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About letting Google calculate your shipping speeds

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If you’re a retailer that ships products domestically to the US, France, or Germany, you can choose to let Google calculate a shipping speed (sometimes called “delivery time”) for your customers.

 If you’re looking for information about shipping speeds in Merchant Center Next, click here

This infographic shows the difference between using carrier-based delivery times and using fixed shipping times.

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Benefits

Shipping speed is a critical factor in customers’ purchase decisions. By allowing Google to calculate shipping speeds, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Improved accuracy: When retailers configure their shipping speeds by inputting a handling time range and a transit time range, they often end up with a nationwide shipping speed estimate that is often overly conservative because the estimate must take even the most remote delivery locations into account, for example, shipping from California to Maine. In contrast, when Google calculates shipping speeds for retailers, it does so based on the customer’s location. Further, Google may be able to provide delivery speeds that are specific to the item a user is considering.
  • Easy setup: After you activate Google-calculated shipping speeds, Google handles all the calculations required to display these more detailed and comprehensive delivery speeds on eligible ads, free product listings and organic results.
  • Rank Boosts: Quoted shipping speed is also used in some of Google’s ranking models. If you provide these fast shipping speeds to Google, your offers may be shown more prominently than those offers with slower speeds or without a shipping speed.

3 ways to have Google calculate your shipping speeds:

  • Calculate shipping speeds based on your carrier and ship-from locations: This option allows Google to estimate your shipping speeds by using the locations you commonly ship from your customer’s location, and the point-to-point transit time estimates from your shipping carriers.
  • Calculate shipping speeds based on partner data: This option allows Google to calculate your shipping speeds using your order tracking history provided by your linked partner. When you use this option, you also verify your performance, which makes it easier to obtain certain annotations, such as “free and fast shipping” and those from the “shopping experience scorecard". When you provide Google with your order tracking history, you also verify your performance, which makes it easier to obtain certain annotations, such as “free and fast shipping” and those from the “shopping experience scorecard”. Specifically with respect to “free and fast,” if you offer free shipping or free shipping over a minimum order value, Google may apply the “free and fast” annotation when your products display to users in locations where Google’s model assesses that you typically deliver in 3 days or less. Learn more about providing historical order tracking data to display more accurate shipping speeds.
  • Calculate shipping speeds from an uploaded file: This option allows Google to calculate your shipping speeds based on order tracking history that you provide yourself through an upload. The benefits of this option are the same as those of calculating your shipping speeds based on partner data except for the ease of setup. You must transform your data into a Google-readable format and pass the data to Google every 2 weeks instead of the partner doing it automatically.
Note: Shipping speed calculations based on partner data and uploaded file are only available in the United States.

Using delivery locations and information from your shipping carrier

How it works

Google uses your warehouse ship-from locations, your customer’s delivery location, and your carrier’s shipping information (for example, the time-in-transit tables related to the specific carrier services (s) you select) to calculate a unique the shipping speed that appears in your listings. You still provide the handling time, while Google will calculate the transit time and overall shipping speed for each unique combination of locations provided by your carriers for example, postal codes.

What if you have multiple carriers or ship-from locations

In general, you have multiple shipping services of any type for the same offer, we'll show your customers the shipping speed associated with the cheapest shipping service that reaches their location. If multiple services have the same, lowest cost, Google will choose the service with the fastest speed among those services.

If the cheapest shipping service is a Google-calculated service where you've provided multiple warehouses and carrier services, we'll display the fastest speed to the customer’s location. That means this feature has two important behaviors to be aware of:

First, it assumes the same (“mirrored”) inventory in all of the ship-from locations that you include in a given Google-calculated service. So, we’ll always choose the closest ship-from location when calculating a delivery speed. If you have different products in your ship-from locations, you can create a shipping service that only works for specific products or regions.

Second, it chooses the fastest carrier service when calculating a delivery speed, regardless of cost to you. For example, if you were to select “FedEx Standard Overnight” and “FedEx Ground” as your carrier services in a Google-calculated service, we would likely display speeds based primarily on “FedEx Overnight” as it is the faster service.

Note: If you're a carrier and would like to be added to our list, complete this interest form.

Eligibility

To participate, you need to:

  • Ship to customers in one of these eligible countries: Germany, France, or the United States
  • Have ship-from locations in the same eligible country. Cross-border fulfillment is not currently supported.
  • Use one of the available carriers

How to set carrier-calculated transit times for a new shipping service

  1. Click Add Shipping service under “Your shipping services” on the main shipping page.
  2. Enter a name for your shipping service, for example, standard ground shipping.
  3. Select all of the eligible countries under “Which countries can you deliver to with this service?”
  4. Select the currency used in the country and make sure it matches the currency listed in your feed. If the currency is different, your items may be disapproved.
  5. Click Next to configure the delivery time settings.
  6. Select Your carrier and ship from location under “How do you want to determine delivery times for this service?”.
  7. Enter your ship from location(s). If it does not yet exist, use Add ship-from location to provide the name, address, handling time, and order cut off information.
    • You can create multiple shipping services using the same ship-from location.
    • You can update the location and handling time details for your ship-from location at any time by clicking Your shipping locations on the main shipping setting page. Any changes you make will automatically be propagated to all shipping services that refer to that ship-from location.
  8. Select Add carrier to choose the possible combinations of carrier and service level that you'd like to apply to this shipping service and click Save.
  9. Click Next to configure the shipping rates you charge your customers.
    • Every shipping service can only have one shipping cost framework, for example, free shipping or flat fee, that you charge your customers. If your shipping service contains multiple ship-from locations or carrier services, all of the possible ship-from locations and carrier service combinations must share the same shipping cost framework. You’ll need to create a separate shipping service for every individual shipping cost framework that you charge your customers.
    • If you have selected more than one carrier and/or carrier service, you will not be able to price your service based on the shipping rates defined by your carrier.
  10. Click Save and you’re all set with this shipping service.

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