I'm pretty new to this, but I'm wondering if Shopify stores nowadays still need apps like https://apps.shopify.com/google-shopping-feed, given there's now a Google Merchant Centre app (https://apps.shopify.com/google-shopping) in Shopify that automatically builds the product feed (or at least I'm led to believe)?
Hi - I don't have experience of that specific 3rd party app but I have used datafeedwatch . Main difference compared to the Shopify built app is the level of control you have over your feed in terms of exactly what gets sent e.g. you can change your product title to be 'Vendor + Product Title - Variant' if you feel that is more optimal. You have virtually no control with the Shopify one but that lack of options does make it very simple to use.
Here's a real world example:
In the image below, I have searched for 'Greys GR70 Streamflex Plus' (which is a fly fishing rod). The result I have labelled with a '1' shows the 'product tile + a specific variant' (9ft6 #4) whereas the result I have labelled '2' just uses the 'product title' with no specific variant. Given I did not state a variant in my search term you could argue that the 2nd way is better. In the Shopify app you could not do this, it will always send the product title + variant as per '1'.
You can use the Google Shopping by Shopify but all the apps are not perfect and suffer from the same issue of not giving you the most control and flexibility over your shopping feed. Your shopping feed is the heart and soul of your shopping campaigns. We use Feedonomincs to manage all our shopping feeds for clients because we can build a custom feed for each ad platform. Hope you found this helpful, if so please click "like" below to let me know.
Define tested... in what way and how? Expensive is relative to what your time is worth. We can do things 2x faster in Feedonomics. They have gotten us into exclusive betas on ad platforms for clients and we get an account manager for the price... which you don't get with DWF. We have a client on DFW and the platform is just ok.
As everyone is saying there are many reasons 3rd party solutions are still a thing.
What you should consider are your goals. Do you just want to set it up and let it run without any improvements? Then maybe a simple app will do.
Do you want to control such as improving the data feed using import rules, manual editing? Then a feed management solution is useful.
Do you want specialist help in Google Shopping?
Do you want something that offers both a managed service and DIY?
You will find that at some point you become stagnant, or are moving backwards in sales and performance.
With Google Shopping there are 3 fundamentals, the data feed, the Google Ads setup and the website.
The data feed is the base of the ranking, by adding all recommended and required attributes, you can increase the ranking, which results in more eligible ad auctions and lower CPC.
With the Google Ads setup, we have a lot of attributing areas (campaign setup, settings, conversion settings, remarketing), for improving the performance in Shopping. There are different strategies for different types of businesses.
Hope this helps.