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The e-commerce industry is growing rapidly around the world, with sales reaching nearly USD 2 trillion in 2016. Search engines play a central role in this trend, since a product first must be found before it can be purchased. In recent years, Amazon has dominated the market, with more than 50% of shopping search queries made directly via the site. As the leading search engine in the transatlantic region, Google has taken this news to heart, as it means a huge loss of ad clicks.
Further development of Google Shopping
With this in mind, it’s not surprising that Google has already invested a great deal in further development of its product search engine, Google Shopping – and will continue to do so. The goal is clear: online shoppers should take Google along with them on their virtual shopping runs. The latest development efforts from Mountain View are now bearing fruit; e-commerce statistics show that sales from Google Shopping ads rose by 52% in the first quarter of 2016 in comparison with the previous year.
Finding success with structured product data
If you want to use Google Shopping successfully, you must have a clean shopping feed. Google can show the right ads only when structured product data is available and the feed is clearly organized. In other words, commercial success with Google Shopping is directly related to the quality of the product data. Google puts a great deal of effort into keeping these product listings up to date. As a result, guidelines are continually updated and supplemented with new mandatory attributes, with larger changes announced in advance. This is done in the Google Merchant Center, where the product data is uploaded and made available for Google Shopping. Some of the more significant updates in 2016 included the following changes:
- Specification of the global ID number, the GTIN (Global Trade Item Number)
- Larger product images with better resolution
- Submission of more attributes for clothing and shoes
- Additional attributes such as energy label and price per unit are mandatory
Based on the rapid pace of innovation, we recommend a regular check of Google Shopping product specifications and an update of your own shopping feed if necessary. This information lays the groundwork for creating effective product listings – and thus plays an indispensable role in decision making on the part of consumers.
The only way to ensure that updates are not overlooked is to employ systematic checks. This is the sole method by which advertisers can learn whether their Google Shopping feed needs updating or fixing in order to optimally display their products in Google Shopping.
Google Shopping Feed Survival Guide
We comply with these recommendations and regularly check the product feeds of each of our numerous shopping campaigns – from several times a month to weekly. This process takes place systematically using a checklist we developed ourselves – our Google Shopping Feed Survival Guide. The Survival Guide helps us avoid unpleasant surprises, ensures optimal delivery of the product ads and improves our customers’ e-commerce success.
Want full control of your product feed?
This is our Google Shopping Feed Survival Guide. You can also integrate this process into your work with Google Shopping and thus maintain the quality of your shopping feed.