Sale Annotations vs. Merchant Promotions on Google Ads

Both Google Sale Annotations and Merchant Promotions can highlight discounts for your clients, but they work in different ways:

Sale Annotations

  • Opportunity: Showcase a discounted price directly on your Shopping Ads.
  • Process:
    1. Update your product feed with the sale_price attribute and the sale_price_effective_date (optional for ongoing sales).
    2. Ensure the discounted price and the original price are clearly displayed on your landing page.
    3. Google validates your information and may display a sale badge with the discount percentage.
    4. Requirements:
      • Valid base (original) price.
      • Sale price lower than the base price.
      • Discount between 5% and 90%.

Merchant Promotions

  • Opportunity: Offer additional discounts or incentives beyond the displayed price on your ad.
  • Process:
    1. Set up Merchant Promotions within Google Merchant Center or alternatively utilise the IR Promotions Tool for an end to end solution.
    2. Specify details like discount type (percentage or fixed amount), minimum purchase value, and coupon codes (optional).
    3. Google reviews and approves your promotion.
    4. Qualified promotions may display a badge with a brief description on your Shopping Ads.
    5. Customers apply the discount code at checkout for the additional saving.

Key Differences:

  • Discount Display: Sale Annotations show the discounted price directly on the ad, while Merchant Promotions highlight the availability of an additional discount.
  • Price Change: Sale Annotations reflect a permanent or temporary price reduction on your product feed. Merchant Promotions offer a limited-time, additional discount on top of the advertised price.
  • Customer Action: Sale Annotations require no additional action from the customer. Merchant Promotions might involve applying a coupon code at checkout.

Choosing the Right Option:

  • Use Sale Annotations for straightforward price reductions already reflected in your product feed.
  • Use Merchant Promotions for special offers, limited-time discounts, or coupon codes that provide an extra incentive beyond the advertised price.

Additional Tips:

  • Always ensure your landing page clearly displays both the original and discounted pricing for Sale Annotations.
  • Clearly communicate promotion details and coupon codes (if applicable) for Merchant Promotions.
  • Consider using both strategies together for maximum impact, but ensure they don't overlap or confuse customers.


  • Google approval is required for Merchant Promotions but not for Sale Annotations (meeting data feed requirements is sufficient).
  • Sale Annotations might not always be displayed, even if you meet the requirements.