Google Product Feed – Ouch!

Obtaining Google approval for a product feed is challenging when you do it for free, either because you don’t want to or can’t pay for an app to make a feed for your store. But many fledgling eCommerce store owners like myself have to make tough choices; we can’t have it all…not yet anyway.

Do I think the nearly 20 hours I spent on this small aspect of my larger project is worth more than the $80? Yes, in fact I know it is. I just don’t actually have $80 at the moment. Should I just get a real job and save up some money to put toward my eCommerce venture instead of scraping by like I am? Maybe so, and as soon as somebody responds to one of the 147 job applications I’ve submitted over the last three months with an offer, I will probably do that.

Could I postpone listing my products on Google until I do have $80 to spend on an app that will make this process faster? Yes. I suppose I could have…I definitely have plenty of other things that need doing…but, the first time my feed was rejected, I figured I could find a solution in much less time, and by the 4th or 5th rejection, I was just too far in to give up. Also, I had seen glimmers of hope that led me to believe I was at least on the right track toward a solution, so I stayed the course.

I may have used almost my entire weekend on this journey, but I understand how the product feed works well enough to go into my xml file and make changes manually if needed. Which is actually sometimes quicker than using an expensive tool, depending on the nature of the update.

My first attempt to get my feed accepted I had included 256 products. I quickly scaled this back to 13 products, because that is how many men’s leggings products I currently have in my shop, and it’s manageable enough for troubleshooting. I may hold off on listing the remaining 243 products until I feel secure enough to purchase an app.

If you are an eCommerce store owner and you are having challenges, I may be able to help. I’ve been working on my store for several months, and Google product feed is but one challenge among many that I have managed to troubleshoot out of existence. I wouldn’t be able to spend 20 hours troubleshooting for you, but I would be happy to tell you what I know.

I’ve also come across some free apps that look promising for other eCommerce platforms, but they may turn out to be as problematic as the ones I found for Woo Commerce. Or, if you are not squeamish about signing up for yet another monthly service, there are options there too.

I do want to credit Woo Commerce’s free offering since I was able to create the initial XML file from it, and without that, I’d still be in Nowheresville, instead of Knowwheresville. 🙂

I’d love to hear from you if you had a similar experience and have found other solutions. Or, If you are currently struggling with your product feed, comment below and we can try to figure it out.