What are Google Merchant Promotions? 

When youre selling your products and services on Google, there are certain perks that they give you. One of the main ones is the promotions, which allow you to distribute the offers you provide online with Shopping ads and product listings for free on the Shopping tab. This is mainly applicable in the USA, but there are some countries outside too, who can avail of this benefit.

As you add your promotions to the products being sold on Google, shoppers will be able to see a link that gives them a special offer. This link can then be used to increase the overall appeal of the products being shown and encourage more buyers to buy. These promotions are a great way to attract your core audience members and have the potential to increase the revenue you bring into your company as well.

These promotion annotations, which generally describe your offer’s details, can also be shown on Google image search results on mobile. As users click on this, a pop-up appears, showing them the next steps needed to complete their purchase.

Google Promotions are used by millions of companies worldwide to get their audience transacting with their brand. As brands move through their digital marketing campaigns, providing discounts is one of the best ways to get more people to head over and transact with them, and promotions ensure this is made possible. 

Benefits of Merchant Promotions

There are a slew of benefits possible with Google Shopping Merchant Promotions, and these include –

  • Improve CTR – The promotions tab on Google makes it easier to highlight various products on Google and make sure the transacting audience goes forth and understands more about the brand.
  • Increase conversions – With better discounts and offers come more interested transacting customers. You can use Google Promotions to provide a deal thats too good for them to refuse and increase the overall conversions.
  • Capture multi-screen traffic – promotions can be enjoyed on multiple devices, including phones, desktops, tablets, and much more. You can choose to advertise your brand on any of these devices, and Google will show this special offer as needed.

Policies to be Fulfilled 

There are a few essential guidelines that need to be followed for the promotions to go live on Google. These promotions policies are a great way to know whether your promos are eligible and ensure a good experience for the users.  

Here are some of the policies which need to be fulfilled –

1. Promotions must add value 

Most of the promotions come with some sort of discount or service that isnt related to the purchase when it is life usually. These promotions can be applied at the checkout stage or the sale point as needed.

The rules that govern promotions include that they cannot have –

  • Trade-in offers
  • Products and services which are free
  • Mail-in or any email rebates
  • Sweepstakes
  • Text that advertises a non-discounted product  
  • Less than 5% or $5 off the current item price
  • Tax/VAT discounts
  • Has the SKU price on the Google product or landing page.

Most promotions are valid for a maximum period of 6 months.

2. Is in line with the Shopping Ads policies

There are certain products and services which cannot be displayed in the free listings or ads. For more details on the same, you can click on the tab that says Shopping policy restrictions. They also reserve the right to offload or cancel a promotion from a listing or a when they see fit.

3. The requirement for titles 

Titles for promotions need to be simple enough, concise, and represent a specific deal value that is being promoted. These need to –

  • State clearly about any minimum items/thresholds required for the deal
  • Disclose the requirements for redemption
  • Add the additional charges, billing expectations, and the purchase limits, and more
  • Include all the restrictions, conditions, or any limitations of any offer being presented.

The titles cannot mislead or trick customers and hide any additional fees right until checkout. These are considered unethical practices and can lead to the promotion being suspended. 

You can also head over to the editorial requirements to view a list that includes the instructions, the necessary practices, and more to format the text for promotion. To improve any promotion quality, Google might also have to contact the business and request changes set on the guidelines. 

Also, Google or any of its affiliates can modify the promo text and include non-material changes. This includes size, punctuation, formatting, spelling modifications, capitalization, and more.

4. Follow redemption requirements 

The retail seller also mustnt impose costs that are deal-specific on users when they redeem the same if they dont include any purchases that are non-deals. To put it simply, whenever a customer redeems their promo, they must not have any fees which dont apply to those who dont redeem the promotion.  

All these promos can be easily redeemable without any unspecified requirements. There are deals where specific requirements are imposed by retailers and arent included in the titles is not permissible. The other unacceptable conditions involve signing up for a credit card from the store, signing up for a paid membership, or taking a survey for any promotion.  

5. Avoid overly restrictive promotions 

Most of these promos should be accessible to customers as they need to be equal for all. Those promos available for a specific set of customers or certain payment methods that vary from the usual restrictions are not accepted. 

Some of the examples of restrictive promos include –

  • 20% OFF for Military or Seniors
  • $10 for Students and Teachers
  • $20 off for birthdays 
  • First-time customers
  • 5% OFF on VISA cards
  • 10% OFF if theres a survey to be completed 

The promotions for discounts included in paid memberships are, however, acceptable.

6. Making promoted products appear more apparent to the shopper 

It should be easy to redeem promos for any eligible products. Whenever there is a specific product promo, it can be applied to that particular product identified in the feed.

Most bundled promos must disclose all the items, and if theres some combo of products that should be included in the title must clearly state the same, so the customer is privy. 

7. Make the confirmation of the promo receipt clear 

The customers promo receipts must be confirmed clearly at the point they purchase. This must be given at the checkout or the cart and not present on the landing page. 

