item_group_id [item_group_id]: Definition

Use the  item_group_id [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 [size], color [colour], material [material], pattern [pattern], age_group [age_group], size_type [size_type], size_system [size_system] and unit_pricing_measure [unit_pricing_measure].

When you use an item_group_id [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 that we understand the data that you're submitting. 

Type Unicode characters (recommended: ASCII only): alphanumerical, 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>

For format API information, please see Content API for Shopping.

Guidelines

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

Minimum requirements

These are the requirements that 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 on the Diagnostics page of your Merchant Center account. 

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

Best practices

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

  • Use the parent SKU as the item_group_id [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 [item_group_id] for all products in the variant group.
  • Don't mix up the item_group_id [item_group_id] and id [id] attributes. Use the id [id] attribute to uniquely identify a single product, and use item_group_id [item_group_id] to group together several products as variants. 
  • Don't submit item_group_id [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 [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 [item_group_id] for each group of product variants. Once you've assigned an item_group_id [item_group_id] to a product, don't change it. If item_group_id [item_group_id] changes often, it could cause inconsistency in the way variants are grouped and shown to users.
  • Don't use item_group_id [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 [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 [title] Google logo t-shirt – Small – Red
id [id] 12345-S-R
color [colour]     red
size [size] S
item_group_id [item_group_id] 12345

 

Product     Google logo t-shirt
title [title] Google logo t-shirt – Medium – Blue
id [id] 12345-M-B
color [colour]     blue
size [size] M
item_group_id [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 [title]     Google logo t-shirt – Small – Red
id [id]     12345-S-R
item_group_id [item_group_id] 12345

 

Product Google logo t-shirt
title [title]     Google logo t-shirt – Small – Blue
id [id]     12345-S-B
item_group_id [item_group_id] 12345

Clothing products

Clothing products typically come in variants. Use the same item_group_id [item_group_id] for each variant. Here's an example that comes in two colours, each in three sizes.

Note: The gender [gender] attribute may be mandatory depending on the country of sale, and is required in order for variant attributes to be displayed accurately.

For this example, you'd submit the following six variants:

Product     Google logo t-shirt
title [title] Google logo t-shirt – Small – White
id [id] 12345-S-W
color [colour]     white
size [size] S
item_group_id [item_group_id] 12345

 

Product     Google logo t-shirt
title [title] Google logo t-shirt – Small – Black
id [id] 12345-S-B
color [colour]     black
size [size] S
item_group_id [item_group_id] 12345

 

Product     Google logo t-shirt
title [title] Google logo t-shirt - Medium - White
id [id] 12345-M-W
color [colour]     white
size [size] M
item_group_id [item_group_id] 12345

 

Product     Google logo t-shirt
title [title] Google logo t-shirt – Medium – Black
id [id] 12345-M-B
color [colour]     black
size [size] M
item_group_id [item_group_id] 12345

 

Product     Google logo t-shirt
title [title] Google logo t-shirt – Large – White
id [id] 12345-L-W
color [colour]     white
size [size] L
item_group_id [item_group_id] 12345

 

Product     Google logo t-shirt
title [title] Google logo t-shirt – Large – Black
id [id] 12345-L-B
color [colour]     black
size [size] L
item_group_id [item_group_id] 12345

Shoes

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

Product     Low-top shoes
title [title] Low-top shoes – 8 narrow
id [id] 12460-8b-blu
color [colour]     blue/orange/green
size [size] 8B
item_group_id [item_group_id] 12345

 

Product     Low-top shoes
title [title] Low-top shoes – 8 
id [id] 12460-8-blu
color [colour]     blue/orange/green
size [size] 8
item_group_id [item_group_id] 12345

 

Product     Low-top shoes
title [title] Low-top shoes – 8 – Wide
id [id] 12460-8w-blu
color [colour]     blue/orange/green
size [size] 8W
item_group_id [item_group_id] 12345
Electronics

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

An illustration with 3 different colors of one mobile phone

Product Google Nexus 6
title [title] Google Nexus 6 – 32 GB – Midnight blue – Unlocked
id [id] 2345-32gb-midblu
color [colour] midnight blue
item_group_id [item_group_id] 2345

 

Product Refurbished Google Nexus 6
title [title] Google Nexus 6 – 32 GB – Cloud white – With contract
id [id] 2345-32gb-cldwh
color [colour] cloud white
item_group_id [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 [item_group_id].

An illustration of a couch with product staging

Product Mid-century sofa
title [title] Mid-century microfibre sofa – Dot pattern – Yellow and grey
id [id] 3456-dot-yllw-gry
color [colour] yellow/grey
material [material] suede
item_group_id [item_group_id] 3456

 

Product Mid-century sofa
title [title] Mid-century microfibre sofa – Leather – Green
id [id] 3456-lth-grn
color [colour] green
material [material] leather
item_group_id [item_group_id] 3456

 

Product Moulded plywood lounge chair
title [title] Moulded plywood lounge chair – Walnut
id [id] 1a2b3c-wal
color [colour] walnut
material [material] plywood
item_group_id [item_group_id] 1a2b3c

 

Product Moulded plywood lounge chair
title [title] Moulded plywood lounge chair – Ash
id [id] 1a2b3c-ash
color [colour] ash
material [material] plywood
item_group_id [item_group_id] 1a2b3c
Make-up

Make-up products can be submitted as variants. For example, if make-up comes in multiple colours, you could submit each colour as a variant by using the same value for item_group_id [item_group_id].

 

Product Blend liquid make-up
title [title] Blend liquid make-up – Beige 
id [id] 0987-b
color [colour] beige
item_group_id [item_group_id] 0987

 

Product Blend liquid make-up
title [title] Blend liquid make-up – Beige medium 
id [id] 0987-bmed
color [colour] beige medium
item_group_id [item_group_id] 0987

 

Groceries

Groceries can be submitted as variants. For example, let's say you're selling bags of basmati rice that come in different sizes and are sold by weight. You could submit each item as a variant by using the same value for item_group_id [item_group_id]. 
 
Product Basmati rice
title [title] Basmati rice – extra long grain
id [id] 575185159
item_group_id [item_group_id] 123456
price [price] £11.20
unit_pricing_measure [unit_pricing_measure] 2.25 kg
unit_pricing_base_measure [unit_pricing_base_measure] 0.45 kg

 

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