Problem with "you need to add a GTIN or MPN"

ukseller44
Visitor
1 0 7

Hi everyone,

 

I have listed all of my products and will promote them with google ads. However they don't get approved by google. It says "you need to add a GTIN or MPN"

 

I have listed them as "Custom item" so it shouldn't ask for GTIN or MPN however it keeps asking it.

 

Do you know why this is happening? Any recommendations? 

 

Thanks in advance

Replies 40 (40)

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

Hey, @ukseller44!

This is Moira from the Social Care team at Shopify.

Thanks for taking the time to reach out to us here in the Shopify Community. You've definitely posted in the right place! I'm more than happy to look into this Google error for you.

Google relies on unique identifiers such as the barcode, MPN, or GTIN to help identify a product and make it easier for customers to find a product when searching. When setting a product to "custom", Google has to review the product and determine whether they've seen the product before, or if it's a product that they haven't seen yet. If it's a product they haven't seen yet, they will approve of the product without a unique identifier. However, if Google believes it's a product that they've seen before, then they would not approve of it, then you will need to request an exemption from Google.

To request an exemption, you can follow the steps listed in Google's documentation here:

Another option is to purchase a barcode/MPN and then unmark your products from "custom" and go through the approval process. You can purchase a barcode, MPN, or GTIN here:

Custom Products + Barcodes

For custom products, you can remove the value Brand, MPN, and GTIN, then set the identifier_exists field to false. There should be an option to switch the product to do not have product identifiers under products > more actions > google shopping.

Any product that is marked as False for a custom product must have an internationally recognized barcode added to it. You can check with your supplier/manufacturer for these. If using barcodes, please ensure they meet the minimum requirements found on this page for GTINs or this page for MPNs. This information can be edited using the bulk editor in the channel and this video will show how to access it if needed.

20-08-7pqiz-7urpy

There is also a barcode lookup tool accessible, take a look here:

It appears that other folks have had a similar experience, take a look at this community post, here:

I'd also like to share Google's Product Categories so that you can find the exact category for your products and add this too using the bulk editor. This will help to improve your Ads performance once you start advertising.

Something to note here is that any products that fall under the Apparel & Accessories categories (clothing, shoes & jewelry would fall under here) will also need to have Size, Color, Age, Condition, and Gender added to each item.

  • Size (Can be left blank if included in the variants)

  • Color (Can be left blank if included in the variants)

  • Age - required

  • Gender - required

  • Condition - required

If you have a large catalog and you might also be interested in the Bulk Product Editor & Sync app. This would allow you to mark all products as true or false for custom products at once which will save you some time. It's free for up to 5 in-app edits per month so it could also help with some other attributes if you have multiple products in the same category for example.

If you have any questions please feel free to thread those below.

Cheers!

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

Grace_01
Shopify Partner
85 3 10

@Moira Thanks for the detail explanation.. is there any option that only first variant of the product can be synced with Google merchant center instead of syncing all variant 

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

Hey @Grace_01

As variants are attached to a product that would mean that all variants will sync and align with each product. As a workaround, you could create a brand new product listing that only has the 1 variant you are wanting to sync? Would this work for you?

The most common types of product variations are supported by detailed product attributes for:

  • color [color]

  • size, [size]

  • pattern [pattern]

  • material [material]

  • age group [age_group]

  • gender [gender]

  • size type [size_type]

  • size system [size_system]

You might not be able to use these attributes to thoroughly describe your variants if you sell build-to-order custom products or products that vary by other qualities. The best practices below, provide tips for how to submit variants when your products don't fit the detailed product attributes Google provides.

Best practices for submitting products that vary by unsupported attributes:

  • Submit a separate product for each variant, making sure that the title, image, description, and price reflect the specific product variant you're selling.

  • Be clear in the title [title] attribute about the part of the product that is different between your variants.

  • Do not provide a value for the item group ID [item_group_id] attribute.

Best practices for submitting custom products:

  • In your product data, submit either the complete configured product or the components for a product.

  • If you submit a completely configured product, submit products that are readily available and best-sellers.

  • If you submit a component of a product, make sure that the image, description, and price reflect the component you're selling. Learn more about requirements for customized products here.

  • If your inventory and prices change frequently throughout the day, you might consider using automatic item updates.

The number of variants that Google lets you sync depends on your account type. If you need to increase your product limit, then you can contact Google Merchant Center Help directly.