The discounts should not be shown on this page. For example, if the promo says $10 OFF and a customer is purchasing a $100 item, they should expect to see the article priced at $100 on the landing page, which they can apply for the coupon or promotion. 

If the landing page shows the price at $90, it can create a negative experience. Landing pages that have promotions confirmed arent considered as added value. They are also not eligible. You can view the Shopping policies to gain more information. These products feed, and their prices should be in line with the product thats present.

Any gift card, free gift, or even certain e-cards can be shown on the landing pages of products and must be mentioned either on the checkout page or the basket or cart. 

There are gift cards that are free and are for other stores apart from yours arent permissible either. Sample trials and products do not count as free gifts, and store reward points and credit are acceptable as long they have a monetary value. You can view the specifics of this rule in the requirements. the editorial requirements. 

8. Include the redemption code for shipping promos 

Shipping promos contain a redemption code because it might be considered as an extra value. In case the free shipping doesnt have a code to a threshold, you can get it done at a much lower amount. The only rule is that it must include a code as well. 

The promos must have specific product applicability and must be mapped to those products which are below the amount which is offered. 

For example, if the free shipping for orders $55+ (without code) is offered, and youd want to opt for free shipping at $45+ with the code, the promo must also map those items which have a price below the $55. 

9. Follow combined promotions policies 

Some promotions arent permissible as standalone offers and can become so when combined with other promotions. 

Example Title Allowed

20% OFF on all products, including

Yes – This is allowed with or without the shipping redemption code.

$60 mail-in or rebate on email and a $35 instant discount for a $300 purchase

Yes – This is combined with the instant discount promotion and considered an added value promo.

$50 mail-in or any email rebate in addition to free shipping statewide

Yes – If the promo contains the valid code for shipping redemption.

No – If the promo misses the above.

Free camera lens + 3% rewards

Yes – The promotion for rewards can be combined with a free gift and considered an added value.

15% OFF + B1G1 Free

Yes – If the 15% discount is reflected on the checkout page.

No – If the 20% discount is provided on the product landing page and the price on the checkout page is the same as the landing page price.

How do These Merchant Promos Work?

All the Google shopping Merchant Promotions are available on Google if you have a product feed active in the Google Merchant Center. Once they are successfully activated, there are a variety of types that can be created. Once done, Google proceeds to review the same. 

The following types of promotions are valid with Google –

  • Discounts – Any cashback, percentage off, Buy one get one FREE, Buy one get second at a % OFF, and so on
  • Free Gifts – Any free gift card or item for a specific value
  • Shipping – Discounted or free shipping

These promotions dont affect Google rankings in any way. 

How to Create Google Merchant Promotions?

There are two ways you can create Google Merchant Promotions –

1. Using the promotion builder 

The promotions builder is present on the promotions dash of the Merchant Center account. With it, you can manually enter individual promos. To add promotions manually, youll need to – 

  1. Sign in to the Merchant Center Account
  2. Click on Marketing in the Navigation menu followed by promotions
  3. Click on the plus button in blue
  4. Select the categories that fit your promotions and follow the necessary prompts before clicking on Save.

With the promotion builder, you can specify thresholds on spending, gift descriptions, and so much more. Once selected, the tool also displays all the options available for promotions. You can follow the prompts to create the advertisement. 

2. Creating promotions feed 

The promotions feed consists of a spreadsheet with all the necessary promotions used online. You can use it in case you have a high volume of promos that need to be submitted. 

You can create a spreadsheet and click on the Promotion Feeds located in the upper right-hand corner. You can refer to the promotions feed specifications for more details and make changes to any existing promotion by clicking on the Edit a promotion or change promotion status.  

Google Merchant Promotions Best Practices 

A few best practices can be followed for a better experience on the Google Merchant Promotions. These include –

  1. Optimizing unique product categories
  2. Maintaining product data quality and feeds
  3. Best practices involved in listing products for free
  4. Market Insights policy
  5. Preparing and optimizing for significant events
  6. Price competitiveness report
  7. Sale price annotations
  8. Checkout requirements, and more…

Google Merchant Promotion FAQs 

#Q1 – What is Google promotion?

Google Promotions refers to the promos that can be done by sellers on the Google Merchant Center. The Merchant Center is a tool with which you can upload product data and get started.

#Q2 -What benefit might be obtained by using merchant promotions?

With Merchant promotions, brands can attract more customers with unique offers that can catch their eye. These discounts are shown on the main page, thus enticing customers to come forth and purchase.

#Q3 -Do merchant promotions affect rankings on Google?

No. Google rankings are unaffected by merchant promotions. 

Final Thoughts 

Thus, it becomes easier for you to go forth with Google Promotions and create substantial value for your brand. You will be able to help customers access their favorite products at the right time and at the right price without having to circumvent traditional marketing practices.

Keep trying various methods to create healthy, strong promotions, and with time, youll find the best deal that works for you and your customers as well!


CEO and co founder of AdNabu. Exploring the intersection of data and marketing