If you running multiple promotions each month, then you need to start using a Promotions Feed with your Google Merchant Center Account. It will help you streamline your work and scale faster. Who doesn’t want that?

Recently we talked about auditing your Google Merchant Center (GMC) account and have plans to disucss using Supplemental Feeds. Today, however, I want to focus on promotions and how using a Promotions Feed can help make your life easier.

You may be using GMC Promotions already. It’s a great tool inside your Merchant Center but using a Promotions Feed will only make your life more straightforward.

Setting Up A Promotions Feed

Like your shopping feed that has your SKU data, there are required and optional feed attributes you can have in your Promotions Feed. 

Merchant Promotions will display for shoppers on desktop and mobile devices in Australia, France, Germany, India, the UK, and the US. You must be running shopping ads in those markets and have the attributes covered below to set up your feed.

Required Feed Attributes

  • promotion_id
  • product_applicability
  • offer_type
  • long_title
  • promotion_effective_dates
  • redemption_channel

Any other feed attributes are optional. That being said though, more data is usually better than less when building out feeds using Google’s Promotions Feed template.

Promotions Feed FAQ

Setting up a Promotions Feed is not easy and you need to keep in mind all the different Google Shopping Program policies and Editorial requirements to be eligible to run your sales messaging. Once you build out your template, keeping it updated is really easy, though.

How long can you promotion run for?

Per Google’s Program policies, the maximum duration is 6 months (183 days) per promotion.

What is the difference between the promotion effective dates and display dates?

  • promotion_display_dates: are when the promotion is available to the public
  • promotion_effective_dates: are when the promotion can be tested on your website

Use both attributes to allow your promotion to go through the validation review in advance of its public display date.

When do I need to add a promotion_id to the products feed?

If the promotion applies to SPECIFIC_PRODUCTS, add the promotion_id to the promotion_id column in the products feed for each product to which the promotion applies. The promotion will be rejected if the promotion_id is not mapped in the products feed.

Can I reuse a promotion_id?

If the promotion was rejected during policy review and not stopped, you can reuse the promotion_id. If the promotion is already approved for policy or is stopped, you can’t reuse the promotion_id. 

What is the max promotions you submit?

Each Merchant Center account can have up to 500 open promotions (unexpired and not stopped by retailer) at any given time. Any additional live promotions will be disapproved.

What types of promotions are you allowed to run?

Merchant Promotions for Shopping ads supports online promotions only. As long a promotion follows the Merchant Promotions Program policies, it can be any range of promotion, such as free gifts, certain dollar amounts/ percentages off, or gift cards for future purchases at your store.

Can one you use Promotions feed for multiple countries?

A Promotions feed can only correspond to product feeds from one target country, which is selected at feed registration. For your promotions to display on Product Shopping ads for other countries, submit a new promotions feed that targets those countries.

Do you need a code for free/ discounted shipping promotions?

A code is needed to promote free or discounted shipping in order to make sure that shoppers receive added value in the form of a discount on your normal shipping price.

For example, if you submit an item in Merchant Center that had a shipping cost of $0.00, this product will already display on Shopping ads as having “Free Shipping.” As a result, a free shipping promotion wouldn’t provide additional value since that product already has free shipping. Learn more about how to set up shipping costs for your Product Shopping ads.

Why is my promotion rejected?

The price listed in Product Shopping ads must match the price listed on the product landing page. Discounts and promotions can only be applied at checkout or point of sale. You can refer to Merchant Promotions Program policies for more information. 

How do I change a promotion?

If your promotion policy status is still under review or has been disapproved for policy,  edit your promotion using one of these methods:

  1. Use the Promotion tool: Fill in the promotion form with the same promotion_id and the corrected promotion information, and then submit the form.
  2. Use your existing Promotions feed: Update your existing Promotions feed and re-upload the Promotions feed to your registered Promotions data feed in Merchant Center. Another option is to submit an additional Promotions feed with only the new promotions. There is no need to change the promotion_id.

If your promotion policy status is already approved, you can’t edit a promotion that has already been approved during policy review and/or validation review. You must submit a new promotion with a new promotion_id.

You can troubleshoot your Promotions Feed status if your sale is not live. Once it has gone live, you can track your promotions performance and see if you are hitting your revenue goals. Even though Shopping has been around since 2013, GMC is still getting built out in pieces. With all this information, we wish you luck and hopefully you find a Promotions Feed helps free up more time. See you next time.