Knowledgebase: General
How do I use 3dcart's Automated Google Feed Service?

You can easily generate a feed of your products for use on Google Shopping by using 3dcart's Automated Google Product Feed service. This article will show you how to use the service and generate the feed for your Google Merchant account.

Note
The following applies to the Automated Google Shopping Feed add-on. Details and purchasing information on this app can be found by clicking here.


This article contains the following sections. Please click on a link below to review its respective topic.

Requirements
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Before proceeding with the following steps, please be aware that you will need the following:

  • A Google Merchant Account
    Where you will set up your store presence for various Google Merchant services, including Google Shopping product feeds.
  • The Google Product Feeds Add On enabled
    This is the service that will allow you to automate your product feed for Google. It is available as an add-on. Please consult your sales person for more information.
  • Unique Product Identifiers
    Your products will also need to be configured with unique product identifiers which will be used by Google for the feed. The product configuration requirements are as follows:
    • Product without Options
      Products without option must have both a Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) and Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) specified for them
    • Product with Options
      Product with options (variants) must also have the MPN specified as well as Advanced Options enabled. Furthermore, the GTIN will be specified in the advanced options screen.

Special Note regarding Clothing and Apparel:
As per Google requirements, clothing and apparel products MUST have variants/options created for the following attributes:

  • color
  • size
  • material
  • pattern

Even if the clothing item has only one variation available to it or to a particular attribute - for example: a solid pattern, cotton t-shirt that comes in only one size and color - the option sets will still need to be created on your store in order to be able to use the feed automation. Furthermore, the singular option cannot be hidden from view on the product listing and must be visible (although you may set it as "pre-selected" to avoid shopper confusion on your store front.

Also, be aware the the product options MUST use either the Radio Selector or Drop Image option types.
(Dropdown menus are not allowed for Apparel)

These limitations are due to requirements put forth by Google in the way apparel products are represented in the feed.


Enabling Google Feeds
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To enable Google Feeds in your store, please follow these steps:

  1. Log into your 3dcart Online Store Manager
  2. Go to Marketing ->Shopping Engines
  3. Look for "Google Product Feeds"
    (you may need to scroll down to the bottom of the page)
  4. Click on the "Learn More" button
  5. Now, click on the "Settings" button located at the top right of the page
  6. and place a mark in the "Enable Google Feeds:" checkbox.
  7. Click "Save "

The function is now enabled on your store.

While we're here in this page, let's go over the additional settings found on the page.

  • XML Google Feeds Path:
    This is the path to the XML feed that you will submit to Google when you want them to fetch your products.
  • Last Script Run:
    Here, you will see the timestamp of when the script was last run on your store.
  • Process Feed Time:
    By using the available drop down selectors, you can specify when you would like for the script to be run daily.
    (Default is 1:00am)
  • Target Country:
    Select the target country for which the XML feed is to be formatted. Your choices are United States, Canada, and United Kingdom.
  • Generate XML File
    This button will process the feed on demand if you would like to run the script before the scheduled processing.

Note:
Before generating the XML file, you will need to mark products for inclusion into the XML file. Please see the next sections for information on how to accomplish this.


Adding Products to the Feed (Manual)
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There are two ways of adding products to your Google Feed - Manually and via CSV export/import. These first steps will describe the manual method.

  1. Go to Products ->Product List
  2. Select an item that you'ld like to add to the feed and click on its ID or Name to open it.
  3. Now go to the product's Advanced Tab
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the Advanced Tab page and click on the "Google Products Feed" link

A pop up window will appear with the various designations that will be used for the product on the feed. Many of these attributes will be taken directly from your product, while some will need manual selection. These are:

Additional Information
Attributes marked with an asterisk (*) are required for the Google Product feed

