shipping: Definition

 

The shipping attribute lets you provide shipping cost for a product. Use this attribute when you need to override the shipping settings that you set up in Merchant Center such as for bulky or fragile products.

Shipping covers the cost charged by a shipping carrier or other cost directly related to shipping. A charge is considered to be a shipping cost if it’s described by the words "handling", "delivery", "shipping", "logistics", or "carrier". Shipping can include cross-border charges if the cost is included under a shipping term on your website. Shipping should also include insurance costs related to any of the five terms above. 

Shipping cost is the most common reason for users abandoning their shopping choices, so showing accurate information in your ads can help the performance of your ads.

How shipping cost could be displayed in your ad

When to use

Required when you need to override the shipping settings that you set up in Merchant Center for any of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Czechia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • The United Kingdom 
  • The United States

If you need to modify shipping costs for specific items, use the shipping attribute, which will always override account shipping settings. Keep in mind that instead of submitting this attribute, we recommend that you set up shipping costs through Merchant Center settings. Learn more about shipping settings.

This shipping attribute uses 4 sub-attributes:

  • country (optional)
    The country that an item can be delivered to. Your country of sale is used by default. Submit an ISO 3166-2 country code (e.g., CH). 
  • To specify a delivery area, submit only 1 of the 4 available options for the shipping attribute:
    • region
      Submit a state, territory, or prefecture. This is supported for the United States, Australia, and Japan. Submit a ISO 3166-2 country code without country prefix (e.g., CA, NSW, 03).
    • postal_code
      Submit a postal code range. This is supported for the United States and Australia. Submit any of the following styles:
      • A ZIP or postal code (e.g., 94043)
      • A range of postal codes (e.g., 94002-95460)
      • A range of postal codes using a prefix with a wildcard ( * ) (e.g., 94*)
      • A range of postal codes using 2 prefixes with wildcards ( * ) (e.g., 94*-95*)
    • location_id
      Submit a numeric criteria ID of your location defined by AdWords API  (e.g., for California use 21137). This is supported for the United States (state), Australia (state), and Japan (prefecture).
    • location_group_name

      Submit a location group that you set up and name through your Merchant Center settings. Use those group names here (e.g., West Coast, Outback). This is supported for the United States and Australia. Learn more about setting up location groups.

  • service (optional)
    Submit a service class or shipping speed. 
  • price (required)
    Submit a fixed shipping cost, and use a period [.] as the decimal separator (Example: 3.00 USD). Avoid commas [,] to ensure the price is interpreted correctly.

Format

Follow these formatting guidelines to make sure we understand the data you're submitting. 

Type

Unicode characters (Recommended: ASCII only)

Supported values


For AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, NZD, SGD, USD: 
0-1000

For AED, BRL, CNY, DKK, HKD, ILS, MYR, NOK, PLN, SAR, SEK, TRY:
0-5000

For ARS, CZK, MXN, THB, TWD, UAH, ZAR: 
0-20000

For INR, JPY, PHP, RUB: 
0-100000

For KRW:
0-1000000

For CLP: 
0-500000

For COP: 
0-2000000

For IDR: 
0-10000000

For VND:
0-20000000

Repeated field

(What’s this?)

Submit shipping up to 100 times per product
 
File format Example entry
Text feeds

Format the name by including which sub-attributes you’re submitting. Include shipping, and then, in parentheses, add the names of the sub-attributes that you want to submit separated by a colon ( : ).

For example, to submit country, postal code, and price:

Name    shipping(country:postal_code:price)

If you don’t include sub-attributes in the name, we’ll assume that your attribute values include all 4 sub-attributes in this order: 

  1. country
  2. region
  3. service
  4. price

Format the value by submitting the value of each sub-attribute listed in the same order as in the name and separated with a colon ( : ). Don’t use quotation marks. For example:

Name        shipping(country:postal_code:price)
Possible value    US:80302:6.49 USD

To submit multiple locations, submit the attribute (with the same name) multiple times. For example:

Name        shipping(country:postal_code:price)
Possible value    US:94002-95460:0 USD

Name        shipping(country:postal_code:price)
Possible value    US:900*-901*:15.99 USD

If you don’t want to provide an optional sub-attribute (like service) for a particular product, then still add a colon ( : ), but leave the text blank. For example:

Name        shipping
Possible value    US:::6.49 USD

Name        shipping(country:region:price)
Possible value    US::6.49 USD

XML feeds

Include the optional sub-attributes if you need them. To specify a shipping cost for different delivery locations, submit multiple shipping attributes including the relevant sub-attributes.

