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Best practices for advertising apparel and accessories

Consumers are increasingly looking for ideas, finding the best products, and buying apparel and accessories on Google Shopping. Starting with our highest priority tips, test the following tactics to optimize your product data and drive results for your business. The right details can help qualify and attract the best users, and ultimately drive them to choose your product to purchase.

Quick reference of attributes

Online consumers are looking for specific product information when they’re searching and considering apparel and accessories. Give them the information they need to make an informed decision by providing the correct product data. Get a snapshot of attribute requirements for apparel and accessories.

Provide high-quality images

When people shop online, they rely heavily on images to evaluate what you’re selling and decide what they want to buy. A photo can be the deciding factor for a user to click your ad. Make the right first impression with a high-quality image.

 

  • Use your highest resolution images. Be sure that you’re showing the best image possible whether someone is seeing your ad on a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. It's best to use a minimum image width of 1440px. An ideal aspect ratio is 9:11 (w:h) for vertical images and 4:3 (w:h) for horizontal images. Also, make sure to remove any resizing UTM parameters (e.g. http://thumbnail.google.com/imageurl.jpg?ex=400x400).
  • Show clothing on models. Showing how your product looks on a real person can help inspire people to consider it for themselves. If you’re using a full-body image, avoid cropping the model’s head or feet. If you’re selling one article of clothing, such as a top, make sure your product is the focus of the image so users understand what you’re selling.
  • Show non-clothing products, such as shoes, handbags, or accessories, alone in your main images, and on a model in your additional images. Be clear about what product you’re selling in your main images while providing more context and inspiration in your additional images.
  • Use a solid white or transparent background. Using these colors keeps your image looking great in a variety of formats, styles, or designs.
  • Include additional images of your product. Additional images give users a better sense of your product. Multiple angles and close-ups help people decide whether or not to buy. You can also include more detailed photos, product staging, or different image backgrounds. For example, for more inspiration, you could provide an additional image of your product as part of an outfit against a scenic backdrop. Find more requirements and best practices for submitting additional images.
Example

See an example of additional images for clothing products below.

See an example of additional images for non-clothing products below.

Enhance your product titles

By providing highly relevant product titles, you’ll be able to attract and convert potential customers.

Include the most important product details within the first 70 characters of the title. Include attributes that aren't visible in the image, such as strong brand names, size, size type, or personalization options. Make sure you highlight what makes your product most relevant to your user while staying brief and clear. Try the following title structure for apparel and accessories:

Brand + Product Type + Other Important Attributes

Optimizing your product titles drives search relevance and creates a better user experience. Read more about submitting the title attribute.

  • If applicable, add size type. Showing the size type will help you find people who are searching for a particular fit. For example, include “Plus Size”, “Petite”, or “Maternity” in your title attribute.
  • If you offer personalization, let your users know right away. Customization can be a key differentiator for your products. Add “Customized”, “Personalized”, or “Monogrammed” to your title attribute. Read more about best practices for customized goods.
  • Put strong brand names first. Particular brands can have a strong pull for certain users. To find out if the brand name is strong, see if people commonly search for the brand name by using Google Trends.
  • Specify the gender or age group if it’s unclear in your product image. Include the gender (e.g. Women’s, Men’s, Girl’s, or Boy’s) in your title attribute. However, if your product is made for young children or babies, also add the age group to your product titles (e.g. Infant, Toddler, Newborn). It’s also helpful to your users to specify the age group for unisex items (e.g. Adult, Kids).
  • Include color, size, material, and/or pattern. When they are shopping for apparel and accessories, these attributes help people decide if your product is right for them. Having the right color, size, and/or material can be the final reason for people to buy your product.
Tip: Use Feed Rules to optimize and test your product titles
Feed Rules let you append attribute values or replace your title attribute with information from other attributes. See some examples below and learn more about Feed Rules.
  • You can overwrite your current title values with a combination of important attribute values. For example, you can replace your title attribute with [ brand + “ “ + title + “ , “ + color + “, “ + size ].

  • Add your size_type attribute value to the beginning of your title attribute.

  • Add “Personalized” or “Customized” at the beginning of your title attribute by searching for those terms in your category or description attribute.

  • Add fixed terms, like “Men’s” or “Girl’s”, to your title attribute based on your gender or age group values. For example, you can build a rule to add “Men’s” to the title attribute if age_group = adult and gender = male

  • Add the color, size, material, and/or pattern attribute value to your title attribute.

Use consistent color names

Consumers often have color preferences in mind when they're searching for products. Submitting the color name in your product title, description, and color attributes will help match your products with the colors that people are looking for.

The color name you submit in your product data should match the color name used on your product landing page. You can avoid product disapprovals and potentially confusing shoppers by showing a different color name in your Shopping ad than on your product landing page. For example, if your product’s color is “Ocean”, include “Ocean” in your title, description, and color attribute instead of changing the color name to “Blue”.

