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How to Fix the Missing Attributes Errors at Google Merchant Center with Supplementary Feeds?

This article explains how to fix the Missing Attributes errors in Google Merchant Center. 

Customers may face many missing attributes errors when they add product feed to Google Merchant Center. The mapping of product attributes with Google’s product attributes can accurately be done with a minimum required attributes to show the inventory for free on Google, which will qualify them for both standard and enhanced listing. 

Even though the feed got approved by Google Merchant Center, and got qualified for the enhanced listing, customers may encounter issues. The issues may arise when they try to map some additional attributes like availability and pricing, and update the existing feed without registering it again.

There is a solution to this problem.

Supplemental feeds

The Supplemental feeds are secondary data sources to provide additional attributes to your primary feeds or to provide additional data that you want to use in Feed Rules. 

The primary feed is the central data source that Merchant Center uses to access and display your product data. To upload your product data in Google Merchant Center, first, you need to create a feed in which you can submit your data. Supplemental feeds cannot add or remove products, or be used as a stand-alone feed; instead, they are used to update existing product data. These feeds can provide additional information to multiple primary feeds. 

To use a supplemental feed, connect it to the existing primary feed through the id attribute. This feed will only update your product data when the feed contains IDs that already exist in a primary feed. Hence, make sure your id attributes for supplemental feeds match exactly with the id attributes for primary feeds as they are case sensitive.

How does it work?

When creating a supplemental feed, you can change your selection to indicate that you would like to join your feeds with the id attribute.

Check the example below for more clarity.

Primary feed:

Supplementary feeds provide additional attributes to fix missing attributes errors at google merchant center | primary feed

Supplemental feed uses the id attribute to match the primary feed. Check the screenshot below:

Supplementary feeds provide additional attributes to fix missing attributes errors at google merchant center  | supplemental feed

The resulting feed will be as in the below screenshot:

Supplementary feeds provide additional attributes to fix missing attributes errors at google merchant center | combine feed with supplemental feed

Common use cases for supplemental feeds include as follows:

  • Add or override custom labels for campaign management.
  • Add or override promotion IDs for retail promotions.
  • Override titles.
  • Exclude specific products (via the excluded_destination attribute).
  • Add missing GTINs.
  • Add local inventory product data for local inventory ads.
  • Add or override country-specific attributes for a primary feed with multiple countries of sale.

Each supplemental feed must have an id attribute column, with at least one additional column with the data you would like to connect to a primary feed.

How to create a Supplemental Feed?

Go to the Feeds section under the Products page in Merchant Center. At the top of the supplemental feeds table, click Add a supplemental feed to create a new supplemental feed. Follow the prompts and provide the following pieces of information about your data.

    1. Supplemental feed name: Enter a descriptive name that helps you identify the supplemental feed. The supplemental feed name doesn’t need to match the name of the file you are submitting. You can change the feed name later by editing your primary feed settings.
    2. Input method: Here, select the one that fits your needs best. You can see the following options:
      • Google Sheets: You can upload your data using a generated Google Sheets template, or with an existing Google Sheet with your product data.
      • Scheduled fetch: When you choose this option, Google can fetch your feed directly from your server.
      • Upload: Upload files directly to Merchant Center via SFTP, FTP, Google Cloud Storage, or manually.
    3. File name: Depending on the input method you select, you may be prompted to enter the name of the file you are going to submit. This name should exactly match the name of the file you created and include a valid extension.
    4. Linking to primary feed: Select any primary feed and country of sale/language combination to which the supplemental feed belongs.
    5. Fetch schedule: Set a scheduled fetch for your product data. This lets Merchant Center get fresh feeds without manually uploading your data.

To manually upload or fetch a feed, click the 3 dot icon in the processing tab of your feed and select your upload preference from the dropdown.

Once your supplemental feed is created and linked to a primary feed, Merchant Center will automatically create a rule, which you can find in the “feed rules” section of Merchant Center. The rule will connect the product data from the two feeds based on the id value provided and will connect attribute data from the supplemental feed.

To know how to generate a product feed using the ELEX WooCommerce Google Shopping plugin, and submit it to Merchant Center, check out the article: How to set up ELEX WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugin?

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