When setting up a new Shopping campaign, the first task is to set up a Merchant Center account and upload a feed to it. At this stage a number of feed attributes are required as mandatory and until those attributes are approved the feed will not work.
The website is also required to meet a number of requirements, which are listed below.
· Accurate contact information. Your website must display sufficient and accurate contact information, including a telephone number and/or email.
· Secure checkout process. Payment and transaction processing, as well as collection of any sensitive and financial personal information from the user, must be conducted over a secure processing server (SSL-protected, with a valid SSL certificate - https://).
· Return policy. Your site must provide a clear and conspicuous return policy to users.
· Billing terms and conditions. Your site must provide clear and conspicuous billing terms and conditions.
· Complete checkout process. Ensure users are able to successfully add items to the cart and fully complete the checkout process.
Once all of this has been approved, the feed can then be connected to, and used in a Shopping campaign.
We were surprised to recently discover one of our clients being suspended for not having a secure checkout process. Given that their feed had been approved for well over a year it seemed that everything was fine. However, it appears that Google have not always enforced all of the above (including the need for an SSL secured checkout) but now is starting to do so.
Our advice is to review all listed requirements for Merchant Center and Shopping now, particularly with older, or inherited accounts. Requirements may have been overlooked historically, but can be reviewed at any time causing the feed and Ads to stop running.
Google Shopping policies full list can be found here https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188484