Tag Archives: shopping

Sunset of XML support in the Content API for Shopping

What's changing?
Starting September 1, 2019, the Content API for Shopping will no longer support requests or responses with XML payloads. All requests with an XML payload will fail after the sunset date.

Why is this change happening?
Version 2 of the Content API for Shopping changed the default request and response format from XML to JSON, and version 2.1 of the API (currently marked experimental) will not support XML. The majority of API requests now use JSON, so we've decided to sunset XML support and instead focus on enriching our JSON APIs with new features and functionality.

What should you do?
Prior to the sunset date, identify the components of your application that are using XML payloads for any of the following impacted services: For each case, modify your application to:
  • Send the request body as JSON.
  • Ensure you have removed the alt=xml parameter from the request.
  • Process the response as JSON.
  • Test your updated application using a separate test account.
Tip: The client libraries for .NET, Dart, Go, Java, JavaScript, Node.js, Objective-C, PHP, Python, and Ruby will send JSON requests and parse JSON responses for you. We strongly recommend that you use one of the libraries so you won't have to write marshalling and unmarshalling code in your application.

When converting a given request, you can use the JSON and XML tabs in the Request body section of the documentation for the method. For example, here's a partial screenshot of the XML tab for Inventory.set:

The corresponding JSON tab for that method is:

Compare the two tabs and use that as a guide when converting your request from XML to JSON.

You can find similar JSON and XML information for the response in one of the following locations:
  • Directly in the Response section for the method.
    Example: The productsCustomBatchResponse for Products.custombatch.
  • In the Resource representations section of the documentation for the resource returned in the response.
    Example: The products resource for Products.insert.
If you have any questions or feedback about this change, or any other questions about the Content API for Shopping, please let us know on the forum.

Update on issue reporting changes in the Content API for Shopping

In August, 2018, we announced that we would stop populating the dataQualityIssues field in Productstatus and Accountstatus resources in December of last year. Due to the recent holiday season, we decided to hold off on that change, but it will now be made starting February 25, 2019.

Please review the previous blog post for important details, including how to use the new and improved itemLevelIssues field in your platform's integration with the Content API for Shopping.

If you have any questions or feedback about this change, or any other questions about the Content API for Shopping, please let us know on the forum.

Creating Smart Shopping campaigns with the local inventory ads setting enabled will be rejected

Starting Feb 15, 2019, in all AdWords API versions and in the Google Ads API, we’re going to reject requests that attempt to create a Smart Shopping campaign with the local inventory ads setting enabled. The local inventory ads setting is equivalent to setting enableLocal to true in the AdWords API, and enable_local to true in the Google Ads API. Trying to set those fields to true when creating a Smart Shopping campaign will result in the OperationAccessDenied.OPERATION_NOT_PERMITTED_FOR_CAMPAIGN_TYPE error. Previously, those fields were ignored when passed to the API servers.

Why is this happening?
Throwing an error for the requests described above provides an alert to users that local inventory ads are not supported in Smart Shopping campaigns.

What should you do?
Make sure you do not have code that creates a Smart Shopping campaign with local inventory ads enabled. Specifically, when you create a ShoppingSetting object for a Smart Shopping campaign, take either of the following actions: Follow the guides below for details on how to create a Smart Shopping campaign: As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please post them on our forum.

Smart Shopping campaigns are publicly available today

Smart Shopping campaigns were released in AdWords API v201802 to whitelisted advertisers. Today, we’re releasing them to all developers in both the AdWords API and Google Ads API.

Smart Shopping campaigns combine automation and machine learning to maximize your conversion value across networks based on your budget. For end-to-end instructions in creating Smart Shopping campaigns, ad groups, and ads, visit our docs: AdWords API guide or Google Ads API guide.

For optimal performance, we recommend you have at least 20 conversions over the last 45 days across existing Shopping campaigns before creating a Smart Shopping campaign.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please post them on our forum.

A new guide for integrating Google Shopping ads using Google APIs

Good news for developers planning to integrate Google Shopping ads! We have just released a brand new guide explaining how to automate the delivery of Google Shopping on behalf of merchants using Google APIs.

The Shopping Automation Guide covers the steps required to set up new merchants using a combination of the Content API for Shopping and AdWords API. It describes how you can fully automate certain tasks that would otherwise be performed manually using the Merchant Center and AdWords websites.

The guide is for developers interested in feed management, campaign management, or full automation workflow that includes both. The workflows provide detailed explanations of how the different APIs can be used for each stage of the user journey. You can follow the workflow step by step or navigate straight to the article you require using the side panel.

