Categories
eCommerce Google Ads Shopify Shopping

DIY Shopify xml Product Feed for Google Shopping

WARNING: This post is OUTDATED and the code is no longer maintained. Although the code should still work, please use at your own risk. I personally now use the Google Sales Channel App in combination with Merchant Center feed rules to manage my Shopping Campaigns.

The custom XML Product Feed Code is still available here: Shopify XML Product Feed Template


Here is how to build your own Shopify XML product feed to submit to Google Shopping or other platforms.

  1. Install and upload your feed using the Shopify Google Shopping App (This will setup some meta fields that are used in the script)
  2. Create a custom collection template that outputs xml
  3. Assign the products you want to publish to your new xml collection template.
  4. Submit your new xml collection url to Google Merchant Center.

Step 1: Install Shopify’s Google Shopping App

Shopify’s app is an excellent tool for managing your Google Shopping product attributes, including custom labels, product categories, etc… The custom feed we are about to build will enhance Shopify’s base feed with extra variant information and customized titles. But the base app is still needed to make use of the app’s metafields.

Step 2: Create the XML Collection Template

This step involves getting your hands dirty with code. If you are not a developer and have a low appetite for risk, consider asking a coder to do this step for you.

What we are doing here is creating a template, that when assigned to a collection, will cause that collection to be displayed as XML instead of HTML.

In your Shopify admin, go to:

  • Online Store > Themes > Edit HTML / CSS
  • Under Templates, choose Add a new Template
  • Choose collection from the drop down and name your template xml-product-feed

Paste the following code into your new template and click Save. (It is probably safer to copy and paste this code from github, as that will always be the most up to date version: Shopify xml Variant Shopping Feed)

IMPORTANT: Do not add any extra spaces before or after this code. Your very first line should be start with {% layout none %} and your very last line should be {% endpaginate %}

{% layout none %}<?xml version="1.0"?> <rss xmlns:g="http://base.google.com/ns/1.0" version="2.0"> {% paginate collection.products by 1000 %} {%- assign useSEOtitle = false -%} {%- assign useSEOdescription = false -%} {%- assign CountryCode = 'US' -%} {%- if shop.currency == 'CAD' -%}{%- assign CountryCode = 'CA' -%}{%- endif -%} {%- assign Color = "" -%} {%- assign Size = "" -%} <channel> <title>{{ shop.name }} {{ collection.title | strip_html | strip_newlines | replace: '&', '&amp;' }}</title> <link>{{ shop.url }}</link> <description>{{ collection.description | strip_html | strip_newlines | replace: '&', '&amp;' }}</description> {% for product in collection.products %}  {%- assign GoogleProductCategory = product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.google_product_category -%} {%- assign Gender = product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.gender -%} {%- assign AgeGroup = product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.age_group -%}          {% for variant in product.variants %}     {%- assign Color = "" -%}     {%- assign Size = "" -%}     {%- for option in product.options -%}    {%- if option == 'Color' -%}{%- capture Color -%}{{ variant.options[forloop.index0] }}{%- endcapture -%}    {%- elsif option == 'Size' -%}{%- capture Size -%}{{ variant.options[forloop.index0]  }}{%- endcapture -%}    {%- endif -%}    {%- endfor -%}          {%- capture productTitle -%}{{ product.vendor }} {{ product.title }}{%- endcapture -%}     {%- unless productTitle contains Color -%}{%- capture productTitle -%}{{ productTitle }} {{ Color }}{%- endcapture -%}{%- endunless -%}     {%- if useSEOtitle and product.metafields.global.title_tag.size > 0 -%}{%- assign productTitle = product.metafields.global.title_tag -%}{%- endif -%}     {%- assign productDescription = product.description -%}     {%- if useSEOdescription and product.metafields.global.description_tag.size > 0 -%}{%- assign productDescription = product.metafields.global.description_tag -%}{%- endif -%}     {%- assign OnSale = false -%}     {%- assign Price = variant.price -%}     {%- if variant.compare_at_price > variant.price -%}       {%- assign OnSale = true -%}       {%- assign Price = variant.compare_at_price -%}       {%- assign SalePrice = variant.price -%}     {%- endif -%} <item> <title>{{ productTitle | strip_html | replace: '&', '&amp;' }}</title> <link>{{ shop.url }}{{ variant.url }}</link> <description>{{ productDescription | strip_html | strip_newlines | replace: '&', '&amp;' }}</description> <g:google_product_category>{{ GoogleProductCategory | replace: '&', '&amp;'  }}</g:google_product_category> <g:item_group_id>shopify_{{ CountryCode }}_{{ product.id }}</g:item_group_id> <g:id>shopify_{{ CountryCode }}_{{ product.id }}_{{ variant.id }}</g:id> <g:condition>new</g:condition> <g:price>{{ Price | money_without_currency }} {{ shop.currency }}</g:price> {%- if OnSale -%} <g:sale_price>{{ SalePrice | money_without_currency }} {{ shop.currency }}</g:sale_price> {%- endif -%} <g:availability>{% if variant.available %}in stock{% else %}out of stock{% endif %}</g:availability> <g:image_link>http:{% if variant.image.src %}{{ variant.image.src | product_img_url: 'grande' }}{% else %}{{ product.featured_image.src | product_img_url: 'grande' }}{% endif %}</g:image_link> <g:gtin>{{ variant.barcode }}</g:gtin> <g:brand>{{ product.vendor }}</g:brand> <g:mpn>{{ variant.sku }}</g:mpn> <g:product_type>{{ product.type }}</g:product_type> <g:age_group>{{ AgeGroup }}</g:age_group> {% unless Color == "" %}<g:color>{{ Color | strip_html | strip_newlines | replace: '&', '&amp;' }}</g:color>{% endunless %} {%- unless Size == "" -%} <g:size>{{ Size | strip_html | strip_newlines | replace: '&', '&amp;' }}</g:size> <g:size_system>US</g:size_system> {%- endunless -%} <g:gender>{{ Gender }}</g:gender> <g:custom_label_0>{{ product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.custom_label_0 }}</g:custom_label_0> <g:custom_label_1>{{ product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.custom_label_1 }}</g:custom_label_1> <g:custom_label_2>{{ product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.custom_label_2 }}</g:custom_label_2> <g:custom_label_3>{{ product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.custom_label_3 }}</g:custom_label_3> <g:custom_label_4>{{ product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.custom_label_4 }}</g:custom_label_4> <g:shipping_weight>{{ variant.weight | weight_with_unit }}</g:shipping_weight> </item> {% endfor %} {% endfor %} </channel> </rss> {% endpaginate %}

