Sending Price Including VAT to Google Product Feed: A Detailed Guide

Sending Price Including VAT to Google Product Feed: A Detailed Guide

Hi there, eCommerce enthusiasts! If you're running a Shopify store and using Google Shopping, you might have encountered an issue where Shopify sends the 'excluding VAT' price to your Google product feed. This discrepancy can lead to confusion and potentially even loss of sales, as customers may be misled into thinking your products are cheaper than they actually are. The solution is to change the price information in the metafield, but how exactly can you do that? In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the steps to resolve this problem and ensure that your Google product feed reflects the 'including VAT' price.

Reasons and Causes of the Problem

Understanding VAT in eCommerce

Value Added Tax (VAT) is applied to most goods and services sold within the European Union (EU) and other regions. It's essential for online retailers to ensure that their product prices, as displayed to customers, include VAT to comply with local regulations and provide transparency.

The Problem with Google Product Feed in Shopify

  1. Default Behavior: By default, Shopify sends the 'excluding VAT' prices to Google Shopping feeds. This default setting is primarily designed for U.S. merchants, where VAT/GST is not typically included in displayed prices.
  2. Customer Mistrust: If your product feed shows prices excluding VAT, customers might feel deceived when they see a higher total at checkout, leading to cart abandonment and reduced trust in your brand.

Similar Problems

  • Currency Conversions: Sometimes, the issue isn't just about VAT; it's also about currency conversion discrepancies between Shopify and Google Shopping feeds.
  • Discount Codes: When discount codes are applied, the final price in the feed might not reflect the true discounted price including VAT.

Detailed Guide to Solve the Problem

Step 1: Understanding Google Shopping Settings

Ensure you understand your Google Merchant Center settings first. Google requires merchants to comply with local laws regarding displayed prices. You’ll need to make sure your settings in Google Merchant Center reflect that product prices include VAT.

Step 2: Adjusting VAT Settings in Shopify

  1. Navigate to Settings: Sign into your Shopify admin panel, and go to Settings > Taxes and duties.
  2. Set Up VAT: Ensure that your VAT settings are correctly configured for your country. For example, if you're in the EU, double-check the VAT rates and whether prices include VAT.

Step 3: Changing the Price Information in the Metafield

  1. Create Metafields: You'll need to create metafields where the price including VAT can be stored. In your Shopify admin, navigate to Settings > Metafields and create a new metafield for your product pricing information.
  2. Edit Metafield Value: Update your products with the new metafield value. You can do this manually for each product or use a bulk editor app available in the Shopify App Store for efficiency.

Step 4: Updating Liquid Code

  1. Access Theme Code: Go to Online Store > Themes > Actions > Edit Code.
  2. Edit Theme Files: Locate the file where product pricing is included. This could be a product-template.liquid or a similar file. Despite different themes having variations, the approach remains the same. Insert Liquid code to display the new metafield value.
    {% if product.metafields.custom.your_field_name %} 
      {{ product.metafields.custom.your_field_name | money }}
    {% else %}
      {{ product.price | money }}
    {% endif %}
  3. Test Changes: Save changes and preview your store to verify that the correct prices are displayed both including and excluding VAT where appropriate.

Step 5: Google Shopping Feed Configuration

  1. Google Shopping Feed App: Install the Google Shopping Feed app if you haven’t already. It’s available on the Shopify App Store.
  2. Custom Attribute Mapping: Use the app to map the newly created metafield to the appropriate product pricing field so Google receives the 'including VAT' price.
  3. Sync Products: Sync your products ensuring the feed gets updated with the new price information.

Step 6: Verify and Troubleshoot

  1. Merchant Center Diagnostics: Go to Google Merchant Center and check the Diagnostics section to confirm there are no price mismatch errors.
  2. Test Purchases: Perform a test purchase to ensure the displayed prices match across Shopify and Google Shopping, including VAT.

FAQs on Changing Price Information in Metafields

Q1: What happens if I don’t include VAT in my product feed?

A1: Not including VAT can lead to price mismatches and negatively affect your compliance with regional laws. It can also reduce customer trust and lead to higher return rates due to unexpected total costs.

Q2: Can I bulk edit metafields for all my products?

A2: Yes, you can use third-party apps like Bulk Product Edit by Hextom or Shopify’s native CSV export/import tool for bulk editing metafields.

Q3: How often should I update my product feed?

A3: Regular updates are recommended, especially when you change prices or update product descriptions. Daily syncing can ensure your feed remains accurate.

Q4: Will this affect my product SEO?

A4: No, updating price information in metafields typically will not affect your product SEO. However, accurate pricing can improve your click-through rates and customer satisfaction, indirectly benefiting your SEO.

Q5: Are there any risks involved in changing Liquid code?

A5: Modifying Liquid code requires caution. Always back up your theme before making changes or consider duplicating your theme and testing your edits there first.

By carefully following these steps, you can ensure that your Google Shopping feed displays accurate prices including VAT, ultimately leading to better customer experiences and compliance with legal requirements. Happy selling!