In 2015, Google added a new specification for the Merchant Centre product feeds. If you wanted to sell products from 50 top brands, the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) had to be included in your product feed. Very soon, all products that are sold by more than one merchant will be required to have the correct GTIN in merchants’ product feeds.
Why use GTINs?
GTINs are internationally recognised product codes. By telling Google the GTIN of the product for sale, it allows them to know the specific details of the product. With this information, Google can serve ads that are more relevant to customer’s searches, improving the customer’s experience and thus making Google better. This has driven 40% more clicks and a 20% higher conversion rate for merchants using GTINs, so your question really should be: “Why aren’t I already using GTINs?”
How do I find my product GTINs?
If you’re advertising using Google Shopping in Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, or the US, then you need to add GTINs to your product feed. If you don’t already have the GTINs from your suppliers, ask and they will be able to provide them for you. Or, if you need to know the GTIN right now, just look at the barcode. They look like this:
If you need more information, here’s Google’s page on unique product identifiers.
When do I need to add them by?
On February 8th, Google started displaying warnings on accounts that had not added GTINs already. You may have seen these already in the Diagnostics tab in Merchant Centre.
On May 16th, if you are still missing GTINs from your product feed, disapprovals will begin in your accounts.
So, what next?
Since adding GTINs to your product feed is proven to improve performance, what are you waiting for? Contact your suppliers if you don’t already have GTIN product information, and get it added into your product feed ASAP. You have until May, but why wait for a 20% higher conversion rate?