To change the GMC to a new look or not?

You might have noticed that since last year Google has been working on updating the Google Merchant Center (GMC). If your GMC was changed you already know what we are talking about, but if not this change is coming to your advertising environment this year as well.

A quick overview of GMC Next

GMC Next represents the evolution of the trusty Google Merchant Center. It unlocks new features and simplifies a few things around the user interface. We can all agree, that the Classic GMC is not the simplest tool to use and if you are not working with it daily you probably don’t use its advanced features.

What are some key features and updates in GMC Next?

1. Automatized Data Detection

The GMC Next is progressing towards automatically updated product data feeds. This new feature will enable you to crawl your e-shop or any kind of online store and pull product data directly from it.

Screenshot of Google Merchant Center. The "All Products" tab is open, displaying a list of products, with the total number of all products and the number of sold-out products highlighted.

2. User-friendly GMC interface

Google Merchant Center Next is more streamlined and user-friendly, eliminating the need for technical expertise with its intuitive tools and dashboard. This makes it ideal for small businesses without dedicated online marketing teams, allowing for easy operation by anyone.

Screenshot of Google Merchant Center. The "Overview" tab is open, displaying a product performance and status in graphs.

3. Detailed Insights

Google Merchant Center Next now offers a unified Performance tab, providing users with a comprehensive view of their products’ performance, feeds, and more.

Key metrics available on a single interface include:

  • Best-selling products
  • Competitor search results for similar products
  • Shopper engagement in physical stores

Additionally, the interface displays website traffic density from organic sources, paid ads, maps, and non-product search results.

4. Product Studio

Google Merchant Center Next introduces a notable feature called Product Studio, which allows merchants to directly edit product details like title, description, final URL, and brand using the ‘Edit Product’ button.

Furthermore, the advanced AI capabilities of GMC Next empower merchants to perform three crucial tasks on product media:

  • Generate custom scenes for products using AI-driven text prompts.
  • Remove distracting backgrounds from product images to enhance focus.
  • Improve image resolution and sharpness, providing an alternative to reshooting for high-quality images.

5. Click potential – a new metric

GMC Next determines Click potential by evaluating the performance of the products in your Merchant Centre against one another. It utilizes historical traffic, product data, and demand to assess whether the potential for clicks is high, medium, or low. This measurement is crucial for enhancing the underperforming listings in your product feed.

How do you keep using the Classic Merchant Center until it disappears?

Sometime during this year, Google Merchant Center Next will introduce support for rules and supplemental feeds. Some advertisers are still using the earlier version, Google Merchant Center, which of course includes these new features.

Advertisers who want to use the rules and feeds but haven’t switched to GMC Next should avoid upgrading for now.

If you just created a brand new GMC it’s most probable that you weren’t given an option, but rather Google already created GMC Next for you. You can still revert to Classic GMC and use features that are still in development and missing from GMC Next.

To switch from GMC Next back to classic mode and access rules and supplemental feeds, please follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to your Merchant Center account.
  2. Click the Help & feedback icon at the top of the page.
  3. Select “Use classic Merchant Center.”
  4. A disclaimer will pop up. If you wish to proceed, click “Use classic Merchant Center.”
  5. A feedback form will appear, allowing you to share why you are switching back. Fill it out and click “Submit.
  6. Another disclaimer will be displayed. Tick the checkbox and click “Switch now.”
  7. You will now have access to the Classic Merchant Center experience.

A few things to remember

Switching from Merchant Center Next to the Classic Merchant Center might lead to the loss of business details and in-store product information previously entered. Please consider these possible consequences before deciding to switch.

Once you revert to the Classic Merchant Center, you will not be able to switch back to Merchant Center Next until the Classic GMC version gets retired (ETA end of the year 2024).