Unique Product  Indentifiers  for Google Listings in the Google Merchant Center

The Google Merchant Center (GMC) requires unique product indentifiers for each of the products uploaded.  These attributes are GTIN, Brand, and MPN.  Specifically, the go on to state: “For all your items, we recommend submitting all three attributes .”  If you have GTIN’s for your products, that’s all you need.  If you do not have GTIN’s you can use MPN and Brand.  For more information on this requirement, consult the Google Help File:  About Unique Product Indentifiers.

To unsure you are meeting the GMC basic listings requirements, Sproxi performs what we call “Local Validation” on your products whenever they are updated in Sproxi.  “Local Validation” is a process conducted by Sproxi when products are updated.  This checks your Google Listings in Sproxi for the minimum listings requirements required by Google.

When you first connect and authorize your Google Merchant Center account, Sproxi begins creating your Google Listings.  After the listings are created, Sproxi begins the process of “Local Validation.”  A very common “Critical” validation error is listed as “Insufficient product identifiers: Missing two out of three attributes (Barcode ID (UPC/GTIN/etc), brand and/or mpn). “

In your WooCommerce store, you may have brand and MPN, for example, as a attributes in your WooCommerce store.  If you use the “Field Map” tool, you can MAP this attribute to the Google field “brand” and “MPN” as an easy way satisfy Google’s product identifiers requirement.  But, as WooCommerce users, we know that using attributes for this can sometimes be problematic.  

For complex/variable products, attributes (unless they were used to create the variation) do not pass down to the variation level. 

For example, say you have Widget-A with three color variations, red, blue, and white.   For the parent, you create an attribute named “Brand.”  When Google listings are sent out to Google, parent products are not sent.  Each variable is converted to a simply product and sent out as a Google listing (see note  the bottom for an explanation of this).  Because of the nature of WooCommerce, the attribute “Brand” you created for the parent product DOES NOT carry down to the variation, thus that particular Google listing will be missing the “Brand” attribute. 

So what to do?  Sproxi has a quick-fix that will satisfy Google’s requirements so you can start advertising your products.

Satisfying the MPN Requirement for Google Listings

Map a Meta Data Field or Attribute to the Google Attribute Field MPN

For many merchants, the MPN (Manufacturer’s Part Number) is the same as your SKU or Model Number.  If this is the case, Sproxi offers a quick way to satisfy this requirement.  If you have an attribute or a metadata field for the MPN, simply map this field to the Google attribute field using the “Field Map” tool in Sproxi.

In the image below, I have mapped a meta data fields (custom field using the Advanced Custom Field Plugin and some code) in my WooCommerce store to the Google attributes, including the MPN.  

Your going to run into problems using the method if you have variable products from WooCommerce UNLESS you have coded a way to attach attributes to variable products.

Sproxi Map Attribute to MPN

No Attributes or Meta Data for Mapping?

So what if you don’t have any metadata or attributes in your WooCommerce store (or other e-commerce platform) to that you can use to map data?  Below are some quick tips to help.

Map the SKU to the MPN

As mention earlier in this article, often times the SKU and MPN are the same.  See the image below where the SKU is mapped to the MPN.  After saving this setting  in the field map, Sproxi will being sending out the “SKU” as the “MPN” in the Google Listing feed.

Sproxi Map SKU to MPN

Satisfying the Brand Requirement

You can use the same method for the MPN above if you have an attribute or some other meta data field from your WooCommerce store that you can map to the Google attribute in the Field Map tool.

In many cases, the product “Brand” is the same for the parent and all the variables of the parent.  In this case, as long as you have mapped an attribute from your WooCommerce store that contains the data for brand, Sproxi will use that brand data for the simple product listings it creates for variations if it cannot find some mapped specifically for the variation. 

Here’s an example:

Say you have a complex product with SKU “Widget” with variable SKUs of Widget-A, Widget-B, and Widget-C.  You create an attribute in your WooCommerce store labeled “Brand” and for the parent, use the value “My Brand.”  Next you go into the Sproxi “Field Map” and map the Google attribute “Brand” to the WooCommerce attribute (the one you created) named “Brand.”   After saving the map, Sproxi will being going through all the Google listings in the database to apply this new mapped field. 

The variations are created as simple products in Sproxi, and as stated earlier, won’t be able to find an WooCommerce attribute named “Brand” for each of the variations.  Sproxi will then look to the parent product, see the WooCommerce attribute, and apply this to each of the simple product listings that were created from the variable products.  For something like “Brand” this might work out just fine since the variables are often the same brand as the parent.

I Don’t Have a “Brand” Attribute in My WooCommerce Store

There are many different ways you can satisfy this requirement in Sproxi.  You can create “Brands” in Sproxi, bulk select products and apply specific brands to selected products.  Since Sproxi auto-matches the Sproxi field “Brand” to the Google attribute field “Brand,” this is now satisfied.  Another way to accomplish this is to create a custom field in Sproxi.  Once a custom field is created, you can essentially do the same thing you might do with “Brand” and apply it to select products.  You can even directly edit a Google listing in Sproxi and manually direct write a brand into a the Google attribute field “Brand.”  Finally, you can upload a CSV file to populate the fields in Sproxi.

Finally, there’s an even easier way to do it, especially if you are okay using the same brand name for all your Google listings.

Create a Sproxi Brand Field and Apply it to all Products

This is a really quick and easy way to satisfy the Google requirement for “Brand” name.  This method will apply the same brand name to all products in Sproxi. 

*It’s important to note, this method will insert a brand into the Sproxi field named “Brand.”  When sending Google listings to the Merchant Center, Sproxi will look here last for a brand name to send out.  So even if you use this method and all your products have the same brand, you can always override this for selected products.

Navigate to “PRODUCT MANAGEMENT>OTHER>Brands” and click the blue “Create” button.


Next, enter name for the brand and click the green “Create & Continue” button.


You will then notice the brand name you just created.  Click the edit icon to edit this brand name.


Notice the yellow “Apply To All Products” button.  This will immediately apply the brand name to ALL products in Sproxi.


After clicking the “Apply To All Products” button, click the “Products” tab (next to the “General” tab.  You will see all the products with “My Brand” attached to it.

sproxi brands created my brand applied

Clicking the green “edit” button next to each product will open the Sproxi product.  You can then see where “My Brand” is showing in the “Brand” drop-down.  If you have created other brands you can select it here if you want to change it.

In addition, going back to “Brands” you can delete the brand and it will remove it from those products it was attached to.

Using the Bulk Edit Feature to Apply/Change Brands to Sproxi Products

Like many store owners, you may carry different products from different brands.  The steps above outlined how to create a new brand in Sproxi products and apply that brand to all your products.

To apply a brand to select products, follow the steps below.

  • Navigate to Sproxi products by navigating to “PRODUCT MANAGEMENT > Products > Inventory.”
  • Use the column sort, the search box, tag selector, or channel selector to find products that will share the same brand name.
  • Using the check box to the right of the SKU, select the products.
  • After selecting products, you will notice a green button labeled “edit,” click it.
  • In the bulk edit dialog box, select the brand to apply to these products in the drop-down.
  • Click the save button.

Now, the brand you just chose will be applied to the selected products.  Repeat this process to apply different brands to different products.  See the image below as an example.
Bulk Apply Brands