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.
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.
|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 problematic if you have a huge amount of stock or if you want to automate the updates or automate data population.
Here is an article on how to add a spreadsheet to Google Merchant.
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>
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.
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.
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.