Merchants take note, important changes are coming to Google Shopping ads beginning September 30, 2019 in relation to unique product identifiers (UPIs).
What is a unique product identifier?
A unique product identifier, or UPI, is a code or number assigned to a product by the manufacturer. These may include Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), and brand names. The most common UPI used in the United States is an item’s UPC code.
Currently, when a merchant submits an item without a valid UPI, Shopping ads for that item are automatically disapproved. However, that will soon be changing.
Beginning September 30, 2019, items submitted without a valid UPI will be approved but according to Google, “similar items with correct UPIs will receive higher priority to items that do not have correct UPIs.”
In a way, this is good news for merchants who have products that do not have a UPC or unique product identifier. Those products can now be included in Google Shopping ads, however, the search giant issues a word of caution – “the performance of items without correct UPIs may be limited.”
Merchants who are already submitting items with a UPC or other UPI should continue to do so. Google warns that any attempt to circumvent the process by removing an existing UPI or attempting to submit an item without a UPI that one exists for will result in that item being disapproved.
Additionally, submitting one UPI for multiple different items will result cause Google to deem the items “ambiguous” and will result in a disapproval.
At the end of the day, it’s always best to provide the cleanest data for Google with as much information as possible in regards to your products – including unique identifiers for every item.
Google’s advice to comply with this change is simple. “To ensure that your Merchant Center account is ready for this change, please be sure to submit correct GTINs, MPNs, and corresponding brands for all new in-stock products.”
Scott Sanfilippo began his eCommerce journey in 1994 by co-founding one of the Internet’s first online retailers, TheFerretStore.com, which was acquired by PetCo in 2006. In 2001, he co-founded the eCommerce design and marketing firm Solid Cactus, which was acquired by web.com in 2009. Today, Scott is the General Manager of Your Store Wizards and lives in Delray Beach, FL. Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.