What Is Google Shopping API?
Google Shopping, also previously known as Google Product Search, Google Products and Froogle, allows users to search Google for products on online shopping websites and compare prices between different vendors.
Since 2019, it has been possible to make website data available for n Google searchers by using Google API— or the Content API for Shopping, as Google calls it.
Using this method, you can do many great things to benefit your store much more easily – like updating the price and stock levels every hour.
But what actually is an API, what do you have to do to start using it, and how else can it help your store?
What is an API?
API is an acronym that is usually used by developers, standing for Application Programming Interfaces. This is a fancy way of saying that it is a piece of programming that allows two applications or tools to exchange information and communicate with each other.
By creating an API, app developers make it easier for other developers to use their application without having to understand all the mechanics of how it was created—which ultimately benefits their users.Even if
you’ve heard never heard of API before, you will have used one without knowing it. For instance, API allows you to compare flights or hotels on a travel-booking site. The API acts as an intermediary, allowing the travel site to provide key information to potential customers without having to direct them to the individual websites of the available choices.It makes life a lot easier for all concerned, recording the search criteria,
comparing them with the databases of the hotel or the airline and returning the search results.
It’s fair to say that without API, the web would be a lot less of a slick place than it is today. So, what happens with the API in Google Shopping Ads?
How do you start using API in Google Shopping campaigns?
If you already have a Google Merchant Center account, you can have your products and services displayed in Google Shopping Ads,
To launch a Shopping Ads campaign, you will need to upload the product data feed to Google.
You can do that in one of the following ways:
- Upload it manually from a local file
- Use a Google Sheet (Excel)
- Use scheduled fetches
- Use a supported ecommerce platform
- Develop an API content
By developing API content for Google Shopping, you will have an automated and effective way to directly interact with the Google Merchant Center account.
This means that the data about your products is updated in Google Shopping in real-time after you change it on the source website —because the two will “talk” directly with each other.
Main benefits of using the API for Google Shopping
The API for Google Shopping Ads has greatly simplified the process of updating key product information for merchants in real-time.
With an API, there is no need for manual uploads to the product feed anymore each time a product changes its spec or price. It makes it easy to manage the ad campaigns.
This saves a lot of work for large stores with a constantly changing inventory and, for smaller stores, it’s also one less thing for store owners to have to think about.
Here are the benefits in a nutshell:
- Automated management of the account
- Ads management on a per-product basis (prices, stock levels, etc.)
- Scheduling of data feed
- Managing orders and returns
- Managing complex tax and shipping settings
Google Shopping API: Who’s it for?
There’s no doubt that larger stores with access to development teams will benefit the most from the Google Shopping API.
Keeping up to date with a large range of product details (price, stock levels etc.) can be a huge challenge and managing complex shopping campaigns becomes much easier with the API.
However, smaller stores will also benefit, especially when they employ apps that integrate with the API to provide a rapid update of prices and stock availability in a Google Shopping campaign.
All stores have products that change status and, for Google Shopping ad campaigns, the easiest way to keep Google and potential customers up to date is through using the API.
So, any store can use the API to provide a better service, increase sales, and free up time—even if you don’t have access to a team of developers.
Automation tools like this can be an important differentiator between you and your competitors, helping your store stay one step ahead.