Big drop in active items Google Merchant

anilobmit
Tourist
16 0 1

Hi everyone,

 

Lately I have been noticing a drop in my website's visitors.

 

I wasn't able to figure out why until I checked my Google Merchants account. It seems that there's a big drop in "Active Items" and there are items expiring.

 

As you can see below I went from ~1000 active items to only ~100. And I can't figure out why this is the case.

 

Is there anybody who had the same issue, and how do I solve this?

 

Thanks a lot!

 

Knipsel.JPG

Replies 34 (34)
DuaneBrown
Shopify Expert
1568 152 932

If items are under expiring then that means you have not update your SKUs in Google Merchant Center (GMC) in 30 days. At minimum you need to sync GMC with your Shopify store every store days to keep SKUs active. As for the drop in items, I would check the tool or app you are using to sync with your GMC account and make sure that is not causing the issue. If you are not using an app right now to sync GMC and your Shopify store, they are tons of options:

Google Shopping App...or you can see what else is on the Shopify App store. Hope you found this helpful, if so please click "like" below to let me know.

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stevelamar
Explorer
59 5 24

Agree with Duane here. There is an issue with your product feed. This should be relatively easy to fix by looking at the feed app you are using to see if you are getting errors or change out to a new fee app. 

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Josh_Uebergang
Shopify Expert
853 30 214

Seeing that the total items have dropped, rather than simply active items, you likely have products removed from the store or some condition at the feed level (check your app) that is excluding products from the feed.

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jamesroberts
Tourist
8 0 0

@anilobmit did you get this resolved?

 

We're having the same issue. No problems/warnings/errors in the Google Shopping app by Shopify, but an increasing number of expiring items, and active items are dropping off. Merchant Center has no way to filter by "expiring" products, and we have thousands, so it's really difficult to figure out a trend. I'm thinking that the items that are expiring are items that were added to Shopify a long time ago and have not been edited in a while. For whatever reason, the app isn't pushing those older products via Content API, and they're not getting refreshed as a result in Merchant Center.

 

The best solution I can think of is if we could "shutter" our entire product catalog so that they're all technically updated, but I'm unsure of the best way to go about doing this and editing thousands of products at once sounds nerve-racking to say the least. 

jamesroberts
Tourist
8 0 0

I found a workaround that appears to be working...

 

In Shopify, I went to Products All Products Select All Select all 50+ products from your store. I added a random tag, 'gs' to all products. It took about 30 minutes, but I can now see a big increase in active products in Merchant Center (from 1647 to 2094), and a decreasing number of expiring products (from 365 to 147). I assume that the trend will continue.

 

Hopefully this helps others in the future, as I haven't found a solid solution for merchants with hundreds/thousands of products on how to fix an increasing number of expiring products in google merchant center.

anilobmit
Tourist
16 0 1

Hi!

 

Issue was solved a couple of days later after opening this topic. Unfortunately there was no clear reason why suddenly all the items were going back to active again.

 

I also spoke to Shopify technical support about it, they would get back to me if they found the reason. Unfortunately they didn't mail to me about it yet. I'm having the same issue now again, I'll try your workaround see if it also works for me.

 

I don't know for sure why all products are expiring. I agree that it might have something to do with the older products in store.

nathan-j
Shopify Partner
1 0 2

Hi Tim, we've been noticing the same issue for the last 3 months.
Shopify have advised us that there is a known issue with their Google Shopping app where products are not automatically renewed within the required 30 day period. The intention of their app is to force renew all products every 20 to 24 days, however this is not occurring. (I'm not sure why they are not commenting here to advise the same)


At this point the fix is to chase Shopify each month and have them force a resync on their end as they have removed the ability for store owners to do that themselves.  I'm assuming your products reappeared as someone reported the issue to them and they bulk resynced many stores.

 

jamesroberts
Tourist
8 0 0

Hi Nathan,

 

Do as I mentioned above... "In Shopify, I went to Products All Products Select All Select all 50+ products from your store. I added a random tag, 'gs' to all products."

 

Adding a tag to all products, and removing it will push all products back to an active status. Worked perfectly for me.

 

Hope this helps.

RDR
Tourist
10 0 2

did you find the issue?  I've been pushing shopify on this for 3 weeks and finally they agree it is from the Shopify side.  He said he'll implement a fix, and resync, but so far nothing.  I dropped 100,000 products in one day!  Please let me know if you've found a solution.

RDR
Tourist
10 0 2

Are you needing to chase Shopify monthly on this?  The shopify contact wrote the following, but no changes have been seen on the Google Merchant side. Feeling VERY frustrated as we've lost 100,000 active products.

