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Using Shopify with Google Shopping Regional availability and pricing

jbar
Tourist
12 0 3

Google Shopping added a new requirement in the US this year, Regional availability and pricing. Linking their documentation below, the gist of it is if products can't be shipped to every state or have unique prices in different places, product pages need link suffixes that will show an item as in stock or out of stock based on whether it can ship to the recipients home address. Same for local price.

We don't ship to every state, and Shopify's platform is not setup to allow modification to the URL structure of products, including based on inventory availability.

Is anyone else running into this issue? Is there an app or developer that you have found to get your store in compliance with these new rules until Shopify can add the feature?

https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/9698880?hl=en#zippy=

Replies 24 (24)
EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1705 115 406

I would like to correct your sentence. It is not a requirement, its an optional feature. Just to avoid you assuming you need to add it.

I recommend using datafeedwatch if you want more advanced features. You can setup your data feed to include region ID.

Please note, the intent of regional pricing and availability is if 1 store has different stock levels compared to another store. If you only have 1 store, regional pricing and availability are not for you.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
Need Data Feed or Google Shopping support? Get in touch.
jbar
Tourist
12 0 3

We only have one location and one set of prices. But because the items we sell aren't available for delivery to every state, it does seem to be a requirement.

Google's shopping specialists have said our feed has inaccurate availability because an item shows up as in stock on our website, but checkout can't be completed to every state in the US. They've told us the only way to fix the inaccurate availability and keep our account in good standing is to ship everywhere (we can't) - or incorporate regional availability.

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1705 115 406

Hello Jbar, yes in that case it is indeed the option.

You need to do 2 things, use a data feed solution that can submit regional data, such as datafeedwatch

And you update your theme to allow the detection of region id, in the URL query string.

 

Before you start going too deep, first check if region availability is enabled in your account.  If you don't see the region in your GMC account, contact Google to enable it.

Is it enabled already?

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
Need Data Feed or Google Shopping support? Get in touch.
jbar
Tourist
12 0 3
Yes, it's enabled. And we haven't been using a data feed app but we have in
the past, should be ok getting that going again.

The part I wasn't sure about was how to allow the detection of the region
id in the URL. This is a theme option?

jbar
Tourist
12 0 3

Sharing as well the feedback I received from Shopify support, which led me to believe that adding detection of region ID isn't an option, even if we did get a data feed for it.

I definitely understand the frustration with this, but Shopify's platform is not setup in such a way to allow modification to the URL structure of your products internally, especially based on inventory availability.

 I wish I was able to provide further assistance on this at this time but our Marketplace team states that it's not a feature currently built into the platform or the Google Shopping app, but have acknowledged that it is an inquiry they've been getting more and more.

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1705 115 406

In reality, you don't need to do anything with the special query URL as you already don't accept certain regions in any case. Regardless of who it is.

So simply setup everything except for the website detection.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
Need Data Feed or Google Shopping support? Get in touch.
jbar
Tourist
12 0 3

So if we set up a data feed with regional availability, in theory our account will be in good standing again? No more inaccurate availability data quality notifications and we won't have our account suspended... Even though we aren't able to setup special query URL's.

I'll give that a try, and definitely hope it's the case.

It's hard to read it like that given Google's documentation on this and the conversations with their shopping specialists, but everything else I've tried hasn't worked so 🤞

 

https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/9698880?hl=en#zippy=

Requirements: To participate in regional availability and pricing, you'll need to work with your website development team to make changes to your landing pages (see requirement 3 below).

3. You are able to accept the region ID parameter passed by Google into your product landing pages and render the correct regional product pages with corresponding regional pricing and availability.

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1705 115 406

First, let me say that this is very new so apologies for going all over the place. As I am still digesting the policy.

But based on point 3, now thinking about the policy, you do indeed need to show it's not available when the region ID matches the regions you do not offer delivery. So I recommend your first step is to contact a theme developer to ask them if they are able to update the availability based on a query string.

Logically from experience with the query string currency. They should be able to do this.

Here is a list of experts: https://experts.shopify.com/

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
Need Data Feed or Google Shopping support? Get in touch.
jbar
Tourist
12 0 3

Understood. Unfortunately, the rollout of this new requirement seems to be a bit of a mess. After we received our first data quality feed alert, we asked for clarification and requested a review - that review came back saying we were good to go. We thought that was the case until our account was suspended, which has actually been most of this month. Over many conversations with google shopping specialists through their official channels, not a single one has been able to reference the new Regional Availability requirement, so it's taken a lot of sleuthing to even realize what the problem is.

 

I'll reach out to our theme developer. It seems like Google Shopping is putting us in a position that we can't move forward from though. Maybe we'll get a different answer from the theme folks, but going back to the response I got from Shopify Support, it doesn't sound like the regional ID url will be able to trigger different availability results as long as we're on Shopify. (I definitely understand the frustration with this, but Shopify's platform is not setup in such a way to allow modification to the URL structure of your products internally, especially based on inventory availability.)

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1705 115 406

Well here is the issue.

Normally, prior to regional availability. You as a merchant are required to ship to all locations within your target country. This was the case since the beginning.

Now with the regional pricing and availability, and your feedback, I'm not sure if in your situation this is applicable.

Let me reach out to my CM's to confirm because, I want to know myself if its possible. I'll reply back when I know more.

