Dream Agility chief executive Elizabeth Clark has issued a stark warning to clothing retailers after Google unveiled the latest changes to its shopping products feed specification.
As part of the changes, clothing retailers have been told to ensure their Google Shopping product listing adverts (PLAs) include colour and size attributes by 1 September 2016 – or they risk having their adverts disapproved.
Says Clark: “Colour and size attributes have always been desirable. They’ve been part of what allows a specialist platform like ours to optimise your Google Shopping feed with targeted, effective PLA titles, and they’ve provided a better experience for anyone using Google Shopping rather than heading to the high street.
“But Google is now really ramping up the pressure on retailers who aren’t fully up-to-date with the latest Google Shopping best practices. And with online shopping now accounting for an increasingly large share of clothing sales, it’s never been more important to fully understand and maximise your Google Shopping feed and PLAs.”
A statement from Google explaining the changes said: “The ads created for your products rely on the quality of the product data that you submit.
“To help increase the quality of your ads, we make changes to the requirements for product data through the Products Feed Specification. This year, we’ve relaxed some restrictions while tightening others, all with the goal of making sure that your products perform when they’re seen by potential customers.”
What precisely are the changes? They affect both clothing and shoes listed in PLAs in Germany, France, Japan, and the UK.
According to Google: “The ‘colour’ attribute is required for all clothing products submitted for Germany, France, Japan and the UK. The ‘size’ attribute is required for products in the ‘Clothing & Accessories > Clothing’ and ‘Clothing & Accessories > Shoes’ categories submitted for Germany, France, Japan and the UK. If you don’t provide these attributes for clothing products, the items will be disapproved.”
What are the implications for being “disapproved”? Clark is forthright: “Google will investigate your website further and what you might have got away with before, such as incorrectly labelled images or old tracking code, will no longer pass muster. You may end up in Google jail and getting out is not easy”.
Dream Agility are perfectly poised to help retailers avoid this business-critical pitfall. Clark explains: “We have a Search Engine that sits over your product feeds, seeking and cleansing your data without having to make any changes to your website or backend.”
“We make the process of compliance completely painless”.