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Valid account structure for Marketplaces

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A marketplace is an online platform that provides a place for multiple individual merchants to sell their products. This article provides best practices and implementation guidance for a marketplace Multi-Client account (MCA) and its sub-accounts.

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Account types for Marketplaces

There are 3 different types of sub-accounts under a Multi-Client account (MCA) for Marketplaces:

Marketplace-owned seller: For the marketplace’s own products

This diagram illustrates the Marketplace-owned seller in Marketplace MCA.

Single-seller: Each account contains 3P (third-party) products for a particular seller
This diagram illustrates Single sellers in the Marketplace MCA.

Multi-seller: Each account contains 3P (third-party) products for multiple sellers in the same sub-account
This diagram illustrates Multi-sellers in the Marketplace MCA.


Best practices for account structure and setup

Here are some best practices for marketplaces to consider for their account structure, setup and ongoing maintenance:

Leverage multi-seller account

  • By using the multi-seller account type, you can simplify account management for smaller, lower-visibility sellers that don’t require seller-level campaign targeting or attributes.
  • There’s a limit of 40 million items per multi-seller account. All products of a seller need to be in the same multi-seller account.
  • It’s possible to have several multi-seller accounts to distribute the sellers. Learn more about Multi-seller accounts.

Separate your own products (1P) into their own sub-account

  • By using the marketplace-owned seller (1P) account type, you can leverage the brand recognition of your marketplace including “trusted store” badge and seller ratings.

  • There is a limit of one marketplace-owned seller (1P) per MCA.

Separate each seller into its own sub-account

  • By using the single-seller account type, you can specify seller specific attributes, such as shipping, return, tax information. This isn’t possible with a Multi-seller account type.
  • If you need to run seller ad campaigns, separate sellers into single-seller accounts.
  • Display the seller name with their products and isolate seller violations to avoid impacting other sellers. This is also possible with a multi-seller account.

Keep all seller’s products in the same sub-account

  • This ensures accurate product and seller signals.
  • Group your products by seller as category-specific sub-accounts aren’t allowed.

Use a single feed per language for different countries

  • Comparison Shopping Services (CSSs) can place Shopping ads on Google on behalf of merchants in countries that are part of the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as in the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Learn more about advertising with Comparison Shopping Services and how to show your products across multiple countries and languages.
  • Make sure to claim and verify your domain, at least at the MCA-level, as the website claim can be inherited for the sub-accounts.
  • Phone verification is required for the marketplace MCA and strongly recommended for the sub-accounts.

Keep in mind

Google reserves the right to deactivate sub-accounts of individual marketplace sellers or the entire marketplace MCA. Learn more about Item disapprovals for policy violations.


Choose the right Marketplace account structure

The number of products and the types of sellers can influence the choice of the marketplace MCA structure. Below are the account structures for Marketplace approved by Google, which are combinations of the sub-account types described in the first section.

Multi-seller only

  • This structure is a good fit for a marketplace with the same type of sellers (long-tail sellers), who don’t run seller-funded Ads campaigns, with shipping and returns managed by the marketplace.
  • Multi-seller accounts improve and simplify the account, and offer management while avoiding an entire account disapproval from a risky seller. A violation of a seller policy won’t impact the entire multi-seller account but only the products of that seller but only the products of that seller but only the products of that seller.
  • Account management is greatly simplified as marketplaces don’t need to manually create new sub-accounts per each seller. A Multi-seller account has a limit of 40 million products, but it’s possible to have multiple Multi-seller accounts.

Single-seller only

  • With this structure, you can specify seller specific attributes, such as shipping, return, and tax information.
  • This structure is convenient to run seller ad campaigns, especially for your largest sellers who have their own post-order experience.
  • Marketplaces have a set quota of sub-accounts (maximum of 800,000 sub-accounts per MCA) and are required to close accounts when they are no longer in use.

Single-seller plus multi-seller

  • This structure is relevant if the marketplace has 3P products with a mix of head sellers that need seller-level attributes and tail sellers that don’t.
  • The largest sellers will have their own sub-accounts and the long-tail sellers will be grouped into one or more multi-seller accounts.

Marketplace-owned seller plus multi-seller

  • This structure is relevant when the Marketplace has both 1P and 3P products and doesn’t need seller-level attributes or seller specific ad campaigns.

Marketplace-owned seller plus single-seller and/or multi-seller

  • This structure is a combination of the structures mentioned above that also follows the account guidance described in the previous section.
  • This structure is relevant when the Marketplace has both 1P and 3P products with a mix of head sellers that need seller-level attributes and tail sellers that don’t.

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