Google Merchant Center product specification data updates

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 22 Apr, 2024
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Check out new opportunities and ensure correct formatting with these updates for 2024.

Merchant Center updates.

Image: Jaclyn Moy on Unsplash

Google has published its regular annual updates to product data specifications in Merchant Center, aimed at improving the shopping experience. The specifications are there to guarantee that product data entered in Merchant Center is formatted correctly for both organic and paid listings.

Some of the changes are effective immediately, while others take effect later in the year.

Changes with immediate effect

AI-generated text to be identified. New attributes have been introduced in Shopping ads and free listings making it a requirement for merchants to identify text content created using generative AI. Merchants will need to use the [structured_title] and [structured_description] attributes for AI-generated titles and descriptions in product data.

Google had earlier this year published guidance on using metadata tags for product images using generative AI.

A new [loyalty_program] attribute is now available in the US and Japan. Merchants can use this to set up member prices and loyalty points. Adding the attribute will help Google to accurately represent the benefits of your loyalty program (as configured on Merchant Center) accurately across Google properties.  

A new minimum price [auto_pricing_min_price] attribute can be used to set the lowest or minimum advertised price to which your product's price can be reduced. Google will use this information for features such as sale price suggestions, automated discounts, and dynamic promotions.

Google has updated its guidance on installment-based offers. Google is expanding the [installment]attribute with a new [downpayment] sub-attribute to specify if the product requires a partial payment up front. Down payments previously had to be provided using the [price] attribute.

Vehicle ads will be able to use a new credit type [credit_type] sub-attribute to distinguish whether the type of installment credit is lease [lease] or finance [finance].

A new [free_shipping_threshold] attribute is now available in all countries. Merchants can use this to show the minimum order value to qualify for free shipping.

Google has also updated its guidance around government-imposed fees such as import duties, recycling fees, copyright fees, or state-specific retail delivery fees in the [shipping]attribute. These fees should no longer be included in the shipping cost.

Changes effective 31 July 2024

The list of countries where shipping cost is required and enforced will be expanded to include:

  • India
  • New Zealand

Changes effective 1 September 2024

[pickup_method] will be optional for Local Inventory Ads. In a simplification for merchants using the pickup today or pickup later feature it will no longer be a requirement to enable pickup for your offers.

[energy_efficiency_class] attributes will be deprecated as these overlap with the [certification]  attribute launched in 2023.

Use of the [price] attribute for down payments will be removed when used in combination with the installment [installment] attribute. (see above for new [downpayment] sub-attribute).

Read full details in Merchant Center help.

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