Google GTIN Update - Google Shopping

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.

Now What?

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.

For more information on EnterWorks PIM and MDM solutions, click here or contact us.

Susan Magi

Susan Magi

Susan Magi joined EnterWorks in June 2015 as Vice President of Marketing Programs. She has broad experience in all facets of business marketing, including brand and product management, direct marketing, analyst relations and market research. Magi came to EnterWorks after serving as the senior marketing executive at Riversand Technologies, where she led global marketing, demand generation, sales operations and analyst relations. Magi has extensive experience in retail and commerce from her prior marketing roles at VendorNet/eBay and Blue Martini/Escalate Retail, where she managed corporate marketing, marketing communications, demand generation and inside sales. Magi holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Florida Atlantic University.