or Download from Github: Shopify xml Product Feed

Step 3: Assign products to your xml Collection.

You should now have a new XML Template created. This is just the template that defines how your collection will be displayed on your site. We now need to assign products to this template so we can submit the feed to google.

This involves creating a new product collection, and choosing the xml-product-feed as the template to use:

  • Go to Products > Collections
  • Click the Add Collection button
  • Enter a name for your new collection. I recommend XML Google Shopping Feed – All if you want a single feed for all your products or XML Google Shopping Feed – Shoes if you want this feed to contain your shoe products (or other product type).
  • Add products you want published as part of this collection feed. (either manually or via dynamic rules)
  • Click Save.

Preview the collection to make sure it works. You should just see a bunch of unformatted text on the screen. If you do a “view source” in your browser, you should now see the formatted XML.

Make sure you copy the url of this collection, as you will need to submit this url to Google Merchant center.

Step 4: Submit your feed to Google Merchant

Make sure you have your xml collection url open from step 3 above.

  • Log into Google Merchant Center or create an account if you do not have one.
  • Go to Feeds and click the +Feed button to create a new feed.
  • Mode: Choose Standard or Test (recommended that you choose Test until you are sure the feed is correct)
  • Feed type: Products
  • Select your target country & language. If you have multiple target countries, you need to submit a separate feed for each.
  • Enter a descriptive name for your feed. eg: Shopify XML Feed – Shoes
  • Choose Scheduled Fetches as your input method (recommend daily)
  • Enter your collection url in the File URL field, and the collection’s filename in the name field (eg: name=google-shopping-feed-shoes and url=http://mystore.myshopify.com/collections/google-shopping-feed-shoes)
  • Save and click the Fetch Now button to download the feed. Wait a few minutes for the feed to complete.
  • Fix errors: If there are errors, Google Merchant Center will tell you in a few minutes. Go back and fix any errors, re-fetch, and keep doing so until the file is error free.

If you have more than 1000 variants, you will need to submit multiple feeds with the ?page=x querystring appended as so:

Troubleshooting

If you receive any errors, the best way to troubleshoot them is to open the the collection / feed url in your browser and do a view source. Then navigate to the line & character of the error to investigate further

Common Errors

  • Improperly formatted XML Error on Line 1: This is usually because your template has a blank line as it’s first line. Delete the blank line and make sure your template begins with {% layout none %} … exactly as in the code.
  • Improperly formatted XML Error on Line 1: The other cause of this error is that you forgot to choose the XML template for your Shopping Feed Url, and you are actually outputting HTML. Go to your collection in the Shopify Admin console and set the template correctly (at the bottom of the right hand column) 
  • Errors at Lines XXX: The xml file does not support & and > characters. These must be replaced by encoded versions &amp ; &gt ; or the feed will report errors.

