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Magento & Google Shopping: All You Need to Know

23.10.2019

If you are a business with online product listings, you are probably aware of the abundance of online tools and services to list your products. Services such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and Google Shopping.

However, having your own Magento store puts you in a great position to use Google Shopping, not as a marketplace to manually list your products, but as an ad platform that automatically advertises the products listed on your store.

The best part of it, it’s officially supported by Magento and is free to use!

If your website is built with Magento Commerce, you already have a pre-integrated module set up in your system. The only thing you need to do is activate it.

What’s more, the module is also available if you built your store using the open-source version of the platform. In this case, all you have to do is download the official extension and use it for free.

Why use Google Shopping?

Google search is being utilised in over 70% of online consumer shopping, and with Google Shopping ads accounting for 60% of all ad clicks, it’s an understatement to say that the Google network is an important way to reach potential buyers.

Here are a few other reasons to use Google Shopping:

  • Better Display: It adds a visual touch to an otherwise text-heavy browsing & shopping experience
  • Better Visibility: It allows your business to show up multiple times in Google SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages); as a website result, a text-only PPC result, and as a Shopping result. It’s a good, albeit subliminal, way to improve your name recognition/branding. The more ways you pop up positively in results the merrier.
  • Higher Conversion Rates: Google Shopping is proven to have 30% higher conversion rates on average than text ads.
  • Cost-Effective: Most merchants love Google Shopping pricing model, which essentially lets you set up an account and list your products for free, and you only pay when an ad is clicked.

Magento integration for Google Shopping – a real time-saver

Those who have used Google Shopping before can vouch for its benefits listed above, but they probably have a thing or two to say about its tedious and lengthy process of setting up, listing, and optimising.

Luckily, Magento store owners can get the best of both worlds and save time and effort in the process. Magento has an official extension in the Magento Marketplace called Google Shopping Ads Channel, that allows you to unlock the full power of Google’s vast advertising network.

The extension seamlessly connects Magento stores with Google Merchant Center and Google Ads. By leveraging your Magento configurations and product catalogue, Google Merchant Center on-boarding and ongoing maintenance are streamlined and simplified. As your business and eCommerce1 store changes, Magento stays in sync with Google so you never have to worry about advertising out-of-stock products or inaccurate product pricing.

Terms to be familiar with

The best part of this extension is that it is so simple that anyone can master it.

To integrate Magento with Google Shopping, you merely need to have a decent understanding of the configuration segments it consists of.

Take a look at the segments below and their meanings:

  1. Attributes – The section that lists all the available attributes for the Google Shopping Feed for Magento (product name, description, category, condition, and so on).
  2. Product types – Here, you can configure your configurable or grouped and bundled products. You can choose to pull the information from the parent products.
  3. Additional configuration – Filling in extra data fields, shipping information, and connecting your configured and grouped products.
  4. Filter conditions – The feature that allows you to include or exclude products from the Google Shopping feed based on product visibility or stock information.
  5. Generation settings – Enable or disable the Google Shopping feed generation on store level or automatically generating the feed.
  6. Active feeds – Display of all active feeds.

Requirements & Installation

All you need to get started is the Google Shopping Ads Channel extension installed on your Magento instance and an API Key. The extension will walk you through installing Google Shopping ads, adding your Google API Key, and creating a series of accounts through Google onboarding. The accounts you will need or create include a Google general account, a Google Merchant Center, and a Google Ads accounts. You will need a payment method for your Google Ads account as part of this integration.

When installed, you can access the extension through the Magento Admin. On the Admin sidebar, tap Marketing. Then under Advertising Channels, tap Google Shopping ads.

What if you already have Google accounts for your business? Not a problem, you can use an existing Google account with the extension. However, you must create a new GMC account through the onboarding process. If you have claimed and verified your store URL(s) to an existing account, you must unclaim it to continue. You also will also have to create a new Google Ads account.

Magento, Compatibilities & Gotchas

Magento Versions

The Google Shopping extension supports Magento Open Source, Commerce, and Commerce Cloud on versions 2.2.X and 2.3.X. It does not support the extension on Magento 2.1 or Magento 1.

Product Types

The integration supports all Magento product types excluding gift cards, grouped products, and simple products with required options. Google also recommends not selling products requiring customisations or personalisation.

Google Account Errors

It is likely that you won’t be able to use the integration right away if you are a first-time Google Shopping merchant user, and that your account will show you initial errors. That is because your Google Merchant Center account must have a status of Approved. Once approved, Google continues product reviews and approvals and runs any active campaigns. If your account ever has an error, review and resolve quickly. All campaigns and product reviews will pause until the account is approved.

Syncing and Updates

After onboarding, Magento checks product and account status every 30 minutes for the first 72 hours. It can take Google up to 72 hours to review all products to approve for the Google product catalogue. After the first 72 hours, Magento checks once every 24 hours. The complete process of product data and review can take up to 10 days to complete for larger product catalogues.

Thankfully, after onboarding is done and the catalogue review is completed and approved, any changes to your products, including adding new products, removing old products, and adding attributes to existing ones, are checked almost immediately against Google’s configurations. If they match, the new products are automatically synced with Google for approval. If a product is removed or is out of stock, it is automatically removed from Google’s catalogue and ads (no need to worry about paying for useless ad-clicks!).

Campaign Ads

The integration supports Smart Shopping campaigns. These ads simplify your campaign management, maximise your conversion value, and expand your reach.

However, be aware that Google allows you to sync and sell up to 150,000 products from your Magento catalogue. If you attempt to sell more than 150,000 unique products, Google will disable and reduce the number of active products available. To overcome that hurdle, you can contact Google and request a quota increase.

Disapproved GMC Vs Disapproved Products

You should attempt to resolve a disapproved GMC account immediately. If your GMC account is disapproved, all running ads pause. When the account is resolved, ads run normally.

On the other hand, if products are disapproved, ads continue running with all appropriate, approved products. As you resolve product issues and Google approves the products, they may be added to the ad campaign.

Final thoughts

Taking advantage of Magento’s Google Shopping integration is almost a no-brainer, the worst-case scenario is getting your business name to show up more frequently in results for better name recognition for free or with paid clicks that increase traffic and improve SEO in the process. Even better, in addition to that, you could boost sales and conversion rate on your listings.

If you have any concerns or questions about this, do not hesitate to contact Best Response Media. We will be glad to help.

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