New Required Fields
- Availability - this will help customers find your products even when they are out of stock.
- Google Product Category - this is in addition to the Product Type field.
- Images - merchants often sent a product image in their feed but it was not required. Google is now making this field required, and it is suggested that you send multiple product images.
- Apparel Options - for products such as apparel, merchants will need to include information such as size and colors available, as well as gender and age group.
So now the question is, what should you do about it? I'm sure that many shopping cart software providers will change their Google Product Feed submission in upcoming updates or releases so that the new requirements are in place, but in the off-chance that your store does not get updated as quickly as you'd like, you can take matters into your own hands.
In ShopSite Manager and Pro stores, merchants have the option of creating their own custom product fields. If you name these fields correctly, they can be used for your Google Product Feed.
Start by going to Preferences > Extra Fields. In the Extra Product Fields section, claim 2 - 3 fields for your Google Product Search fields. Name one of those fields "availability" and another "google_product_category." If you sell apparel and need the third field, name it "size." If you do not sell apparel, you could use the third field for additional product images, naming it "additional_image_link."
After saving changes, go to Merchandising > Google Services > Google Product Search > Configure. Check the checkboxes next to your three extra product fields so that those get included when you are submitting to Google.
Next you will want to add that information for each of your products. For the "availability" field, you will want to enter in "in stock" if the product will be shipped within 3 days, "available for order" if the product will be shipped in more than 4 days, "out of stock" if you are not accepting orders, and "preorder" if the product is currently not in stock but you are accepting orders.
For the "google_product_category" field, you will need to find the correct taxonomy for each product. Click here for more information.
For the "size" field for apparel items, separate each with a comma and put quotes around each. For example, if you offer your item in small, medium and large, enter either "Small","Medium","Large" or "S","M","L" in the field provided. These will be displayed to shoppers so make sure it is something they will understand.
If you are going to submit additional images, unfortunately, each image needs its own field. With my setup (using one field) you will need to enter the full URL for one of your additional images. If you would like more product images (up to 10 additional, so 11 images total), you will need a different product field for every additional image.
Summary of Required Fields
- id - ShopSite sends the product item number.
- title - typically the brand and product name.
- description - use your shorter product description (500 - 1000 characters recommended).
- google_product_category - must use Google's taxonomy.
- link - URL to product more information page.
- image_link - URL to product image.
- condition - must be "new," "used" or "refurbished."
- availability - must be "in stock," "available for order," "out of stock" or "preorder."
- price - use lowest price if you are not sending the sale price.
- brand - required if you are submitting GTIN and/or MPN.
- gtin - for product's UPC or ISBN number.
- mpn - required if you are submitting GTIN and/or Brand.
- item_group_id - required for variant items.
- color - required.
- material - required for items that differ by material.
- pattern - required for items that differ by pattern.
- size - required for variant items.
- gender - must be "male," "female" or "unisex."
- age_group - must be "adult" or "kids.