How to Generate Google Shopping XML Feed for WooCommerce Store
What if someone offers you to build a well-decorated store full of products in the middle of a desert? Would you accept?
Certainly not, right? Because no one will come to buy your products. Similarly, people start online eCommerce stores with the same purpose: to sell products.
If people don’t visit your store, you won’t have a chance to sell anything, simple as that. That’s why after you set up your eCommerce/WooCommerce store, your primary goal should be attracting customers to visit your store and convert (make purchases).
For that, you should have a sustainable marketing strategy in place. Without marketing, you can’t attract customers or sell anything, even amid a bustling crowd.
If you don’t want to be left behind, like having a store on a jungle road where seldom people walk by, you need to promote your products online. The first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is the traditional search engine paid ads.
Well, there was a time when traditional text ads were the only best option. However, now you can run visual product ads, which is the number one and most effective advertisement medium for eCommerce stores.
Along with product ads, there’s one platform that lets Woo retailers like you promote their products for absolutely free. And with over an awestriking billion visitors per month, this platform indeed promises you an incredible number of customers.
The platform is Google Shopping, the search engine behemoth’s own price comparison engine. It allows you to promote your products both in free and paid formats.
However, uploading and displaying your products on this platform needs some learning. Most importantly, you will need to generate a Google Shopping XML feed Using Woocommerce Product Feed Plugin.
Not to worry, we will explain everything in this article. Let’s get started.
What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is a price comparison engine. A price comparison is a particular search engine specifically for searching products.
Any online or brick-and-mortar store can list their products on Google Shopping. When a user searches for a product on a price comparison engine, it displays relevant product results.
These result products are from different retailers like you, who listed their products on the comparison platform. The customers then can find the best deal (people mostly look for the best prices) for them and purchase it from the retailer’s website/store.
Compared to other price comparison search engine sites, Google Shopping has several unique qualities. The best part about this platform is it’s not limited to its own domain.
When you list your products on Google Shopping, it also displays your products across its network. For example, it will display your products on Google search result pages (SERP), Google Maps, Images, YouTube, etc.
Google also allows retailers like you to allow customers to checkout directly from Google Shopping. Google doesn’t charge any commission for this, and you can choose your own third-party payment gateway provider.
Now, isn’t that just awesome? However, this feature is limited to US-based stores only for now.
You can also run paid ads on the platform, which can significantly increase your reach. Again, when you use a Google XML product feed to run paid promotions on Google Shopping, the platform displays your product ads on its network and partner sites as well.
Overall, Google Shopping is a mighty powerful channel for your WooCommerce store to boost its reach and conversions.
How does Google Shopping work?
We have already mentioned Google Shopping is interconnected to its network platforms such as SERP, Images, Maps, etc. When a user searches for a product on Google’s main domain (Google.com), the search engine activates Google Shopping features.
Let’s check out how the platform works with an example.
Let’s say someone needs to buy a sneaker, and their preferred color is blue. Therefore, they are searching for “blue sneakers.” Here’s how the Google search engine result page displays the result.
As it is a product search, Google activated the Google Shopping features. The user can now access Google Shopping for this search term by clicking the Shopping tab.
Here’s how Google Shopping displays the results.
As you can see, Google Shopping displays relevant product results from different retailers like you. In addition, users can filter and refine their search by different conditions from the left panel.
If the user clicks on any listing, Google Shopping will display some important details along with the image gallery. They can also find more details from the View product details link.
What Google Shopping will display on the listings and product detail page depends entirely on what you will provide in your Google Shopping XML feed.
If the user finally decides to buy, they can click the title, and Google will take them to the retailer’s checkout page to complete the purchase.
What are Google Shopping ads?
Google Shopping ads are the paid advertisements of your products you upload using a Google Shopping XML feed. Google prioritizes Google Shopping ads over all other ad and content types.
Thus, these ads create a greater opportunity for your products to be noticed by potential customers. Google Shopping ads can significantly boost your traffic and conversions.
Let’s take a look at how Google displays its shopping ads. Let’s find out with the same search term – ‘blue sneaker.’ Here’s how SERP displays ads.
And here’s where Google Shopping displays the ads.
As you can see, Google displays shopping ads at the top of any content throughout its network, be it Google SERP or Google Shopping results.