I do hope this helps! Feel free to let me know if I can clarify anything further.

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

Spotless
Tourist
11 0 2

You could get your own GTIN prefix and register UPCs to your products...This could be a good option if you plan to go omnichannel, trademark/copyright, have a brick and mortar. If you do it, do it correctly (GS1).

Grace_01
Shopify Partner
85 3 10

@Moira Thanks for quick response.. earlier was using some other Google shopping feed app in that only first variant used to get sync with Google Mecrchant center. It was easier to show best image with first variant in Google ads. But now Shopify Google channel syncs all variants so it's not possible to show best image for all variants.

Creating a brand new product won't be possible because there are multiple products.

As going through  item_group_id , so is it something we can update the same in Shopify Google channel?

  • Use a unique value for each group of variants. Use the parent SKU where possible

Or is it possible to show or sync only parent SKU by using Shopify Google channel ?

Also how frequently does Shopify Google syncs or updates the feed ?

 

Grace_01
Shopify Partner
85 3 10

@Moira After going through feed I can see the item_group_id is already been updated by Shopify Google channel.. so just wanted to know will google show only parent SKU in Ads or it will show each variants ads separately ?

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

Hey @Grace_01,

Great question! 

It is my understanding that including the item_group_id in the product feed would ensure that all variant/child products are grouped under the parent product, and variants should never be displayed on their own.

Google also states that there are few conditions in order to show the parent products:

  • Make sure that your variants use at least one of the variant attributes: color, pattern, material, age_group, gender, size, size_type, size_system, and unit_pricing_measure.

  • Make sure that the product details displayed on your landing page match the values you provide for each attribute like title, color, pattern, material, price, availability, and image_link.

For further guidance, I have attached Googles help document on Item Group ID:

If you have any questions please feel free to thread those below.

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

Grace_01
Shopify Partner
85 3 10

@Moira Is there any way to cross check how ads will appear on google shopping so that we can verify if everything is correct and products are visible in group? 

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

Hey, @Grace_01!

​If you want to see how your ad appears in search results, it's better to use the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool rather than to do a search on Google. You'll see the exact same results as a Google search but it won't affect your performance stats by accumulating ad impressions every time you search for your ad.

To use the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool, click the tools icon at the top right of your Google Ads account then click on Ad Preview and Diagnosis under the Planning section. You can also go right to google.com/AdPreview:

If you're looking to become more confident with investing in Google Ads to grow your business, I recommend checking out this Shopify Compass course where you’ll learn the step-by-step process to launch three different Google Ads campaigns. Shopify Compass provides you with webinars and courses on things like store design, marketing, and more. It's 100% free for everyone and new content is being added all the time. This program will help you drive more traffic into your store and also convert that traffic into sales.

I do hope this helps!

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

Grace_01
Shopify Partner
85 3 10

@Moira thanks for the guide.. after checking Google shows each variants ads separately 

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

Hey @Grace_01 

My pleasure, I'm glad to hear you have utilized the Ad Preview Tool! Have you ensured your products have met the conditions in order to show the parent products? Including the item_group_id in the product feed would ensure that all variant/child products are grouped under the parent product, and variants should never be displayed on their own:

Let me know how you get on,

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

Grace_01
Shopify Partner
85 3 10

@Moira The product is already have color, size, age group , gender.. and item group id is updated by shopify google channel in feed. So as far as I know the product should display in group.   

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

What type of product are you working with @Grace_01? I'd be happy to take a closer look to ensure all conditions have been met. I have attached an example of product data for a T-Shirt below:

21-09-biv1d-0zycp

Look forward to hearing from you!

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

Grace_01
Shopify Partner
85 3 10

@Moira Yes all the details are updated as showing in your screenshot.. product like hand gloves , socks 

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

@Grace_01

I found another post on Google forums where a few people are having the exact same problem:

Google decides the format and display of all submitted data. Currently, there is a method to force items to be shown individually, or as a group, or in any other grouping, format, or display.

  • There are likely many internal and external factors that may help determine how submitted items are formatted and displayed by Google's automated systems such as submitted data rules, a user's search behavior, how users search, especially over time, etc. So far, Google has not published any such details.

  • Parent-products, representative products, sets of product categories, or similar items that are not physically in stock and can be shipped to the user, are not allowed to be submitted, at all.

