Quickstart guide

Set up your shipping and taxes for Shopping Actions

Shopping Actions US + Shopping Actions France

This article explains how to configure your tax and shipping settings for Shopping Actions.

Before you begin

If you have a shipping service set up in Merchant Center, you can either reuse that service or create a new one just for Shopping Actions. If you already have your tax configuration set up for other Shopping ads in Merchant Center, it will also work for Shopping Actions.

Taxes

For Shopping Actions US, You need to configure the taxes you collect. You may use an existing configuration in your Merchant Center account. If you haven't yet created your tax rates, learn how to set up your tax settings. Tax settings must exist at the account level.

For Shopping Actions France, tax configuration isn’t necessary, as taxes are account for into the product price via  value-added tax, or VAT.

Choose the country where you use Shopping Actions.

Shipping services for Shopping Actions

When customers purchase items through Shopping Actions, Google will collect any related shipping fees based on your shipping configurations in Merchant Center. The shipping model you configure will be used to display an estimated delivery date and a shipping price to customers, so it is important to model services that reflect your offerings.

Note: The shipping attribute is not available for use with products on Shopping Actions. Shipping price must be set up at the account-level in Merchant Center. 

Shopping Actions requires the following attributes when configuring a shipping service:

  • Shipping service name
  • Handling time (less than 4 days recommended)
  • Order cutoff time
  • Transit time (less than 10 days recommended)
  • Shipping rate

How Shopping Actions calculates estimated delivery date

Shipping service name


Each shipping service is a delivery option for customers, similar to what might be offered when shopping on your site. While not shown externally to customers, shipping service names can help you differentiate multiple configurations within Merchant Center. Thus, using names like “ground,” “economy,” or “2-day” is a better reference than “default” or “shipping.”

Handling time

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. If all of your items require the same amount of time to process, handling time has to be configured in Merchant Center within each shipping service. However, if the processing time varies by product, then handling time can be added to the product feed to each item. When handling time values exist in both Merchant Center and in the product feed, the item-level value will override the Merchant Center value for that specific item only. Learn more about handling time in the product feed

Keep in mind: The recommended handling time for all products submitted in Shopping Actions is less than 4 days.

Order cutoff time

Many merchants begin processing orders on the same business day in which they are placed as long as the order is received by a set time. Orders placed after this set time will not begin processing until the following business day. Order cutoff time can be set in Merchant Center for each shipping service, and is configured as a fixed time and zone. For example, you can set order cutoff time as 12 p.m. EST, but you cannot set order cutoff time as 12 p.m. in each customer’s time zone (since that may vary by customer). 

Note: Since orders placed after the cutoff will not begin processing until the next business day, customers who miss the cutoff will see an extra business day added to their delivery estimate. If you always ship orders on the next business day when they miss the cutoff, this is still considered a same-day processing, and should be represented in handling time as “0-0 days.”

Transit time

This is the number of business days it takes for a carrier to deliver a package once it is picked up from your facility. Transit time has to be configured in Merchant Center, either with a single range (for example, “3-5 days”), or with multiple ranges based on ZIP code regions (for example, “3-5 days to Seattle, 1-2 days to Texas”). Configuring multiple delivery ranges requires setting up delivery zones in Merchant Center. Learn more about delivery zones

Keep in mind: The recommended transit time for all products submitted in Shopping Actions is less than 10 calendar days.

Transit time labels

For product groups that ship from different locations (for example, if one group of products ships from a warehouse in Seattle, and another group ships from Texas), you can apply transit time labels in order to give your customers more accurate estimated delivery dates. Once you specify the transit times for different product groups, you can apply the transit_time_label attribute to the products in your feed. Learn more about setting up the transit time label

Shipping rate

Your shipping rate is the amount charged to customers to ship an order to them. You'll set up your shipping at the account-level in Merchant Center. There are multiple ways to configure the shipping rate: 

  • Flat rate (“All orders ship for $5”)
  • Order price (“$5 shipping for orders up to $20, free shipping over $20”)
  • Weight-based (“Order up to 2 lbs. Ship for $5”)
  • Destination-based (“Orders to the continental US ship for free, orders to Alaska & Hawaii ship for $5”)
  • Carrier rates (“Shipping is charged at the UPS standard rate originating from the 91208 ZIP code”)
  • Number of Items (“1 item ships for $5, 2 items ship for $7”)

Shipping rate examples

Shipping rates based on order price

One of the most common shipping offers is free or discounted shipping if a customer’s order meets a specific minimum. For example, you might offer free shipping to customers who spend at least $25, or you might reduce your priority shipping fee from $15.95 to $9.95 for customers who spend at least $100.

