item_group_id: Definition

Use the  item_group_id attribute to group product variants in your product data. Variants are a group of similar items that only differ from one another by product details like size, color, material, pattern, age_group, size_type, and size_system.

When you use an item_group_id to group your products, you can ensure that your product and its variants are shown to users as a group, instead of separately. 

An example ad showing a shoe with different color variants

When to use

Required for product variants targeting the following countries: 
  • Brazil
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Format

Follow these formatting guidelines to make sure we understand the data you're submitting. 

Type Unicode characters (Recommended: ASCII only): alphanumeric, underscores, and dashes
Limits 1–50 characters
Repeated field No
 
File format Example value
Text feeds AB12345
XML feeds <g:item_group_id>AB12345</g:item_group_id>
Content API v2 (JSON) "itemGroupId": "AB12345"
Content API v2 (XML) <item_group_id>AB12345</item_group_id>

Guidelines

Follow these guidelines to make sure you submit high-quality data for your products and get the best performance from your ads.

Minimum requirements

These are the requirements you'll need to meet to show ads for your product. If you don't follow these requirements, we'll disapprove your product and let you know in the Diagnostics page of your Merchant Center account. 

  • Use the same value of item_group_id for all variants of the same product. For example, a T-shirt comes in 9 variants: 3 sizes (small, medium, and large) and 3 colors (red, blue, and green). Submit each variant as a separate product (e.g., 9 separate products), and submit the same value of item_group_id for each product to indicate that these are variants.
  • Each distinct item group must have a unique value for item_group_id.
    • Don’t rely on casing to make item_group_id unique. For example, we interpret the item_group_id  abc123 and ABC123 as the same product.
    • Don’t reuse or recycle the same item_group_id for different products
  • Submit a variant attribute along with item_group_id. So when submitting item_group_id, make sure that your variants use at least one of the variant attributes: color, pattern, material, age_group, gender, size, size_type, or size_system.
  • Use the same variant attributes for all products with the same item_group_id. For example, if you submit a dress in 2 colors and 2 sizes, each product you submit must provide a value for the color attribute and the size attribute. Don't just provide the color or size for one dress, but not the others.
  • Make sure that the product details displayed on your landing page match the values you provide for each attribute like title, color, pattern, material, price, availability, and image_link. Learn more about requirements for Google Shopping landing pages

Best practices

These are best practices that can help you go beyond the basic requirements to optimize your product data for performance. 

  • Use the parent SKU as the item_group_id for all variants of the same product. Don't submit a parent SKU as a separate product. If you'd like to group variants using a parent SKU, use the parent SKU as the value for item_group_id for all products in the variant group.
  • Don’t mix up item_group_id and id attributes. Use the id attribute to uniquely identify a single product, and use item_group_id to group together several products as variants. 
  • Don’t submit item_group_id if your product is not a variant. If your product is similar to other products, but not specifically a variant, don’t submit item_group_id. Some examples of products that are not variants include assorted items (a suit consisting of a jacket and pants) or any other set of dissimilar items that are sold together (a set of bath accessories). 
  • Use a stable item_group_id for each group of product variants. Once you've assigned an item_group_id to a product, don't change it. If item_group_id changes often, it could cause inconsistency in they way variants are grouped and shown to users.
  • Don’t use item_group_id for unsupported variants. If your product varies by an unsupported attribute (such as car make and model), or if your product is a build-to-order custom good with a large number of variants (more than 30), then don't use item_group_id to indicate your variants. Review best practices for unsupported variants

Examples

General examples

Green checkmark

Submit variant details through the variant attributes. For example:

Product     Google logo T-shirt
title Google Logo T-shirt - Small - Red
id 12345-S-R
color     red
size S
item_group_id 12345

 

Product     Google logo T-shirt
title Google Logo T-shirt - Medium - Blue
id 12345-M-B
color     blue
size M
item_group_id 12345
Red X

Don’t submit variants without variant attributes. For example, don’t do this:

Product Google logo T-shirt
title     Google Logo T-shirt - Small - Red
id     12345-S-R
item_group_id 12345

 

Product Google logo T-shirt
title     Google Logo T-shirt - Small - Blue
id     12345-S-B
item_group_id 12345

Apparel products

Apparel products typically come in variants. Use the same item_group_id for each variant. Here’s an example that comes in 2 colors, each in 3 sizes. For this example, you’d submit these 6 variants:

Product     Google logo T-shirt
title Google Logo T-shirt - Small - White
id 12345-S-W
color     white
size S
item_group_id 12345

 

Product     Google logo T-shirt
title Google Logo T-shirt - Small - Black
id 12345-S-B
color     black
size S
item_group_id 12345

 

Product     Google logo T-shirt
title Google Logo T-shirt - Medium - White
id 12345-M-W
color     white
size M
item_group_id 12345

 

Product     Google logo T-shirt
title Google Logo T-shirt - Medium - Black
id 12345-M-B
color     black
size M
item_group_id 12345

 

Product     Google logo T-shirt
title Google Logo T-shirt - Large - White
id 12345-L-W
color     white
size L
item_group_id 12345

 

Product     Google logo T-shirt
title Google Logo T-shirt - Large - Black
id 12345-L-B
color     black
size L
item_group_id 12345

Shoes

Submit shoes in the same way as other apparel products. Group variants of the same product by adding the same item_group_id to each variant. 

Product     Low top shoes
title Low Top Shoes - 8 Narrow
id 12460-8b-blu
color     blue/orange/green
size 8B
item_group_id 12345

 

Product     Low top shoes
title Low Top Shoes - 8 
id 12460-8-blu
color     blue/orange/green
size 8
item_group_id 12345

 

Product     Low top shoes
title Low Top Shoes - 8 - Wide
id 12460-8w-blu
color     blue/orange/green
size 8W
item_group_id 12345
Electronics

Electronics can be submitted as variants. For example, if a phone is available in multiple colors, you can submit each as a variant by using the same value for item_group_id.

An illustration with 3 different colors of one mobile phone

Product Google Nexus 6
title Google Nexus 6 - 32 GB - Midnight Blue - unlocked
id 2345-32gb-midblu
color midnight blue
item_group_id 2345

 

Product Refurbished Google Nexus 6
title Google Nexus 6 - 32 GB - Cloud White  - With contract
id 2345-32gb-cldwh
color cloud white
item_group_id 2345
Furniture

Furniture can be submitted as variants. For example, if a couch is available in multiple fabrics, you can submit each as a variant by using the same value for item_group_id.

An illustration of a couch with product staging

Product Mid-century sofa
title Mid-Century Microfiber Sofa - Dot Pattern - Yellow and Gray
id 3456-dot-yllw-gry
color yellow/gray
material suede
item_group_id 3456

 

Product Mid-century sofa
title Mid-Century Microfiber Sofa - Leather - Green
id 3456-lth-grn
color green
material leather
item_group_id 3456

 

Product Molded plywood lounge chair
title Molded Plywood Lounge Chair - Walnut
id 1a2b3c-wal
color walnut
material plywood
item_group_id 1a2b3c

 

Product Molded plywood lounge chair
title Molded Plywood Lounge Chair - Ash
id 1a2b3c-ash
color ash
material plywood
item_group_id 1a2b3c
Makeup

Makeup products can be submitted as variants. For example, if makeup comes in multiple colors, you could submit each color as a variant by using the same value for item_group_id.

 

Product Blend liquid makeup
title Blend Liquid Makeup - Beige 
id 0987-b
color beige
item_group_id 0987

 

Product Blend liquid makeup
title Blend Liquid Makeup - Beige Medium 
id 0987-bmed
color beige medium
item_group_id 0987

 

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?