My suggestion from here is to try reaching out to Google Support as they will be able to directly access your products and provide an explanation as to why the variants are displaying separately. You can find their contact details below:

All the best,

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

CLKNC
Visitor
1 0 0

I have created bundles of my products and while the individual products have a UPC, I don't sell them individually on my website. How can I get google to accept these bundles on their channel? Sometimes it accepts them and sometimes it doesn't.

Thanks so much!

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

Hey @CLKNC,

That's interesting that sometimes the bundles are accepted and sometimes they are not. Have you come across any notable difference between the products that are accepted?

According to the article linked below, if you are selling a multipack or bundle, use the GTIN of ONE of the products:

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

rocketsack
Visitor
2 0 0

Hi,

 

I encounter the same issue. I am not totally sure I understand but I will try again. 

 

However, I would like to make sure of one thing:

I am an illustrator and I use Print On Demand companies within my Shopify store.

Therefore, is it not these companies that should know/provide the gtin/mpn? How can I know which gtin/mpn to use? 

 

I also chose the option of "custom product" thinking I can skip this process but through your answer I understood that this is not correct.

 

It would be great if I can learn exactly how to give a gtin/mpn in each product and get approved by google. Without it, it is almost meaningless to have a store.

 

Looking forward to your reply,

 

Kind regards,

 

Vasiliki, rocketsack.com

charmplug
Visitor
1 0 0

I get the same message. It is very helpful to know that even after we add all data correctly, there is a waiting period for approval of custom products. Also thanks for the bulk product editor suggestion!

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

My pleasure @charmplug, don't hesitate to reach back out if you require any further assistance as you continue to work on your store. 

All the best,

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

JHP_photo
Pathfinder
117 0 26

Hi @Moira ,

 

That's very useful information, thank you. I still have some tweaking to do to get everything properly accepted by Google and the Shopify Google App.

 

I have a question though. Google Shopping shows my product photo's weirdly cropped. In Shopify I add product photo's mostly without padding. So when a photo has a 3x4 ratio, I upload it without squaring it out.
Is there a way to make sure Google doesn't crop everything to a weird size? (photo)

 

Screenshot 2022-05-20 at 10.01.20.png

Soultreebeading
Visitor
3 0 0

Hello,

I had the same question , but everything on my store is handmade by me no one else. How do I get my products seen 

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

@Soultreebeading,

 

Google requires product identifiers such as Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) or Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs) for all products that are advertised through their platform, including handmade products. This helps Google to identify and match your products with the appropriate product information in its database. If your products are truly unique and don't have a GTIN or MPN, you can try applying for an exception by filling out this form.

 

If your request is approved, you can then advertise your handmade products on Google without having to provide a GTIN or MPN.

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

Soultreebeading
Visitor
3 0 0
Hello the link you sent me was invalid. Yes my products are truly unique I handmade everything. Waistbeads are everywhere ,but the waistbeads I make is unique and different. Should I use other waistbeads gtin. Where do I get that number. Please help I been going through this for a year.
donnamac
Trailblazer
260 5 211

@Soultreebeading 

Can't use gtin's from other products.  Google verifies them.  Might not be immediate, but they catch up.  If you blatantly do it on all products, they may kick you off.  Not sure.

 

If you are referring to the link I published, it works OK for me.  Just have to get past the Ad before the content starts.

jessica0318
Pathfinder
95 0 15

Why does such a problem occur?

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

Hey @jessica0318,

 

I understand how this can be frustrating! Google has to review the product and determine whether they've seen the product before, or if it's a product that they haven't seen yet. This can take time and sometimes will require you to provide additional information. Are you having trouble with a particular product?  

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

Ronald321
Excursionist
13 2 1

I had this issue as we manufacture items that do not have a UPC code or anything, just our MPN. To fix this we marked the product as a custom product in the "edit Google fields" on the product page, and added our MPN. Also, in Google Merchant Center we added a feed rule to our Content API where the MPN would be entered for each product variant based on its id. This was the only way we could figure to get variants to have different MPNs.

donnamac
Trailblazer
260 5 211

@Ronald321 

Did you populate the MPN only if it's a Custom Product or do you always populate the MPN with the id? 

We are getting gtin errors on 'custom products' when it supposedly bypasses the gtin check.  But it is not consistent. 

I am hoping that if we put in this code, it will not get these errors.

 

Could you please let me know how the rule is set up? 

Is it just setting the MPN equal to the ID?

We have so many google feed errors that have valid gtin's but getting these errors.  It is keeping these products from our ads and is really hurting us.