  • Basic Product Information
    • id*
      Prepopulated and taken from the product's Product ID table.
    • title*
      Prepopulated from the product name table, but may be edited if so desired
    • description*
      Taken from the product's short description. Can also be edited as needed
    • google product category*
      Rather than populated by your product's information, this setting needs to adhere to Google Product Category Taxonomy. Simply type in the type of product in the field and select the most appropriate category designation.
    • product type
      Prepopulated and taken from your product's assigned category in the store.
    • link*
      Prepopulated by the product's direct listing URL
    • mobile link
      Prepopulated by the product's listing URL for mobile (same as regular link)
    • image link*
      Prepopulated by the URL for the product's main image
    • additional image link
      Prepopulated by the URL for the product's first additional image
    • condition*
      Select whether the product's condition is New, Used, or Refurbished
  • Availability & Price
    • price*
      Prepopulated by the product's base price.
      (Be aware that this will represent the product's base unit price. If product variations add additional cost, these will be reflected in the XML feed.)
  • Unique Product Identifiers
    • brand
      Prepopulated by the product's assigned manufacturer from your store
    • gtin
      Prepopulated by the product's GTIN information
    • mpn
      Prepopulated by the product's MPN information
  • Product Variants
    • color
      When applicable, this attribute will pull from your products color option sets. Select the appropriate option set from the drop down selector
      (required for apparel)
    • size
      When applicable, this attribute will pull from your products size option sets. Select the appropriate option set from the drop down selector
      (required for apparel)
    • gender
      Select whether the item is suited for male, female or unisex genders
      (required for most apparel)
    • age group
      Select whether the item is suited for newborn, infant, toddler, kids or adult ages
      (required for most apparel)
    • material
      When applicable, this attribute will pull from your products material option sets. Select the appropriate option set from the drop down selector
      (required for apparel)
    • pattern
      When applicable, this attribute will pull from your products pattern option sets. Select the appropriate option set from the drop down selector
      (required for apparel)
    • size type
      Select whether the product's size types (fit) are regular, petite, plus, big and tall, or maternity
      (required for most apparel)
    • size system
      Select the sizing standard that applies to the product. Your choices are: US, UK, EU, DE, FR, JP, CN, IT, BR, MEX, and AU
      (required for most apparel)
  • Tax & Shipping
    • shipping weight
      Prepopulated by the product's weight designation
    • shipping weight units
      Select whether the weight unit of measurement is pounds, ounces, grams, or kilograms
    • shipping height
      Prepopulated by the product's height designation
    • shipping width
      Prepopulated by the product's width designation
    • shipping length
      Prepopulated by the product's length designation
    • shipping height/width/length units
      Select whether the dimension units of measurement are inches or centimeters
    • shipping label
      if you have a special shipping method configured in your Google Merchant account for this product, you may list its name in this field to map it to your Google method. Otherwise, this field may be left untouched.
  • Adult Products
    • adult
      Finally, if the product is of an adult nature, Google Requires that it be listed as such to ensure that it is shown to the age appropriate audiences. This checkbox can be marked to set the product as an "Adult Product"

Additional Information:
For more information on how product variances and options need to be represented for the Google Feed, please familiarize yourself with Google's documentation on the requirements for different product types.

Once you're done configuring the product's Attributes, click on the "Save" button at the top to add it to your feed. Repeat for every product needed.

Tip:
You can also use this manual method to remove items from the feed, simply by clicking on the "Delete from Feed" button shown here.


Adding Products to the Feed (CSV Import)
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You can also add products to your Google Feed using CSV import by going to Products ->Export/Import and looking for the Google Product Feed sections. There are two of them:

  • Export
    Found at the top of the page, the export function will let you export products that are already marked for Google feed. Alternately, you can also export products that are not already marked for Google feed. You can even generate an export based on parent categories for the products as well.
  • Import
    Found within the bottom half of the page, you will have the option of importing your formatted CSV file that will add products to the Google feed.

Tip:
In the import section you can download the sample file (found next to the import section) which offers you a clean slate to build the new file with.

However, a more common method is to create a manual feed (using the steps outline in the previous section) for two or three products, exporting the resultant CSV and using it to build your new file.

When looking at the CSV file, you will have the following columns to populate with your product information:
Note: The following entries marked with an asterisk (*) are required for the import file.

