A Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) is a unique product identifier assigned by a manufacturer to each distinct product. It is usually 1-70 characters long and made up of a series of alphanumeric and unicode characters.

Difference Between Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and MPN

You might have come across GTINs before. A GTIN  is a unique product identifier. It is strictly a series of numbers that can be made of 8, 12, 13, or 14 digits depending on the type of GTIN. As we mentioned above, an MPN is made of a series of letters, numbers, and unicode characters. Here are two examples of MPNs:

  • GA03923-US
  • AA0013M110

You can find an MPN on product packaging or on the products, manufacturer websites and catalogs, and online databases. You can also ask the manufacturer. 

One of the oldest uses of MPNs is in inventory management. Manufacturers use them to track the movement of products in the supply chain. Sellers use MPNs to manage inventory. 

Customers have used MPNs to shop for specific items even before the internet, especially in technical fields. For example, a mechanic could walk into an auto parts store and ask for a specific part like a headlamp, bolt, or other item using its MPN.

How And When To Use MPNs In Ecommerce

MPNs tend to be most useful for items that come in different variants: e.g. electronics, machinery, hardware products, power tools, and auto parts.

To submit a Google Shopping feed, an MPN is required for all products without a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). You should also add your brand name to the brand attribute in your shopping feed when using GTIN. 

Custom-made products, such as store brands, artworks, and antiques, do not require MPN or a GTIN. Make sure you let Google know if you make custom products or not.

When a product has an MPN, submit it to the shopping feed. Otherwise, the item might get disapproved. Even if the SKU is not disapproved, it might perform worse and lead to lower conversions and revenue on your Google Shopping campaigns.

Here are a few guidelines on how to use MPNs in Google Shopping feeds;

  • Use the correct manufacturer-assigned MPN
  • Each variant has a unique MPN 
    • e.g a blue variant of a shoe has a different MPN than a white variant.
  • If using the “Is Bundle” attribute, pair it with the manufacturer-assigned MPN, not the MPNs of each item in the bundle.
  • If your shop created the bundle, you can use the MPNs of the main item in the bundle. Google can only accept one MPN per SKU, so you can’t include all MPNs in the bundle when submitting the shopping feed.
  • If using the  “Multipack” attribute, pair it with the manufacturer-assigned MPN, not the MPNs of each item in the multipack.
  • If your shop created the multipack, you can use the MPN for the item in the pack. Exactly the same rules when you have bundles.

You can periodically check out Google’s guidance on MPNs for updated requirements, since they can change from time to time.

Why Should You Use MPNs?

We’ve already mentioned that it’s best practice to submit MPNs in the Google Shopping feed. Include MPNs in product descriptions on your site, so that they are visible and searchable on the product page. Then customers can easily confirm that they have found what they’re looking for, and then they’ll be more likely to buy.

Here are other reasons to upload MPNs in your shopping feed;

To provide accurate product listings to customers

MPNs help differentiate between almost similar products. For instance, MPNs can distinguish between a red and a blue variant of the same shoe. When customers search for either color of shoe, search engines might use the MPN to provide accurate search results. 

If your store ranks for such specific product searches, it will have a higher chance of getting higher click-through rates (CTRs), sales, and conversion rates.

To improve search performance 

Google uses MPNs to provide more accurate search results, which in turn helps customers find the products they’re looking for more easily. So MPNs can help increase search and shopping traffic to your online store.

For accurate price comparisons

MPNs make it easier for Google to compare prices between different sellers. For example, to compare the prices of the same Allbirds Shoe variant on different websites. Having competitive prices can improve your store’s ranking in relevant product searches. Note that price is just one of several ranking factors.

To ensure precise price comparisons with other competitors, always make a point to use MPNs and GTINs in your shopping feeds. 


By incorporating MPNs into your shopping feeds, you can improve search performance, reduce product disapprovals, and get more sales. Here’s a link to a post with more tips on how to improve shopping campaign performance through feed audits.