Google Shopping ads have continued to grow over the past few years with retail marketers spending 36% more on these ads during the third quarter than they did in the same period a year earlier.
However, today is the day that Google will no longer make the Google Shopping ad integration available to Bigcommerce, Prestashop and Magento store merchants, and once again store owners are having to change their business practices to fit in with new rules introduced by Google.
Store owners for these platforms were sent an email in February advising them that their ecommerce platform API integration with Google Shopping ads would be ending on March 20.
The API integration is going away in order to focus on other integration solutions with the goal of offering a more seamless onboarding experience for Google Shopping ads. The API connected a merchant’s catalog of products with the Google Merchant Center in order to create the Shopping ads, whereas the new method involves retailers exporting their product data into a feed and then manipulating the feed to adhere to Google’s feed specifications.
The logic behind this is that Google is hoping to improve the data that is sent to the Google Merchant Center as the data will be more uniform as it conforms to Google’s specifications, whereas the data that merchants sent via the API was simply the data that merchants’ displayed on their own websites. The website data was not usually optimized for Google Shopping with titles, for example, excluding a great deal of the salient information that shoppers were searching for.
Those who were relying on the API integration will now have to find a new way to export their product data into a feed and this may, or may not, turn out to be a problem for retailers in the long run. There are also several free and third party apps that can fill this gap for merchants of these three platforms.