Why do you need to list your WooCommerce products on Google Shopping?
Let’s check out some statistics to find out why Google Shopping is such a crucial marketing channel for any eCommerce store owner.
- 81% of consumers conduct online research before making purchases.
- 49% of shoppers use Google for pre-purchase research.
- Google Shopping constitutes 36% of all product searches.
- Google Shopping records a staggering 1.2 billion searches monthly.
- Google Shopping ads are favored by most online retailers for product promotion.
- Google Shopping ads are 30% more productive than standard text ads.
- These ads account for 85% of clicks on Google’s advertising platforms.
- 76 out of every 100 dollars spent on Google ads are allocated to shopping ads.
- Google Shopping ads lead to 1.91% to 9% conversion rates after viewing a product detail page.
How do you list and display products on Google Shopping?
You would imagine listing products on Google Shopping would be a walk in the park, just like any other price comparison or marketplace site, right?
Well, the process is easy to follow but not as straightforward as one might think. There are no direct login and upload product options in Google Shopping like other comparison sites.
The most important thing you will need is a Google Shopping XML feed. After you generate a Google product feed xml, you will need to upload it to a totally different domain called Google Merchant Center.
GMC (Google Merchant Center) will then display your products on relevant Google search results, including Google Shopping results. Unlike other price comparison sites or sites like Instagram, Facebook, etc., you cannot build a dedicated store/shop page on Google Shopping.
That’s why Google Shopping has no dedicated back panel for retailers and is only a search engine result domain like Google.com. Google Merchant Center acts as the back panel, and you can upload/edit your products there.
Another reason for not having a dedicated admin panel is that Google displays your products on multiple platforms or network sites. Even for running Google Shopping ads, you need to connect the GMC account to your Google Ads account.
Google Ads account fetches your Google Merchant Center XML feed and generates product ads. Overall, to list your products on Google Shopping, you need to start by creating a WooCommerce Google merchant xml feed.
But first, let’s learn what a Google Shopping XML feed is in the first place.
What is Google Shopping XML feed?
Let’s start with what a product feed is. A product data feed is a data file that contains your WooCommerce product information in textual format. It includes all your product characteristics, such as prices, descriptions, titles, IDs, brands, availability, etc.
All giant marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, Target, Walmart, etc., allow you to upload your Woo products and display them on their websites. And a product feed is what you need to do so.
Product feed files are the quickest way to export and list your Woo products on multiple channels. As a result, feed files create the opportunity for you to expand your reach quickly and efficiently.
Almost all popular marketplaces, price comparison engines, and social media sites support and encourage you to upload feed files to list your products. One of the biggest benefits of a product feed file is it can help distribute the same and accurate data across multiple channels.
With the help of feed files, you can have multiple stores across the web displaying your WooCommerce product data. This will help you reach millions of potential customers.
Moreover, search engines and social sites like Google Shopping, Bing Smart Shopping, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., require you to upload a product feed to run product ads.
A product feed file can be created in a number of formats, such as CSV, TXT, XML, JSON, etc. Our topic of discussion today is the Google Shopping XML feed.
What is XML and Google feed XML?
XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used to store and exchange data. XML files are text-based files that use tags to define the structure of the data.
Tags are enclosed in angle brackets (< >) and can be used to define elements, attributes, and entities.
XML files are often used to store data for websites, applications, and databases. They can also be used to exchange data between different systems.
Along with other formats, Google also allows you to upload your product info in XML format. Here’s a Google Shopping XML feed example.
As you can see on the above Google XML feed example, different product specifications/characteristics are under tags, and values are inserted inside them. When you upload this Google Shop XML feed file to Google, the platform will fetch your Woo product data from this file and display it on its pages.
What are the necessary attributes for the Google Shopping XML feed?
The characteristics of your products we have been talking about are called attributes in a Google Shopping XML feed. The characteristics you saw on the Google sample XML feed above are the attributes of that feed.
Google Shopping offers the ability to input an extensive array of attributes into your Woo product feed, categorized into ten sections:
- Basic product data (9 attributes):
Product titles, descriptions, prices, and images fall under this category.
- Detailed product description (4 attributes):
Additional product details, such as dimensions, weight, and materials, are included here.
