Don’t lose any sales – make sure your Google Shopping Ads meet GTIN requirements

All branded products with a GTIN assigned by the manufacturer must have the GTIN included for Google Shopping ads.

Part of the continued roll out of the update to the Google Shopping Products Feed Specification, this will help Google to understand exactly what you’re selling.

By adding your product’s unique identifier to your listings information, Google can more easily match your offers to the Google Shopping product catalogue, helping them to return the most accurate results on Google Shopping.

Early experiments indicate that offers matched to the catalogue receive up to 40% more user clicks than those that do not ."

Google internal data 2015

Google have stated that adding GTINs helps to boost ad performance by:

  • Adding valuable details about your product
  • Serving your ad in a more relevant way to users
  • Placing your ad in more places across Google, YouTube and partner websites

Early adopters who have added GTINs to their product data have seen conversion rates increase up to 20%."

Does it apply to you?

If you have Google Shopping ads for brand-name products that are sold by multiple merchants – you need to make sure that the manufacturer’s GTIN has been added to the product data feed in your merchant centre account.

These requirements apply if your ads are targeting the UK – and also Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, or the US.

If you sell used, custom, handmade, or vintage products, this change probably won't impact you – but, your ad’s performance can still be improved by adding GTINs to your product data where they're available.

Important: You should not make up a GTIN as a placeholder or use the same one for multiple of different products. Google’s systems will detect this and disapprove your offers.

What do you need to do?

Most manufactured products will have a GTIN. You can find your product’s GTIN on its outer packaging or label – it’s the number underneath the barcode. Typically this will be a 13 digit number (although in some instances could also be 8 or 12 digits).

If you’re unsure if the number on your product is it’s GTIN you can contact your supplier or the manufacturer who will be apply to provide with the correct information. You can find Google’s own advice on GTINs on their Merchant Center help.

Once you’ve found your product’s GTIN, you’ll need to submit it and the corresponding brand in your product data feed in your merchant centre account.

There are some important dates to be aware of:

8 February 2016
Warnings begin.
You might have already seen a ‘Missing GTIN’ or ‘Invalid GTIN’ message in the diagnostics tab for your products. You should use these warnings to make sure you’ve updated all of your products.

16 May 2016
Enforcement begins.
Products that haven’t met the requirements will begin to be disapproved. Those items that haven’t been completed may not feature in Google Shopping until the GTINs have been added. Make sure you’ve properly updated your listings before this date – don’t risk losing any sales!


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