 

Adam T. (Shopify)

May 19, 2020, 7:22:23 PM EDT

Hi team,

I've been able to confirm that particular item product_id: 1365644935258 should definitely be sending from Shopify to Google, and you are right that it either hasn't been sent from us or isn't being received by Google for some reason. I'm now investigating this.

A problem was identified back in April to do with syncing large numbers of products to Google. A fix was shipped on Saturday and I've just applied it to your store and then set your available products to resync to the Google Shopping app, and also to resync to Google. I can see the number of products available to the Google Shopping app climbing slowly at present. Let's see what happens in the next 24 hours?

Kind regards,

Adam T. 🇳🇿
Technical Support Specialist

jamesroberts
Tourist
8 0 0

@RDR read my other replies. You need to make a small edit to all of those products. The quickest/easiest thing to do is Select all products, add a tag, save, then remove that tag. Takes a minute. It triggers the Shopify API to push those products as updated even though nothing in the product feed is actually updated.

TayLoRx
Tourist
3 0 3

@RDR any luck with this yet? I am able to publish new variants to items published prior to May 4th or so, but new item-level products published since then are still pending, and the chunk of expiring products went ahead & expired. I am also missing thousands of products on Google Merchant. Updating a field & refreshing the product doesn't work either. Did Adam's fix help, or did you ever get further info?

@nathan-j I'm not surprised. I can't get anyone on Shopify's end to even acknowledge me, let alone help me with the problem. It has supposedly been escalated twice in the past couple of weeks, but then crickets chirping. They even went ahead and let my expiring products expire before doing the first resync. And then they just resync over and over. The one girl 'Ciara' who was supposed to be helping me from the Google Shopping app team, can instead be seen online responding to all the bad reviews that have been posted since about the time I started having problems. She has 'checked in to see how I'm doing,' whatever that means, but she won't investigate the issue or help me troubleshoot. And now she is on vacation for a week. They really do not seem to care one bit.

Google Merchant on the other hand has been really helpful, and they will get on the phone and we troubleshoot everything together. Unfortunately it is all on Shopify's end, some problem with new products not being uploaded to the back end of the API feed. They informed me that there are other apps with this functionality so I will be pursuing this tonight. I am especially curious about Adam T.'s fix on @RDR 's post...

Adam-T
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
2 0 1

Hi there,

To be clear, the proposed fix I mentioned to RDR in private unfortunately did not relate to this issue. It's unfortunate that it has confused things, but we have now moved on from that.

We can observe that the pending feed remains at zero in GMC, despite the fact we are syncing with Google without any error given at our end. We can see the data being synced with Google, and we're receiving 200 OK responses from them. Why the data isn't then making its way to the pending feed in your GMC accounts is currently what is unknown. Any changes to products at our end causes them to rejoin the pending queue on Shopify where they remain, while the pending queue at Google remains zero. This is slowly reducing the amount of products published on GMC. That is my understanding of the issue at this time.

I can assure you that myself and others care deeply about getting this issue resolved for your stores. A number of us are collaborating, providing examples and logs, and it almost goes without saying we're very aware of how it is affecting your stores. We are active working towards resolution, but unfortunately this is taking longer than expected. Our developers are also well aware of this community thread and the examples of troubleshooting that have been given here. On that note, thank you for providing your insights. Everything is helpful.

I've been assured today that our engineers are aware of this issue and are now investigating with top priority. Thanks for your continued patience while we continue to troubleshoot this.

Kindest regards,

Adam T.

Escalated Technical Support

TayLoRx
Tourist
3 0 3

@Adam-T Thank you SO much, it is such a relief to hear confirmation that that there is an actual observed problem! There has been zero acknowledgement of this! All our team got was ‘well you can’t say free shipping $40 ‘and up’ you have to set a limit like $100,000’. Then give it a week. And then ‘you can’t have your shipping limit at $100,000, that’s crazy, adjust it to $10,000 and give it a week’. Let’s resync again. We did not feel taken seriously at all. Or perceive they believed us that this is a legitimate issue. So we started calling & messaging with different angles, hoping someone would eventually hear us or take us seriously. Many of the first-wave ‘gurus’ tried to be very helpful (Grace & Daisy for example), but beyond that nobody has contacted us to ask questions for troubleshooting, which is what we are accustomed to with any IT investigation, or responded in any way. Except ‘how are you feeling’. Which is the opposite of and incredibly irrelevant to problem solving and really struck the wrong chord, that’s when we were convinced that nobody was taking us seriously. Whatever you guys are doing under the name ‘Ciara’ is only frustrating people and making things much worse than they need to be. This is all any of us ever needed to hear Adam; I can’t tell you how much we appreciate your response.

