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Our GooglebaseXML product feed for Virtuemart can support Google Promotions, by supplying the promotion id attribute. This article explains how to do this.

Before we start, note that the Google documention on this subject is misleading. Specifically the documentation here ( confuses a merchant promotions feed and a product data feed. You do not need to submit a merchant promotions feed in order to to use promotions, you just need a normal product data feed (as generated by the GooglebaseXML extension), which includes the promotion id attribute for products included in your promotion. We stress this because this point has caused a lot of confusion for our customers.

There is a good general introduction to Google promotions here, it is worth reading in order to understand the subjectl:

The process of running a promotion is actually fairly simple, it is this:-

1. Create the promotion in Google merchant centre, with a unique promotion id.
2. When that has been accepted, just add the promotion id in the GooglebaseXML product data feed to the products that you want to promote, either with a custom field or a product override.

If you already have a product data feed which has been successfully submitted to Google you do not need to submit another feed, just use your current feed, and attach the promotion id to the products that you want to promote. In fact submitting an extra feed will fail, because Google do not allow duplicate products.

Attaching the Promotion Id

You can either create a product override for a product, and supply the promotion id in the override, or use a Virtuemart custom field. To use a custom field do this:-

  1. Create a new string custom field in Virtuemart, call it for example 'promotion' [see screenshot]
  2. In the feed options, select this 'promotion' field for the 'Promotion Id' option [see screenshot]
  3. In the Virtuemart product editor, attach this field to the product, supply the value for the promotion id, this is the value that will appear in the feed [see screenshot]

You only need to do the first two steps once, they set up the custom field ready for use as a promotion id attribute. You can repeat the final step for each product that you want to supply a promotion id for.


So What on Earth is A Merchant Promotions Feed For?

You can use a merchant promotions feed as an alternative to creating a promotion in Google Merchant Centre. This is what is described in the Google documentation:

This might be an advantage if you are running a very large number of promotions, although the promotion still needs to be approved by Google before you can use it, so it is hard to see why it would save you much effor.

Note that our GooglebaseXML extension does not create a merchant promotions feed. We might consider adding this as a feature if there is sufficient customer demand for it, however as yet we have not seen that it would be particularly useful.