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Insufficient Product Identifier Error for Apparel

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We sell apparel online from boutique designers. All items have a brand. No items have GTIN, SKUs, etc., because of their limited, designer runs. GTIN type info simply doesn't exist. 

 

The guidelines in merchant center show that we can set 'identifier exists' to true and list only the Brand  attribute. GTIN/MPN are optional (although recommended). 

 

Merchant Center is throwing errors for these products though, saying "Insufficient product identifiers: Missing two out of three attributes [GTIN, brand, mpn]". It appears that guidelines state we don't need two attributes, but they actually require two attributes (or a rule in their QA checking software is incorrectly set). 

 

Here are all the details from a specific product on our feed that is throwing errors.

(anything with [nn] is me replacing info for privacy:

 

Id: 24[nn]
price: $525.00
sale price: $397.50
availability: In stock
description: [nn] Product description is robust and includes materials, fit information, and a note from the designer.
google product category: Apparel & Accessories > Shoes > Boots
product type: Women's Designer Shoes > Boots
condition: new
custom label 0: [nn]
identifier exists: Yes
item group id: 782[nn]
gender: female
age group: adult
color: Black
size: 9.5
size type: regular
size system: US

 

We can set identifier exists to No for everything (and have done so in the short term), but are concerned we won't get the same exposure on the brand oriented searches that we were getting before they disapproved all our items as insufficient product identifiers. 

Thank you!

1 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by ElizabethP (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Insufficient Product Identifier Error for Apparel

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor


for apparel, be certain brand is valid and submitted --
a valid brand must be set by the manufacturer and
cannot be self-assigned by merchants.

the store (brand) name should be set in the account -- not the feed.

for apparel, if a valid brand does not exist
then set identifier_exists to FALSE and do
not submit any other global-trade-data --
do no submit gtin, brand, or mpn.

 

most apparel  items require only a valid brand --

jewelry, sunglasses, and watches are exceptions.

 

boutique may imply a valid brand does not exist --

custom goods require identifier_exists set FALSE

and no other global-trade-data should be submitted.

 

valid global-trade-data should be identical

for all merchants submitting the same item.


currently, google's processing is simply not robust enough to differentiate
the exact type of item from the corresponding required global-trade-data --
the data must be hand-inspected against all the current rules and policies
and then any false-negatives must simply be ignored.

if there was a disapproval then the best likely course is to check the validity

of the global-trade-data and all other values that are being submitted  -- or,

contact a merchant-center-feed specialist to inspect the disapproval details.

 

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by ElizabethP (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Insufficient Product Identifier Error for Apparel

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor


for apparel, be certain brand is valid and submitted --
a valid brand must be set by the manufacturer and
cannot be self-assigned by merchants.

the store (brand) name should be set in the account -- not the feed.

for apparel, if a valid brand does not exist
then set identifier_exists to FALSE and do
not submit any other global-trade-data --
do no submit gtin, brand, or mpn.

 

most apparel  items require only a valid brand --

jewelry, sunglasses, and watches are exceptions.

 

boutique may imply a valid brand does not exist --

custom goods require identifier_exists set FALSE

and no other global-trade-data should be submitted.

 

valid global-trade-data should be identical

for all merchants submitting the same item.


currently, google's processing is simply not robust enough to differentiate
the exact type of item from the corresponding required global-trade-data --
the data must be hand-inspected against all the current rules and policies
and then any false-negatives must simply be ignored.

if there was a disapproval then the best likely course is to check the validity

of the global-trade-data and all other values that are being submitted  -- or,

contact a merchant-center-feed specialist to inspect the disapproval details.

 

Re: Insufficient Product Identifier Error for Apparel

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Great information! Thank you for the quick reply.

Curious about your 'valid brand' terminology. Does Google have a giant list somewhere of 'valid brands'?

Our boutiques carry primarily brand name merchandise (as in, they purchase it from a designer), but these are mostly emerging designers. If there is some master brand list somewhere that we need to conform to, they probably aren't on it.

If there is no master list, what's wrong with us, for example, just using the brand name of the item: e.g. Bruce Bosworth Shoes. This way when someone searches for Bruce Bosworth wingtips, our item in the shopping feed would surface. Make Sense?

Re: Insufficient Product Identifier Error for Apparel

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor



first, you're welcome.

there is no master list published by google --
the master-lists are from the brand-manufacturers.

google may check with the brand-manufacturer directly and against
other merchants selling the same item -- all merchants selling the
same item must (should) be submitting the exact global-trade-data
values as assigned by the manufacturer.

which of the values are required by google, depend on the type of item --
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/1344057

if the required, valid, global-trade-data for the type of item exists
then, the required, valid, global-trade-data must be submitted --
or, the item must be removed from the feed.

if the required, valid, global-trade-data for the type of item does not
exist (has never been properly assigned by the manufacturer) then,
identifier_exists FALSE must be submitted -- and mpn, brand, gtin
should not be submitted; or, the item removed from the feed.

shoes require at least two valid global-trade-data values;
a valid brand for a shoe is not enough; since any two valid
values are required, if a valid brand is submitted then,
either a valid gtin or a valid mpn must also be submitted.

for a dress, only a valid brand is required.

a valid brand must be properly assigned by the brand-manufacturer.

generally, most brand-name shoes have an exact brand value
assigned by a manufacturer -- merchants cannot self-assign
values simply to submit a value; e.g. a nike flyknit shoe
cannot be submitted with a brand of nike-shoe, or nikes --
the brand submitted must be
Nike

most brand-name shoes also have a gtin or mpn or both,
as assigned by the brand-manufacturer, to the exact shoe.

a boutique dress may not have proper valid global-trade-data --
if proper global-trade-data has been assigned, then all merchants
selling that same dress should be submitting the same brand.

 

custom, one-off, or private designations, might be submitted

within a description and used for search; but usually not as

a valid brand for global-trade.

global-trade-data may be used for searching and display and to help
create product-groups or bidding strategies in a shopping-campaign.

however, global-trade-data is mainly a legal designation by a brand-manufacturer --
if valid, proper, global-trade-data has been assigned to an item, the data must be
submitted as defined by the manufacturer, by all merchants selling that item.

submitting improper, inexact, invalid, or self-assigning,
global-trade-data is grounds for items to be removed
from the listings, disapproval, or (permanent) suspension.

 

of course, google is the final arbiter of all policies.

 

Re: Insufficient Product Identifier Error for Apparel

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Makes sense - thanks for writing it all here.

I'm still curious though, when GMC does accept our brand for a piece of apparel (not sunglasses, watches, or shoes), why they report an error saying we need two product identifiers when their policies only require us to have one. Any insight here?

Re: Insufficient Product Identifier Error for Apparel

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

if there is no disapproval then the
message may simply be a warning.

currently, google's (feed) processing may only do a general check --
rather than matching the type of item to what is required for that
specific type of item.

that is, the automated (feed) processing may simply check
all global-trade-data attributes in isolation -- before first
checking the requirements for the type of physical item;
if so, the associated messages may need to be ignored.

automated processing may sometimes require a human
to verify that the issue being flagged is actually an issue
based on the current policies and the physical item.