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GTIN(UPC/ EAN) Numbers Are Now Required For Google Shopping

Posted: March 14, 2016

Some big changes are being rolled out by Google Shopping and it’s imperative that you make these updates if you plan on selling your products online.

Google is now making it a requirement starting May 16, 2016 that all products you have listed on the Google Shopping network have a GTIN.

This is only required if you are selling products to the following countries:

  • USA
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • UK

What is a GTIN?

A GTIN stands for Global Trade Identification Number. Each GTIN is a unique 14 digit number that is used to identify trade items, products and services. Currently, GTIN is only used in bar codes.

As of now, there are 5 subsets of a GTIN.

  1. UPC
  2. EAN
  3. ITF-14
  4. UCC/EAN Code 128
  5. GS1 Databar

In fact, listing your UPC/EAN numbers on your Google Shopping feed has been proven to increase performance and sales for those products. This is something you definitely don’t want to be missing out on.   

Here are some quotes pulled directly from Google stating the type of improvements you can expect when adding your UPC/EAN numbers to your product feed.

This is where UPC and EAN numbers come into play. In fact UPC and EAN  are the most recognized GTINs.

UPC is the 12 digit number on barcodes most commonly used in North America for identifying products. EAN numbers are 8 digits and are the most popular option for identifying products outside of North America. This makes UPC/EAN numbers the most commonly used GTIN in the world.

Now let’s dive into why this new update is important for your brand and how having UPC and EAN numbers are going to benefit you.

Why You Need to Make These Changes and How it Will Help Your Brand

First of all, when you provide your UPC/EAN number on your product listing it helps Google recognize your products. This gives Google the ability to organize and offer the best possible user experience for people shopping online for your products.  

In fact, listing your UPC/EAN numbers on your Google Shopping feed has been proven to increase performance and sales for those products. This is something you definitely don’t want to be missing out on.   

Here are some quotes pulled directly from Google stating the type of improvements you can expect when adding your UPC/EAN numbers to your product feed.

More Visibility: Correct UPC/EAN numbers put your products in front of more potential consumers; we've seen that offers matched to the Google Shopping product catalog may receive up to 40% more clicks than unmatched offers.”

Better Targeting: Correct UPC/EAN numbers help us show your products to the most relevant, interested consumers and in turn drive a higher rate of conversions. Based on analysis of last year's GTIN requirement for 50 brands, merchants who add correct GTINs to their product data may see their conversion rate increase by up to 20%.”

More Ad Formats: Beyond Google Shopping ads, UPC/EAN numbers also allow for improved product information on Google.com, as well as other formats like Shopping on YouTube and product discovery on mobile devices.”

As you can see by not adding your UPC/EAN numbers to your products listing you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Not mention that this will be a requirement come May 16, 2016, so you might as well get ahead of the game before it's too late.

What if I don’t Have UPC/EAN Numbers?

If this is the case then there are two options for you.

Option 1: Barcodestalk.com gives you the ability to order and purchase UPC/EAN numbers for all of your products. Once you order your UPC/EAN numbers you will have to update your product feed on the Google Shopping network. Once this is accomplished you will be good to go and won’t have to worry about Google disapproving your product ads come May 16, 2016.

Option 2: This is another option(not recommended), but you could just stop advertising on Google all together and use other forms of advertising to sell your products, but you will be missing out on a huge opportunity that the Google Shopping network provides.

Just realize that this is a requirement and not something you have an option for. If you don’t make these changes then all your product ads will be disapproved come May 16, 2016.

 

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