Google has announced two new ways to allow calculate shipping speeds with Google Merchant Center. You can (1) specify your shipping carrier, shipping service, and ship-from location and (2) you can link to your partner to authorize them to share your historical order tracking signals with Google.
Google said that showing shipping speed is a “critical factor in customers’ purchase decisions.” There are two ways to have Google calculate your shipping speeds:
(1) Using delivery locations and information from your shipping carrier:
This option allows Google to estimate your shipping speeds by using the delivery locations of your customers and your warehouses, plus information from your shipping carrier(s). The total shipping speed that each customer sees is based on handling time plus transit time, and is unique to that customer’s delivery location and the products they’re purchasing. You still provide the handling time, while Google will calculate the transit time and overall shipping speed.
You’ll specify your shipping carrier, shipping service, and ship-from location, and Google will calculate estimated speeds. Currently this is only available if your ship-from locations are in the United States and you use FedEx, UPS or USPS as your shipping carrier. This feature now also supports multiple carriers and locations in a single shipping service.
(2) Using historical order tracking and shipping data from a partner:
This option allows Google to estimate your shipping speeds by using your historical order tracking data and/or offer-level estimated delivery dates provided by your partner, paired with our machine learning capabilities, to show the most accurate shipping speeds to your customers.
When creating a shipping service, you can link to your partner to authorize them to share your historical order tracking signals with Google. Google then uses this information to calculate customized shipping speeds specific to your business. This is currently available for CedCommerce, Sales & Orders, ShipHero, ShipStation and Simprosys. More partners will become available in the coming months. You can also take advantage of this opportunity by manually uploading your historical order tracking signals.
There are more technical details on how to set this up in this help document.
Forum discussion at Twitter.