Shipping settings in Google

Google Shopping is a great way to promote your products across Google, Boost website traffic, improve lead quality, and is a highly recommended channel for retailers of all sizes. Google has also recently announced Google Shopping listings will be free for all sellers. Additional charges still apply for Shopping ads and Smart Shopping campaigns.

As a requirement of using Google shopping, when you submit your product catalog to Google Merchant Centre (GMC), you'll also need to submit details about the shipping service you provide. If you do not provide shipping details, you will encounter errors when processing your feed. Those shipping settings will then get used across relevant Google programs, such as Shopping ads, surfaces across Google, and Shopping actions. With the cost of shipping being the most common cause of abandonment of purchase, it is important to provide accurate, up-to-date shipping details. The shipping costs that you submit to GMC should also match the shipping costs provided on your website and should cover handling, shipping, logistics, delivery, and any carrier fees.

Note: If Google identifies a discrepancy between your website shipping costs and GMC shipping costs, the costs submitted to GMC needs to be greater. If you are unable to match exactly, Google recommends overestimating shipping costs submitted to Google.

The good news is that it is possible to import your website shipping settings. However, this is only possible with your general shipping settings, more complex or custom shipping rates cannot be synced to GMC and must be setup directly in GMC. During setup, Codisto will prompt you if we identify simple shipping settings that can be applied.

 

You will need to submit shipping settings if:

  • If you want to show your products in any of the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czechia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States
  • If you want to show your products in a country other than the product's primary country of sale.

 

Shipping calculation types

Google allows you to provide your shipping settings based on the shipping model you use on your website. Offering free or fixed-rate shipping is the quickest, easiest and most efficient method of setting shipping on Google, however other options are available for more complex shipping preferences.

How you charge Shipping option Benefit
Free shipping for certain ranges (recommended) Fixed-rate ($0) Simple to configure and maintain
A flat shipping rate for all orders (recommended) Fixed-rate Simple to configure and maintain
Your shipping is based on rates from supported carriers Carrier rate along with the shipping_weight and dimension attributes (available for AU, DE, and US). More info Rates are automatically calculated based on common carrier rates for all users, and the rates update if the carrier rates change
Based on a percentage of the order cost Percentage of the order total Simple to configure and maintain and allows for varied shipping rates based on price
Based on more than 2 dimensions Subtable Add additional dimensions to your shipping service
Exclude a group of products from delivery in a shipping service No shipping Easily define products that you want to exclude from the shipping service
Unique shipping costs for one particular product

The shipping attribute

Not available for Shopping Actions

Allows you to manually override account settings for a product with unique shipping rates

 

 

Free & Fast Shipping (Best-practice)

Google's free & fast shipping annotation shows buyers that you will ship their order fast and with reliable a delivery timeframe. We recommend offering Free & Fast Shipping if possible.

  1. Free shipping indicates that you offer free shipping to the customer (or free if they meet your minimum basket size requirements).
  2. Fast Shipping requires delivery to the customer in 3 days or less (including handling time)

For more information on Free & Fast Shipping.

 

Recommended shipping

It is important to note that Google's available shipping preferences are not as robust as those that are available to you on your website. With that being said, you do have the ability to lay multiple shipping services over a single product and Google will automatically calculate the cheapest rate to the buyer. Codisto recommends the below shipping options for ease of setup.

  1. Free shipping: The quickest, easiest way to setup shipping for Google Shopping. Buyers also love free shipping. No need to setup shipping in GMC, shipping can be setup from your eCommerce platform. 
  2. Flat/Fixed-rate shipping: Not every retailer can offer free shipping without cutting into their margins. Fixed-rate shipping is the next best thing and gives buyers a clear understanding of what they'll pay. No need to setup shipping in GMC, shipping can be setup from your eCommerce platform. 
  3. Location-based shipping: Google enables you to setup location-based shipping rates using country and postcode. If you can match up your courier's regions, this is recommended. Otherwise, using more generalized geographical delivery zones or areas with a high sales volume that have similar courier rates may be a quicker way to setup shipping. Delivery zones must be setup in GMC
  4. Percentage of order total: Quick to setup and maintain, percentage-based shipping rates allow you to vary the cost of shipping as a percentage of the buyer's total order. 

 

Cross-border commerce with Google Shopping

With Google shopping ads and free listings, retailers are able to easily begin shipping to international markets using relevant (included) Google features such as automated currency conversion.

Sellers are able to show their business name along with their product images/details to shoppers, making it easier to reach & acquire new customers and promote their products to an international audience.

 

Create a new Shipping service in Google Merchant Center (GMC)

When setting up a shipping in GMC, you are creating an account-level shipping service. A shipping service can be associated with all products, or for a subset of products (e.g. oversized products, products with free shipping). 

Delivery zones

If you need to use more complex/custom shipping rates based on delivery location (only available to Australia, USA, Japan). To create a new delivery zone, sign in to GMC > click tools > shipping & returns > click the + icon on the "shipping delivery zones" tab

  1. Create a new delivery zone and provide a name
  2. Select country that the delivery zone will apply to
  3. Enter postal code ranges, with one range per line
  4. Add postal codes
  5. Save

You'll now be able to use the zone when setting up shipping services, using the destination by postal code. For more information on setting Delivery zones in GMC.

Shipping service

To create a new shipping service, sign in to GMC > click tools > shipping & returns > click the + icon on the "shipping services" tab. 

  1. Service settings: Select a service name, tagret country, currency and applicable scenario
  2. Delivery time: Set order cutoff time, handling time in business days and transit time
  3. Advanced settings (optional): If applicable, set minimum order value
  4. Holiday shipping cutoff: Only available for France and the US, for US holidays only
  5. Shipping rate: Add a shipping rate, select applicable products and create shipping rate table (if applicable)

 

 

Shipping - Attribute definitions

Below are Google's shipping attributes that can be used to define your shipping settings. The below can be managed in Codisto, without the need to visit GMC. You can also create custom attributes on your products and use attribute mapping to map your shipping attributes in bulk.

Attribute name Definition
shipping

Your product's shipping costs and delivery location(s). Using this attribute will override the account-level shipping settings in GMC. Required if shipping settings have not been setup in GMC. 

shipping_label assign a familiar value as a shipping label to groups of products, to easily identify in GMC when settings shipping cost e.g. "bulky products"
shipping_weight The weight (lb, oz, g, kg) of the product that will be used to calculate shipping costs e.g. "2 kg"
shipping_length The length (in, cm) of the product will be used to calculate shipping costs e.g. 20 cm. All shipping dimensions are required if using carrier-calculated shipping rates.
shipping_width The width (in, cm) of the product will be used to calculate shipping costs e.g. 20 cm. All shipping dimensions are required if using carrier-calculated shipping rates.
shipping_height The height (in, cm) of the product will be used to calculate shipping costs e.g. 20 cm. All shipping dimensions are required if using carrier-calculated shipping rates.
ships_from_country Using ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code to provide the country your product will ship from e.g AU
transit_time_label Assign a transit time label to groups of products, to easily identify in GMC when setting transit times e.g. "from New York"
max_handling_time Describes the maximum amount of time it will take ship an order, from the date of purchase
min_handling_time Describes the shortest amount of time it will take ship an order, from the date of purchase

 

For more information on managing shipping settings for Google.