Google is where most shoppers begin their product searches, many of whom end up regularly completing purchases on or because of Google.
That said, there’s no denying that it’s bustling with merchants of all kinds, making it difficult for your business to stand out.
Luckily, there is a tried-and-true way to stand out: offering free and fast shipping with Google Promotions.
What is Google Promotions?
Google Promotions is a Google feature that lets you distribute promotional product offers across different Google properties, including Google Search, the Shopping tab, Chrome, and more.
Promotions make products stand out above the rest with eye-catching offer tags that appear above eligible product listing ads.
We go into detail on all you need to know about Google Promotions and how to get started here.
Google Promotions enables a wide range of promotional offer possibilities, all of which can boost your success on Google with the right planning. Now let’s hone in on everyone’s favorite promotional offer, free shipping.
The pull of free shipping
There are several benefits to offering free shipping, the main being higher conversion rates (CVR).
Shoppers are much more likely to purchase your product out of the sea of competitors if shipping isn’t going to cost them anything extra, given the product’s pricing is competitive to begin with. This goes beyond Google too, free shipping can increase any product’s CVR on any platform because shoppers gravitate towards this kind of deal.
Check this out; in a 2021 consumer trends study, Jungle Scout found that:
- 80% of US consumers expect free shipping on orders above a certain dollar amount
- 66% expect free shipping for all their online orders
And free shipping doesn’t just boost CVR. Profitably implementing free shipping leads to a positive impact on overall revenue, boosts average order value (AOV), promotes brand loyalty, and makes any additional promotions that much more enticing.
The question then is… should your business offer free shipping?
Simple answer: absolutely... if you can make it work.
With the right steps, most businesses can make shipping profitable. Neil Patel outlines the following process to make help ecommerce businesses find out if free shipping is their best option:
- Set a baseline by comparing conversion with and without a free shipping offer.
- Create thresholds by increasing the minimum order value required for free shipping, and testing the improvement in margin.
- Establish restrictions to help you see what kind of improvement you’ll get by offering free shipping only on select products where it is profitable.
- Increase prices on all your products to compensate for the loss you take on free shipping and see how your profit compares.
Yet, if you can’t make it work, there are other ways you can incentivize shoppers to choose your products over others. However, we still recommend prioritizing free shipping when possible since it’s such a direct way to boost ecommerce performance.
Leverage free and fast shipping labels
When you offer standard free shipping for any given product, Google does a good job conveying that offer across their ecosystem.
On ads, "Free shipping" replaces the ratings gauge – a necessary sacrifice considering both the appeal of free shipping as well as the limited amount of space that Google ads work with. On Google Shopping, eligible listings display a "Free delivery" message that can also specify delivery time if you provide that info.
The real eye-catchers, fast and free shipping labels, are available to businesses that can ensure free 2-3 day shipping.
The extra element of swiftness really helps push competitively priced products over the top. Promoting ideal shipping with these labels can increase algorithm favorability and CVR for relevant items.
That same Jungle Scout study also found that:
- 41% of consumers expect delivery times of 2-3 days after purchasing
- 47% say they are willing to spend more for a product with faster shipping
If you can refine your fulfillment system and make fast standards work for your business, you're bound to see results.
How to set up free and fast shipping labels
To qualify, you’ll need to provide shipping that is both free and deliverable within 3 business days or sooner (including both transit time and handling time).
To participate, you’ll need to have:
- An active Merchant Center account with products opted into Shopping ads or free listings in the US
- Active web conversion tracking in your Google Ads account
- Active products in your Merchant Center account which you can identify as free and fast
- Shipping settings configured for free and fast (can be done at the account level, or through shipping attributes in your product feed)
- Product feed attributes shipping label [shipping_label] and transit time label [transit_time_label] (only if a subset of your products is eligible and you set it up at the account level)
- Product landing or detail pages and checkout pages to message free and fast shipping
To finish setting up:
- Set up conversion tracking if you already have not done so
- Determine your delivery coverage via account-level shipping settings in your Merchant Center account or via item-level shipping [shipping], maximum handling time [max_handling_time], and maximum transit time [maximum_transit_time] attributes in your product feed
- Make sure your checkout and product landing pages meet requirements for free and fast shipping
Making the most of Google for Retail
Offering free shipping on your products will take you products far, further if it’s fast. And if you can make free shipping a standard part of your customer experience, any other promotions you add will supercharge sales potential.
As an ecommerce business, optimizing your Google feeds is key to achieving greater success on the platform.
A product feed solution GoDataFeed helps you optimize and manage your product data, promotions, and more, freeing up time to work on other areas of your business.
Looking to hear more about what we can do for you? Let’s get in touch.