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Maximising Google Shopping Results with a Google Sheets Supplemental Feed in Google Merchant Centre

This post is part of the Google Merchant Centre Guide - created by our Google Shopping Team

Google Shopping Strategy

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In the realm of e-commerce, a vital aspect of success lies in optimising your presence on platforms like Google Shopping. One powerful strategy to enhance your performance is by leveraging a supplemental feed in conjunction with your primary feed on Google Merchant Center, effectively using supplemental feeds in Google to amplify product visibility. This supplemental feed acts as a valuable extension to your existing product data, providing a structured way to supplement and enhance your product listings.

Understanding Supplemental Feeds in Google Merchant Centre

What is a supplemental feed?

A supplemental feed is essentially an additional feed that contains specific product data which you can use to enrich the information available in your primary feed. By creating a supplemental feed in Google Sheets, you can tailor and refine the product details that are showcased in your Google Shopping ads.

How does a supplemental feed complement the primary feed?

By allowing for dynamic updates and customisation of product feed data based on specific feed rules. The supplemental feed works in tandem with the primary feed within Google Merchant Center, employing data from the primary feed and enriching it through additional details for a more comprehensive product feed. While the primary feed houses your main product data, the supplemental feed allows you to include additional attributes, such as custom labels or specific pricing details, to enhance your product listings.

Benefits of using supplemental feeds

Leveraging supplemental feeds using Google Sheets provides numerous advantages such as the ability to customise product data, which can lead to improved ad relevance and increased visibility on Google Shopping. By using supplemental feeds effectively, you can further refine your product data to align with your marketing objectives and target audience.

Integration and Optimisation

Integrating the supplemental feed with Google Shopping campaigns can significantly enhance the performance and visibility of your product listings. By linking the supplemental feed to your Google Shopping campaigns using Google Sheets, you can ensure that the additional product data is effectively integrated into your ads. This integration allows you to showcase a broader range of attributes and details, making your products more appealing to potential customers.

Optimising product data using supplemental feeds and data feed management is essential for ensuring that your listings stand out in the competitive landscape of Google Shopping and Google Ads. By customising and refining your product data through the supplemental feed, including detailed product ID information, you can align your listings with specific marketing objectives and target audience preferences. This optimisation can lead to improved ad relevance and increased click-through rates.

Maximising results through the proper use of supplemental feeds requires a strategic approach to leveraging the additional product data effectively. By continuously monitoring and updating your supplemental feed to reflect any changes or enhancements to your product data, including product ID adjustments, you can ensure that your listings remain optimised and competitive. Proper utilisation of supplemental feeds and applying feed rules can lead to enhanced performance and increased visibility on Google Shopping.

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Creating and Setting Up a Google Sheets Supplemental Feed

How to create a supplemental feed with Google Sheets?

To create a supplemental feed with Google Sheets, you can start by opening a new spreadsheet in Google Sheets and labelling the columns with the relevant product attributes you want to supplement. Once you have entered the necessary data, you can save the spreadsheet and then export it as a CSV file that is compatible with Google Merchant Centre.

Step by Step Guide to creating a supplemental feed with Google Sheets

Step 1: Create Your Google Sheet

Export Your Primary Feed Data

  1. Go to your primary product data source (e.g., Shopify)
  2. Export/download your product data as a TSV or CSV file

Import the Data into Google Sheets

1. Go to Google Sheets and create a new spreadsheet
2. Import the TSV/CSV file you downloaded in step 1

You should now have all your product data in the Google Sheet.

Step 2: Prepare the Supplemental Data

Keep the Necessary Columns

The two essential columns you need are:

1. **Product ID**: This is the unique identifier for each product, ensuring Google knows which product to amend/append.

2. **Attribute Column(s)**: These are the columns for attributes you want to amend or append (e.g., title, description, condition).

Delete any other columns you don’t want to modify to avoid overwriting unintended data!

Amend or Append Data

For columns, you want to **amend**, simply edit the existing data in that column.

For columns, you want to **append**, create a new column with the exact [attribute name](https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/7052112) used in Google’s specifications and populate it.

> **Important**: Never amend the price column in your supplemental feed using Google Sheets, as it can cause pricing errors. Delete the price column if you don’t want to change prices through the supplemental feed.

If you’re eager to delve deeper into how to amend or append data, be sure to catch our comprehensive video tutorial, beginning at 9:05 on how to do so. If you wish not to, then please continue to step 3 below.

How to Create a Supplemental Feed Using Google Sheets - Google Merchant Center

Step 3: Create the Supplemental Feed in Google Merchant Centre Using Your Merchant Centre Account

In Google Merchant Centre, go to ‘Feeds’ > ‘Supplemental feeds’ to add a supplemental feed.

Click ‘+ Add supplemental feed’ 

Choose ‘Google Sheets’ as the feed source

Give your feed a name (e.g., ‘Product titles & descriptions’) and consider creating a feed in Google Spreadsheets for easy updates.

Select your Google Sheet

Choose the feeds you want to supplement with this data

Set the upload schedule (recommended: daily, after your primary feed updates)

Review and create the supplemental feed

That’s it! Your supplemental feed will now regularly upload to amend or append your primary feed data.

Important considerations when setting up a supplemental feed It is crucial to ensure that the data in your supplemental feed aligns with the guidelines and policies set forth by Google Merchant Centre to avoid any potential issues with your product listings. Additionally, regularly monitor and update your supplemental feed to reflect any changes or additions to your product data accurately, especially when working with data in the primary feed or unique feed labels.

The Importance of Regularly Updating Your Supplemental Feed in the Merchant Center Account

Supplemental feeds offer a convenient way to enhance your product data for Google Shopping campaigns. However, maintaining supplemental feeds can get messy, especially for large catalogues with frequent changes. Whenever possible, update the product information at the source to avoid synchronisation issues down the line, but remember to keep the data in the primary feed and supplemental feed consistent. Use supplemental feeds judiciously for quick, targeted modifications when changing the source data is not feasible.

If you’re interested in reading more about eCommerce then check out our recent eCommerce blogs below.

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