Dynamic remarketing with Google Merchant Center

This feature is currently in closed beta and is not accepting new beta testers.

If you're a Google Merchant Center (GMC) customer, and you've already tagged your site with Floodlight tags, you can use GMC feeds to power your dynamic remarketing campaigns. (See Dynamic creative remarketing to learn more.)

Understand policy review for dynamic remarketing

All of the products in your dynamic remarketing feed must be reviewed before they can be shown in ads. Any product that violates Google Shopping policies or Merchant Center's Product data specification won't be shown in a dynamic remarketing ad.

You can review the status of all the products in the Diagnostics section of the List page in Merchant Center. Items that are disapproved in the Display column are also disapproved for dynamic remarketing. Click a product to see the policy the product violates. Learn more about item reviews in the Merchant Center Help Center.

Feed setup

You can only use Google Merchant Center (GMC) feeds for product-level remarketing in dynamic creatives. This means that you will show users products that they previously shopped for on the advertiser’s website. Product information can be pulled directly from the GMC feed. You can use the GMC feed alone, or in conjunction with other standard feeds with their own rules.

Limitations

  • GMC feeds can only be used as is. You can't add columns to the feed.
  • GMC feeds can only be filtered by remarketing value. You can't use any additional filtering rules.
  • The only rotation option for a GMC feed is Remarketing optimized, because GMC feeds use a recommendation engine to select the most appropriate product.

Profile setup

Before you get started, ensure that you have signed the consent agreements (both GMC and Campaign Manager account owners) granting permission to share data between these two systems.

Set up your dynamic profile

  1. Studio will use the product list from your GMC account as a feed. When you import your feed data, select "GMC Feed" as your content source.
  2. Enter the GMC account ID and select a unique identifying name for the feed.
  3. When you click Transform, there may be propagation time while the feed is ingested (depending on feed size). Once the feed is ingested, you won't have to select field types or select your filterable attributes; this is done automatically.
  4. In Step 4: Generate Code, you'll see the various attributes from the GMC feed that can be pulled into your dynamic creative:
    Dynamic Code Google Merchant Center Attribute
    offer_title title
    offer_description description
    offer_brand brand
    offer_landing_page_derived
    offer_landing_page_derived.Url
    Selects from display_ads_link, adwords_redirect, or link; in that order
    offer_image_derived * image_link
    offer_regular_price * price
    offer_sale_price * sale_price
    * Additional fields are provided for these items to support various rendering options. See How data from Merchant Center is used in Studio creatives (below) for more details.
  5. If you're using Google Web Designer, connect your Studio profile to your creative.

    1. Open the Dynamic panel. At the bottom, click Add dynamic bindings .
    2. Select the data schema type "Custom schema".
    3. Sign in with the same Google account you use with Studio.
    4. Enter your Studio account name, then select the Advertiser you want to upload your creative to.
    5. Select your Studio profile to connect your dynamic profile to Google Web Designer.

    6. Create data bindings to match up each creative element with the appropriate attribute from your Merchant Center feed, then publish the creative to Studio. Learn more about data schemas and bindings in the Google Web Designer Help Center

  6. If you're using a different HTML editor, copy the dynamic code from Step 4: Generate Code into the creative files and upload the final assets to the Creatives tab in Studio.

  7. Go to Step 7: Publish, and click Publish Publish profile button .

Best practices

  • Display three or fewer products in the creative to ensure that the most relevant products are being shown to the user.
  • Use both the sale price and regular price fields in your creative to make sure the most accurate price is being shown to the user.
  • You can include additional standard feeds in a profile, but you can only use one GMC feed. GMC feeds do not support dependent selection or filtering.
  • Assign similar products to groups to avoid showing the same item more than once in one creative
    If your Google Merchant Center feed includes multiple similar items (for example, the same shoe in different colors, or the same shirt with descriptions in different languages), assign them an item_group_id in Merchant Center.

About the recommendation engine

Google's recommendation engine uses an algorithm based on clickthrough rate (CTR), co-visitation and random products to show in the creative. Clickthrough rate (CTR) considers the CTR of all products in the feed. Co-visitation selects items based on what users have already viewed. An example of co-visitation is if most users who visit "Orange Tent" also visit "Campfire Starter" and "Thermal Blanket", then the engine selects one of the latter two.

The products a person shopped for are shown more frequently. Based on the number of available product spots in the creative and the number of products a person visited on your advertiser’s site, the engine selects products that maximize the likelihood of a click or a conversion.

If a creative is designed to display only three products, and a person has only viewed one from your advertiser's site, there will be two available product spots in the creative. The engine will use the algorithm to select products for these available spots. However, if a creative is built to show only one product, and the user viewed one from your advertiser’s site, the algorithm isn't used because there are no available product spots.

How data from Merchant Center is used in Studio creatives

See the following tables for descriptions on how your Merchant Center account and feed data is used by dynamic creatives in Studio. Studio remarketing creatives use attributes from Merchant Center's Product Data Specification and dynamic remarketing attributes included in the Display Ads Specification.