(optional) Step 5: Exclude your feed collection from showing up on your store pages

If your store is setup to programatically display all your collections, then you will want to make sure your xml feed doesn’t show up. The exact way to do this will change depending on your theme, but generally you will want to have an “unless” statement within the loop that displays your collections:

{% unless collection.title contains "xml" %}
... your collection code ...
{% endunless %}

Customizing

If you have complex rules or customization that you want to apply to your feed, you have several options:

  • Use the Google Merchant Center “Feed Rules” tab to transform various values based on various conditions. This is very powerful!
  • Modify your collection template and add conditional statements based on product titles, tags, metafields, etc…
  • Create multiple collection templates with hard coded values
  • Create custom Feed Rules in Google Merchant Center
  • A combination of the above.

If you have more than 1000 variants, you will need to submit multiple feeds with the ?page=x querystring appended as so:


Related Posts & Resources

Categories
Shopify

Shopify Cancelled Orders and Google Analytics

DEPRECATED: This code is no longer supported. Although it probably still works, please use at your own risk!

By default, when you cancel an order in Shopify, that transaction remains as positive revenue in your Google Analytics.

To “cancel” the transaction in Google Analytics you have to send a negated version of the transaction. To do this in Shopify you have to create a Webhook on Order Cancelled that hits a script (located on the same root domain as your store) that will call server side Google Analytics e-commerce code to negate the transaction.

Webhook Endpoint Dependencies

Details

Place the following code into a file that will act as your Order Cancelled Webhook endpoint (ie: www2.mydomain.com/webhooks/order-cancelled.php).

Make sure you:

  • Update the script to use your GA Account Id and Root Domain.
  • Change the path of autoload.php to point at your php-ga library
<?php
use UnitedPrototype\GoogleAnalytics;
require_once '../includes/autoload.php'; // Update to point at your php-ga install

$GA_AccountId = 'UA-********-1'; // Update with your GA account
$GA_domain = 'mystore.ca'; // Update with your root domain
$webhookContent = '';
// Read the webhook content
$webhook = fopen('php://input' , 'rb');
while (!feof($webhook)) {
  $webhookContent .= fread($webhook, 4096);
}
fclose($webhook);

if (!empty($webhookContent)) {
  // Convert the webhook content into an array
  $shopifyOrder = json_decode($webhookContent, true);

  // START GOOGLE ANALYTICS
  $tracker = new GoogleAnalytics\Tracker($GA_AccountId, $GA_domain);

  $visitor = new GoogleAnalytics\Visitor();
  $visitor->setIpAddress($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']);
  $visitor->setUserAgent($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT']);
  $visitor->setScreenResolution('1024x768');

  $session = new GoogleAnalytics\Session();

  $page = new GoogleAnalytics\Page($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']);
  $page->setTitle('Order Cancelled');

  $tracker->trackPageview($page, $session, $visitor);

  $transaction = new GoogleAnalytics\Transaction();
  $transaction->setOrderId($shopifyOrder['name']);
  $transaction->setAffiliation('');
  $transaction->setTotal(-$shopifyOrder['total_price']);
  $transaction->setTax(-$shopifyOrder['total_tax']);
  $transaction->setShipping(-$shopifyOrder['shipping_lines'][0]['price']);
  $transaction->setCity($shopifyOrder['billing_address']['city']);
  $transaction->setRegion($shopifyOrder['billing_address']['province']);
  $transaction->setCountry($shopifyOrder['billing_address']['country']);

  foreach ( $shopifyOrder['line_items'] as $product ) {
    $item = new GoogleAnalytics\Item();
    $item->setOrderId($shopifyOrder['name']);
    $item->setSku($product['sku']);
    $item->setName($product['title']);
    $item->setVariation('');
    $item->setPrice($product['price']);
    $item->setQuantity(-$product['quantity']);
    $item->validate();
    $transaction->addItem($item);
  }
  $transaction->validate(); 

  $tracker->trackTransaction($transaction, $session, $visitor);
  // END GOOGLE ANALYTICS
}
?>

Setup the Webhook in Shopify

In your Admin dashboard go to:

  • Settings > Notifications > Webhooks (at the bottom)
  • Create a Webhook
  • Event: Order Cancellation // Format: JSON // URL: The full url of your php file

Test

  • Google Analytics: Got to the Real Time > Content report
  • Shopify: Click “Send test notification” link beside your webhook.
  • Google Analytics: You should see a page request popup with your script name
  • Google Analytics: Wait a few hours and then (for transactions to register) and then go to Conversions > Ecommerce > Product Performance and you should see a sledge-hammer and wire-cutter products (the Shopify sample data) along with negative quantities and value.

