English - United States

Running promotions is a brilliant way to attract shoppers and get them to convert.

Implementing promotions on your website is one thing, but by adding promotions to your Google Ads, you can attract more shoppers who may not have heard of your store. Promotions on Merchant Center can be displayed across different Google properties, like Search and the Shopping tab. And in turn, this helps to catch the attention of deal-seekers and increase the probability of conversion.

Other benefits of adding promotions to Merchant Center include:

  • Boosted click-through rate as products are highlighted as being on offer;
  • You can capture multi-screen traffic as Google shows the ‘special offer’ field on both desktop and mobile;
  • It’s free to add and doesn’t affect your CPC.

Eligibility requirements for adding promotions to Merchant Center

To add promotions to your products, you need to meet Google’s list of requirements:

  • You’re advertising in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, the UK, or the US;
  • You’re not connected to a separate marketplace;
  • You have both active and approved accounts on Google Ads and Merchant Center and have a minimum of one active product and one claimed URL.

The types of promotions you can add

There are three different promotions you can add to your active products:

Discounts: This includes any buy one get one free offers, percentage discounts, or cash back offers.

Free gifts: This can be used if a shopper receives a free item after meeting certain conditions.

Delivery: Free or discounted delivery.

Using the promotion builder tool (for individual products)

Google’s promotion builder tool lets you input your promotions on an individual product basis. This is the recommended method if you only have a small number of promotions to add. 

Using this tool you can add the following:

  • Amount off: a monetary discount for your product(s);
  • Percent off: percentage discount;
  • Free gift: a free gift based on the item purchased or amount spent;
  • Free delivery: free delivery based on the item purchased or the amount spent.

How to add promotions via the promotion builder tool (adding a single promotion)

  1. From your Merchant Center account, click on Marketing on the left and then Promotions.
  2. Click on the blue plus icon to create a promotion.
  3. Select the country and language for your promotion.
  4. Under Destination, you can select where you want your promotion to be shown.
  5. Pick a Promotion category (from the four options mentioned above).
  6. After you hit Continue, you can add a promotion title and ID. Make sure your ID is something you’ll be able to identify in the future.

Now it’s time to apply your promotions to your products. When doing this you’re faced with three options:

  1. Choose only products with a promotion ID that matches this promotion’s ID
  2. Choose all products
  3. Create custom filters based on product attributes

The option you should select depends on how you want your promotions to be applied to your products: you may want all of your products to have promotions applied to them, or filter for specific products.

After this, you’ll be prompted to pick the start and end date of your promotion.

Finally, click Create promotion to apply all of your changes.

Create a promotions feed (adding multiple promotions)

If you’ve got a large number of products you’d like to add promotions to, then we recommend this method. This involves adding a promotion feed to your account.

A promotions feed is essentially a spreadsheet containing your promotions. This can be either a .txt file, .xml file, or a Google Sheet. You’ll then upload this to Merchant Center.

Attributes for your promotions feed

Attributes that you include in your promotions feed will change how your promotions will be displayed on Google properties. Here are the required attributes:

  • Promotion ID [promotion_id]
  • Products eligible for promotion [product_applicability]
  • Coupon code required [offer_type]
  • Generic redemption code [generic_redemption_code]
  • Promotion title [long_title]
  • Promotion start date [promotion_effective_dates]
  • Eligible channel for promotion [redemption_channel]

For more information about promotion feed specifications, you can visit Google's Help Center.

How to upload a promotions feed

  1. From your Merchant Center account, click Promotions from the left-side menu.
  2. Go to the Promotions feed tab and then click on Add feeds.
  3. You’ll be asked for your target country and language.
  4. Give your feed name and upload your feed spreadsheet.
  5. Then click on Create feed.

The approval process for promotions on Merchant Center

Once you’ve uploaded your promotion(s), Google will review them and validate them before they go live. Typically, this process takes 12 hours but can potentially take up to 24 hours. So if you have any set deadlines, we recommend submitting your promotions as early as possible to get them approved.

Google’s approval process consists of two steps:

  1. A policy review that confirms if your promotions follow all of Google’s editorial requirements and promotions policies.
  2. A validation review, which takes place once your promotions are active on your website, involves Google testers verifying that your promotions work and follow all policies

Liked this post? You might want to see other posts like this...

Google Shopping best practices and insights

Follow us on the channels where you are.