Before I do this, could you share your Google Ads case ID please, so I can reference it for my CM's to know the full story.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
Need Data Feed or Google Shopping support? Get in touch.
jbar
Tourist
12 0 3

Thank you! I appreciate your engagement, and seeing what else you can find out. I haven't even been able to elevate, or even get a callback to discuss. Each chat conversation I have ends with something along the lines of "we're not sure, going to take this offline to our engineering team, you'll get a follow up by email." Two days later I get an email that repeats the inaccurate availability note, without giving any additional context or new information.

 

We have been using google shopping for about 4 years now, and always had restrictions on where we can ship to. In the past I've worked with the shopping specialists to make sure our shipping settings accurately reflected what ships where - our shipping services have regions, and we use shipping labels to group which products are available within each. That was the setup we had been advised on using, and it worked fine until this new regional requirement.

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1705 115 406

The requirement to ship to every state in the US, has always been a requirement. It is just that it took 4 years for Google to detect you did something that was not allowed. I have received your PM and will contact my CM's to get to the bottom of this.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
Need Data Feed or Google Shopping support? Get in touch.
jbar
Tourist
12 0 3

Yes, I keep hearing "the policy is you have to ship everywhere." And not much else.

The thing that is hard to get my head around is that we've been using google shopping for years, have always had the same shipping restrictions, and have had multiple conversations in the past discussing where we shipped - and getting advice on how to set up our account. No one ever so much as mentioned it before.

So like you are saying, now that they're rolling out this url requirement, they've decided to take a hard stance on this. Unfortunately, since Shopify doesn't have a way to meet this new requirement, it's going to result in all the Shopify small businesses that can't ship everywhere to be kicked off of google shopping (during the holiday season!)

And our shipping restrictions aren't by choice, it's a legal thing. The only "advice" we've gotten is to open up our shipping to all the other states, which we aren't allowed to do. I imagine there are plenty of other reasons why a business might not be able to ship to all 50 states. So unless they can afford custom website developers - they're all out of luck?

Last thing - and yeah, I've been thinking of this a lot. I don't understand why we would want an item to show up as out of stock, even if we could implement the region ID's. If someone from New York was looking for a gift for their friend in California (where we can ship to), we'd have to show them an out of stock page.

jbar
Tourist
12 0 3

We checked with our theme developers to see if they had a solution for the URL query - nope.

They referred us to Store Tasker, after having the request live for a few days, just got this update...

As a marketplace finding a match depends on expert availability and skillset. Unfortunately at this time, we're unable to find a match for your request.


So it continues to seem like, unless Google pushes the timeline, or somehow changes how they work with folks on this policy. Our business, and anyone on Shopify will be kicked off of Google Shopping.

 

jbar
Tourist
12 0 3

Good news today. After pushing on the Product team for an exemption, they finally were able to reactivate your account. They have informed that the exemption will stand until a Shopify solution is released and you will be notified about new integration opportunities via Help Center announcements once that happens. They are currently working on this.

Because you are using location targeting in your shopping campaigns, the team said this poses no issues to the user experience and your account will remain running as long as your location targeting remains targeting the zip codes/state(s) you ship to. There should be no further issues moving forward.

Although I understand you are tired of apologies, on behalf of my internal teams, we do sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and fully acknowledge the system limitation which caused this issue in the first place.

 

message from google shopping

pixelrush
New Member
1 0 0

Hi All,

 

We're having the same problems recently with a client of ours. They only sell to one area in Melbourne, Australia and they don't sell to the rest of Australia. The shopping campaign has been running for probably 2 years or more without issue but has just recently been flagged. At first, we were told to add multi regions into GMC which we did but upon submission, we came back disapproved again. Speaking to one of the Google team they highlighted they we also need to adjust the code on the website to deal with it but then upon research, we've not been able to find a solution to implement it successfully. 

 

Jbar did you have someone at Google you could direct me to that helped give you the exclusion as Shopify cannot implement the functionality at this time? I have someone that I'm speaking to so far who has been excellent but I'm not sure if she has the authority to make such a decision.

 

Thanks in advance. 

jbar
Tourist
12 0 3
Communication mostly went through their shopping-support@google.com email.
I called and chatted with their support as well, but that wasn't very
productive.

They must have a way to assign conversations to particular people. It took
about three weeks of daily requests to elevate our issue beyond frontline
support before we were put in touch with a more senior employee, who put it
to their internal Product team, who approved an exemption.

They also said that this will stand until a Shopify solution is released
(re: region url availability/pricing exemption.) And that their support
people would receive training on all of this - since at the time no one in
frontline support had heard about the new regional availability rule.
Hopefully invoking that and the Shopify exemption will get things sorted
for you more quickly.
dwn_rabbit_hole
New Member
1 0 0

PLEASE HELP!! - We are having the same issue - but are trapped in low-level customer service overseas - with no one seemingly capable of answering the most basic of questions. I even referenced this thread to Google, and they keep pasting the same cookie-cutter unintelligible responses. I explicitly informed them that the Shopify platform does NOT allow modification of the URL. Does US-based Google support even exist anymore? If someone has any connections to a higher-level tech support personnel at Google, we would be very grateful. I can share our current support # if necessary. Thank you so much!

EmmanuelFlossie
Shopify Partner
1705 115 406

The reality is, is that Google will not be able to fix your problem, and that issue in your case is that the eCommerce platform has limitations. As you can understand, if Google provides features, and you want to implement these, you need to find a way to do so. Regardless of the platform.

 

My recommendation, contact Shopify support. The more people that request a feature, the more likely Shopify will implement it.

I'm a Google Shopping Specialist and a Google Product Expert Education Award winner, a Google Ads Diamond Product Expert, and also a Google Partner.
Need Data Feed or Google Shopping support? Get in touch.