Different types of Google Merchant XML Data Feeds
In this article we cover the different XML data feeds for Google Shopping. Currently there are 3 types of XML data feeds that can be used which are product, inventory and promotions. Lets delve in to each feed and explain what they are and what benefit you can have from using them.
Products Data Feed
The products data feed is used for uploading the full list of your product data information, this is required for when you want to publish products on to Google Shopping. The attributes in this file needs to be complete, so if you have an apparel product you will need to add extra values compared to a normal product. It is important that you read the requirements for creating a data feed to ensure you have all required attributes and avoid disapproval.
This data feed can be automatically fetched once per day at any specified time, if you require more frequent updates you will need to use the product inventory data feed (more info below).
Tip : Do not fetch a new copy more than once a day, every time you fetch a copy the products will end up in an automated review process. When we fetch multiple times per day it will stay in limbo and have a negative effect on your search results. Every time you update there is a chance that your products are not visible on Google Shopping, so updating your products is best done during off-peak hours (mid night).
If you want to see other techniques in submitting products to Google, I suggest reading how to export products to Google Shopping.
Online Product Inventory Update
If you require to update existing products more frequently, than you can use the Product Inventory Update. This is not for adding new products, but for updating existing products in the main product data feed. This is also beneficial as the data file will be much lighter and thus processed much faster by Google’s Bot.
The following fields can be updated :
- Sale Price
- Sale Price Effective Date
The automated feature only allows you to update once per day. If you use this data feed in combination with the normal product data feed, than you can have your products information updated twice per day. For example have the main product data feed update at mid night and the product inventory update during mid day.
Promotions Data Feed
The promotions data feed allows you to submit promotions, such as special offers, discounts, free delivery, discounted delivery etc… You can read allot more about promotions data feed here.
The one main criteria is that the promotion has to be redeemed via the checkout and not before it is added to the basket.
If you do not see the Promotions Data Feed in your Google Merchant Center, you can request an activation here. Do note that you must have the data feed and promotion all setup before submitting a request.