I literally have to vent somewhere. So this is a good place. I have literally been on chat with I think 6 or 7 support persons in Shopify today. The last support person literally was the worst. A supervisor had given me a link to request a Call Back, only that link was not there. He kept insisting on going through the motions of clicking the "Continue" button under Support to get this magic Call Back button. Only by searching this forum did I see that when it is busy this is not available.
Now to the issue:
I have a notification on the Home page (in admin) that 70 products didn't publish to Google.
When viewing these products the warning/error under the Google Channel is that I need to add a gtin or mpn. When I click on the "View product" link the product is marked as a custom product. My understanding is that if I do not have a gtin or mpn I tick "This is a custom product" which sets the attribute "identifier_exists" to "no". This makes Google Merchant happy and the products should be published.
I could get rid of the Google warning/error by unticking this box, saving it, then ticking it and saving it again. I did this for about 20 products when I realised that the number of products with this issue was back up to 70 again and on product level the error was back in that I needed to add a gtin or mpn (despite the custom product set to "yes"). Somewhere on Shopify or the Google app this field is being reset.
I exported all the products with this error, but viewing it in Excel I could not see the field "identifier_exists" or something similar.
I have set a feed rule on Google Merchant to set identifier_exists to "no" for the time being.
Anyone else came across this? Is there anything I can do on Shopify admin to solve this issue?
Thanks for any help offered
When submitting product identifiers the following should be applied.
If a manufacturer has assigned a bar code, then submit brand, mpn (if available), GTIN and set identifier exists to yes.
If the manufacturer has not assigned a bar code, then remove the values brand, mpn, gtin and set identifier exists to no.
While the official documentation does mention you can submit brand + mpn and ignore GTIN. In the majority of cases this will cause issues and will generate warnings such as limited performance due to missing identifiers.
And as of June 2021 certain categories and or countries require barcodes to be submitted, regardless if you have any. In this case you need to get official GS1 barcodes.
A secondary reason for issues is that most merchants tend to use SKU as the MPN values, which is not correct.
SKU stands for “stock keeping unit” and — as the name suggests — it is a number (usually eight alphanumeric digits) that retailers assign to products to keep track of stock levels internally.
An MPN, or manufacturer part number is a manufacturer-assigned, unique, alphanumeric value that is used to identify a product among other products from the same manufacturer.
I recommend if your products are indeed custom, ie don't have a bar code, is to go to Google Merchant Center > products > feeds > click on the feed > feed rules.
Here clear brand, mpn and gtin. And set identifier exists to no.
More details: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/7450276
Thank you so much for your reply. As I mentioned I think there is a technical issue with Shopify or Google App, or maybe because the attribute brand has a value (I can't seem to remember how I can set that value to blank in Shopify)
In essence settings are as follows for all my products:
I illustrate and sell art prints and all product details are the same except for stock quantities and descriptions/images. The majority of these products have the error "You need a gtin or mpn", but some do not. All products have the custom product identifier set to "yes". That doesn't seem to be right.
I can temporarily get rid of the error messages by unticking -> saving, then ticking -> saving custom product attribute. After about 5 -10 minutes the error message appears again. Something that was noticed by one of the Shopify support persons.
I have fixed the issue on Google Merchant by creating a feed rule to set identifier_exists to "no".
There is no technical issue, it is simply how they have built it. It's actually not a good fit for every merchant.
Therefore you need to use feed rules to correctly set it up correctly, as you have now done.