If you're a Google Shopping advertiser, it's important that you're aware of the upcoming deadline for supplying Global Trade Item Numbers.
As of Monday 16th May, Google will no longer accept products that have missing or invalid Global Trade Item Numbers, and therefore if you fail to comply with this requirement, your products won't appear on the Google results page. It's as simple as that.
What are Global Trade Item Numbers?
Global Trade Item Numbers, otherwise known as GTINs, are a type of product identifier, and are assigned to the majority of retail products. They most commonly include:
Universal product codes (UPCs)
International standard book numbers (ISBNs)
European article numbers (EANs)
Specifically, they are unique identifiers that enable Google to identify products and match those products to shoppers search queries.
Here's what you need to know about GTINs.
GTINs will be required for brand-name products, as well as new products that are sold by multiple sellers in 11 countries including:
Please be aware that GTINs will not be required for:
Products that only you sell
The use of these GTINs have large benefits to merchants, in fact they improve your product's discoverability and relevancy, helping to increase conversions of up to 20%.
If you'd like more information about GTINs, visit GS1 UK, the authentic source for issuing GTINs in the UK.
What are the next steps?
Fortunately, Google have made it easy for you to identify whether or not your products require GTINs. Simply login to your Merchant Centre account, and under the Diagnostics tab, the products that need updating will be flagged with a yellow warning icon.
If you find that you have a large quantity of products requiring GTINs, we would recommend beginning with your most popular items first, in order to reduce any potential impact should you fail to resolve each product before the deadline.
In order to locate the correct GTIN, you may be required to either go back through your supply chain system, in other words you should be able to access them somewhere in your warehousing inventory or fulfilment systems, or alternatively you should contact your drop shipper or identify it on the product itself (basically the 8 to 14 digits under the item's barcode).
It's also important to be aware that Google won't flag any products that you add between now and the 16th May, therefore it is crucial that you provide GTINs for these products straight away.