The mandatory Google GTIN update has officially launched as of May 16. The Era of Clean Data has arrived. First it was Amazon, and now Google has tightened the reins on retailers. The cost of poor and inconsistent content continues to mount as the drivers of digital commerce increasingly insist on transparency in your data feeds.
The Google GTIN Update – Why?
In September 2015, Google began requiring a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) for products within 50 specific brands in order to understand what was being sold by using standardized product information. Now, with the expanded update, all brand-name products must include the manufacturer-assigned GTIN number.
Google understands the power of click quality. Using the shopping feed to provide accurate product information leads to a stronger click-through rate and higher conversions. The Google GTIN update will help eliminate differing data provided by merchants, and in theory make the experience across all Google’s products more rewarding for users. For retailers and advertisers, product data accuracy will be key in order to continue competing in this massively-important marketplace.
The Rundown for Retailers
The new GTIN requirement launched on May 16, 2016.
All sellers in the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland are required to comply.
Products without a GTIN are automatically ineligible to serve in Google shopping auctions.
Inclusions: If a product is being sold as new and there is more than one entity with that specific SKU in a product feed to Google, such SKUs will need a GTIN, if a GTIN has been registered by the manufacturer.
Exclusions: Private label, custom, vintage or handcrafted items that do not have a GTIN issued by the manufacturer will not be impacted by this change. Sellers of used items can include GTINs to improve their ad performance if they so desire, however compliance is not mandatory.
Retailers, the time is now to optimize and synchronize your product data.
Google’s emphasis on data quality means all online sellers including retailers, brands, and distributors will need to invest significant time and resources in scrubbing their product feeds. Only sellers who satisfy the Google GTIN update requirements will even feature on product ads, while the rest will be automatically disqualified.
There are a few tools available to find GTINs, one SKU at a time, for free. Namely, the Google Merchant Center. But if you have a long list of products without GTINs this approach becomes tedious if not impossible to surmount.
For companies operating in multiple channels who have not moved to a single view of content with a master repository of data, the time has arrived. Implementing a platform that moves beyond your traditional business and embraces online marketplaces will help preserve your brand’s presence. The benefits accrue and, in turn, improve your capability to best serve customers in your core business, whether online or in print catalogs. The efficiencies plus improved revenues will pay for the product information management (PIM) platform alone, without even considering the upside of online marketplace revenues. However, not implementing such a system – and the losses to your revenues and brand presence – could put you at a tipping point for brand erosion and awareness.
Deploying a PIM and master data management (MDM) solution can help you power through the constant barrage of industry and marketplace changes. The EnterWorks Enable solution drives sales and margin growth with compelling, differentiated experiences through a single view of content across suppliers, partners, customers and marketplaces.