Dream Agility chief executive Elizabeth Clark has warned retailers to be prepared for a major change to Google Shopping that could lead to up to 40% of some companies’ stock being blocked on Product Listing Ads (PLAs).
From May 2016, Google will require that all PLAs include a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).
It means an administrative mountain for some retailers, but Clark believes those who can get organised could reap serious benefits.
Clark said: “There is no data available from Google as to what percentage of stock is currently without GTINs, but our own research – from looking at in-house accounts – suggests 15%-40% of most advertisers’ stock does not have GTINs.
“Generally, GTINs are missing for one of two reasons: either they are not available from the manufacturers, or the manufacturer chooses not to supply them as they would prefer their goods not to be sold online. This is a way of brands being able to curtail the activities of individuals, but we have a workaround for that should your brand not give you the GTINs.”
She added: “This change creates an opportunity for savvy retailers who can get their stock ready with GTINs by May, because other less pro-active retailers may end up being blocked.”