 

 

Thx in advance!  

Ronald321
Excursionist
13 2 1

In order for our products to work we had to mark all as a custom product since we don't have a GTIN. We had to add the feed rule in Google Merchant Center for only those products which had variants.

Here is a picture of how product variant looked like in the feed.  The ID is the shopify product variant ID and the set to is what the MPN is.

 

Ronald321_0-1652712928980.png

Hopefully this will help you out a little bit.

sampymishra
Shopify Partner
296 10 35

Hi @ukseller44 

 

Google needs GTIN and MPN to understand and serve your product better. I can see that you sell custom products, so it is unlikely to have GTIN. You can use our app to automatically send a null value as GTIN to the Google merchant center that will not cause an error in the feed. It will show a warning of missing GTIN, but that would not cause disapproval of feed.

 

You can check the Easy Google Shopping Feed app by AdNAbu, which manages your merchant center feed and other advanced features such as Multilanguage, Multicurrency, and Metafields. 

You can also get in touch with our experts and request a demo. 

Hope this helps.

 

 

Sampy Mishra | Customer Success Manager @ AdNabu

 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 

 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution

 - Try our Nabu for Google Shopping Feed from Shopify App Store. 

ComfySlippers
Visitor
3 0 0

Hi, I am having the same issue. how does this work with Dropshipping from aliexpress while using Dsers? Doesn't Aliexpress have GTIN/MPNs for the products already? wouldn't they automatically get pushed to my shopify store when I push the product through?

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

Hey @ComfySlippers,

 

If a product has an MPN or GTIN, it's best practice to enter their value as the relevancy will help campaign performance. However, if a product doesn't have either of these codes, then you can set the identifier_exists field to false, which will allow those fields to not exist, letting the products get approved.

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

ComfySlippers
Visitor
3 0 0

Hi that really didn't answer my question. I am doing dropshipping with AliExpress.

Question:

- How do I know if the AliExpress product has GTIN or a MPN and how do I get it from the AliExpress product page?

 

Can I just make one up or does it have to match what AliExpress has?

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

@ComfySlippers 

 

GTINs need to be obtained by either the manufacturer directly or purchased by you. Although in my experience, this information cannot be collected from AliExpress. 

 

If you need them to sell on Amazon or Google Shopping that is something you will need to purchase separately. You can purchase those codes here.

 

Alternatively, to get an exception from the GTIN and MPN requirements for your products, set the identifier_exists field to false, as mentioned above.

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

ComfySlippers
Visitor
3 0 0

oh ok I got ya. I will have to purchase then. so one GTIN will work for all variants of the same product correct?

Moira
Shopify Staff
2055 224 326

@ComfySlippers Each product variant should have its own GTIN. For instance, if you are selling a shirt that comes in black and white, you must provide each variant with a unique GTIN.

You can read more via the Google GTIN help doc here.

Moira | Social Care @ Shopify
- Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know!
- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

donnamac
Trailblazer
260 5 211

Hi Ukseller44

I'm sure you may have already, but Etsy is the perfect place for handmade, home based businesses. It gets tons of traffic and if your product is liked...it will take off. But if your taking it to the next step, then more power to you!.... I believe gtin's are pretty much just affordable for big businesses. You may want to wait until you make it big.
 

I suggest contacting Emmanuel Flossie (he creates many help videos on YouTube).  Not sure of his rate, but it would probably be something that he can address in minutes. 
He suggested watching this video (which I have done and it has helped a lot…not 100% but MUCH better).  It can be confusing if you aren’t technical, but it’s pretty easy
if you follow it exactly.  This is the video he points us to
 

       If your products are custom, you may try : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyvilyMb2Bo

 
You can listen to it or I would suggest just go to his FeedArmy site and schedule an appointment. I have not done this yet but when I do, it will be him I contact.  It will be worth it! 

I have no idea of his costs though. 

I know just how frustrating Shopify is and integrating them with another platform is a nightmare.  Save yourself…and talk to him. He explains things very clearly and seems to be
very knowledgeable. 

Keep us posted!

Good Luck!

 

 

Soultreebeading
Visitor
3 0 0
Thank you for this info I had a etsy store but with all the fees I sold a product foe $65 and only got $25 back this is why I decided to make a shopify store.
donnamac
Trailblazer
260 5 211

I get it.  It's a game of finding the lesser of all the evil fees out there and it's always changing.

Good luck!