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

ukseller44
New Member
1 0 1

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 19 (19)
Moira
Shopify Staff
480 72 81

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.

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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
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Grace_01
Explorer
58 2 9

@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
480 72 81

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
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- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

Spotless
Tourist
10 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
Explorer
58 2 9

@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
Explorer
58 2 9

@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
480 72 81

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
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- Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
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Grace_01
Explorer
58 2 9

@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
480 72 81

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