Everything you need to know about Google Merchant Center Next

February 28, 2024

Google Merchant Center Next is the upcoming update to Google Merchant Center that’s designed to make it easier for businesses to manage their product data and improve their visibility on Google Shopping. The update is expected to be released in the first half of 2024.


Reading Time - 7 min

Everything you need to know about Google Merchant Center Next

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the update, give you a quick refresher on Google Merchant Center, and explain how Channable can help you optimize your product feed.

What is Google Merchant Center Next?

Google Merchant Center Next is a simplified version of Google Merchant Center, giving you more control over how your products appear on Google, without the hassle of manually uploading a feed.

For instance, Merchant Center Next will be able to automatically extract product data, including product titles, descriptions, sizes, prices, and images, directly from your website and populate it on Merchant Center Next.

Merchant Center Next has already started rolling out for new users, and Google plans to complete the global rollout in 2024.

Need a quick refresher on Google Merchant Center? Don't worry, we’ve got you covered.

What is Google Merchant Center?

Google Merchant Center is a free platform that helps online businesses get their products listed on a number of Google platforms.

When you create a Merchant Center account, you upload a product feed, which is a file that contains detailed information about your products, such as their name, description, price, and images.

Google then uses this information to display your products in relevant places, such as Google Search, Google Shopping, and Google Maps.

Retailers can also use their Google Merchant Center feed to create Shopping or Performance Max campaigns to promote their online or local product inventory. Shopping ads show users a photo of your product, title, price, reviews, and brand name, using the information in your product feed.

Performance Max campaigns include auto-generated ads based on assets provided by the advertisers and in the Merchant Center feed.

Unlike Shopping ads, Performance Max campaigns can be used in a wide range of Google Ads formats such as Display Ads, Text Ads, and YouTube Ads.

Wondering if Performance Max campaigns are right for your business? Check out our ultimate guide to creating a Performance Max campaign.

Google Merchant Center vs. Merchant Center Next

The main difference between the old Google Merchant Center and Merchant Center Next is that you’ll no longer need to manually upload a product feed to Google.

Google Merchant Center Next automatically detects product data from your website and pulls it into the platform. If you prefer to have more control over your product feed, you’ll still be able to edit the products or turn off the feature completely.

Here are some other key differences between the two platforms:

Simplified user interface

Google Merchant Center Next provides a more simplified user experience that's designed to be more user-friendly, especially for merchants with smaller businesses.

The products section has a cleaner design and overview, making it easier for merchants to see if a product has been approved, its price and availability, and its click potential.

Google Merchant Center Next all products view

Edit products directly in platform

Perhaps one of the biggest quality-of-life upgrades is the fact that you can directly edit products in the Merchant Center Next dashboard.

This means that you’ll no longer have to update and re-sync the product feed to make changes. When you click the “Edit product” button, you can change attributes such as product title, description, final URL, etc.

Concise product diagnostics

Merchant Center Next has a slimmed-down diagnostics feature that provides information about product errors and issues, including what’s approved, under review, limited, and not approved.

While the simplified diagnostics feature offers a concise overview of product status, it lacks the historical timeline and detailed information provided by the previous version of Google Merchant Center.

Better performance insights

Google Merchant Center Next performance tab

Merchant Center Next brings all insights reports into the Performance tab, making it easier for merchants to access and understand their performance. The following tabs are included in this new streamlined view:

  • Overview
  • Products (existed previously)
  • Competitive visibility
  • Pricing
  • Demand
  • Store on Search and Maps
  • Non-product website results

With this update, merchants have one central location to review their best-selling products, see which brands show up for the same searches, and even monitor how shoppers are engaging with their brick-and-mortar stores on Search and Maps.

Integration with Product Studio

Merchant Center Next Product Studio integration

Google’s Product Studio tool, which helps merchants create unique product imagery using generative AI, can also be directly accessed from Merchant Center Next.

Product Studio enables merchants to add custom backgrounds and scenes, remove distracting backgrounds, and increase the resolution of low-quality images.

‘Click potential’ metric

There’s a new metric in Merchant Center Next called ‘Click potential’, which calculates the likelihood of shoppers clicking on your ads based on past traffic, product data, and demand.

This metric helps merchants identify which products need fixing, and shows you how well each product is meeting its goals. The values for ‘Click potential’ are as follows:

  • High: Potential to receive a similar number of clicks as your highest-performing products
  • Medium: Potential to receive a moderate number of clicks compared to your highest-performing products
  • Low: Potential to receive a low number of clicks compared to your highest-performing products

Streamline feed optimization on Google Merchant Center Next with Channable

Whether you're just starting out or have been running ads for a while, you’ll need to use Google Merchant Center to utilize product listing ads on Google's network.

And while Merchant Center Next offers several user-friendly enhancements and simplifies product uploading for smaller businesses, larger eCommerce brands may still benefit from a dedicated feed management tool.

Here’s how a feed management tool like Channable can empower you to streamline the entire feed optimization process:

Relevant product data

Storing product info in your Google Merchant Center is essential for running Google Shopping ads. But getting it in the right format can be tricky, especially if your source data formats differ.

For instance, the format of your product titles or product attributes like colors and materials might vary from Google’s requirements. Channable's Google Shopping API and feed connection make it easy to format your data correctly and deliver all the mandatory fields to Google. Plus, our rule system filters out irrelevant products and outdated info, keeping your feed up-to-date and accurate.

Smart categorization

Even though you can edit product data directly in Merchant Center Next, you can only do it on a product-by-product basis. As a result, formatting your product feed to meet the requirements of Google Merchant Center can be extremely time-consuming.

Channable’s built-in smart categorization lets you categorize your products in only a few minutes with the help of AI, reducing the time you would usually spend optimizing your Google product feed.

Performance-based campaign optimization

Thanks to our Google Shopping API, you can see how all your products listed on Merchant Center Next are performing in Google Shopping or Performance Max ad campaigns, directly in the Channable dashboard.

You can get real-time insights on key metrics such as click-through rate and conversion rate, allowing you to make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaign performance, such as boosting top sellers or creating more visibility for low-performing items.

Stay ahead of the curve

As we keep on improving Channable, we would like to share the latest developments with you.

First name

Last name

Company email *