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Linking Merchant Center with eCommerce Platforms

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We are looking to migrate our ecommerce store from Magento to either Shopify or BigCommerce. And we'd like to start using Google Shopping.  We have a Google Merchant account set up but are having trouble figuring out how best to implement it.  We sell apparel with multiple variants (size, color, pattern, material).

 

Both Shopify and BigCommerce can send product data to Google Shopping via API and keep it synced, but Shopify doesn't allow an upload to their site of all the apparel fields we want to include in Google Shopping.  BigCommerce allows an upload to their site with more of the fields we need for Google Shopping, but says they don't allow exporting of any options (only base product) to Google Shopping. BigCommerce is missing some fields we would like to include as well (example: is_bundled is not available on either platform).

 

In order to get all of the products with variants and details we want into Google Shopping, is it possible to upload the data feed into Google Merchant Center and then link it to either our Shopify or BigCommerce store? If so, will the Google Merchant Center data feed match up with our ecommerce data and be able to sync through the APIs?  I don't care if the extra Google Shopping details are in the eCommerce sites, I just want all of the information I need to be in Google Shopping and for it to sync so prices and availability are kept up to date.

 

Thank you,

Kari

1 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Kari W
March 2016

Re: Linking Merchant Center with eCommerce Platforms

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

the short answers are no and no.

the main point of linking is so that the e-commerce site
handles all data submitted to google, without any direct
upload of data or any later involvement by the merchant.

any direct upload would either override the already submitted
(linked) data, or more likely would result in duplicate content --
which is grounds for a disapproval or (permanent) suspension
from the program, at any time.

generally, either (a) have the e-commerce system handle all
data uploads, or (b) handle all data via some external upload,
and verify that the e-commerce system is not also submitting
any data (e.g. no linking) -- but never both.

there is no requirement to submit all product variants.

however, if any in-stock product variant is submitted then,
all the rules and policies for variants must be followed --
both for all submitted data and the website landing-page;
otherwise, the items can be disapproved, removed from the
listings, or the website and account suspended entirely.

for example, identical item_group_id values, and at least
one variant attribute with a proper value that is unique
among all items, within the variant-group, are required.

for example, the variant should be (server-side) preselected
using url-parameters or a separate landing-page per variant --
e.g.
http://www.example.com/shirt-abc123.html?color=red&size=12&patten=stripes
http://www.example.com/shirt-abc123-red-12-stripes.html

for example, color variants must submit a separate image_link value.

there are other rules and policies depending on the type of variant --
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/1344057
similarly, there are rules and policies related to product bundles.

after the data is submitted, being kept up-to-date is a rather separate issue --
all data must be resubmitted at least monthly, or immediately if any critical
change to the website or the physical on-hand inventory (availability) occurs;
there are various methods for keeping data fresh and in-sync -- such as: the
content-api, automatic-item-updates, an inventory-feed, scheduled-fetches,
simply re-submitting the data, or a careful combination of these methods.

all details of the submitted data, the information displayed on the website,
and the literal on-hand physical inventory details, must all match exactly,
at all times, or otherwise risks a disapproval or suspension, at any time.

the best likely course would be to recontact the e-commerce support
organizations directly to clarify any alternate handling of variants,
bundles, and data freshness, with respect to the merchant-center
and all product-listing-ad rules and policies.

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Kari W
March 2016

Re: Linking Merchant Center with eCommerce Platforms

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

the short answers are no and no.

the main point of linking is so that the e-commerce site
handles all data submitted to google, without any direct
upload of data or any later involvement by the merchant.

any direct upload would either override the already submitted
(linked) data, or more likely would result in duplicate content --
which is grounds for a disapproval or (permanent) suspension
from the program, at any time.

generally, either (a) have the e-commerce system handle all
data uploads, or (b) handle all data via some external upload,
and verify that the e-commerce system is not also submitting
any data (e.g. no linking) -- but never both.

there is no requirement to submit all product variants.

however, if any in-stock product variant is submitted then,
all the rules and policies for variants must be followed --
both for all submitted data and the website landing-page;
otherwise, the items can be disapproved, removed from the
listings, or the website and account suspended entirely.

for example, identical item_group_id values, and at least
one variant attribute with a proper value that is unique
among all items, within the variant-group, are required.

for example, the variant should be (server-side) preselected
using url-parameters or a separate landing-page per variant --
e.g.
http://www.example.com/shirt-abc123.html?color=red&size=12&patten=stripes
http://www.example.com/shirt-abc123-red-12-stripes.html

for example, color variants must submit a separate image_link value.

there are other rules and policies depending on the type of variant --
https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/1344057
similarly, there are rules and policies related to product bundles.

after the data is submitted, being kept up-to-date is a rather separate issue --
all data must be resubmitted at least monthly, or immediately if any critical
change to the website or the physical on-hand inventory (availability) occurs;
there are various methods for keeping data fresh and in-sync -- such as: the
content-api, automatic-item-updates, an inventory-feed, scheduled-fetches,
simply re-submitting the data, or a careful combination of these methods.

all details of the submitted data, the information displayed on the website,
and the literal on-hand physical inventory details, must all match exactly,
at all times, or otherwise risks a disapproval or suspension, at any time.

the best likely course would be to recontact the e-commerce support
organizations directly to clarify any alternate handling of variants,
bundles, and data freshness, with respect to the merchant-center
and all product-listing-ad rules and policies.

Re: Linking Merchant Center with eCommerce Platforms

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you so much - you've been a huge help!