 

We have a data scientist on our team & know just enough code to screw things up, and use processes that maybe not everyone uses, such as accessing the API with R-studio to pull handles & overwrite existing items each time we publish new variants, and also to cross reference other spreadsheets to pull data to build item names, etc…which is why we were so eager to troubleshoot, we thought it could easily be something we were doing on our end to corrupt the data in some way. The products we had published before installing the Google Shopping app are the ones that are working, we can add more variants to those products, even when overwriting handles & all. After installing the app items threw invalid GTIN errors & we had to manually change each item to ‘true’ for custom product as this field will not transfer from the CSV. Also, after installing the app, new items threw google image crawl errors, and we started getting indexing issues in search console. Last night we tried taking a pending item off of GS sales channel, having it indexed by Google, then republishing it to the sales channel, but it went right back into pending in the same order it was in prior. We were going to try publishing a new product to the store ‘not’ available on GS sales channel, having it indexed, and then making it available, but it will be this weekend before we can build a new product. I understand that core Google algorithm updates are causing some indexing issues that are out of all of our control, so we also wondered about that and maybe if we should stop wasting time trying things on our end. It sounds like maybe that’s the case.

 

Anyway, we have been very frustrated with Ciara but generally we are very reasonable people if there is any way we can help by troubleshooting or providing info of our experiments, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re just not so interested in ‘feelings’ on the matter so much as problem solving the actual issues, lol. Or at least being in the loop that this is in fact happening. Thanks again!

Adam-T
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
2 0 1

@TayLoRx I've now taken your case and responded to you via email. Glad to help. 

Beth_Lawrence
Tourist
11 0 6

I also just got an email that 50% of my products will expire in 3 days. Hoping this is being fixed! Thanks!

scuba_beeee
Shopify Partner
5 0 4

Same here, got an email today that 75% of my items will expire soon.

Anyone have luck with @jamesroberts temporary solution? Am giving it a try. Also contacted Shopify asking if they can push a resync.

Eric_Azumi
New Member
2 0 2

This first happened to me back in Jan this year, and Shopify Support pushed a manual sync which resolved the issue quickly. I was told that "The Google Shopping app automatically re-syncs your product feed every 22 days or so to avoid expiration, so it could be just a warning email....we had some instances where this wasn't happening as in your case and our Developers are looking in to it."

It happened again at the end of March. I did not report it as it went away after 2 days.

Now it's happened again but this time there's been no resolution since first reporting it 9 days ago on Jun 18. Shopify Support did a manual sync on Jun 19. Nothing happened. Support wrote "I have been assured by the technical team that the automatic re-sync issue has now been resolved so this should be last time we will need to do a manual re-sync in your case. In future the products will sync every 20-24 days to prevent them going into expiry."

On Jun 23 I wrote in again and was told "It looks like the sync was delayed and has been completing as of today. You should start seeing products moving out of expiring in the next couple of hours."

On Jun 25 the number of products only continued to drop and Support wrote "I have spoken to our developers in regards to these products and they have informed me that your products are in the queue to be imported into Google... Our team here has suggested we allow another 24-48 hours for the products to continue to sync over to your Google Merchant Centre and move out of expiry."

It's Jun 27 and still no progress. We're down to 249 out of 5800+ products.

RDR
Tourist
10 0 2

8 weeks ago Shopify Plus admitted this was a problem with multiple stores, and have yet to fix the issue. The lack of communication and transparency is beyond maddening.  we had 295,350 active products and lost all but 90,700 as we watched the "expiring items" increase daily.  API calls repeatedly failing from Shopify and every method of attempted communication results in a " we have the tech team on it"  WHATEVER 
  "it" IS??? There is nothing wrong with the items.  Shopify knows there's an issue.  Now it is EIGHT weeks later.  How long cant his go on?

Shopify reply:

This issue is being looked at from the Dev Level already.
We are doing is a Forced Sync where all products are being reloaded over to Google’s side manually and we are looking if this would work temporarily, while our developers look into this further with Google's side.

I wouldn't offer you any stop gap answers, as this wouldn't resolve your issue. What I will do however is keep the line open for you on this ticket and you can let me know if the resync is working and if it is, I'll run it on a regular basis till the issue can be resolved.

We really appreciate your patience on this issue.

Kind Regards,

Hans | Shopify Technical Merchant Support

 

So far...no word as to when or if they did the force synch....