<g:shipping>

  <g:country>US</g:country>

  <g:region>MA</g:region>

  <g:service>Ground</g:service>

  <g:price>6.49 USD</g:price>

</g:shipping>

<g:shipping>

  <g:country>US</g:country>

  <g:region>MA</g:region>

  <g:service>Express</g:service>

  <g:price>15.99 USD</g:price>

</g:shipping>

Content API v2 (JSON)

"shipping": [

  {

    "country": "US",

    "price": {

        "value": "2.3",

        "currency": "USD"

    },

    "region": "TX",

    "service": "by car"

  },

 

  {

    "country": "US",

    "price": {

        "value": "3.4",

        "currency": "USD"

    },

    "region": "CA",

    "service": "by bike"

  }

]

Content API v2 (XML)

<shipping>

  <price currency="USD">2.3</price>

  <country>US</country>

  <region>TX</region>

  <service>by car</service>

</shipping>

<shipping>

  <price currency="USD">3.4</price>

  <country>US</country>

  <region>CA</region>

  <service>by bike</service>

</shipping>

Guidelines

Follow these guidelines to make sure you submit high-quality data for your products and get the best performance from your ads.

Minimum requirements

These are the requirements you'll need to meet to show ads for your product. If you don't follow these requirements, we'll disapprove your product and let you know in the Diagnostics page of your Merchant Center account. 

  • Submit complete and correct shipping information and costs. Shipping cost is the most common reason for users abandoning their shopping choices, so providing an accurate cost can make your ads more effective.
    • Include all relevant shipping charges. Include all charges for a purchase that include the words "shipping", "delivery", "handling", "logistics", or "carrier".
    • Overestimate if you can’t provide an accurate shipping cost. Match or overestimate the cost users would pay. 
  • Use the rate for shipping directly to an individual. Don’t use other rates such as the rate for shipping to a store or a rate that requires a membership to be applicable.
  • Display product details on your landing page to all users. Make sure a user who clicks your ad can see details about your product, even if you don’t ship to the user’s location. 
  • Comply with local laws when submitting shipping information

Best practices

These are best practices that can help you go beyond the basic requirements to optimize your product data for performance. 

  • Use account shipping settings in Merchant Center. With these settings you can create simple flat rates or complex, custom models. Use the shipping attribute as a last resort to override the settings you create in Merchant Center.
  • Submit a shipping price that can be represented in your country of sale’s currency (according to ISO 4217). For example, instead of 1.0012 USD, submit 1.01 USD. If your price can’t be represented in your country of sale’s currency, then we’ll round it to a value that can. 
  • Don’t submit conflicting information if you submit the attribute multiple times. For example, don’t submit two different prices for the same region or the same service class.
  • Submit shipping promotions through the Merchant Promotions feed. For example, if you are offering free shipping for a two week summer sale, upload a shipping promotion in the merchant promotion feed and enter the dates that it is valid for. Using the code will give consumers free shipping when they check out on the website. Learn more about Merchant Promotions.
  • Prominently state all additional charges that are not related to shipping but relevant for the purchase during checkout. For example, list import duties, recycling fees, credit card fees, and service charges. Don’t submit this information as part of the tax or price attributes.
  • Submit shipping costs for any region that you ship to. If you don’t submit a shipping cost for a region that you ship to, either in your product data or through your account shipping settings, your product or account could be disapproved. 
  • Align your Shopping campaigns in AdWords with your shipping settings and the availability of your product. Learn how to personalize ads for geographic locations.

Additional guidelines

Review each section closely to determine if the requirements apply to your country or product. If you don't follow requirements that apply to you, we'll disapprove your product and let you know in the Diagnostics page of your Merchant Center account.