  • catalogid*
    This is the product's unique identifier in your store's database. You can see the product's database ID by viewing the product in your online store manager and looking at the "Catalog ID" listed for it (along the top of the page)
  • id*
    This is the product's ID/SKU in your store as shown in the product's Information tab
  • title*
    This will be the product's name
  • description*
    The product's short description
  • google_product_category*
    The google category taxonomy that will be used for the product
  • product_type
    The product's parent category (as it appears in your store)
  • link*
    The direct link to the product (can be taken from the product's Advanced Tab - Look towards the bottom)
  • mobile_link
  • The direct link to the product when viewed on mobile platforms. (if using responsive themes, this will be the same as the link)
  • image_link*
    The URL path to the product's main image
  • additional_image_link
    The URL for the product's first additional image
  • condition*
    Specify whether the product is new, used, or refurbished
  • price*
    The product's base price
  • brand
    The product's Manufacturer
  • identifier_exists
    When the product contains a unique identifier like GTIN or MPN, this column should be marked with TRUE
  • gtin
    The product's GTIN information as entered in the product's information tab
  • mpn
    The products MPN information as entered in the information tab
  • item_group_id
    This will be the same as the product's catalog ID (see catalogid earlier in this list)
  • color
    If using a color attribute, enter the option set's database ID in this column
    (required for apparel)
  • size
    If using a size attribute, enter the option set's database ID in this column
    (required for apparel)
  • gender
    Enter whether the product's intended gender is for male, female or unisex
    (required for most apparel)
  • age_group
    Enter whether the product's intended age group is newborn, infant, toddler, kids or adult
    (required for most apparel)
  • material
    If using a material attribute, enter the option set's database ID in this column
    (required for apparel)
  • pattern
    If using a pattern attribute, enter the option set's database ID in this column
    (required for apparel)
  • size_type
    Enter whether the product's size types (fit) are regular, petite, plus, big and tall, or maternity
    (required for most apparel)
  • size_system
    Enter the sizing standard that applies to the product. Your choices are: US, UK, EU, DE, FR, JP, CN, IT, BR, MEX, and AU
    (required for most apparel)

Tip: How do I find my option set's database IDs?
To find the database ID of a particular option set, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Products ->Product List
  2. Click on the ID or Name of the product you'd like to review
  3. Then go to the product's Options Tab
  4. Under "Main Options" click on the particular option set's "Info" button.
  5. Now look at the URL in your browser.

You should see options_addinfo.asp?rowid=XX&catid=YY.

The number after "rowid=" will be the option's specific ID number.

  • shipping_weight
    Enter the product's weight
  • shipping_weight_units
    Enter whether the weight unit of measurement is pounds (lbs), ounces (oz), grams (g), or kilograms (kg)
  • shipping_height
    Enter the height of the product
  • shipping_width
    Enter the width of the product
  • shipping_length
    Enter the length of the product
  • shipping_height_/_width_/_length_units
    Enter whether the dimension units of measurement are inches (in) or centimeters (cm)
  • shipping_label
    if you have a special shipping method configured in your Google Merchant account for this product, you may list its name in this field to map it to your Google method. Otherwise, this field may be left untouched.
  • adult
    Finally, if the product is of an adult nature, Google Requires that it be listed as such to ensure that it is shown to the age appropriate audiences. Enter a 1 (on) or 0 (off) to designate this function.

When you are done editing your spreadsheet file, be sure to save it as a CSV file for the eventual import.

To import the file, navigate to Products ->Export/Import and scroll down to the import section for the Google Product Feed. Click browse to find the file on your computer and import it to update your store.


Generating and Using your XML file
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After your products are added to the feed, you will need to generate the XML feed and - using the supplied URL - submit it to your Google Merchant account.

  1. Log into your 3dcart Online Store Manager
  2. Go to Marketing ->Shopping Engines
  3. Look for "Google Product Feeds"
    (you may need to scroll down to the bottom of the page)
  4. Click on the "Learn More" button followed by the "Settings" button
  5. Now, click on the "Generate XML File" to instantly create the file.

Depending on how large of a feed it is, the file may take some time to generate fully. To check on its progress, you can copy the URL in the "XML Google Feeds Path" and enter it in a browser.

Using the XML Feed URL

The same Feed URL will be used in your Google Merchant account to "Fetch" the feed.

While you should review the full process with Google, the following will describe the basic steps in adding the URL to your Google Merchant account.

  1. Log into your Google Merchant Center
  2. On the left hand menu, select "Feeds"
  3. Then click on the "+Data Feed" button located at the top of the page
  4. Enter the basic information for your feed (Mode, Target Country, Name, etc)
  5. When you get to step 2 "Upload Method" of the process, select "Automatic Download (Scheduled fetch) and click "Continue"

You will see a page similar to the following:

  1. In the Feed URL section, paste your XML feed from the 3dcart store.
  2. Click on Next and you will be presented with a table listing your feed.
  3. Click on the feed's name, followed by "Fetch now" to process the feed.

Your google feed is now automated!


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