The Google Shopping Onboarding Checklist summarises the most common requirements that all merchants need to meet before getting started with Google Shopping (not an exhaustive list). The aim is to provide a more seamless onboarding experience for merchants by proactively checking and addressing the most frequent reasons for Merchant Center account suspensions.
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Please review the website against the eight areas and ensure the requirements are met:
Secure Checkout: Payment transactions, payment processing, and collection of personal information must be over a valid SSL-secure URL (the URL begins with https://)
Examples of personal information (not an exhaustive list): first and last name, mailing address, phone number, numbers for credit or debit cards, bank and investment accounts, wire transfers, national identity, login email and password, tax ID, pension, healthcare, driver’s license or social security numbers
Complete Checkout: Ensure any users can complete the checkout process without the need for paying for membership or buying additional items
- Minimum purchase or cart amounts are not allowed
- You can restrict shipping to only the areas you are targeting in your Shopping campaign, but any user from any location still needs to be able to complete the checkout process
- Merchants should not restrict purchases to businesses or legal customers only
Contact Information: Please make at least two of the following three clearly and easily visible on the Web site:
- Physical address (no P.O. boxes)
- Contact phone number
- Contact email address (a “Contact Us” form only will not be compliant)
Payment Methods: Ensure all accepted payment methods are made clear to the users before they begin the checkout process
A commonly used method is to add images of the accepted payment methods to the footer of the site
Billing T&Cs: Ensure the site has clear billing terms and conditions that are easily accessible and viewable
Refund Policy: Your refund policy must be clearly stated and easily found by the user and should include the following:
- What is the time frame of the return/refund period? 14 days, 30 days, unlimited, etc.
- What is the policy for defective items?
- What is the policy for items users simply want to return or no longer want? You are able to state you do not allow returns or refunds for items that are not broken or delivered correctly but it must be stated clearly in the policy.
- Who pays for the shipping to return the item to the merchant: the user or the merchant?
- How does a user initiate the return/refund process? Email address, phone call, online form submission, etc.
- Is the refund policy in the official language of the country the data feed is targeting? If you are targeting multiple countries with the data feed, please ensure the policy is accessible in all applicable official languages.
- No watermarks, overlays, or promotional text of any kind on images and the images should not contain a border
- The recommended sizes of images are at least 800x800 pixels for the best user experience
Landing Page Requirements:
- The key elements of product (title, description, image, price, currency, availability, buy button) must be clearly visible on the landing page
- Ensure your landing pages are not generic (i.e. product links leading to your home page)
- Your site and landing pages should be fully accessible in all locations and browsers
- If a product has variants (color, size, pattern, material, etc.), we strongly recommend that your landing page shows the correct pre-selected variant corresponding to the product listing
- Furthermore, the product variant that is being promoted in Google Shopping should be properly specified in the feed (color, size, pattern, material, etc.)
- Your landing page must display a product offer that is essentially identical to the product listing that you submitted to Google in your product data
- Ensure your products, landing pages, policies, etc. are in the official language and currency of the target country of the data feed
Shipping & Delivery Requirements:
- The shipping costs that should be provided in Merchant Center should be rates for direct-to-consumer services
- Rates for ship-to-store delivery are not allowed for rates entered in Merchant Center
- Your shipping costs specified in Merchant Center must be equal to the shipping costs produced on your site
- It is acceptable to have Merchant Center show higher shipping costs than your site
- You are able to restrict where you ship items within your target country, however your Shopping campaigns in AdWords must only be targeting these restricted areas
- For all countries other than the United States, Canada, India, value added tax (VAT) must be included in the item price submitted on the data feed and the price + VAT must be visible on the landing page
- The currency for prices must follow ISO 4217 Standard
- For products on sale, we recommend including the 'sale price' attribute and submit the regular price (before sale) in the 'price' attribute
- In this case, the sale price (instead of the regular price) must be straightforward to find on the page
- Any user should be able to buy the item shown on Shopping for delivery in the target countries for the provided price without being required to buy additional products from the merchant
- For products sold in bulk quantities, total price for the minimum number of items sold must be submitted
- The landing page can also list the minimum quantity and the price per unit instead of the total price for the minimum number of items sold
All requirements met? Get Started with Google Shopping here!
More on Google Shopping Policies here.
DISCLAIMER: Please be aware this document is to be used a guide and not an exhaustive checklist of items needed to be compliant with Google Shopping policies. Google also cannot be held responsible if policies are updated/changed at later date that are not reflected in this guide. Use accordingly.
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