2024 Google Merchant Center Product Data Specification Updates

Apr 10, 2024 - 7:21 am 0 by

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Google has published its yearly update for its Merchant Center product data specification. Some of the changes listed below went into effect yesterday, April 9, while some go into effect on July 31, 2024, and others don't go into effect until September 1, 2023.

The last time Google updated the Merchant Center product data specification was in April 2023 and then before that was in April 2022 and then before that in April 2021.

Here is a copy and paste of the changes listed here:

Changes beginning immediately (April 9, 2024)

Introducing new product data specification attributes for AI-Generated content in Shopping ads & free listings: We’re adding new attributes that will require merchants to disclose text content that was created using generative AI. Use the structured title [structured_title] attribute and the structured description [structured_description] attribute when using AI-generated titles and descriptions in your product data.

This builds on our February 2024 update on how to use the IPTC DigitalSourceType TrainedAlgorithmicMedia metadata tag to label product images (the image link [image_link], additional image link [additional_image_link], and lifestyle image link [lifestyle_image_link] attributes) that were created using generative AI.

Learn more about the requirements for submitting AI-generated content

New loyalty program [loyalty_program] attribute, available in the US and JP: Use the loyalty program [loyalty_program] attribute to set up member prices and loyalty points. Adding the attribute helps Google to accurately represent the benefits of your loyalty program (as configured on Merchant Center) across Google properties.

New minimum price [auto_pricing_min_price] attribute: Use the minimum price [auto_pricing_min_price] attribute to set the lowest or minimum advertised price (MAP) to which a product's price can be reduced. Google uses this information for features such as sale price suggestions, automated discounts, and dynamic promotions.

Updated guidance on installment [installment]- based offers: We’re updating our guidance around the usage of the installment attribute. An offer that uses the installment attribute will be treated as an offer where the product can be purchased by either paying the price-up front using the price [price] attribute or paying in installments. With this change we’re expanding the installment [installment] attribute with a new downpayment [downpayment] sub-attribute to specify if the product requires a partial upfront payment. Previously such down payments needed to be provided using the price [price] attribute.

Specific for Vehicle ads, we’re also adding a credit type [credit_type] sub-attribute to the installment [installment] attribute, to allow specifying whether the type of installment credit is lease [lease] or finance [finance].

New free shipping threshold [free_shipping_threshold] attribute, available in all countries: Use the free shipping threshold [free_shipping_threshold] attribute to indicate the minimum order value above which shipping is free.

Updated guidance on the inclusion of government-imposed fees in the shipping [shipping] attribute: We’re updating our guidance around the usage of the shipping attribute. Don’t include government-imposed fees such as import duties, recycling fees, copyright fees, or state-specific retail delivery fees in the shipping cost.

Changes beginning July 31, 2024

Expanding the list of countries where shipping cost is required: We’re expanding the list of countries where shipping cost is required and enforced to additional countries. Offers without shipping cost will now be disapproved in these countries:

  • India
  • New Zealand

Changes beginning September 1, 2024

Pickup method [pickup_method] will be optional for Local Inventory Ads: We’re simplifying inventory handling for LIA merchants that use the pickup today or pickup later features by making pickup method [pickup_method] optional. Pickup method [pickup_method] will no longer be required to enable pickup for your offers. Learn more about the LIA inventory feed specification.

Removing energy_efficiency_class attributes: In 2023, we launched the new certification [certification] attribute as a new way to describe certifications, such as energy efficiency ratings, associated with a product and to allow for compliance with updated EU energy efficiency labeling regulations for products covered by rescaled EU energy labels. This attribute overlaps with our pre-existing energy efficiency class [energy_efficiency_class] attributes and so we will be deprecating the energy efficiency attributes in favor of the certification attribute.

Removing the use of the price [price] attribute for down payments when used in combination with the installment [installment] attribute: Previously, in non-LATAM countries, the price [price] attribute was interpreted as the downpayment price for installment payments provided using the installment [installment] attribute. With the addition of a new downpayment [downpayment] sub-attribute for the installment [installment] attribute on April 9, we will be removing support for providing downpayment using the price [price] attribute after September 1.

Some Merchant Center users are getting notifications about these policy updates, here is a screenshot from Thomas Eccel on X:

Merchant Center Product Data Notification Email

Forum discussion at X.

 

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