How to export products to Google Shopping

How to export products to Google Shopping

There are a huge amount of methods when it comes to connecting your products to Google Shopping, in this article I will cover all the different methods and explain what is involved.

The following methods are covered in this article.

TXT Text Delimiter

You can upload a Text file directly to Google Merchant or use a Spreadsheet on Google Drive. When writing your spreadsheet file, you will need to include a header. This header identifies what each column represents.

 ABCDEFGH
1idtitledescriptionpriceconditionlinkavailabilityimage_link
2123-ukToy BearA yellow teddy bear12newhttp://www.example1.comin stockhttp://www.example.com/image1.jpg
31246Blender12-speed, black blender24.99usedhttp://www.example2.comin stockhttp://www.example.com/image2.jpg

Every time you make an update you will need to upload the whole file. This method is ok if you don’t have many products. It becomes problematic if you have a huge amount of stock or if you want to automate the updates or automate data population.

Pros

  1. If you know how to create Spreadsheets than creating a TXT file is easy
  2. You can have independent titles and descriptions

Cons

  1. You need to manually update and upload your file whenever you make a change
  2. CSV files need to be uploaded within every 30 days, or your products are removed. (Not the case with Google Drive Spreadsheet)
  3. Not suitable when you have many products
  4. You need to study up on Google’s Policy
  5. You need to study up on Product Feed Specifications

Here is an article on how to add a spreadsheet to Google Merchant.

XML

If you know how to create XML files, then this method would be an easy task. You could even generate it using your favorite language and your database data. The XML method is useful for when you have a large number of products prolonging you generate the data automatically from a database. Using XML as your choice of method will allow you to automatically update Google Shopping.

An example of a well-formatted XML file.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rss version="2.0" 
xmlns:g="http://base.google.com/ns/1.0">
<channel>
<title>The name of your data feed</title>
<link>http://www.example.com</link>
<description>A description of your content</description>
<item>
<title>Red wool sweater</title>
<link> http://www.example.com/item1-info-page.html</link>
<description>Comfortable and soft, this sweater will keep you warm on those cold winter nights.</description>
<g:image_link>http://www.example.com/image1.jpg</g:image_link>
<g:price>25</g:price>
<g:condition>new</g:condition>
<g:id>1a</g:id>
</item>
</channel>
</rss>

Pros

  1. Good for large product quantities (Connected to database)
  2. You can automate the updating process
  3. You can have custom data attributes

Cons

  1. Knowledge of XML and or another language is required
  2. Not suitable when you have many products (If not connected to a database)
  3. You need to study up on Google’s Policy
  4. You need to study up on Product Feed Specifications

 eCommerce Plugins / Extensions

If you’re using an opensource or paid eCommerce Platform than you can utilize plugins or extensions to automatically populate your data feed.

Most commonly the plugin will need to be updated every time the core platform is updated. Plugins might break, become non functional.

Pros

  1. No knowledge required
  2. Automated system (Depending on the plugin)

Cons

  1. You can not have custom attribute values
  2. As a result of not being able to add custom data, improving the ranking of the data feed, is extremely hard.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

SaaS applications tend to be highly focused and have serious developers which constantly improve and update their service. They have good support and are frequently updated platform.

All SaaS features the ability to independently edit attribute values such as titles and descriptions. And some SaaS also allow you to edit every single product individually. Increasing your level of customization.

Pros

  1. You can update your eCommerce Platform without causing any issues with the data feed
  2. SaaS applications are more often updated and have better support
  3. A better choice for serious merchants
  4. You can have custom attribute values

Cons

  1. You pay on a monthly basis
  2. SaaS, you are reliant on that companies web hosting

Conclusion

Every merchant has different requirements and different budgets, Google Shopping is not an easy platform and suggests to use dedicated applications. Ask yourself do you have a good knowledge of all the policies and file formatting? If the answer is no than using a SaaS solution is the best choice.

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