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.

A B C D E F G H
1 id title description price condition link availability image_link
2 123-uk Toy Bear A yellow teddy bear 12 new http://www.example1.com in stock http://www.example.com/image1.jpg
3 1246 Blender 12-speed, black blender 24.99 used http://www.example2.com in stock http://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 problomatic 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, than 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 amount 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 independent titles and descriptions

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 your using an opensource or paid eCommerce Platform than you can utilize plugins or extensions to automatically populate your data feed. However what I have found is that there is no perfect plugin. Most plugins are developed once, and never to be updated. An easy way to find out if it’s a good plugin, is to read the comments and check if there are replies from the developer. And see when the last update was.

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

I have found multiple plugins out of date or simply have no support on questions.

Pros

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

Cons

  1. You might encounter poor support
  2. You might notice it was not been updated for a long time
  3. Every time the core platform is updated, the app most likely needs to be updated
  4. You can not have independent titles and description

Standalone APP, SaaS

If you find a standalone APP, you will notice that these apps are much more focused and have serious developers which are focused on the application. I only know a handful of Standalone APP’s & SaaS (Software as a Service) that currently are worth using. They have a good support and are frequently updated software. There are two types of standalone APPS one is which you can install on your website and connect all your data or using a SaaS. The difference between the two is that SaaS is a monthly service, while a self install app is a singular license.

Most standalone apps also feature the ability to have independent titles and descriptions. If you want to out perform your competitor than you will need to improve your titles and descriptions.

Pros

  1. You can update your eCommerce Platform without causing any issues with the data feed
  2. Standalone or SaaS applications are more often updated and have better support
  3. A better choice for serious merchants
  4. You can have different text and descriptions than your website

Cons

  1. Can be more expensive
  2. SaaS, you are reliant on that companies web hosting
  3. Standalone APP, you are reliant on your own web hosting

Conclusion

Every merchant has different requirements and different budgets, Google Shopping is not an easy platform and suggest 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 an APP is the best choice.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.