If your product is multicolored (such as jewelry), submit up to 3 colors, separated by “/”. For example, if your product is a gold necklace with turquoise stones, submit multiple color values as “gold / turquoise” in the color attribute. Avoid using “multicolor”, “multi” or other similar values. Being more specific helps match your products with what your users are searching for. Read more about submitting the color attribute.

Build out your product type

Categorizing your products in your product data provides a good structure for your Shopping campaigns to manage and bid on your products effectively. Provide the most detailed product_type values that you have (e.g. Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Outerwear > Coats & Jackets > Denim Jackets), and google_product_category values that are at least 2-3 levels deep.

Tip: Use Feed Rules to replace your product_type attribute

You can replace your product_type attribute based on other values in your product data using Feed Rules. For example, if your product_type value equals apparel, it may not be descriptive enough. So, you can replace it with a more detailed value Men’s > Apparel > Pants only if the following conditions are true: gender equals male and title contains pants. Learn more about Feed Rules.

Provide size type and size system

When people search for apparel and accessories, they won’t purchase if the product isn't available in the right size and fit. Give a clear idea of your product’s sizing with the size, size_type, and size system attributes. Find out more about submitting the size attribute.

Though size_type and size_system aren't required, they offer more valuable information for your users to determine if your product is the right fit for them. If you don't provide attributes, the system will use the default values.

If a specific garment comes in a specialty size, use the size_type attribute to help your product show for more relevant search results. See the example below for a couple of ways you may submit size and size_type. Read more about submitting the size_type attribute.

Example

title size size_type
Womens Sleeveless Cotton Dress - 4P 4P Petite
Womens Sleeveless Cotton Dress - 4P 4 Petite Petite

Similarly, size_system is useful information for your consumers to make their final purchase decision. If your apparel or accessories are produced in multiple countries and sized specifically to each country, make sure to clarify the size_system for different items. Learn more about submitting the size_system attribute.

Submit product variants as unique items grouped under an item_group_id

You can manage product variants more easily by grouping them under the same item_group_id.

If you're selling a product in multiple variations, each color, size, material and pattern must be submitted as a unique item. Examples of product variants are:

  • If a dress comes in 1 size and 5 colors, the product has 5 product variants.
  • If a pair of shoes comes in 3 sizes, 4 colors, and 2 materials, the product has 24 product variants.
  • If a bag comes in 2 sizes, 3 colors, and 2 patterns, the product has 12 product variants.

Don't show all of your variant options as a single value within the corresponding attribute value. In the example below, you can see that the shirt comes in one size and three colors, but they're all under the same item_group_id.

Example

item_id title item_group_id size color
8842 Broad Stripe Button-Down Shirt - L 8842 L Blue, green, and orange

Instead, each product variant should be submitted as a unique item in the feed. If the available attributes aren’t enough to define each of your product variants, read more about best practices for submitting unsupported variants.

Example

item_id title item_group_id size color
8842-lb Broad Stripe Button-Down Shirt - L 8842 L blue
8842-lg Broad Stripe Button-Down Shirt - L 8842 L green
8842-lo Broad Stripe Button-Down Shirt - L 8842 L orange

For a seamless experience for your users, the submitted image_link should match the product variant and your ad should link to a landing page with the correct variant already selected. Any submitted additional_image_link photos should also show the same variant.

Product variants can be grouped together using the item_group_id attribute. For example, if you sell a top in three sizes (S, M, L) and two colors, you should group these six items with the same item_group_id.

Example

item_id title item_group_id size color
72025-s-hth Women’s Flutter-Sleeve Top - Heather 72025 S Heather
72025-s-blk Women’s Flutter-Sleeve Top - Black 72025 S Black
72025-m-hth Women’s Flutter-Sleeve Top - Heather 72025 M Heather
72025-m-blk Women’s Flutter-Sleeve Top - Black 72025 M Black
72025-l-hth Women’s Flutter-Sleeve Top - Heather 72025 L Heather
72025-l-blk Women’s Flutter-Sleeve Top - Black 72025 L Black


Read more about submitting the item_group_id attribute

Don't use the item_group_id for products that aren't product variants. See below for examples:

  • Groups of related items: a coordinated outfit, where each piece is sold separately (matching trouser and top), is not a product variant group.
  • Different styles of a product: a short-sleeve tee, long-sleeve tee, and a sweater with the same design is not a product variant group. Each garment type is its own product variant group with a separate item_group_id for each type’s size and color variants.

However, these different apparel pieces can be represented as one item and sold as a bundle in a single size and color value using the is_bundle attribute. Learn more about submitting the is_bundle attribute.

Conclusion

From clothing to shoes, think about the information you’re looking for when you’re shopping for apparel and accessories. Understand which product details go into your decision-making process. This can help you optimize your product data so you display the right information to reach the most relevant users. Better search relevance means more qualified customers, and more qualified customers mean more potential sales for your business.

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