Why Artists can’t add Paintings into Google Shopping

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I'm Sharon. Welcome to my world, where bold, luxurious statement art is filled with philosophy, psychology and mindset, wrapped up in a beautiful piece to make you stop and think.

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They say “become an artist and you will never work another day in your life”

Clearly this was said by a business coach who never actually had to do the work!!!

Part of being an artist includes things I never dreamt I would ever have to know about; like API feeds and Google Shopping and Merchant Business Center. It is both a fascinating and curious world whereby the skill of painting alone can only get you so far.

I spend much of my day doing behind the scenes things and so I wanted to take you along on my journey today.

My mission for the week

Today I am working on creating a Google Shopping Feed of my paintings and prints.

This will allow people to find my work more easily through a Google Search.

I am using the WordPress Plugin Product Feed Pro – currently the free version; debating if the paid version will be necessary.

The Issue

The one stumbling block has been Google’s request for loads and loads of difference pieces of information; most acronyms that I had never heard of.

My biggest stumbling block were the GTIN, MPN and other identifiers.

So what is a GTIN? Also known as a Global Trade Item Number, this is an industry/manufacturer issued number that is unique to that specific product. Google require these to make it easier for users to find specific products, as well as easily bundling identical products together in the Google Shopping results. Regardless of the retailer or distributor, the GTIN is exactly the same for each of the specific products across the industry. GTINs can come in different forms depending on the product, most notably:

Universal Product Code (UPC) / European Article Number (EAN) – These are the unique numbers, usually found on a barcode, for any given product. UPCs are used primarily in North America, and EANs in Europe. UPCs are normally 12 digits, and EANs 8-14 digits.

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) – These are unique identifiers which are given to commercial books published after 1970.

For further details, I found this website very informative: https://www.adaptworldwide.com/insights/2016/overcoming-gtin-unique-identifier-woes-in-google-shopping

But given that my paintings are custom, and not mass produced by factories and other manufacturers, these do not have international identifiers.

So I have been struggling to pop the feed into Google Merchant Center because I do not have these identifiers.

I first tried hiring a professional to do the work for me. But for some pre-ordained reason, I have never done very well when outsourcing. And thus after countless quotes and claims that they could help solve my problem, and nearly spending hundreds of pounds on a ‘guru’ that would need several pieces of software with monthly fees associated, I decided to sit down one evening and try myself.

The Solution

After several weeks of researching, I have finally stumbled upon the answer. Here are the fields you need to send for every painting and print!!!!

identifier_exists needs to be set to FALSE and the gtin, mpn and brand fields need to be kept blank.

Now to most of you reading, this will sound total Tech jargon. And don’t worry, it is!!! But hopefully there is an artist out there who will benefit from my findings. And this will continue to provide you a glimmer into my world, whilst I build my Artist profile in the world and ultimately succeed!

Thank you as always for your encouragement and support!

Additional Tips

Add filters to fine-tune your feed into Google Merchant Center in order to focus on specific products. For example removing products being sold for less than £10 or Out of Stock items.


I hope this was helpful!

Next up, I need to figure out how to create a multi-currency feed and how to target people from specific demographics…..

As always, comment below if you have questions!

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All Images are Copyright © All artwork is the sole property of Sharon Schurder Art Ltd and is held under copyright (even after purchase). The images, artwork, and contents of this website may not be copied, collected or used for personal or professional gain without the written permission from Sharon Schurder. All images of artwork, sold or otherwise, are retained by Sharon Schurder. Portraiture and Photos of Sharon in the Studio all by Gaby Ekaireb. Rome Collection photos by Sophy Weiss.

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