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If you’re looking for a way to boost PLA visibility, incentivize shoppers to click on your ad and potentially increase conversions on Google Shopping, then look no further than Google Merchant Promotions.

Merchant Promotions gives you the ability to distribute promotions online through your Google Shopping ads. And guess what, it’s free.

The promotion appears on the ad with the words “special offer.” When you click these words, more details about the promotion appear.

You can also see how the promotion looks from inside the full PLA.

Google accepts three types of promotions:

  1. Discounts such as 30% off, buy one get one free, cash back, buy one get one 20% off or cash back
  2. Free gifts like a free $30 gift card with purchase or a free tote bag with purchase
  3. Shipping such as free or discounted

Google also requires promotions to be applicable to all audiences, meaning that you can’t target a specific group such as first time buyers.

For more information on Google promotion types, click here.

Google has a set of promotion criteria that you must follow in order to successfully use a promotion:

  • The promotion must be redeemable at checkout or by time of purchase
  • It must expire within 6 months of the date it starts
  • You must follow Google’s promotion policies and requirements

Here's How to Create Your Promotions

Step 1: Create a Promotions Feed & Fill Out Interest Form

Before you can get started on creating your promotions, you’ll want to already have an active products feed submitting to Google and an AdWords account created. Also, you need to fill out Google’s merchant promotions interest form and wait for their approval.

Step 2: Create the Promotion

There are two options when it comes to setting up promotions: using the promotions tool or creating a promotions feed.

Option 1: Using the Promotions Tool

If you have a small amount of promotions, this is likely to be the best option for you. To use this tool follow Google’s instructions below:

  1. Log into your Merchant Center account
  2. Select Merchant Promotions from the left-hand navigation
  3. Click Promotions
  4. Click the plus icon
  5. Enter the promotion details and click Save

Google allows you to add up to 10 promotions for one item. To do this, you submit promotion_id up to 10 times for a product.

For more information on the promotion_id attribute, click here.

Option 2: Creating a Promotions Feed

If you have a large number of promotions, Google suggests using a promotions feed.

To do this manually, you’ll need to create a spreadsheet with all required attributes for the feed and any desired optional attributes.

promotion_id:

The unique ID of the promotion that let’s Google know which products belong to a specific promotion.

We've listed out the required attribute definitions below.

product_applicability:

Specifies whether the promotion is applicable to all products or specific products.

Valid values: ALL_PRODUCTS or SPECIFIC_PRODUCTS

If you are using SPECIFIC_PRODUCTS, then you must map the specific promotion_id to the eligible products in your Google product feed.

offer_type:

Indicates whether shoppers need a coupon code to redeem the offer.

Valid values: NO_CODE or GENERIC_CODE

If you are using GENERIC_CODE, then the generic_redemption_code field is required.

long_title:

Title of the promotion

promotion_effective_dates:

This is where you provide the date and time range of when the promotion is active and ready for validation review.

For the format, Google states:

Start date and end date are separated by a forward slash (/). The start date is specified by the format (YYYY-MM-DD), followed by the letter ‘T’, the time of the day when the sale starts (in Greenwich Mean Time, GMT), followed by an expression of the time zone for the sale. The end date should be in the same format.

redemption_channel:

Shows that promotion is available online.

Valid value: ONLINE

You can reference the Merchant Promotions feed specs and best practices here.

You can add up to 10 promotions to one item by submitting the values separated by commas in the promotion_id field.

Step 3: Choose Products for Your Promotion

If you used the promotions tool:

Once you’ve created the promotions, it’s time to apply them to specific products. To do this, you need to map the applicable promotion_id to the desired SKUs in your product feed and resubmit the feed.

If you used the promotions feed:

To apply the promotion to all products, set the product_applicability attribute to ALL_PRODUCTS.

To apply the promotion to specific products, set the product_applicability attribute to SPECIFIC_PRODUCTS.

Step 4: Submitting Your Promotions

If you used the promotions tool, you can ignore this step as you do not need to submit a separate feed for the promotions.

For those creating a Google Merchant Promotions feed, you’ll need to register and upload the feed for review.

Check out Google's implementation guide for more details regarding setting up promotions.

Getting Started

Setting up Merchant Promotions manually can quickly become a tedious and time-consuming nightmare. Third-party product feed automation tools like GoDataFeed can help you manage and update promotions, freeing up time to work on other areas of your business.  Talk to one of our feed experts today to learn more.