What is Google Merchant and why should you have an account?
Google Merchant Centre is a digital platform where businesses can upload their products and offer them on Google Shopping and other programs.
It is a powerful tool because with the free listing program you can display your products in various places on Google: shopping tab, search, images, Youtube.
By creating an account and integrating Google Merchant with your Shopify shop, your business will become more searchable, driving more organic traffic to your website, and expanding your online presence. Overall, the main purpose of this platform is to ensure that your products are presented in an organized manner, making it easier to search and providing users with the key elements they want to know about.
How to Create and account and link it to Shopify
Go to: https://www.google.com/retail/solutions/merchant-center and click the Get Started button
Log in using your Gmail account
Alternatively, you can go to your Shopify store, Sales Channels and add Google.
Make sure you have the requirements filled in as Google will suspend your account if these are not found on your site
- Add a valid payment method
- Create an online store
- Remove your online store password
- Add a refund policy and terms of service. Make sure to add the refund policy and terms of service to your footer navigation menu. If you did not use Shopify legal section in the settings for the policies and just created a regular page for the refund policy, you can tick: “I’ve added the page myself” and move to the next step.
- Confirm that you’ve added contact information to your online store – this needs to be clearly visible in the footer: Some examples of contact information can be a contact form, a link to your store’s social media page, an email address, or a phone number. We recommend either an email address and/or phone number clearly visible in the footer. We have seen Google Merchant accounts suspended many times because of this missing element.
If you already have a Google Merchant account created, you can link it now or just hit Create New.
You need to do this and make sure this shows verified in both Google Merchant account and Shopify.
Fill in the rest of the fields:
– Customer service contact for Shopping ads
– Business identity attributes.
Next up, move over to the “Branding” tab.
Make sure the square and rectangular logo are exactly as per Google’s requirements otherwise they will not get approved.
Example for rectangular
• Format: PNG, SVG, WEBP
• Max size: 5 MB
• Dimensions: min 1,000 × 500 pixels, max 2,000 × 1,000 pixels
• Ratio: 2:1
Once these are submitted, they will go under review from Google and you should check in 1-2 days if they were approved.
Let’s head over to the settings -> top right corner gear: Tools and settings
SHIPPING & RETURNs
Make sure you have all your shipping settings and prices in the Shipping tab
For the return policy, select all the conditions that apply and make sure to save.
You also need to have a look over your Sales Tax settings and make sure these are correct. Google can auto-detect these so make sure that is accurate.
Free listings setup need to have the shipping policy URL added to the Program settings tab (last one) -> hit SAVE
For the Shopping ads setup, you need to link your Google ads account.
Once you finished connecting and setting up all these in the Google Merchant account, your Shopify products will start to sync. In about 1-3 days, you should be able to see if your products are active or disapproved.
You will have an overview just as you login to the account.
If you find your products are disapproved, you need to understand why.
Click on Disapproved items and you will be able to check for both Shopping ads and Free Listings.
Most common issues are related to missing attributes in Shopify. For example, if you do not have a barcode (UPC, GTIN, EAN), you need to go into the Google Field in Shopify:
Once you are in the Google Fields window, make sure to select “This is a custom product” by ticking the small box. This will help get your product listed without a barcode.
Make sure to fill in the rest of the attributes as this will not only help get your products approved but also even get your products to list as “enhanced free listing”.
Fields like Google category can be automatically filled in by Google, but if you get an error that is missing, you need to fill this in manually. You can find a list of Google categories here.
Other fields like Size, color, size system, size type are mandatory for apparel.
!Tip If you have a grouped product that varies by Size and Color and you are getting errors in Google Merchant that Size and Color are missing, make sure your variation attributes are spelled exactly as “Size” and “Color”. (size, color or colour) will not work.
There are many reasons why products can be disapproved, but you need to do a bit of “debugging” by looking at the reason for disapproval and google-ing it.
We also noticed a lot of new accounts get suspended but once Google verified everything, the accounts were reinstated and working fine.
Should you need any assistance or have any questions about Google merchant and/or Shopify, feel free to reach out to us!
If you don't have your Business Manager set up completely please follow the below, step-by-step guide.