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eCommerce marketing channels are constantly evolving, which means that your product feeds need to be highly responsive and accurate to adhere to the ever-changing standards of different channels. Without proper validation, optimization, and compliance, you run the risk of having unresolved issues and inaccurate product listings that will ultimately hinder your store’s overall performance.

The good news is, by partnering with a knowledgeable technical partner like Highstreet.io, you won’t have to second-guess the accuracy and efficiency of your product feed’s compliance and optimization with each changing platform – because it will already be done for you.

How Different eCommerce Channels use Compliant & Optimized Product Feeds

A robust platform that streamlines the optimization and compliance process of your product feeds for different channels? That’s a game-changer.

Shopping ads & remarketing ads: When it comes to either shopping ads or remarketing ads, optimized product feeds allow your products to be properly targeted, improving your reach and visibility.

Distribution & retail channels: With distribution and retail channels, product feed compliance and optimization means they can quickly update your product listings and start selling new products due to the submission of accurate product information that is ready to market.

Marketplaces: On different marketplaces, producing optimized feeds means always having up-to-date product information without compromise.

eCommerce Solutions: Finally, optimized product feeds are beneficial with other third-party tools for eCommerce, such as built-in site search systems, rate and review systems, and even improving your store’s checkout flow with shopping cart abandonment services.

With shopping channels, retailers & distributors, marketplaces, and other eCommerce tools require optimized feeds for the best performance and manually fetching rich data can be extremely time-consuming.

Not anymore.

The Highstreet.io platform provides the tools to support compliance and optimization efforts, as well as troubleshooting capabilities that eliminate the need to manually troubleshoot issues.

One of the more popular channels we create feeds for is Google Shopping. Dealing with compliance issues in Google Merchant Center (GMC) can be a full-time job if you don’t know all of the requirements Google has for both your website and your product feeds.

Keep reading to find out more about how to prevent GMC product disapprovals.

Google Merchant Center (GMC) Compliance Rules & Optimization Techniques

Google Merchant Center has strict requirements for product data feeds, making your job a lot more challenging when it comes to submitting accurate data. They require specific data attributes that help to identify the unique characteristics of your products and leave little-to-no room for error or inaccuracies with this data.

A cloud-based feed management tool, like Highstreet.io, helps resolve errors that will ultimately lead to disapproved products. On top of that, Highstreet.io has a specific integration with Google Merchant Diagnostics API to extract issues and alert customers when major issues are found.

GMC Feed Compliance

Understanding the rules for each of your product listing channels is essential to preventing disapproved products. This is especially relevant to platforms like Google Merchant Center.

Lesser-known GMC errors that may prevent you from advertising on Google Shopping:

  • Inappropriate Language: If your product feed mixes languages, then Google Merchant Center will likely flag your feed, which can ultimately lead to account suspension. Avoid mixing languages to avoid the headache altogether.
  • Specific Checkout Requirements: A bad user experience, specifically at checkout, can not only run the risk of becoming a deterrent for the end-user but will subsequently be flagged by Google Merchant Center as having a poor UX, and therefore will neglect running your ads.
  • Google Bots: When crawling your webpage, if a bot discovers any sort of error, be it robots.txt, 404, slow renderings/high latency, or any navigational hiccups within your sitemap – Google Merchant Center can and will disapprove your ads.

More popular GMC compliance errors that are easier to fix:

  • Invalid value [availability] /or/ Missing required attribute: [availability]
  • Missing shipping information
  • Limited performance due to missing identifiers [gtin, mpn, brand]
  • Invalid value for category [price]
  • Missing value [description] /or/ Text too short
  • Image too small /or/ Low image quality [image link]

When these errors occur, you run the risk of disapproved products across multiple channels. With a centralized tool at work, these errors and disapproved products are immediately and automatically addressed behind the scenes, avoiding further issues with your product feeds so you can continue selling your products online with ease.

You can find a full list of Google Merchant Center’s requirements here.

GMC Feed Optimization

Once your campaigns are compliant then it’s time to optimize your product data in a way that will get the most interest from users.

Lesser-known techniques you may want to consider:

  • Product Highlights: This recent feature is based on short bulleted lists to present the most relevant features of the seller products. Follow the rules for max size and max number of bullet points.
  • Use Unit Pricing when appropriate: It may be useful to define the measurements and dimensions of a product to allow users to understand the exact cost per unit of a product.
  • Optimize for Smart Campaigns:

– Choose landscape images
– Use videos
– Use headlines
– Description text is very important

More popular techniques that should be part of your basic GMC optimization:
  • Monitor the Number of Shopping Offers: The objective is to monitor the number of shopping offers at different stages.

– submitted offers
– suspended offers because of a suspended account
– pending offers (review state)
– disapproved offers
– out-of-stock offers
– targeted offers because on a shopping campaign
– offers with impressions
– offers with clicks

  • Monitor Duplicate Titles: Unique titles help consumers identify the product before they click. Duplicate titles indicate that titles are not descriptive enough or are missing important variant attributes.
  • Ensure Product Descriptions are Complete: Make sure they have enough content and are unique. Incomplete descriptions may have an effect on product keywords that Google Merchant Center extracts from feeds.

Why use Highstreet.io to Ensure Feed Compliance and Optimization?

As a merchant, you can use the Highstreet.io platform to:

  • Optimize your product data using rules and look-up tables
  • Consolidate information from multiple sources into one channel-specific feed
  • Validate the feed for compliance before it’s submitted to your marketing channel of choice
  • Use our managed service to proactively prevent ongoing compliance issues before they become problems

You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your product feeds are being submitted to channels with strict requirements, like Google Shopping, using the correct formatting for the best possible outcome and performance.