- Product category (11 attributes):
Specifies the product’s category in Google’s taxonomy.
- Price and availability (8 attributes):
Information regarding the product’s price, availability, and shipping options is covered in this category.
- Product identifiers (5 attributes):
Unique product identifiers like GTIN or MPN are essential attributes in this category.
- Destinations (2 attributes):
Information about the product’s shipping destinations.
- Shipping (4 attributes):
Details about the product’s shipping costs are included here.
- Tax (2 attributes):
Information pertaining to the product’s tax status.
- Marketplaces (3 attributes):
Specifies where the product is available for purchase.
- Shopping campaigns (7 attributes):
Details on how the product is being advertised within Google Shopping campaigns.
Here are the most important attributes a Google Shopping XML feed should include,
- Product ID
- Product URL
- Image URL
- Stock Availability
- Regular Price
- Product Condition
How to generate Google Shopping XML Feed for WooCommerce store
You know what attributes your WooCommerce product pages have, and you can learn the necessary Google Merchant Center XML WooCommerce attributes from official documents. After that, you can create a Google spreadsheet XML feed using any text or XML editor.
However, this is a completely manual process, and you will have to copy-paste your product data one by one carefully. It will take a long time and is very much prone to errors. Let us explain in detail.
Why manually creating a Google Shopping XML feed is not recommended
Here are notable statistics highlighting the challenges associated with manual product feeds:
- In 2022, Google Shopping Feeds faced a rejection rate of 7% due to significant data errors.
- Product listings can be rejected by Google if accurate GTIN values are not provided, affecting 5.53% of products with submitted GTINs as of 2022.
- Shipping discrepancies are the leading cause of product feed rejections, constituting 23.49% of all rejections.
These numbers show how unreliable it is to add products to Google Shopping XML feed manually. Let us dive deep and show you the challenges in detail.
- Time-consuming and tedious: Having a large number of products makes creating a product feed file manually a time-consuming and laborious task. It can take hours or even days to manually enter all of the product data into a spreadsheet or other file format.
- Error-prone: It is easy to make mistakes when manually entering data, which can lead to errors in your product feed file. These errors can prevent your products from being displayed correctly on other channels, which can lead to lost sales.
- Difficult to maintain: Manually created product feed files can be difficult to maintain, especially if you have frequent product updates. It can be time-consuming and error-prone to manually update all of the product data in your feed file.
Here are some specific examples of the problems that can occur when creating a product feed file manually:
- Incorrect data: Typos, missing information, and other errors can easily creep into manually created product feed files. This can lead to product listings that are inaccurate or incomplete, which can discourage potential customers from buying your products.
- Invalid format: Product feed files must be in a specific format that is accepted by the channel you are submitting them to. If your feed file is not in the correct format, it will be rejected, and your products will not be displayed.
- Duplicate entries: It is easy to accidentally create duplicate entries in a manually created product feed file. This can dilute your product listings and make it difficult for customers to find the products they are looking for.
- Missing required fields: Many channels have required fields that must be included in product feed files. If your feed file is missing any of these required fields, it will be rejected.
Overall, it is not recommended to create a product xml feed Google merchant file manually. Automated tools can save you time and effort, and they can help you avoid errors.
As for any other task in WooCommerce, a number of plugins are available for creating Google Shopping XML feed as well. And the best one in the market is CTX Feed – WooCommerce Product Feed Manager Plugin.
CTX Feed – WooCommerce Google Shopping XML feed plugin
If you are not a tech-savvy person, you must be pretty confused or scared by the content we have covered so far—especially the Google Shopping XML feed creation part.
Handing tags or codes is definitely not everyone’s forte. CTX Feed plugin can clear all your worries by automating the whole product feed-creating process.
With this plugin, you can create a Google Shopping XML feed in just two clicks. The plugin has a dedicated template for Google Shopping that contains all attribute guidelines.
CTX feed will also copy-paste all your Woo product data inside the feed file automatically for you. Let’s talk about the features of this awesome plugin in detail.
Effortless feed creation
Creating product feeds can be a complex task, but CTX Feed simplifies it. With this plugin, you can generate optimized and error-free product feeds without the usual headaches.
