How to find GTINs and MPNs and where to upload them to your website

Want to start an AdWords Shopping campaign but don’t understand why you need to submit a GTIN and MPN? All the jargon is too confusing and you want someone to walk you through the process.That’s what I’m here for. By the time you’ve finished reading this article you will know:

Why do I need GTINs or MPNs for Google Shopping?

Google needs to understand exactly which products you’re selling. When they can identify a product, then they can:

  • Match the product to search queries
  • Compare the product with the same products from other merchants on Google Shopping

Let’s say you’re an ecommerce store that sells Lego. You want to start a Shopping Campaign to advertise your Lego sale. When someone searches the product, Google will use its algorithms (and your product feed data) to show the searcher the relevant products.

Your product feed needs to be Google Approved for your products to show.

To have your feed approved, you need to submit the following information:

Option 1:

A brand name and the MPN (Manufacturer Part Number)

Option 2:

A GTIN (Global Trade Item Number)

Here’s a simple explanation from Google’s support team about unique product identifiers:

“Unique product identifiers define the product you're selling in the global marketplace. They uniquely distinguish products you are selling and help match search queries with your offers. Unique product identifiers are assigned to each product by the manufacturer, so if you sell the same product as another retailer, the UPIs will be identical.”

Simply put, here are the reasons behind using GTINs and MPNs:

  • Unique product identifiers (UPIs) allow search engines to match products with search queries
  • Makes product comparisons more accurate
  • Enables online platforms to display ads for products based on a user’s browsing behaviour
  • On some platforms such as ebay, MPNs help ensure accurate details in product listings – so technical specifications and product information can auto populate.

What is a GTIN and where can I find it?

GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number.

It’s the numerical version of the barcode.

Be aware that in the United States sometimes you won’t see GTIN in a product feed. In some cases, GTIN is called a UPC (Universal Product Code) and in Europe it’s called a EAN (European Article Numbering). It is a unique ID according to international standards. This means, for some product feeds, instead of there being a label called GTIN, you will see another name, that being, UPC in America and EAN in Europe.

Google has a database with most of the world's GTINs. When you include a GTIN for a product in your Merchant centre feed, Google can instantly identify all the product’s specifications. However, it also means Google will know when the wrong identifier is included and will disapprove the product.

So how can you find a GTIN?

There are three common ways you can find the GTIN: 

1) By looking at the barcode on the product packaging 

2) Asking your supplier for the GTIN 

3) Using a website like Barcode lookup (enter the product name and see whether your product appears) 

What if you don’t have a GTIN?

You don’t need to submit a GTIN if you don’t have one. But, don’t just assume your product doesn’t have a GTIN. If you don’t submit the code and there is one available for the product, then your product can be disapproved.

To give you a rough idea, here are some products that may not have GTIN codes:

  •         Store brand products
  •         Replacement parts
  •         Original equipment manufacturer parts
  •         Custom-made goods (custom t-shirts, art, and handmade products)
  •         Books released before ISBN was approved as an ISO standard in 1970
  •         Antique products

It’s best to take a look at the MPN if you’re having trouble identifying the GTIN. The MPN is a unique product identifier for any specific parts assigned by the manufacturer. Therefore, the ‘brand attribute’ will allow you to use the brand of your product as the unique product identifier.

Want to double check your GTIN is correct?

Here’s a link to a calculator that will check the digit to make sure it’s composed correctly.

What is an MPN and where can I find it?

MPN stands for Manufacturer Part Number. It’s used globally and contains alphanumeric digits of various lengths to uniquely link the product to its manufacturer.

You have probably come across an MPN when purchasing certain products, browsing manufacturers catalogues and in online databases managed by comparison shopping engines and marketplaces.

What are the exceptions to including an MPN?

If you already have a GTIN in your product feed, then the MPN isn’t mandatory. However if you don’t have a GTIN then you will need to include an MPN and the brand name of the product.

Where to find an MPN

1. On the product itself - Majority of the time, the MPN is listed on the side or bottom of the product or packaging. The number is likely to be listed next to the title: Part Number

2. Contacting the product part manufacture - ask for the the MPN or Product Part Number for the item you need

What to do if you don't have an MPN

If you don't have an MPN then you will need to state the GTIN for the product. For every product your options are: 

1. Include a GTIN

2. Include an MPN and the Brand name

Where can I add the GTIN and MPN in Shopify?