Related Resources

Categories
Attribution Digital Marketing Facebook Ads Google Ads

The Value of View Through Conversions

My personal experience with View Through Conversions (VTCs) is that they provide very little real-world lift in sales, and are more likely just poaching attribution from other channels. So I almost always give VTCs a value of zero and ignore them.

The truth probably lies somewhere in-between. For lower funnel remarketing campaigns VTCs probably provide close to zero value, while for truly brand-unaware audiences, the value is somewhere between 0 and 100%.

If you are one of those who wants to believe in the value of VTCs, you should calculate the true value of VTCs by running a placebo A/B test. Below is just such a test that we ran on the AdRoll network back in 2013:

Placebo A/B Tests to Measure View Through Conversions

Display Network A/B Test

How to Setup a Placebo A/B Test

You will likely need assistance from your ad platform or ad agency to properly run this sort of test. It is usually difficult to have a blank or psa ad approved.

  1. Create 2 separate (but equal) non-overlapping campaigns
  2. Campaign A will serve your “normal” ad
    Campaign B will serve a Public Service Announcement ad
  3. Run both campaigns for a few weeks
  4. Calculate VTC “lift” as follows:
Valid VTC Formula

Real Life Example

Campaign A
(Real Ad)
Campaign B
(PSA Ad)
Impressions99,46797,412
VTCs329261
Data from a real world A/B test performed in 2013 on the AdRoll network

VTC “Lift” = (329 – 261) / 329 = 20%

In this real life example, the irrelevant PSA Ads still managed to generate 80% of the View Through Conversion volume that the real ad generated. To be more clear, 261 people saw an ad to adopt a cat, and later went to BOATERexam.com to purchase a boating license.

So 80% of VTCs can be given a value of zero. Of the remaining 20%, more analysis is needed to figure out exactly how they influenced sales. The Real Ad did seem to generate more VTCs than the PSA ad, but the real question is if those VTCs resulted in extra incremental sales or were they simply tracking sales generated by another channel such as e-mail?

Real Life Example #2: Facebook

A few years later we ran a similar Placebo A/B test on Facebook with the help of SocialCode. Unfortunately I no longer have the data for this test, but the end results was that there was ZERO lift from VTCs, and the PSA ad actually outperformed the real ads from a VTC standpoint! (People seeing cats were buying more boating licenses than the people seeing ads for a boating license)

So how should you value View Through Conversions?

Here are my recommendations:

  • Give View Through Conversions a value of ZERO. Unless you can prove otherwise via an A/B test. This is especially true for re-marketing campaigns where the visitors have previously visited your site, and may be actively engaged in checkout when the ad is shown.
  • Run your own Placebo A/B test. If someone insists on using VTCs in performance metrics, then you should insist on running an A/B test to calculate the true value. You should run at least two tests: One for remarketing audiences and another for brand-unaware audiences.
  • Be cautious and skeptical of anyone pushing the value of VTCs especially if they are an ad agency or ad platform that will benefit from including the extra VTCs in their performance metrics.
Categories
Shopify

Add Color Swatches to Shopify Collections

NO LONGER SUPORTED: Please note that the code in this post is no longer supported. Although it probably still works, please use at your own risk.

Product Color Swatches

Below is some code for your Shopify Collection that will display color swatches for each product.

  • Install this on your Collections page within your Product Loop. If your theme has a product-thumbnail.liquid snippet install it there, (or alternatively in your product-loop.liquid snippet).
  • Create your own images for each color swatch and set the filename to the color (ie: black.gif, white.gif, green.gif, etc…)
{% for option in product.options %}
  {% if option == 'Color' %}
    {% assign index = forloop.index0 %}
    {% assign colorlist = '' %}
    {% assign color = '' %}
    {% for variant in product.variants %}
      {% capture color %}{{ variant.options[index] }}{% endcapture %}
      {% unless colorlist contains color %}
        <img src="{{ color | downcase | append: '.gif' | asset_url }}" alt="{{ color }}" width="16" height="16" />
        {% capture tempList %}{{colorlist | append: color | append: ‘ ‘}}{% endcapture %}
        {% assign colorlist = tempList %}
      {% endunless %}
    {% endfor %}
  {% endif %}
{% endfor %}

Also available on GitHub here: Shopify Color Swatches

Thank you to Curt and Mike Thorne for providing a more elegant solution to my initial one.