Product requirements for publishing

The most important part of publishing your products to Google Merchant Center is making sure that they have the data that Google requires. If your products do not have the right data, Google will return errors and will not publish your products successfully.


Google has specific requirements for products that have Apparel & Accessories, Media, or Book set as the Google Product Category. To learn more about these requirements, read Shopify's guides on Apparel & Accessory specific requirements, Media specific requirements, and Book specific requirements.

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Google Product Category

Google requires every product (even custom products) to have a Google Product Category. If you are unsure of which category to choose for your products, read Google's guide to product categories for more information.

To set a Google Product Category:

  1. Go to a Product page in the Google Shopping app.

  2. Scroll down to the Google Product Category section.

  3. Find a category that suits your product in the dropdown menu:

    Choose a product category
  4. Click the Save & Publish button.

Unique product identifiers

Unless you are selling custom products, Google requires you to have one of the following unique product identifiers for each of your products:

Setting these identifiers lets Google match your product with similar products inside of Google Shopping. If these identifiers are not set accurately, Google will not publish your products and your account could be suspended.

You can read more about Google unique product identifiers.

GTIN (Global Trade Item Number)

GTINs are set by editing the Barcode field on each product's variant. A GTIN can be any of the following:

GTIN Name Format
UPC Universal Product Code 12-digit number
EAN International Article Number 13-digit number
JAN Japanese Article Number 13-digit number
ISBN International Standard Book Number 10- or 13-digit number


It is important to not invent false GTIN information for your products. Although this might allow for temporarily successful publishing, it could lead to Google Merchant Center account suspension.

To add a GTIN to a product variant:

  1. Go to a Product page in the Shopify admin.

  2. In the Inventory section, click the Edit button beside a variant.

  3. In the Barcode field, enter your unique product identifier.

  4. Click Save.

MPN (Manufacturer Part Number)

MPN is a unique number supplied by the manufacturer of the product. A product that requires an MPN must have a Brand defined.

To add an MPN to a product:

  1. Go to a Product page in the Google Shopping app.

  2. Scroll to the Listing details section.

  3. Enter your MPN into the MPN field:

    Enter a MPN
  4. Click the Save & Publish button.

Brand (Vendor)

In Shopify, the brand is set by editing a product's Vendor field.

To add a Brand to a product:

  1. Go to a Product page in the Shopify admin.

  2. Scroll to the Product details section.

  3. Select your brand, or create a new one using the Vendor drop-down menu:

    Select a vendor from the drop-down menu
  4. Click the Save button.

Apparel & accessory product requirements

Read Shopify's Apparel & accessory product requirements guide for more information.

Media product requirements

If you are selling Music, Movies or Video games, you are required to add a GTIN (UPC, EAN, or JAN).

Learn how to set a GTIN for your products.

Book product requirements

If you are selling Books, you are required to add a GTIN (ISBN) to your products.

Learn how to set a GTIN for your products.

Custom product requirements

Custom products are one-of-a-kind items in any Google Product Category for which no unique product identifiers exist. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Custom-made items
  • Vintage goods
  • Collectibles
  • Art
  • Perishables
  • Books published before 1970
  • Other special items

If you are selling a custom product, you are not required to set a unique product identifier.

To set Google Shopping to ignore product identifiers:

  1. Go to the Google Shopping product listing page.

  2. Click the name of a custom product.

  3. Scroll to the Listing details header.

  4. Under the subheader If this is a custom or unique product, check the box to Tell Google to ignore product identifiers:

    Click 'Tell Google to ignore product identifiers'
  5. Click the Save button.

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