About delivery settings

When submitting your products to Merchant Center, you'll also provide information about how much you charge for delivery. Your delivery settings are used across Google programs, including Shopping ads and Shopping Actions. Delivery cost is the most common reason for users abandoning their shopping choices, so it's a good idea to make sure that your delivery settings are accurate and up to date.

This article explains how the various delivery settings work and when to use them. Learn more about setting up delivery settings

How it works

To show ads to a particular country or region, you must offer delivery and correctly set up delivery costs for that area. Because delivery costs vary by a variety of factors, the delivery settings in Merchant Center allow you to set up delivery tables based on factors like weight, price, destination and more. Choose the delivery options that mirror how you charge for delivery on your site. If you charge your customers exactly what you pay for delivery with common carriers, you can also select carrier rates in some countries and Google will automatically calculate the delivery cost for you.

Delivery settings can also take into account product data that you submit using delivery attributes: shipping_label [delivery_label], shipping_weight [delivery_weight], dimensions (shipping_length [delivery_length], shipping_width [delivery_width], shipping_height [delivery_height]). To further specify delivery times for certain products, you can use the transit_time_label [transit_time_label] attribute.

The delivery costs that you submit to Merchant Center must match the costs that you charge on your website.

Note: If there is a discrepancy between the delivery cost on your website and the delivery cost that you submit to Merchant Center, the cost submitted to Merchant Center needs to be the greater of the two.

When to provide delivery settings

You need to provide delivery settings in the following situations:

  • If you want to advertise 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 advertise in an additional country that is not a product's primary country of sale. Learn more about submitting feeds to multiple countries

What should be included in delivery

Delivery rate covers the delivery carrier cost as well as other costs directly related to delivery. Costs related to delivery might include handling, delivery, shipping, logistics or carrier fees.

  • Submit the delivery cost for a user's location, not for a business or separate collection point.
    • For Canada only, submit delivery cost exclusive of taxes.
    • For Sweden, Norway and Finland, you may alternatively submit the delivery cost to a collection point for the following carriers: PostNord, DHL, Bring and Schenker.
    • For Argentina and Chile, you may alternatively submit the delivery cost to a collection point or a shop for in-store collection.

Delivery can include cross-border charges if the cost is included under a delivery term on your website. Delivery should also include insurance costs related to any of the terms above.

If you provide delivery settings for products that you sell in Australia, France, Japan or the United States.

  • Match availability on your landing page with the delivery information that you submit to Merchant Center. If you don't deliver your products across the entire target country, use 'No delivery' to exclude certain areas.

Ways to set up delivery

To get started with delivery, figure out what types of delivery cost models you need to add based on how you charge for delivery. Bear in mind that the Shopping ads delivery costs that you submit to Merchant Center must match the costs that you charge on your website, or overestimate those costs.

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

The shipping [delivery] attribute

Only available for Shopping ads

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

Delivery-related product data

Delivery cost is often dependent on product details, such as price, weight or size. If you charge for delivery based on these attributes or if you want to use carrier rates (which are calculated based on weight and size) you should add the relevant information to your product data.

Product Details Attribute What to add
Product weight The shipping_weight [delivery_weight] attribute Include a delivery weight for each product so that you can vary the delivery cost based on the weight
Product dimensions The shipping_length [delivery_length], shipping_width [delivery_width] and shipping_height [delivery_height] attributes Include dimensions of a product to use for carrier rates
Different delivery costs for a group of products The shipping_label [delivery_label] attribute Define groups of products (e.g. perishable or oversized) and then apply special delivery rates to those groups
Different transit times for a group of products The transit_time_label [transit_time_label] attribute Specify transit times for product groups to provide greater accuracy in estimated delivery dates

How more advanced delivery settings work

Depending on your delivery model, you might want to learn more about one or more of the more advanced settings described here.

Carrier rates (AU, DE, UK and US only)

Use this setting if you charge for delivery based on a carrier-calculated rate. You can choose from supported carriers (e.g. UPS, TNT, Hermes) and services (e.g. Ground, Next Day Air, 3 Day Select) available.
Region Supported delivery carrier
Australia AusPost, TNT, TOLL
France Geodis
Germany DHL, DPD, Hermes, UPS
United Kingdom DHL, DPD, Royal Mail, TNT, UPS, Yodel
United States FedEx, UPS, USPS

To use carrier rates, you'll also need to submit delivery-related attributes (see table above):

  • shipping_weight [delivery_weight]
  • shipping_length [delivery_length]
  • shipping_width [delivery_width]
  • shipping_height [delivery_height]

Learn more about setting up carrier rates.

Rate modifications

Carrier rates use the standard commercial rates for each carrier, but you can adjust the rates (up or down) by a percentage or flat amount.

Some carriers have multiple rates for commercial and personal purposes. Google uses commercial rates (e.g. 'Standard' for FedEx and 'Daily' for UPS). If you use non-commercial delivery rates (often called retail), it's likely that you'll need to adjust the rates up by 50–60%.

If you have a contract with the carrier, you might need to adjust your rates up or down (using a negative number like -10) by a percentage or flat amount.

