Google has taken a big step and unveiled a revamped version of Google Merchant Center: the Merchant Center Next. Announced at Google Marketing Live 2023, this new feature offers numerous functions that are designed to significantly simplify the process of product management for merchants.
What’s new with Merchant Center Next?
The main advantage of Merchant Center Next is its automation. Instead of manually creating product feeds with all the necessary product information such as price, images and descriptions, the new system automatically detects and extracts all this data from a retailer’s website. So to speak, Google is using future AI and crawling capabilities to automate these processes and fill gaps in feeds through artificial intelligence. But don’t worry: merchants can edit these automatically captured products or turn off the feature altogether.
Google emphasizes that despite the simplification, all of the features that larger merchants value about Merchant Center remain. The company promises to roll out the new version responsibly and not transfer users until they can expect feature parity that meets their expectations.
Insight and clarity
Another highlight is the revised user interface. In the new “Performance” tab, reports and insights are displayed directly and more clearly. The new tabs include:
- Products (already available)
- Store in search and maps
- Non-product website results
For merchants with online and physical stores, Merchant Center Next provides a unified view of all products, making it easier to manage online and store inventory.
The conversion to Merchant Center Next is planned for 2024. Dealers will be notified accordingly as soon as the new version is available for them. Some new users have already gained access to Merchant Center Next. Smaller companies will also be converted in the coming months. At UnitedAds, the first customers already have access to the new version of the Merchant Center, especially when new accounts are founded there.
With Merchant Center Next, Google takes another step towards automation and ease of use. For merchants, especially smaller businesses, this will soon mean fewer headaches with technical feeds and better insights into their data. It remains to be seen how these changes will play out in practice, but the prospects are promising.