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.
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, when retailers provide Google with item-level tracking history data, 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.
- Premium annotations: When you provide Google with your order tracking history, you also verify your performance, which makes it easier to get 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.
- 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.
There are 3 ways to have Google calculate your shipping speeds:
- Calculate shipping speeds based on your carrier & ship-from location(s): This option allows Google to estimate your shipping speeds by using the location you commonly ship from, your customer’s location, and the point-to-point transit time estimates from your shipping carrier. This is the recommended option if you don't work with one of the partners that provides order tracking history to facilitate calculations. Read more about this option below.
- 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, paired with our machine learning capabilities. If you work with a supported partner, this is the recommended option, as it is easier to set up, is more accurate and dynamic, and validates your performance to unlock premium annotations. Learn more About shipping data verification.
- Calculate shipping speeds from an uploaded file: This option allows Google to calculate your shipping speeds based on order tracking histories that you have provided 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. Learn more About shipping data verification.
Using delivery locations and information from your shipping carrier
The total shipping speed that each customer views is based on handling time plus transit time, and is specific to your ship-from location(s) and the customer's approximate location. 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 carrier(s), for example, postal codes.
How it works
Google uses your ship-from locations, your customer’s location, and your carrier’s shipping information (for example, the time-in-transit tables related to the specific carrier service(s) you select) to calculate the shipping speed that appears in your listings. Google assumes that each of your ship-from locations has the same set of products and will calculate shipping speeds based on this assumption.
In general, if you have multiple shipping services (of any type) for the same offer, we'll show the shipping speed associated with the cheapest (to the customer) shipping service that reaches the customer's 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 ship-from locations and/or carrier services, we'll display the fastest speed based on the possible warehouse and carrier service combinations.
If you have selected multiple ship-from locations and/or multiple carrier services, your Google-calculated shipping service will display the fastest calculated speed to the customer’s location. That means this feature has 2 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.
- 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.
If you have different products in your ship-from locations, you can create a shipping service that only works for specific products or regions.
Note: If you're a carrier and would like to be added to our list, complete this interest form.
To participate, you need to:
- Ship to customers in one of these eligible countries: France, Germany, 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
- In your Merchant Center account, click the Tools and settings icon at the top right of the page.
- Under “Tools”, click Shipping and returns.
- Click Add Shipping service under “Your shipping services” on the main shipping page.
- Enter a name for your shipping service. For example, “Standard ground shipping”.
- Select one of the eligible countries under “Which countries can you deliver to with this service?”
- 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.
- Click Next to configure the delivery time settings.
- Select Your carrier and ship from location under “How do you want to determine delivery times for this service?”.
- 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 settings page. Any changes you make will automatically be propagated to all shipping services that refer to that ship-from location.
- Select Add carriers to choose all possible combinations of carriers and service level that you'd like to apply to this shipping service and click Save.
- 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 location or carrier services, all of the possible ship-from location 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've 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.
- Click Save and you’re all set with this shipping service.
About shipping speed (delivery time)
Shipping speed is an important piece of information for people evaluating a possible purchase. If you want to show this information, you can specify a time in transit and a handling time.
Transit time refers to the number of business days it takes for a carrier to deliver a package after it's picked up from your facility.
Handling time refers to the number of business days needed to process an order before it ships. Handling time normally starts when an order is placed by a customer and ends when a carrier picks up the package for shipment. Learn how to Set up estimated delivery time.