They will display any errors with your products (and feeds) that you may need to go back and update accordingly.
Google Merchant new product data can take up to 30 minutes to update and product images can take up to 3 days to be crawled.
Facebook will take some time to review and approve of the products.