Head over to the developer pages to get started! If you have any questions or need help, please contact us on the relevant forums: If you have any feedback on the guide, please use the “Send Feedback” link at the top right of each page.

We also appreciate any feedback on your experience using the guide. If you would like to share it, please complete this survey.

How Canadians are shopping this holiday season

Are you a last-minute shopper? Well, you’re not alone. With only 10 days until the holidays, a new study tells us that Canadians have completed less than half of their holiday shopping!1 But these last-minute shoppers aren’t panicking.


We partnered with Ipsos to survey Canadians on how they’ve used technology to shop this holiday season, and we found that holiday shoppers are using their smartphones, search and online video to be savvier than ever. This year, 34 percent of Canadian shoppers say they always do research or check digital sources before going to the store. Canadians may be last-minute shoppers, but they certainly have a game plan for when they hit the mall.


Today we’re sharing three trends that surfaced during Canada’s peak shopping season:


Smartphones are the ultimate shopping companion

The smartphone is a ubiquitous part of Canada's shopping experience, and when Canadians incorporated smartphone searches into their holiday shopping activities it resulted in a purchase 49 percent of the time. Savvy shoppers are turning to their smartphones to make purchases. Of the transactions that were made online this holiday season, 33 percent were purchased via smartphone.


While more people are willing to buy on mobile, we know that mobile is still used as a personal research assistant in and out of the store. This year, 38 percent of Canadian shoppers that bought in-store used their smartphone to search for products and services, and 74 percent used mobile apps as part of their holiday shopping experience.


Digital research influences purchases

Digital tools like smartphones and online search are friends, not foes, to in-store shopping. Canadian shoppers are conducting online research before they hit the mall to determine what they want to buy, the best products in a given category and which stores to visit to find that they need. We’ve seen mobile searches related to “best” products in the top retail categories grow by more than 44 percent in the last year.2


This year, shoppers are prepared, as one in five Canadian holiday shoppers say they’ve checked prices online before going in store. Almost half (43%), wish retail stores would do a better job of sharing inventory information.


YouTube is the new gift guide

Whether it’s watching a product review or learning how to bake gingerbread cookies, Canadian shoppers look to video in countless moments throughout to the day to help get things done. And this includes shopping. This holiday season, shoppers will turn to devices to learn more, make a decision or purchase a product. This year, 26 percent of holiday shoppers used online video to look at products and services


Whether you’re a last-minute shopper or you’ve checked off your whole list, have a happy holiday!


Posted by Sarah Bradley and Naumi Haque, Research and Market Insights Managers, Google Canada.


1 Google/Ipsos, 2016 Holiday Shopping Study, Nov 17 to Dec 9, 2016, with n=1,387 Canadian shoppers

2 Google internal data, Canada searches related to apparel, home & garden, beauty & personal care, computer & electronics, and gift (excluding terms “best buy,” “best man,” and “best friends”). Jan-March 2015 vs. Jan-March 2016

Sunsetting promotionLine in AdWords Scripts

We are sunsetting support for the promotion line field of Product Ads in AdWords Scripts, since this feature has been retired in AdWords in favor of automated extensions.

As part of this change, we have marked the getPromotionLine() method of ProductAd and the withPromotionLine() method of ProductAdBuilder as deprecated. These methods will start throwing errors on September 15, 2016. If your script uses these methods, then make sure you review them and make necessary changes to ensure they continue to work as expected.

If you have any questions about these changes or AdWords scripts in general, you can post them on our developer forum.

From hoverboards to adult onesies: the gifts we’re searching for this holiday

If your holiday shopping plan this season involves grabbing a spare minute on your phone to hunt for presents while you’re standing in line or on the train to work, you’re not alone. More than half of holiday shoppers say they plan to use their smartphones in free moments throughout the day to get their holiday list done. As we wake up to what has become the day for online deal hunting—Cyber Monday—we took a look at the top gifts trending on Google Search to help you shop smarter in those spare moments. Here’s a look at online shopping search trends across the U.S., to give you ideas of what your loved ones might like to find under the tree.
Source: Google Shopping Data, U.S., Oct 2015 vs. Oct 2014

Drones are now toys: Drones are no longer expensive playthings for the tech-savvy. Search for “toy drone” and you’ll find countless inexpensive, easy-to-use devices available from department stores and toy stores. And they’re popular—nationwide, shopping searches for drones are up 80% over the past year, and they’re highest in California.

