Today, many suppliers work with Google Merchant Center. A platform to support retailers and brands offering capabilities and insights in posting product listings. And drive or optimize sales within the Google environment. The platform has its own ecosystem of agencies offering support in managing and optimizing a supplier’s business, campaigns, reporting, traffic generation, and so on. Managing the platform correctly is challenging. This requires dedicated attention as continuous tweaking has an immediate impact on results.
What is less known is that a few years ago Google also launched Google Manufacturer Center (MfC). The counterpart platform for brands to optimize and influence their product presentations and listing within the Google environment. Basically, this tool allows brands to directly upload original manufacturer product data into the Google catalog to improve and enrich the content which is already available from the Google Merchant Center and other sources. Both data sets are subsequently merged and optimized, contributing to improved product visibility within the entire Google environment.
I would like to specify how. But, first of all, it’s important to understand that Google algorithms are a black box and allow little insights into how and why external data are processed. As Google says “Google Manufacturer Center helps you provide Google with the most up-to-date and authoritative product info, making it available to potential customers. This way, you’ll be able to drive sales and expand your brand’s reach whenever shoppers are searching and buying”. The reporting dashboard of MfC shares statistics that allow a manufacturer to benchmark its data.
MfC makes sense, as most retailers have their focus on the promotion itself. Ensuring the right price point, highlighting campaign information, focusing on the keywords (SEO). For retailers, it’s often too challenging to obtain and manage all relevant product data from manufacturers. Due to this, Google found the key characteristics of a retailer’s products often missing from the product details page. That is a pity, as such product characteristics are actually contributing to SEO. At least as much as the campaign data. An example used by Google is a consumer looking for a waterproof mobile phone. The consumer is not sure how many retailers actually specify the “waterproof” feature in their listings.
Google MfC allows brands to add all such product characteristics themselves. And by doing so, brands improve the overall search results for retailers promoting the respective products. A challenge, however, despite the visualization in Google’s analytics, is that a brand cannot immediately see where the data will surface within the Google environment.
Recently, this is fixed. Now, Google adds a “From the Manufacturer” section to product pages. This section is solely constructed from the data made available via Google MfC. But, also offers brands an opportunity to directly engage with interested consumers. Very powerful given that Google measured an increased interaction on the pages that have this section activated. A consumer, while shopping for a product, looks for confirmation. Having confirmation from the brand directly results in the confidence that one is purchasing the right product.
An example of the general Google shopping page:
From the manufacturer section, visible from a link on the same product page:
The “From the manufacturer” section supports the following data:– Product Images– Product descriptions– Key selling points/bullet points– Product specifications (attributes)– Video (YouTube format)– Product story (rich product data in flat format for the time being)– Product relations
Good to know is that Google uses GTIN (UPC or EAN) codes as product identifiers.
Icecat is an authorized Integration Service Provider (ISP) for Google Manufacturer Center. If you are a brand and have a Sponsorship Agreement with Icecat you can first go to Google MfC. Second, register and select Icecat from the list of ISP’s. Third, share your authorization confirmation with Icecat. Automatically all product data sponsored with Icecat will flow into Google MfC “as is” at no additional costs. Once activated, the statistics will build up within Google MfC. MfC will provide you with valuable insights into your brand performance in the Google environment. Even if you don’t manage the data actively this data alone will still offer added value.
If you do not have a Sponsorship Agreement with Icecat yet. And if you are interested in utilizing our services for Google and possibly other platforms or channel partners then please contact us. We are happy to explain our service model and capabilities in detail and set up an account for you.
Specifically, regarding the “From the Manufacturer” pages, we offer two options in optimizing the data presented.
First, our free Vendor Central solution. It offers access to our back office where brand managers can add and optimize data themselves for free. Documentation and how-to videos are available to guide you through the process. By doing so you can optimize your product data to Google MfC requirements as well.
Second, we offer specific Service Level Agreements for Google MfC. We will optimize and transform the data on your behalf. Of course, we ensure correct and full presentation on the Google environment, especially the “From the manufacturer” section. To make sure that it is in line with your brand objectives. As these pages are always tailored to brand requirements it’s hard to provide an indication. We have SLA rates starting from € 1200,- for 50 to 100 products per country or local depending on your final requirements.
Read further: News, Google Manufacturer Centre, Google Shopping, Icecat
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