Google Merchant Center

Solving Issues With Price Attribute in Your Product Feed (A Guide)

0 · by Dennis Moons · Updated on 25 February 2023

When it comes to selling products online, the price is one of the most critical elements that can make or break a sale. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure that your product feed includes accurate and up-to-date pricing information. 

In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the “price attribute” in Google Shopping, the primary way that Google displays pricing information for products in its search results. 

We’ll cover everything from the basics of what the price attribute is and how it works, to formatting requirements, common issues, and best practices. 

So, let’s get started and make sure your product feeds are optimized for maximum visibility and sales!

This article is part of our Google Data Feed hub.

What Is the Price Attribute in the Product Feed?

The price attribute is the amount you charge for the product. What you enter as a value for the price attribute is shown to customers when they’re served with an ad.

The price attribute is a critical part of your product feed, as it provides essential information to potential customers and determines whether your products will be seen on Google Shopping.

The price is one of the four attributes (along with image, title, and availability of a product) that is featured in product ads on Google Shopping. So, any issue with the product price attribute in your feed is serious and has to be dealt with immediately.

Is the Price Attribute Required?

Yes, the price attribute is required for all products in your feed. Even if you don’t charge for a product (i.e. offer an item for free as a gift), you still have to provide a value for the price attribute. We will explain how to do this further down below.

The price attribute is essential for closing a sale and, in some cases, additional attributes, like unit pricing measure, unit pricing base measure, and sale price, are also needed to further specify the price. These are all optional but can impact the conversion.

TIP: To specify the cost per unit for the product you are selling, use unit pricing measure. This optional attribute allows you to provide info on product weight (food), volume (beverages), area (flooring), length (hardware), etc. This way, customers can learn how much one unit costs; for instance, exactly how much ml of perfume is available at the listed price, or the actual square foot a customer can cover with the hardwood you sell.

Sometimes, customers want to calculate how much you charge for the product per specific measure, like per 100ml or 10 square feet. Use the unit pricing base measure to provide this info. It’s an attribute that allows users to quickly check the price using a denominator. For example, you sell an oil grease cleaner in a 128oz bottle, but the buyer wants to know how much 100oz of the degreaser costs.

Another optional price-related attribute is sale price. This one is used to inform customers about product price that is valid during a promotional period. For more information on how this attribute works, check out  our separate article.

How Is Price Attribute Used in Google Shopping?

From a user’s point of view, the price attribute is used to inform customers about the price of the product. It’s pretty straightforward.

However, things are more complicated when you take the merchant’s perspective; you have to rank high on Google Shopping results to have a chance of showing your product ad to users. And shopping platforms check for competitive prices when ranking offers to be shown in a product ad. 

Price is not the only criterion for getting the top spot on Google Shopping for a specific query, but nonetheless, it’s very important. Factors like product reviews, performance history and, of course, relevance (or product matching), are taken into account, but having the lowest price will help you rank higher.

The value you’ll enter as a price attribute affects conversions on two levels:

  • For Google algorithms – to decide whether an ad featuring a product from your feed will satisfy user search intent, is relevant, and will result in clicks (CTR) and conversions (CVR).
  • For customers – to decide whether to click on the product ad, particularly from the aspect of affordability and whether they are getting an adequate value for money or if another brand’s offer is better.

The Price Has To Be Correct

Both Google and your customers won’t tolerate mistakes in the price, so the price has to be correct (as in any brick-and-mortar store). The values for this attribute have to be up to date and without hidden costs (any extra costs can be defined by other product attributes, like shipping).

Let’s take a look at that.

Options for Price

The format for the price attribute is a number (the price) followed by the currency.

While this may seem straightforward, many products are disapproved due to an invalid price format.

The right way to add values for the price attribute is to get the currency right: don’t use the symbol ($), rather use the ISO 4217 abbreviation for currencies (or USD).

Also, use dots instead of commas to separate values and round up the price up to the second decimal point.

For example: 33.00 GBP and not 33,00 £.

How To Add Price to Your Product Feed

There are two ways to add values for the price attribute in your feed:

  • From an eCommerce platform: the prices are transferred automatically from another platform or data feed tool; or
  • By creating a feed rule or supplemental feed: these options are used when you want to update or change prices. Supplemental feeds are great for promotions, while feed rules are best when all products can be defined through shared criteria.

