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This just in!

Select merchants are being notified by Google Merchant Center that they are eligible for a new pilot program regarding carrier-calculated shipping speed.

The announcement states the following:

Hello,

We’ve noticed that you have shipping rates configured in your Merchant Center account that use the carrier-rate option. However, the associated offers don’t have a delivery speed configured, which could result from missing handling and/or transit information in the shipping service.

Based on these shipping settings, your Merchant Center account has been selected to participate in a pilot program that will automatically calculate your delivery speed. No additional action is required on your part to participate. As part of the pilot, Google would calculate your delivery speed based on your chosen shipping carrier service and shipping location. Only offers tied to the carrier-rate option will be affected. We will update the delivery time section of your shipping service - your existing carrier-rate configuration will remain unchanged.

The delivery speed is based on order cut-off time, handling time and transit time. (Learn more about delivery speed)

  • Order cut-off time: Current order cut-off time settings will remain unchanged. If no order cut-off time has been set, the default setting will be 2pm local time of the shipping location.
  • Handling time: Current handling time settings will remain unchanged. If no handling time has been set, the default setting will be 1 day. If no handling time business days have been set, the default setting will be Monday - Friday.
  • Transit time: Transit time will be set based on the Google calculated estimate based on your chosen shipping carrier service and shipping location. Any existing transit time settings for the impacted shipping service will be ignored.

You can adjust the shipping settings in your Merchant Center account at any time.

The benefits to you include:

  • Showcase your delivery speeds on the Shopping tab. Delivery speed is a major consideration shoppers look for when making a purchase decision.
  • Early participation in various new user treatments that show delivery speed across ads, free listings and Buy on Google on various Google surfaces.
  • Show the fastest delivery speeds for each region with no need to create detailed shipping tables. Google calculated delivery speeds take into account your customer destination and shipping location (for example, warehouse).

Less effort, more accuracy

As Google states, they aim to determine shipping speed based on order cut-off time, handling time, and transit time—the first two being very straightforward, and the transit time being dependent on your carrier service.

This pilot means one calculation less for merchants to consider and more accurate delivery estimates provided to customers.

How to participate or opt out

If invited, no further action is needed—Google will take it from there. Unfortunately though, there doesn't seem to be a way to manually opt in.

In the case of electing to opt out, selected merchants have 14 days to do so using this form.

Whether you're interested or not, keep an eye on your Merchant Center messages!

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