Promotions are a great way for ecommerce businesses to gain new customers, entice returning customers to come back, and/or increase overall sales, revenue, and ROI. Google Merchant Promotions is a feature in Google Merchant Center that enables easy management of your promotions for Google Shopping ads.

Setup is fairly simple. Below is a step-by-step process for getting started with Google Promotions.

Step 1: Have an Active Product Data Feed

This is a simple, yet required step in the process. If you don’t have a Product Feed, you can’t run promotions through Google Shopping. Get your Product Feed launched first, then move on to creating a Promotions Feed.

Step 2: Fill Out the Merchant Promotions Interest Form

Since Merchant Promotions is still relatively new, Google must review and approve your request to participate. The Merchant Promotions Interest form asks a few simple questions and review takes 1-2 days.

Step 3: Create a Promotion

Once approved, you can start creating a promotion. There are two methods to create a promotion. You can either use the Promotion Tool, or create a Promotions Feed. We’ll cover both methods below. Whichever method you choose, you must follow the required feed attributes, covered in Step 4.

3.1: Promotions Tool

To use the Promotions Tool in Google Merchant Center:

  • Go to the Promotions Page on the left
  • Click the Plus (+) button
  • Follow the steps to create your Promotions Feed.

Tip: When registering a new feed, it’s a good idea to create a Test feed first so you can identify any errors and make adjustments, if necessary.

3.2: Create a Promotions Feed

This method is similar to creating a Google Product Feed. You can upload a Promotions Feed in a .txt file, .xml file, or Google Spreadsheet.

Step 4: Enter Promotions Feed Attributes

Regardless of the method you chose in Step 3, Google Promotion Feeds have required attributes that must be followed. Additionally, there are optional attributes that you can include. Below are brief descriptions of each attribute field.

Required Attribute Fields

  • promotion_id – The unique ID of the promotion.
    • This is how your promotion feed maps to your Product Feed. If your promotion only applies to certain products in your Product Feed, then the promotion_id attribute should be the same in both your Promotions Feed and your Product Feed for those specific products so Google knows which products belong to the promotion.
  • product_applicability – Identifies whether the promotion is applicable to all products in the feed, or specific products. Valid values:
  • offer_type – Indicates whether or not a coupon code is required. Valid values:
    • NO_CODE
    • GENERIC_CODE – If there’s a code for your promotion, you must include the attribute generic_redemption_code in your Promotions Feed and enter the text code for the promotion.
  • long_title – The promotion’s full title with a complete and accurate description of the promotion.
  • promotion_effective_dates – When the promotion will be active and ready to for review.
  • redemption_channel – Indicates the promotion is valid online. The only valid value for this attribute is, ONLINE.

Optional Attribute Fields

  • promotion_display_dates – When the promotion is set to be live and available to the public.
  • minimum_purchase_amount – Minimum purchase amount for the promotion to be applicable.

Step 5: Submit Promotion Feed for Review and Start Advertising Your New Promotion

You’re now ready to submit your Promotions Feed for review in Google Merchant Center.

  • Go to your Promotions Feed and click, ‘Fetch Now’ to submit your most up-to-date Promotions Feed.
  • Once approved, your promotions will go live. Congratulations!

Your Google Shopping Ads should now be live along with your promotions, effectively giving your ads a competitive edge, enticing new customers to visit your online store, driving existing customers to return, and increasing overall sales, revenue, and ROI.