Hoverboards are real, and they’re trending: While we’re on the topic of electronic toys, hoverboards are so popular this year they’ve even overtaken searches for drones. They may not be exactly like the boards from Back to the Future or the Lexus commercial, but these two-wheeled boards have become a hot toy this season. Searches for “hoverboards” started trending in the summer and are up more than 500% since July.
Source: Google Shopping Data, U.S., Oct 2015 vs. Oct 2014

Holiday onesies are the new “ugly Christmas sweaters”: Last year “ugly Christmas sweaters” were all the rage. This year we’re seeing holiday onesies are the new kitsch partywear of choice, as searches for “adult onesies” are trending even faster than searches for “ugly Christmas sweater.” (Hey—we don’t try to explain these trends. We just report them. -Ed.)

Your 90s wardrobe is BACK: Bomber jackets. Levi jeans. Adidas Superstars. Looking at this year’s top-trending apparel list you’ll be forgiven for thinking we’ve gone back to the 90s. Not only have we seen searches for these 90s fashion trends more than double over the past year, each city has their own 90s fashion item of choice—shoppers in Chicago are more interested in Levis while shoppers in New York are on the hunt for Adidas Superstar shoes.
Source: Google Shopping Data, U.S., Oct 2015 vs. Oct 2014

“Smart” devices top electronics searches: With more models on the market than ever, both smart watches and smart TVs topped our list of trending electronics this year—with “smart watch” searches seeing a particularly phenomenal growth, up nearly 300% compared to last year. But as smart devices get more popular, retro electronics are also making a comeback: searches for instant cameras like “Polaroid Camera” and “Fujifilm Instax” have been rising steadily in popularity each holiday season.

So there you have it. Ready to start shopping? To help you search for these gifts quickly and easily while on-the-go, we recently redesigned Google Shopping on mobile. And for more insights behind this season’s trends, check out the Shopping Insights tool. Happy deal-hunting!







Fetching invalid product offers in Content API

The Shopping Content API now supports the retrieval of invalid product offers. This means that offers such as those with an invalid category or a mismatched URL can now be retrieved and reviewed via the API. This will enable you to more easily view invalid product offers and debug API requests. Going forward, invalid product offers that are newly inserted via the API will be available for review in the Diagnostics tab of the Merchant Center.

How should you go about retrieving your invalid offers from the API? You can do this by using a new optional URL parameter that has been added to the products.list method, called includeInvalidInsertedItems. (Yes, it's a long name; we apologize for the extra keystrokes.) If you set this parameter to true, your response will include products that were invalid at the time of insertion. The default value is false, so if you don't include the parameter in your request, you will not have invalid products in your response. This preserves existing behavior, with the exception that if you have invalid product offers from feeds, they will also not be returned in the response. Note that you can still use the 'get' and 'delete' methods to reference product offers directly by ID, even if they are invalid. No additional parameter is needed for those methods.

We are introducing one new error when inserting product offers, called "The item could not be inserted". An invalid offer is inserted only if it does not overwrite an existing valid offer. When there already is an existing valid offer, an additional error is returned, stating "The item could not be inserted". This also means that the product offer will not be available for review from products.list nor in the Diagnostics tab. Product offers are matched based on the full product ID, of the form channel:languageCode:countryCode:offerId.

It's important to remember that the new includeInvalidInsertedItems parameter will only filter between valid and invalid product offers, as determined at insertion time, ignoring whether they were or not later disapproved. This means that it will return invalid product offers inserted both from the API and from feeds. To distinguish between approved and disapproved product offers, use the Productstatuses Service.

To try out this new parameter, add includeInvalidInsertedItems as a query parameter to your products.list request. If you have more questions or feedback, please head on over to our developer forum.

Upcoming changes to Paid and Organic Query report

We are updating the Paid and Organic report to include only text ad statistics. Impressions and clicks for mobile app install ads and Product Listing Ads will be excluded from this report starting July 13, 2015.

These formats serve in places other than on search results, so we are excluding them to provide you a better comparison across paid and organic listings at the query level. If you use data from the Paid and Organic report in any of your AdWords API or Scripts applications, then make sure you update them to adjust for this data change. Historic stats for mobile app install ads and Product Listing Ads will continue to be available from this report type up to the following report dates:
  • Product Listing Ads - up to and including March 23, 2015
  • Mobile app install ads - up to and including July 13, 2015
If you have any further questions about this change, let us know via the API or scripts forum, or Google+ page.