Sweden or Norway
  • Submit the shipping cost for either a user’s address or for a collection point. For Sweden and Norway, if you submit shipping, you can submit the shipping cost to a collection point for the following carriers: PostNord, DHL, Bring, and Schenker. Make sure that users understand that you support one of these carriers on your website. 
Exclude shipping destinations
  • Match availability on your landing page with the delivery settings in your product data. If you don’t deliver your products across the entire country of sale, only submit shipping cost for the regions that you deliver to.
Shipping from outside the country of sale
  • Prominently state on your landing page that additional customs-related fees may apply. For example, add a disclaimer during checkout so users are aware of these fees before they place the order. Don't submit import or export-related information as part of the tax or price attributes. Learn more about export requirements
Software subscriptions and downloads
  • Submit shipping cost as 0 (if shipping cost is required for your country of sale) when advertising an intangible product such as a software subscription, digital content, or downloadable software. You can submit shipping cost through the shipping attribute or through your account shipping settings.

Examples

Text formatting

To format the name, include shipping, and then in parentheses add the names of the sub-attributes that you’re submitting separated by a colon ( : ).tar

For example, to submit country, postal code, and price:

Name shipping(country:postal_code:price)

Format the value by submitting the value of each sub-attribute listed in the same order as in the name and separated with a colon ( : ). For example:

Name        shipping(country:postal_code:price)
Possible value    US:80302:6.49 USD
Possible value    US:30*:12.75 USD

You can also just submit the price. For example:

Name        shipping(price)
Possible value    6.49 USD

If you don’t include sub-attributes in the name, still submit values for all 4 sub-attributes in this order: country, region, service, price. For example:

Name        shipping
Possible value    US:CA:Express:6.49 USD

If you don’t want to provide an optional sub-attribute (like service) for a particular product, then still add a colon ( : ), but leave the text blank. For example:

Name        shipping
Possible value    US:::6.49 USD

Name        shipping(country:region:price)
Possible value    US::6.49 USD

Repeated fields (regional shipping example)

Text

You can submit up to 100 shipping values per item to indicate different costs for individual locations. To submit multiple locations, submit the attribute (with the same name) multiple times. For example:

Product Orthopedic dog bed
title XXL Orthopedic Dog Bed
shipping US:94002-95460:0 USD
shipping US:900*-901*:0 USD
shipping US:902*-930*:15.99 USD

    

XML

To submit multiple delivery groups for an XML feed, include a separate attribute for each delivery group. You can submit up to 100 shipping attributes for each product.

<g:shipping>
   <g:country>US</g:country>
   <g:region>CA</g:region>
   <g:service>Express</g:service>
   <g:price>0 USD</g:price>
</g:shipping>
<g:shipping>
   <g:country>US</g:country>
   <g:region>OR</g:region>
   <g:service>Ground</g:service>
   <g:price>4.99 USD</g:price>
</g:shipping>
<g:shipping>
   <g:country>US</g:country>
   <g:region>WA</g:region>
   <g:service>Ground</g:service>
   <g:price>6.49 USD</g:price>
</g:shipping>

Postal codes

For United States and Australia, you can submit ZIP or postal codes through the postal_code sub-attribute. There are several different ways you can submit these values.

Submit single ZIP or postcode

Include the entire code. For example:

postal_code    94043

Submit a range of codes

Include 2 full codes separated by a hyphen ( - ). For example:

postal_code    94002-95460

Submit a range of codes using a wildcard

Include any number of digits followed by an asterisk ( * ). This example would include all codes starting in 94. For example:

postal_code    94*

Submit a range of codes using 2 prefixes with wildcards

Use 2 prefixes with asterisks ( * ) and a hyphen ( - ) to create a more narrow range. Use the same number of digits for both prefixes. For example:

postal_code    94*-95*

Free shipping, software subscriptions, and downloads

Include free shipping by setting the price sub-attribute to 0 in the currency of your country of sale. If your product is intangible, such as with a one-time download or a software subscription, you would also set the shipping to 0. For example:

Product Google Security Software Basic Edition (1-year subscription)
title Google Security Software Basic Edition (1-year subscription)
price 29.90 USD
google_product_category Software > Computer Software > Antivirus & Security Software
brand Google
shipping US:::0 USD
image_link http://www.example.com/image1.jpg
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