Broad platform support
CTX Feed supports a wide range of platforms — over 130 of them. This means you can promote your products on multiple marketplaces, search engines, affiliate sites, and price comparison platforms without a hitch.
Easy scaling: no limits on products and feeds
Whether you have a small inventory or a large one, CTX Feed accommodates all. You can upload and manage an unlimited number of products and create as many feeds as needed, adapting effortlessly as your business grows.
No need to start from scratch. CTX Feed offers more than 100 pre-configured templates tailored to popular marketplaces. They save you time and ensure your product feeds meet the requirements of these platforms.
Versatile file formats
CTX Feed supports various file formats (XML, CSV, TSV, XLS, TXT, JSON) to cater to different platforms. It’s all about customizing how your product information appears to suit the needs of each channel.
The plugin boasts a user-friendly interface, making it accessible for everyone. All the essential attributes and fields are neatly laid out on a single page for a smooth product uploading experience.
Inclusive: supports all WooCommerce product types
CTX Feed doesn’t discriminate; it supports all WooCommerce product types. Whether you’re selling bundles, composite products, or subscriptions, this plugin has your back.
Efficient product attribute management
CTX Feed allows you to set conditions on product attributes dynamically. This means you can tailor how your products appear on different platforms based on specific conditions.
Smart product filtering and conditions
With smart filtering and advanced features, you can easily include or exclude products based on certain conditions. It’s about optimizing your product feed for better performance.
Global reach: multi-language and multi-currency support
Expand your market globally by creating feeds in different languages and currencies. CTX Feed enables you to cater to a diverse audience, enhancing your product’s discoverability worldwide.
Collaboration with multi-vendors
CTX Feed seamlessly integrates with various multi-vendor plugins, allowing efficient assignment of products to vendors. This feature ensures you can tailor product feeds according to each vendor’s preferences.
Rest easy knowing that there’s a dedicated customer support team available. They are pretty efficient in answering your queries and solving your problems.
In a nutshell, CTX Feed is a powerful tool to simplify the creation and management of product feeds for WooCommerce stores. It’s a valuable asset for businesses aiming to maximize product visibility across a variety of online platforms.
How to generate a Google Shopping XML feed using CTX Feed
CTX Feed has an incredibly popular free version on the WordPress repository. You can also try out this version to create a Google Shopping feed.
After activating, you need to click on the Make Feed option.
This is how it will look at first.
Template dropdown is the place where you will find all the channels. Select your channel from there.
Select XML as your file type for your Google Shopping XML feed.
As soon as you select the channel, CTX Feed starts its magic. The plugin will automatically generate the necessary attributes for you.
Click the Update and Generate Feed to complete the process. As we have mentioned already, CTX Feed will copy-paste your data automatically according to the attributes.
Additionally, you can apply different conditions to your feed. This means you can create specific product feeds or exclude certain products.
You can also automatically exclude all your out-of-stock products. You can increase ROI on Google Search Ads by 181% if you exclude stock-out products from your feed.
Including custom fields on Google Shopping XML feed
There are certain fields from the Google Shopping attribute list you won’t find on your Woo product pages. WooCommerce lacks certain fields like Brand, ISBN, EAN, MPN, etc.
One solution could be installing a plugin to add custom fields. However, this might pose a challenge for some due to the need for additional technical skills.
Fortunately, CTX Feed addresses this concern by providing a comprehensive range of custom fields you might need. Moreover, even if an attribute isn’t included in CTX Feed’s default settings, the plugin allows you to create additional custom fields for any unknown attributes.
Go to the CTX Feed menu and click on Settings >> Custom Fields. There, you will find all the custom attributes.
Let’s say you want to include MPN and Brand in your WooCommerce product pages. Toggle and enable them.
Go to a product page and jump to the Product Data section. Click on the Inventory tab, and there you will see a dedicated custom field section created by CTX Feed.
You can input your value here, and CTX Feed will include this data in the feed file. To insert Brand data, go to Products >> Brands by CTX Feed.
On that page, you can create your brands.
Managing the feed files
Go to the Manage Feeds page to check your new feed file.
See the “Update Interval” setting? It’s like setting a timer for 30 minutes.
When that timer rings, CTX Feed checks if you’ve changed anything. If you have, it takes those changes and updates them in your product feed.