To create a tiered shipping rate based on order price:

  1. In Merchant Center, click Shipping in the menu along the side of the page.
  2. On the shipping services page, click on the service you want to edit (or click the plus button   to create a new service).
  3. At the bottom of the page, click the plus button  under “Shipping rates.” (If you’re creating this service from scratch, fill out the “Service settings” and “Delivery time” sections).
  4. Under the “Affected products filter,” choose All products
  5. [Optional] Choose a name for this rate, such as “Order value rate” or “Free shipping over $25.”
  6. Within the Shipping rate table, click Add dimension, then click Order price.
  7. From the table template, add rows for each of your order price tiers. 
  8. In the “Shipping cost” column, choose Fixed rate for each row to get the shipping cost for each tier. 
  9. Click Continue at the bottom to review your shipping service.
  10. Click Save.

Imagine that you offer free shipping to customers who spend over $25, and you charge $5.00 for shipping if customers spend $24.99 or less. You would create a shipping rate based on order price and create a rate table with two rows. The first row would have an order price set at “0.01 - 24.99” and a shipping cost set to “fixed cost” and “$5.00.” The second row would automatically populate to “25.01 and over” for the “Order price” column, and you would set the associated shipping cost to “Fixed cost” and “$0.00.”

Shipping rates based on order weight

Weight-based rates are used for shipping costs that fluctuate with the total order weight. Note: The shipping weight value is required in the product feed in order to configure these rates. Learn more about shipping weight.

To create a tiered shipping rate based on order price:

  1. In Merchant Center, click Shipping in the menu along the side of the page.
  2. On the shipping services page, select the service you want to edit (or click the plus button   to create a new service).
  3. At the bottom of the page, click the plus button  under “Shipping rates.” (if you’re creating this service from scratch, fill out the “Service settings” and “Delivery time” sections).
  4. Under the “Affected products filter,” choose All products.
  5. [Optional] Choose a name for this rate, such as “weight-based rate.”
  6. Within the Shipping rate table, click Add dimension> Order weight> weight in pounds or weight in kilograms.
  7. From the table template, add rows for each of your order weight tiers. 
  8. In the “Shipping cost” column, choose Fixed rate for each row to set the shipping cost for each weight tier. 
  9. Click Continue at the bottom to preview your shipping service.
  10. Click Save.

Segmenting items with shipping labels

A shipping label is a feature within a shipping service that allows you to group similar items that share different rates or restrictions than the main catalog. For example, most of your items may ship to all states for $5.00, but a subset of TVs may cost $15.00 to ship based on their size. You can label these TVs in your product data using the shipping_label attribute. Then, when configuring your shipping rates in Merchant Center, you can find that label and configure it with the more expensive shipping rate. All other items will default to your standard rates. Learn more about shipping labels
To configure a group of items using shipping labels:
  1. Identify the items you want to group together, for example, all TVs.
  2. In the product feed, create a new attribute called shipping_label. For all TVs, create a name for the label and add it to this attribute. For this example, the label will be called “All_TVs.” For all other non-TV items, leave the shipping_label attribute blank.
  3. In your Merchant Center shipping service, click into the rate table and choose “Filter products by shipping label.”
  4. In the space that appears below, type in the name of the label you created above (“All_TVs”). 
  5. Configure the shipping rate table for these items.
  6. Click Continue to save the rate table when you’re done, and then click Save to save changes to the service. When you’re finished, you should have two rate groups: one that says, “Items with labels: All_TVs,” and one that says “All other products."

Additional requirements

  • Carrier rates require product weight: To correctly calculate carrier costs, your product feed must include shipping_weight, shipping_height, shipping_length, and shipping_width attributes.
  • Shopping Actions doesn't support delivery to Alaska or Hawaii.
  • Shopping Actions doesn’t support Freight or LTL deliveries: Shopping Actions doesn’t allow merchants to communicate unique freight requirements to customers (for example, delivery scheduling directly with the LTL carrier or curbside delivery)

Learn more about shipping policies for Shopping Actions

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