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Using Google's New Merchant Promotion Tool to Speed Up PLA Promo Changes

Using Google Merchant Promotions has proven to be a great way to increase traffic to your PLAs. By uploading the details in the Merchant Center, you provide Google with the opportunity to display promotional text alongside your PLAs, giving consumers enticing offers that lead to higher click-through rates. The only trouble was that adding new promo information could be an overly cumbersome process, until recently. rkg-merchant-promo-example Google recently released a new tool in the Merchant Center that has made uploading Merchant Promotions a bit more straightforward. Merchants can now create Merchant Promos with the click of a button. In the ‘Promotions’ tab within your Google Merchant Center account, you will see a big red button that reads "+Promotion":


Clicking this button will bring up the window shown below, where you will need to provide the relevant details for your promotion. This information includes the Promo ID, Target Country and Language, Title (same as Long Title from previous upload method), Redemption Code (if applicable), and Redemption Dates. You must also select whether this promotion is for all products or specific products—if you select specific products, you will still need to tag all the appropriate products in your product feed.


As soon as you click ‘Create’, this promotion will appear in your promotions tab. Policy review and SKU validation will then be queued just as they have in the past. If you select ‘Specific products’, you will have to create a ‘promotion_id’ field in your product data feed in order to tag products that are part the promotion.

What are the advantages to using this ‘+Promotion’ button?

Prior to the release of this functionality, merchants had to create and upload a data feed which contained up to 15 required and optional fields. Using the new method is not only more user-friendly, but it’s more time-efficient than the original data feed method. It also cuts down on the potential for user error, eliminating the possibility of selecting dates that have already passed or the need to remove quotes from the text file that were inserted by Excel. Another welcome improvement is the ‘Effective date range’—previously the ‘promotion_effective_dates’ field—which requires you to select a date and adjust the time when the sale will be live on the merchant website (this time will default to the timezone setting of the device you are using). With the old ‘promotion_effective_dates’ field, this date and time had to be formatted like this very specifically, i.e., ‘2009-07-19T03:00:00-05:00/2009-07-26T21:00:00-05:00’ and you would have to adjust the time zone manually.

Final Thoughts

We highly recommend making use of this product if you are not already, especially if you are constantly running Merchant Promotions through PLAs. At RKG, we are using this for most of our PLA clients and have found that it saves us some time with each promo we upload. It is also nice to not have to maintain the extra data feed only for promotions—thus making promotion management that much easier. That said, if you are uploading a large number of promos at once, multiple times each week, using the data feed method may be preferable. That way, you are not going one by one to upload 6 or more promotions each time. Though we have not run into this with most of our clients, it is definitely something to keep in mind—otherwise, we suggest using the +Promotion button moving forward.
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