Announcing: Google Merchant Center Next
Google has begun to give certain users access to a redesigned Google Merchant Center UI (User Interface) called Google Merchant Center Next. My sources say there communication with Google has revolved around Google's desire to simplify the original Merchant Center experience, and that this will eventually replace Google Merchant Center fully for all advertisers.
You can see the first of Google Merchant Center Next policy docs noted here, however as one of my friend's put it when we were discussing this, it's interesting to note that the links on this page are for the original Merchant Center documentation so they either haven't begun to write new docs, OR (more likely, IMO), much of the backstage aspects of Merchant Center will remain, thankfully, unchanged.
Watch My First Impressions in Comparing the Original Google Merchant Center to Next!
What does Google Merchant Center Next mean for PPCers and DTC Brands?
Time will tell, especially since reports of initial Beta testers of the new UI note that there are certain features missing (for instance, feed rules or supplemental feeds). This suggests additional transition steps would need to be taken to prevent merchant feed issues if, for instance, certain feeds are utilizing elements in the old UI that would not transfer into the new UI. That is conjecture until the UI becomes more finalized, but one I think is worth voicing so it is squarely in the brain of Google engineers as the product continues to be developed.
My thoughts? I'm all for simplifying something that should be simplified. There are certain aspects of GMC that somewhat ballooned over time that it would be great to see simplified. The promotional aspect of GMC, for instance, is far too complicated in my opinion. Instead of having Promotions, and unique sales price fields, both of which may or may not trigger certain ad elements... it would make sense to have more of a simplified UI option for any potential promotion (that could perhaps even be tied to Google Ads promotions) regardless of where the price is or is not triggered on a product page.
There are also certainly opportunities for more simplified feed edits. Supplemental Feed and Feed Rules offer similar functionality, but for dramatically different purposes and it would make more sense to me to expand the functionality for Feed Rules to allow more customizable (and multiple) solutions for editing attributes. Look at your basic feed provider for ideas in how these automated rules could work.
Regardless, it remains to be seen overall whether this is simply a helpful UI overhaul on an aging product, or another step by Google in removing manual control from the hands of more advanced PPCers.