About Retailer Standards and policies

Shopping Actions US + Shopping Actions France

Retailer Standards are benchmarks that help to measure your performance success and identify areas for improvement. Each month, you'll receive a rating that reflects how closely you're meeting Google’s customer service standards.

This article explains how the Retailer Standards rating is determined.

How it works

You'll receive a rating on the first day of each month. You can view your rating on the Standards dashboard in your Merchant Center account.

Your monthly score is based on data from the previous 3 months. This window ensures that there’s enough data to show trends and provide a fair evaluation, even if your order volume is relatively low.

Note: Your rating isn't visible on Google or on web searches.
To restore your account or to escalate a dispute, contact us. After you've submitted your appeal, a member of the Shopping Actions team will be in touch. 

Evaluation criteria

You're evaluated based on your item defect rate, shipping defect rate, gross sales, and total orders. Within these criteria, the most important factor is how reliably you're able to fulfill orders as they're ordered, without cancellations or rejections.

Note: Retailer standards scoring doesn’t count the percentage of the returns against your score.

Performance goals

  • Item defect rate: Less than 1%
  • Shipping defect rate: Less than 4%
  • Sales goal: $15K in 90 days
  • Item goal: 300 items in 90 days

What you get

  • Items with expected delivery date of 2 calendar days (or fewer) and free shipping and free returns, are eligible for a 20% commission discount
  • Items that are delivered within the expected delivery date of 3 calendar days, with free shipping and free returns, are eligible for 15% commission discount
  • Your products will appear prominently because you consistently provide a great experience

Tips

  • Keep up your performance to be eligible for the incentives!

Performance goals

  • Item defect rate: 1% - 5%
  • Shipping defect rate: 4% - 7%
  • Sales value and Item quantity metrics do not apply

What you get

  • Items with expected delivery date of 2 calendar days (or fewer) and free shipping and free returns, are eligible for 15% commission discount.
  • Items with expected delivery date of 3 calendar days and free shipping and free returns, are eligible for 10% commission discount.

Tips

  • Reducing rejections or providing correct shipping information can help you lower your defect rate.

Performance goals

  • Item defect rate: Above  5%
  • Shipping defect rate: Above 7%
  • Sales value and Item quantity metrics do not apply

What you get

  • Order capping
  • Buy box suppression
  • Eventual suspension

Tips

  • Keep popular items in stock to avoid rejections. Be sure to always ship packages on time and provide valid tracking information.
Note: Estimated delivery date incentives are applied at the offer level while penalties are applied at the account level. 

Extremely poor performance

You may also receive a score of “extremely poor performance” if your operational performance based on item defect and shipping defect reaches certain thresholds. This status is in place to mitigate and eliminate poor user experiences such as late deliveries or order cancellations, and may help you improve your operational performance.

If you consistently experience either item or shipping defect rates exceeding 20% over 2-day evaluation periods, you’ll be automatically considered for daily defect evaluation. 

If you reach this status, you’ll receive a warning with details such as the primary defect driver, cumulative defect rate for the last few days, and tips on how to improve your performance. Depending on the severity of the root cause of the performance drop, Google may enforce a daily order cap for a limited amount of time to ensure that you’re able to fix the issue while still fulfilling orders. Continued poor performance may ultimately lead to suspension.

Note: The “extremely poor performance” status will not appear in your Merchant Center account. Rather, you’ll receive an email with your performance status and orders caps, if applicable, until your status is upgraded.

Extremely poor performance evaluation criteria

Performance goals

  • Item defect rate: Above 20%
  • Shipping defect rate: Above 20%
  • Sales value and Item quantity metrics do not apply

What you get

  • Order capping
  • Eventual suspension

Metrics definitions

Item defect rate: A percentage of items that have a negative seller rating (all fulfilled items in orders 1 and 2 star reviews), items that were cancelled by you, or cancelled by Google because they were not shipped within the provided handling time. A product receives a negative rating when the order was not shipped on time or an incorrect item was received. Here are the following negative ratings that a merchant can receive:

  • Fulfilled items in orders with 1 star ratings
  • Fulfilled items in orders with 2 star ratings
  • Items with merchant-initiated cancellations
  • Items cancelled by Google because they were not shipped within the provided handling time
Note: Any negative ratings or merchant initiated cancellations in an order will lead all items to be counted as defects.

