If your Google Merchant Account was suspended due to a mismatch between the shipping fee in the feed and the shipping values on your Shopify site, our step-by-step explanation can help you fix the issue.
The solution below will be relevant to Shopify stores that use the native Google app in their Shopify store. If your product feed comes from a third-party app, this solution may be also relevant to you. But consulting the vendor’s documentation can be more helpful for your individual case.
Google Merchant Account Suspension
Whether you are an PPC agency or a Shopify store owner managing your own Google shopping campaigns, you would really hate getting an automated email with the subject “Your Merchant Center Account Has Been Suspended [Name of Your Account]”.
You probably missed a couple of previous warning emails (or dismissed them as spam). The subject in the first warning email probably was “Data Quality Suspension Warning Of Your Merchant Center Account“. Google usually sends a warning 4 weeks before the account is suspended.
In our experience managing Google shopping campaigns, such suspensions happen mostly due to shipping value mismatches.
What is a Shipping Value Mismatch?
In the warning emails as well as the suspension email you will see examples of such violations. Here is an example:
- Your Product Name
- Product URL
- Value on the landing page – 4.50 USD
- Value in the data feed – 3.42 USD
- Zip code – 55416
It looks straight-forward: the values on the page and in the feed don’t match. As a Shopify store owner you will probably have the following questions:
- Why does this mismatch happen if I don’t see it on the site?
- How to fix this shipping value mismatch quickly?
Let’s delve into the issue and focus on the solution.
Why Does Shipping Value Mismatch Happen?
The first reason is usually internal. You or your team wanted to get some savings and optimizations by turning on Shopify’s dynamic shipping rates. The intention is good as you want to decrease the shipping fee and, consequently, try to increase your checkout completions. Unfortunately, it creates a friction between Shopify and Google.
The shipping mismatch between the value on the landing page and in the data feed is technical. Shopify gets discounted shipping rates from USPS, UPS, FedEx via API and passes these discounted rates into the data feed. This feed is then pushed to Google Merchant Center.
Google also connects to the same carriers’ databases with shipping rates via API. It does so to re-verify shipping. Unfortunately, Google does not see the discounted rates that Shopify users can benefit from.
As a result, there is a mismatch between what Google sees with carriers and in the data feed. This triggers a suspension warning. Google gives the Shopify store 28 days to fix the shipping mismatch before suspending the account.
Once your Google Merchant account is suspended because of the shipping discrepancy or any other reason, your Google Shopping campaigns will stop delivering. The site will disappear from Shopping ads on Google and there will be no more click-throughs from shopping to your site. For Shopify stores that rely on Shopping ads this may mean a significant reduction in revenue.
Here are a couple of things to know before spending too much time trying to figure a solution out.
- Don’t rush to your Google Merchant Account to click on Request Review frantically.
If the issue is not fixed, you will get a suspension reconfirmation. If you request another review immediately, Google will put your account into a cooldown period which lasts 7 days.
If you request another review 7 days later without fixing the mismatch, you will face another 7-day cooldown period.
Stop and don’t request a review until you tried the below steps.
- Don’t contact Google as it’s a Shopify problem.
Going to your Google rep (if you have one) will be your first reaction. Don’t waste your time as Google people will rerun the check and give the same exact verdict that you already know. They may also point you to this document about fixing the shipping mismatch problem. The help document may be tough to decipher for a non-tech person. Google help documents are sometimes of the “catch-all-scenarios” type, which makes it difficult to navigate through.
- Contacting Shopify may be also a waste of time.
With all due respect, we should state that Shopify’s support is not very technical. They will probably send you to a bunch of pages like this one.
- Consulting online resources
You may also turn to online communities and forums searching an answer to this specific situation. Here is a thread on a Shopify forum as an example. You can also find horror stories like this on Reddit. Sometimes, it’s difficult to see the solution among so many voices in these threads.
If you tried all the above and you are still feeling at a loss, try these steps below.
Steps to Take to Fix The Mismatch Issue
Set your shipping preference to manual in your Shopify store.
Go into your Google Merchant Account.
In Shipping Services take a screenshot of the shipping services.
Remove the shipping services as you will need to list them from scratch.
Start adding new shipping services.
Name the new service in a readable way.
Choose the delivery time and location.
Make sure the ship from location is included.
Add the service from the carrier.
Continue with all the other services.
Request a review from within your Shopify account.
Request a review inside Google Merchant Account.
We hope that the above solution will bring your Google shopping account back to life. This client’s account got back on track after our intervention and started sending well-converting traffic to the site immediately after the review was successful.
Google Shopping is often the main driver of revenue for Shopify-based online stores. Any suspension in the account may result in loss revenue. Paying attention to warnings and notifications and solving technical issues quickly is an important area in how your online business stays successful.
Need more technical tips about Google Shopping for Shopify? Give us a shout.