The plugin offers choices like editing, making new copies, deleting, and more for your feed configurations. The plugin also allows you to host your Google Shopping XML feed file on your WordPress hosting and connect to GMC using the feed URL.
How do you upload products on Google Merchant Center?
Google Merchant Center is a platform that allows businesses to upload their product data to Google so that it can be displayed in Google Shopping and other Google properties. Merchant Center is free to use, and it is a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes.
Registering an account is free and straightforward. Use a Gmail to register.
After registration is complete, you will need to complete the following steps –
You can find a step-by-step walkthrough of Google Merchant Center here in this article. For now, we will jump to the sixth step, which is adding products.
We have a Google Shopping XML feed so that we will pick the multiple option.
Make sure you select your language and location, along with check marking the free listing option.
Google offers a number of options to attach a feed. We will use the Scheduled Fetch option.
Copy-paste your feed URL and set fetch frequency.
Let me break it down for you:
- Google Merchant Center (GMC) grabs details about your products from the web link (URL) in your WordPress site’s feed.
- If you tweak anything on your WooCommerce product pages—like the price or description—the CTX Feed plugin quickly picks up those changes and updates the info.
- GMC regularly checks this link based on the fetch frequency you’ve set. So, no manual updating needed on Google Shopping. Easy, right?
- When you use GMC and the feed plugin together, your products on Google Shopping stay fresh and accurate. That’s a win because it helps more people discover and buy your stuff on Google Shopping.
GMC also lets you manually fetch your data whenever you want.
Integration done! Google will now showcase your products in relevant product results. Cool, huh?
How to generate Google Shopping Ads?
You need to use the same Gmail to log in to your Google Ads account. Create one with that Gmail if you don’t have one yet.
After that, go to Tools and Settings. Then click on Linked Accounts.
You need to search and find GMC and connect it to this Ads account.
Now, create a new campaign. Click the plus sign from the dashboard.
Sales is your campaign objective.
Shopping is your campaign type.
Google will automatically attach the Google Ads xml feed from the GMC account.
To kick off your ad campaign, follow the steps and tell Google your bidding strategy, ad groups, and other preferences.
Google will do the heavy lifting by creating product ads using the info in your product feed. These ads will pop up where they matter—in searches that match what you offer.
To make sure your product’s ads shine Moreover, break down your product groups into smaller, specific categories. This way, you can design bid strategies that suit each category and make your ads more effective.
Benefits of Google Shopping XML feed for WooCommerce
Using a Google XML Product Feed for your WooCommerce store offers several key benefits that can greatly enhance your online business:
By creating a Google XML Product Feed, you increase the visibility of your products. It allows your products to be displayed on Google Shopping, a popular platform where users often search for products.
Wider audience reach
Google Shopping has a vast user base, giving you access to a broader audience. Your products become visible to potential customers who may not have found your store otherwise.
Detailed product information
The feed allows you to provide comprehensive details about each product. This includes product images, descriptions, prices, availability, and other relevant information. Customers get a clear view of what you offer.
The feed ensures that any changes or updates you make to your products are reflected in real-time on Google Shopping. This keeps the information accurate and up to date, enhancing user experience.
You can use Google Ads to strategically promote your products to a specific target audience. This targeted approach helps increase the chances of conversion and ROI.
Google Shopping XML feed allows for efficient use of your advertising budget. You can set your bid strategies and budget allocations based on performance, ensuring optimal spending.
Improved conversion rates
With detailed product information readily available, potential customers can make informed decisions quickly. This can lead to higher conversion rates and increased sales.
Better analytics and insights
By leveraging Google Analytics, you gain valuable insights into how your products are performing. Understanding customer behavior and preferences allows you to refine your marketing strategies.
Integration with WooCommerce
The Google XML Product Feed can be seamlessly integrated with WooCommerce, making it easy to manage and maintain your product data.
Having your products listed on Google Shopping gives you a competitive edge. It positions your products alongside those of competitors, providing a fair comparison for potential customers.
Almost 100% of the time, people who come to price comparison engines like Google Shopping are there to find a product they need or want to buy right away. Therefore, listing your products on this platform means you are reaching out to your customers directly.
As a result, you can increase your traffic, conversions, and revenue. We hope this guide on Google Shopping XML feed will help you list your store’s products on Google.