Examples:

  • If an order has 5 items and all of them are delivered to the customer and the customer rates the order as 1-star or 2-star, then that order will have 5 item defects (item defect rate will be 100%).
     
  • If an order has 5 items and all of them are delivered to the customer, and the customer rates the order as 3-star, 4-star, or 5-star, then that order will have 0 item defects (item defect rate will be 0%).
     
  • If an order has 5 items and if 2 are cancelled by the merchant, and the remaining 3 are delivered to the customer, and the customer doesn’t submit a rating, the order will have 2 item defects (item defect rate will be 40%).
     
  • If an order has 5 items and 2 are cancelled by the customer before they’re fulfilled, and the remaining 3 are delivered to the customer, and the customer hasn’t submitted a rating, the order will have 0 item defects (item defect rate will be 0%).
     
  • ​If an order has 5 items and if 2 are cancelled by the merchant before they’re fulfilled, and the remaining 3 are delivered to the customer, and the customer rates the order 1-star or 2-stars, the order will have 5 defects (item defect rate will be 100%).

 

Shipping defect rate: A percentage of retailer items for which the shipment didn’t receive a carrier scan within the handling time or for which tracking information was missing. Maximum handling time is 4 days. Here are some examples of shipping defect rates:

  • Late delivery:
    • Shipped late and delivered late
    • Shipped on-time and delivered late
  • Tracking number issues:
    • Missing tracking information
    • Incorrect tracking numbers
    • Used tracking numbers
    • Duplicate tracking numbers
    • No carrier scan

Examples:

  • If an order has 5 items and all of them are delivered to the customer before the original deliver-by date, then that order will have 0 shipment defects (the shipping defect rate will be 0%).

  • If an order has 5 items and:
    • Item 1 was shipped on-time and delivered late (this is a defect)
    • Item 2 was shipped late and delivered on-time (this is not a defect)
    • Item 3 was shipped on-time and delivered on-time (this is not a defect)
    • Item 4 was not marked as shipped by the deliver-by date (this is a defect)
    • Item 5 was not marked as delivered by the deliver-by date (this is a defect)
  • The shipping defect rate will be 60%.

Sales value and sales count: Top Retailer badge eligibility requires a minimum of $15K in sales value and minimum of 300 items fulfilled (excluding items that were cancelled by the customer or by Google) within 90 days. Retailer Standards scoring is item level based, therefore orders with multiples of the same item are taken into consideration. Only merchants with a Top Retailer or Meeting Standards score may qualify for commission discount. No sales requirements are applied to Meeting Standards merchants. For more details, see “Commission discount” section.

Commission discount

Google offers a commission discount on items with free shipping, short delivery time-frames, and free returns to merchants with monthly Retailer Standards score of “Top Retailer” or “Meeting Standards”. Faster shipping rates may contribute to more positive customer experiences, higher conversion rates, and a higher volume of sales.

Top Retailer commission discount

The commission discount of 20% will be issued on orders that satisfy the following criteria:
  • Expected delivery - 2 calendar days
  • Free shipping
  • Free returns
The commission discount of 15% will be issued on orders that satisfy the following criteria:
  • Expected delivery - 3 calendar days
  • Free shipping
  • Free returns

Meeting Standards commission discount

The commission discount of 15% will be issued on orders that satisfy the following criteria:
  • Expected delivery - 2 calendar days
  • Free shipping
  • Free returns
The commission discount of 10% will be issued on orders that satisfy the following criteria:
  • Expected delivery - 3 calendar days
  • Free shipping
  • Free returns

Buy box boost

Your retailer standards score can influence whether or not you win the buy box. A “buy box” is the top offer chosen for a product. A buy box boost helps your offers stand out in search results and product details page from other merchants who provide offers for the same product. When you win the buy box boost, customers will have a button to directly add your product to the carts. 

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