In the third part of what is becoming a series of Google Shopping related blogs I thought I’d cover shops which sell clothes – or ‘apparel’ as it’s called in Google Merchant Center. There are some specific items to cover for shops that sell clothes, in order to account for variances in size, etc.
Sizes and colours
As mentioned in the first of my blogs about Google Shopping, there are a number of elements which influence how products are listed in your data feed when you sell clothes or shoes.
If you have a product such as a t-shirt which is available in a number of colours, Google prefers you to have an image for each colour and size. In the US, images for each variant are required but outside the US this is just a preferred option. In the UK, we can list colour variations as one product but Google prefers that you list each colour separately. As in the US it wouldn’t surprise me if this becomes mandatory over here at some point.
Google Product Category
Google Product Category is required for all products which fall into the Apparel and Accessories categories (which include the top level category ‘Apparel & Accessories‘ and the two sub-categories of ‘Apparel & Accessories > Clothing’ and ‘Apparel & Accessories > Shoes’).
When selecting a Google Product Category for your products try to be as specific as possible, as this is what is expected from your feed. If you sell any shoes or clothing it is not acceptable to just place them into the top level category of ‘Apparel & Accessories’. For help with selecting the correct product category Google has a product taxonomy tool, which allows for the creation of the correct code as well as the selection of the correct category. You can use these here.
When specifying Apparel products in Google Merchant Center you have to include the gender for the item you are selling. This can be entered as ‘Male’, ‘Female’ or ‘Unisex’. This field is required in the US when you have products in the ‘Apparel and Accessories‘ product category.
This is split into two values: ‘Adult‘ and ‘Kids‘ and again is aimed at people in the US Market place.
If an item can be worn by both children and grownups, then the age group should be assigned as ‘Adult’
For both Gender and Age Group there are a number of sub-categories which don’t make these attributes mandatory, but instead they are recommended only. The categories where Age and Gender are not compulsory are:
- Shoe Laces
- Tie Clips
- Watch Bands
- Tie Clips
- Shoe Covers
Not only is this information important for ensuring people can find your products in the Google Shopping results, but this can also help with encouraging people to click through to your results.
These extra fields are important if you are selling apparel and accessories, and making sure you understand the criteria for completing them will help you get the most from your Google Merchant Center feeds.