Subtables and complex delivery models

Use a subtable if your delivery is based on three or more dimensions. For example, use a subtable if your delivery is based on price, weight and destination. Learn more about setting up subtables

Delivery from outside the country of sale

  • If you deliver across borders, you normally incur additional costs such as customs, duties or import tax. Do not include such costs in the delivery attribute unless the delivery provider is fully responsible for the handling of goods through customs and the cost is included under a delivery term on your website. Learn more about export requirements

Note: Delivery to South Korea from outside South Korea is not permitted.

No delivery

Use the 'No delivery' option to indicate that you don't offer delivery for particular products through a delivery service. For example, if you don't deliver products over 50 kg using your express service, use 'No delivery' to indicate that.
For products that target Australia, Japan or the United States, you can use 'No delivery' to exclude delivery to certain states (AU and US), postcodes (AU and US) or prefectures (JP). For example, you can specify that you don't deliver outside of Tokyo prefecture or to a range of postcodes that represent the East Coast of the United States.
For those countries, still set up delivery for the areas that you do deliver to, and make sure that you specify 'No delivery' for any areas that you do not deliver to. Learn more about setting up delivery settings

Delivery zones (AU, FR and US only)

Delivery zones are used to create custom regions so that accurate delivery costs and transit times can be set for deliveries to customers in Australia, France or the United States. For example, if you're located on the east coast of the United States, you may see higher costs and extended transit times when delivering orders to the west coast. Learn more about setting up delivery zones

Transit time labels

If you deliver differently grouped products, you can create a transit time label for each group of products and apply the transit_time_label [transit_time_label] attribute to the corresponding products in your feed. Transit time labels help give your customers a more accurate estimated delivery date, which can help influence their purchase decision. For example, you add the transit time label 'heavy' to items with higher delivery costs due to their weight. Learn more about transit time labels

Oversized and freight delivery (LTL)

Carriers have limits on how large or how heavy a parcel can be. Larger products are normally delivered using freight delivery. Freight carriers are not supported by the carrier rate feature, so if your product is too big to deliver through common delivery carriers, you'll need to manually set up a rate table.
Note: This only applies to the Shopping ads product. LTL and freight delivery are not currently allowed on the Shopping Actions program.
Here are some tips for setting up freight delivery:
  • Tag oversized or heavy products with the shipping_label [delivery_label] attribute. With the shipping_label [delivery_label] attribute, you can give oversized products a label (e.g. oversized) and then specify special delivery for those products. For example, you could add a delivery label for common freight classes.
  • Add rates based on weight and destination using tables and delivery groups. It's easiest to split up complicated delivery settings, either by using subtables or delivery groups.
    • Base rates on delivery labels. Using delivery labels, you can create different rate tables for different product groups by creating delivery groups. For example, you could use the shipping_label [delivery_label] attribute to indicate a freight class for each product. Then create a group for each label such as one group for Class 70 and one for Class 100.
    • Base rates on weight and location. If you don't want to use delivery labels, you can link subtables for different weight classes with different rates for each state/county or group of postcodes.
  • Overestimate the cost. If you can't provide an accurate cost, you should overestimate. Your products won't be disapproved for providing a higher delivery cost than what your website states. If you provide a lower cost than the one listed on your website, your products will be disapproved.

Learn more about setting up delivery settings

Estimated delivery time

Estimated delivery time is an important piece of information for people evaluating a possible purchase. If you want to show this information in your Shopping ads, you can specify a time in transit for each of your delivery services and a handling time for each product.
Transit time refers to the number of business days that it takes for a carrier to deliver a package once it is collected from your facility. You can configure transit time options within each delivery service in your Merchant Center account.
Handling time refers to the number of business days needed to process an order before it is dispatched. Handling time normally starts when an order is placed by a customer and ends when a carrier picks up the package for delivery. You submit this either in Merchant Center within the delivery service or with your product data (use the max_handling_time [max_handling_time] and min_handling_time [min_handling_time] attributes). Learn more about setting up estimated delivery time
Holiday delivery cut-off
The holiday delivery cut-off setting allows you to submit temporary deadlines if you have special delivery settings for a particular holiday, like Christmas or Mother's Day. Your items will clearly state if a purchase will be delivered in time for a holiday, based on a date and time that you enter into the 'Show from' field.
Example: You have a requirement that your customers place their orders by 15 December at 2.00 p.m. GMT to guarantee arrival by Christmas Eve (24 December). When you set this deadline in Merchant Center, text will be displayed in your ads and in Shopping Actions that tells customers that their order will arrive by 24 December. That text will stop being shown shortly after your cut-off (in this example, the text would stop being displayed on 15 December after 2.00 p.m. GMT).
Holiday delivery cut-off will override all other estimated delivery-date logic, so it is important to select a deadline that provides you with enough time to guarantee delivery on all orders placed before the cut-off. If, for example, the Christmas order deadline is set for 24 December, items ordered up until that day will be guaranteed to arrive by Christmas. This may require you to deliver orders on weekends, or upgrade the delivery speed to meet the promise. If you participate in Shopping Actions, and fail to meet the 'dispatch by' or 'delivery by' dates in these circumstances, your Retailer Standards score may be negatively impacted.

Merchant Center is programmed to offer holiday delivery cut-offs for the following US holidays:
  • Valentine's Day
  • Easter
  • Mother's Day
  • Father's Day
  • Independence Day
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
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