Some of the updates to the price attributes are so common that there are tools that automatically do the work for you. One such example is currency conversion, so let’s see how it works.

What if You Can Convert Currencies Automatically

Merchants are now operating in a global marketplace, so customers may end up on a shop site that is not based in the same country. To address this, Google offers automatic currency conversion for product ads. 

When a seller from the US wants to sell to Australians, for example, the price of the product is automatically converted from USD to AUD based on the exchange rates for that day. 

Customers will see the price in their own currency, with the original price in brackets. For instance, a product priced at 65.00 USD will be displayed as 69.7 AUD.

Unfortunately, merchants can’t use this tool in a dynamic remarketing campaign.

Also, since the conversion is automatic, the price shown to the customer will not be rounded up (as shown in the example). If you are purposefully entering an alternative market and you want your prices to be rounded up in the local currency, you’ll have to tweak the original price to get that.

We’ve detailed scaling up Google shopping campaigns to multiple countries in another article.

Now, let’s take a look at product feed issues with prices.

Common Problems With the Price Attribute

If there is an issue with the price attribute in your feed, the product will be disapproved and the ad will not be shown on Google Shopping.

Here are some of the most common issues:

  • Invalid price attribute format

If the price is set to 0. Google will allow you to have “0” as a product attribute value for price only if the product is offered as part of a subscription plan or the payment is in installments. This applies to a handful of products, like mobile phones and tablets.

It’s recommended to exclude items that are offered for free from your product feed to solve this issue.

  • Wrong currency format

When the merchant has provided the symbol for the currency ($) instead of using the ISO abbreviation for the currency (USD). This issue is easy to fix, and one way to do it is by adding a “Set to” feed rule.

  • When the feed value doesn’t match the landing page

This is a big issue. Make sure that the price in the feed (that which is served to customers) is the same as the price on your site’s product page. Landing page requirements go beyond the price and can cover product image, product matching, etc., but in this context, have the product price clearly shown on the landing page.

Also, this product feed issue covers problems with checkout requirements, i.e., if there’s an extra charge or processing fee that was not included in the price but has to be paid by the customer.

Shipping costs are a typical example of this. Don’t add shipping fees to the price attribute, rather use the separate product attribute for shipping and availability to define these costs. If you do this properly, the shipping cost will be shown to customers as part of the product ad, but through a different product attribute.

  • Mismatched price

This happens because of a delay between two updates of your website in relation to updates in product data within the Google Merchant Center. Google’s crawlers practically find two different prices on your site and in your feed. Enable automatic item updates for price to solve this issue.

  • Wrong currency

Prices have to be in the currency of your target country. This is an issue for those active in more than one country. Sometimes, regional pricing options can solve this issue, however, in all other instances, keep in mind that the language, country, and currency have to be correct.

  • Variable price

If the product doesn’t have a fixed price, you need to follow different methods for setting the price. This applies to products offered at a live auction or one where customers place bids for the product. Also, if minor changes in the currency exchange rates play a significant role in determining the price – these types of product price updates have to be reported to Google.

Price Attribute Is Crucial

Price is included in product ads on Google Shopping and is one of the most important pieces of information in online shopping (along with image, title, and availability). The formatting requirements for this attribute are minimal, but you have to be mindful of them to avoid getting your products disapproved.

Google offers you a lot of help with the price attribute.There are automatic currency conversion tools and automatic item price updates. However, you still need to solve the common feed issues with price, like checkout requirements and currency inconsistencies (across multiple markets).

The list of price attribute guidelines is pretty long and includes a lot of issues that were not covered in this overview. Some of them are relevant regionally or within specific niches and industries. What we did share with you in this article provides a solid foundation for tackling those feed issues as well.

Dennis Moons

Dennis Moons is the founder and lead instructor at Store Growers.

He's a Google Ads expert with over 12 years of experience in running Google Ads campaigns.

During this time he has managed more than $5 million in ad spend and worked with clients ranging from small businesses to global brands. His goal is to provide advice that allows you to compete effectively in Google Ads.

Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.


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