Summary steps:

  • #1. Log into Shopify and navigate to products → all products 
  • #2. Click on the product you want to add a GTIN or MPN
  • #3. Option one: Add the GTIN under the inventory section in the product feed
    Option two: Add the brand and MPN in the product feed

Visual steps to insert GTIN and MPN in Shopify

  • #1. Login to the CMS and navigate to products → all products
1
  • #2. Click the product you want to include a GTIN or MPN

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Scroll through the feed and insert the GTIN or MPN and brand name.

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Please note, your version of Shopify may look different depending on how your website has been set up and the plugin you’re using (we use the Shopify App Store). Contact your web developer if you are having trouble finding the appropriate section. The feed may need to be configured to include all the fields.

Brand and SKU (an SKU can sometimes be used as an MPN, basically SKU means stock keeping unit).

Where can I add the GTIN and MPN in Neto?

Summary steps:

  • #1. Log into Neto and navigate to products → view products
  • #2. Click on the product you want to add a GTIN or MPN 
  • #3. Option one: Add the GTIN under the inventory section in the product feed 
Option two: Add the brand and MPN in the product feed

Visual steps to insert GTIN and MPN in Neto

  • #1. Sign into your website and go to products →  view products
4
  • #2. Click the product you want to add a GTIN or MPN 
5
  • #3. Scroll through the feed and insert the GTIN or MPN and brand name.

If you know the brand and MPN:

Type the brand name under ‘brand’. You will likely have to get a developer to configure the MPN field. For the time being, ensure to include an SKU. An SKU can sometimes be used as an MPN. SKU means stock keeping unit.

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If you know your GTIN:

Scroll down to warehouse and picking:

Your GTIN is the label marked: UPC/EAN

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Please note, your version of Neto may look different depending on how your website has been set up. Contact your web developer if you are having trouble finding the appropriate section. The feed may need to be configured to include all the fields.

If you’re still having trouble, here are a few helpful Neto links:

Where can I add the GTIN and MPN in WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a little different to the other platforms. You will likely need a developer to install a few plugins to get started.

Summary steps:

  • #1. Log into WooCommerce and navigate to Settings → Product Feeds 
  • #2. Click on the product you want to add a GTIN or MPN 

By default, WooCommerce has a field for SKU, but not GTIN. To add the GTIN field for your UPC, EAN or ISBN number, you can either use a plugin or custom code.

  • #3. Option one: Add the GTIN under the inventory section of the product feed          Option two: Add the brand and MPN in the product feed

Visual steps to insert GTIN and MPN in WooCommerce  

Once you have navigated to your product feed, fill in the GTIN field or the MPN and brand fields.

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Please note, step by step images haven’t been added as the feed can look completely different depending on the plugin. The above example uses this wordpress plugin. Contact your web developer if you are having trouble finding the appropriate section. The feed may need to be configured to include all the fields.

Where can I add the GTIN and MPN in Magento?

Summary steps:

  • #1. Log into Magento and navigate to catalog → manage products
  • #2. Click on the product you want to add a GTIN or MPN
  • #3. Option one: Add the GTIN under the inventory section of the product feed
    Option two: Add the brand and MPN in the product feed

Visual steps to insert GTIN and MPN in Magento

  • #1. Log into Magento and navigate to catalog → manage products 
magento-home
  • #2. Click on the item you want to add a GTIN or MPN

9

  • #3. Scroll through the feed and insert the GTIN or MPN and brand name.

10Brand and SKU (an SKU can sometimes be used as an MPN, basically SKU means stock keeping unit).

11

Please note, your version of Magento may look different depending on how your website has been set up. Contact your web developer if you are having trouble finding the appropriate section. The feed may need to be configured to include all the fields.

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Author

Jessica Goerke

Jessica is the Jungle Gym's most passionate warrior in the battle to make ecommerce email marketing more helpful and less transactional. Her inbox looks like a digital waste management facility jammed packed with email spam from thousands of different e-retailers. Fortunately, Jess knows how to find the quality amongst the transactional deluge - and she's committed to helping our readers learn how to develop more customer-friendly email marketing.
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