Landing page

Product landing pages will be determined based on the available attributes in your Google Merchant Center feed. Studio uses the link from the optional display_ads_link attribute, if it's included in the feed. If not included, the link from the adwords_redirect attribute is used. If neither attribute is included, the URL from the required link attribute is used.

Merchant Center attribute What it's used for
display_ads_link Optional clickthrough URL for an individual product.
adwords_redirect Optional URL that includes Google Ads tracking parameters to help you understand traffic to your landing page.
link The clickthrough URL for an individual product.

Product price and loyalty points

Merchant Center attribute What it's used for
installment The details of a monthly installment plan available to help customers pay for your product. This attribute includes the monthly installment amount and number of monthly payments. For example, when offering an installment plan in Brazil, you might offer 3 monthly payments of 10 BRL each.
loyalty_points How many and what type of loyalty points a customer receives when buying your product. This attribute includes the name of the loyalty point program, the number of points a customer receives when purchasing a product, and the ratio of a point's value when converted to currency. For example, if 1 point is worth 50 cents, the ratio would be 0.5.
price Showing the price of the product in creatives. When a sale_price is included in the feed, price is the original price the product was marked down from during the dates provided in sale_price_effective_date.
sale_price How much you're charging for your product during a sale. During a sale, your sale price will be shown in ads as the current price.
sale_price_effective_date How long you want a specific sale price to be shown to users.

Product ID

When matching product ID information passed from the custom variable, Studio looks for a match with one of the following IDs: id, display_ads_id or item_group_id.

Merchant Center attribute What it's used for
id Unique ID used to match the products a person viewed on your site. This ID should be the same ID passed using your Campaign Manager Floodlight custom variable. Can be overridden by display_ads_id.
display_ads_id Unique ID used to match the products a person viewed on your site. This ID should be the same ID passed using your Campaign Manager Floodlight custom variable. If included in the feed, this ID is used instead of the one in the id attribute.
item_​​group_​​id Use to group similar items that only differ from one another by product details like size, color, material, pattern, age_group, size_type, and size_system. This ID should be the same ID passed using your Campaign Manager Floodlight custom variable. If included in the feed, this ID is used instead of the one in the id or display_ads_id attribute.

 

For example, if you use the following IDs in your feed:

  • TIXZH-123 (id)
  • TIXXZH (display_ads_id)
  • TIX (item_group_id)

When the value TIXXZH is passed from the custom variable, it will match with the display_ads_id.

Product title

Merchant Center attribute What it's used for
display_ads_title Showing the title of the product in creatives. If included in the feed, this title is used instead of one in the title attribute.
title Showing the title of the product in creatives. Can be overridden by display_ads_title.

Other product and advertiser details

Merchant Center attribute What it's used for
brand Showing the product's brand name in creatives.
description Showing details about a product in creatives.
excluded_destination Excludes your products from a certain type of ads. For example, you could use this attribute if you want a product to appear in a Shopping campaign, but not in a dynamic remarketing Display campaign. To exclude a product from your Studio dynamic remarketing campaign, set this attribute to "Display Ads".
image_link Showing the product image in creatives.
Store name The store name from your Merchant Center account. This name is shown to identify the advertiser in some creative layouts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a GMC feed need scheduling?

No. GMC feeds are updated incrementally once the merchant updates the content in GMC. The process time is about two hours. After the feed is updated in Studio, it will serve in the user's dynamic ad. No manual updates are needed.

Do GMC feeds support draft/publish state?

No. Because GMC feeds automatically update, there is no draft/publish state. The good news is that no manual updates are needed.

How do I preview dynamic creatives with GMC feeds?

When you use the preview in Step 5 of a profile that uses a GMC feed, you won't be able to check by product ID as you can with other feeds. You'll only be able to check the general functionality of the creative. To check if dynamic remarketing works as expected, follow the guidelines in the dynamic QA checklist.

Is there a row limit?

No. There's no size limit for GMC feeds.

What will my reporting look like?

Since GMC feeds can have millions of rows across GMC remarketing offerings, no element-level reporting is available. Later releases will incorporate category-level reporting.

How many products can be shown in the ad and what is it based on? (For example, "last 6 viewed"?)

As many products as there are in the user's cookie. If there are more spots on the creative than the number of products in the user's cookie, the remaining spots will be filled based on the recommendation engine output (currently a combination of highest CTR items and co-visitation items).

Is there certain criteria for feeds that are eligible for use with Studio Dynamic? My advertiser has more than one feed set up in GMC.
A GMC account appears as one single feed from your Studio dynamic profile's point of view. If your advertiser has multiple feeds all under the same account, Studio will use all the products in all of their feeds.
Is it possible to avoid showing products that a user already bought in the creative?
No, currently this is not supported.
Is it possible for a client to pick certain products to show more than others, for example, sale items?
No, currently this is not supported.
How does recommendation work with out of stock items?
Items that are marked out of stock in Google Merchant Center not shown in the creative. However, Studio's dynamic content system only syncs Merchant Center feeds every 14 hours. As a result, recent updates to the Merchant Center feed may take up to half a day to be reflected in the creative.
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