More than half of shoppers say they won’t order a product if they don’t know when it will arrive. And while this may sound like a stumbling block to some merchants, for others it should sound like an opportunity to win the sale at the very top of the funnel.
Now that Google has finished its rollout of the Free and Fast Shipping labels for Shopping ads, merchants with speedy delivery can differentiate their products and nudge out the competition right from the SERP.
For merchants with slow, murky shipping processes, there’s no sugar-coating it; take this as your wake-up call to invest in fulfillment.
For merchants who have it figured out already, reward your efforts by winning more shoppers early in the customer journey.
In this blog post, we show you how to differentiate your product listings with this powerful signal from Google that makes your products pop in SERPs and gives shoppers a strong reason to click: Free and Fast Shipping.
But first, let's look at why having the Free and Fast Shipping label on your product listings even matters.
Shoppers want it free and they want it fast
There is a mountain of data proving that free shipping is important to shoppers. But when it’s coupled with “fast,” it’s an almost unbeatable advantage. The Free and Fast Shipping label lets you capitalize on the fact that shoppers want their stuff fast and they want it free and it rewards your business for giving shoppers what they want.
- 66% of shoppers expect free shipping from retailers
- 73% of people are more likely to decide to buy an item if it includes free shipping
- Stores with free shipping have 20% higher conversion rates
- 62% of shoppers expect their free shipping orders to arrive in 3 business days
- 53% of shoppers won’t complete a purchase if they don’t know when it will arrive
- 79% of of consumers say free shipping makes them more likely to shop online
Amazon Prime set a high standard for online retail delivery all the way back in 2005. eBay followed suit with “Fast ‘n’ Free” shipping in 2012. Walmart launched its 2-day delivery service in 2017.
Offering free shipping that is also fast can be an equalizer for merchants. But how do you position your store in a way that steals a shopper’s attention away from the big box retailers?
How to get the free and/or fast shipping labels on your Google Shopping listings
Free and fast shipping labels let you showcase products that can ship quickly and (preferably) free to give customers the best possible experience. If your delivery time is 5 days or less and you offer free shipping, your products may qualify.
Step 1: Determine your delivery coverage
First, you must determine if you want some or all of your products to qualify for the free shipping label.
You’ll also have to set limits as to where you’re willing to ship your goods for free. Typically, the farther away the customer, the costlier the shipping, and if you’re going to have to eat that cost, then you might want to set a limit so you don’t give too much of your profit away.
Step 2: Configure your shipping offerings within Merchant Center
Once you’ve determined which of your products you want to offer free and fast shipping on, you have to configure this information within the Google Shopping platform. This involves calculating order time cutoffs (allowing for differences in time zones).
It also means working out the logistics of the time it takes to process an order and get the order packaged and out the door to the shipping company. This means understanding what days you’re batching your shipping, time from warehouse to customer house, and inputting that information into the Google Shopping platform.
Once this information is entered into the system, you can update the items via your feed for the items you’ve designated as the products you want to feature free and fast shipping. You’ll need to understand the total handling and transit times for items going to different parts of the country and take that into account when determining which items you want this feature to highlight.
Step 3: Ensure your checkout and product landing pages meet the necessary requirements
There can be multiple shipping options at the checkout stage of the buying process. Highlighting and defaulting to the free and fast options at checkout streamlines the process and eliminates last-second doubts while helping to ensure the purchase follow-through.
You’ll need to add a region ID to your landing page URL in order to use regional pricing. A region ID (at least 6 digits) will determine the price and availability for a particular region.
You must also make sure that the language on the product landing page is consistent with the free and fast shipping offer on the SERP to guarantee continuity of communication from the point a shopper clicks your PLA to the point they complete checkout.
Step 4: Request verification
Once you’ve followed all these steps, submit an interest form to let Google know you want to qualify for the program. A member of Google’s team will conduct an eligibility verification process and respond with next steps.
Once verification is completed, Google will add the labels to the products you’ve chosen for Free and Fast Shipping.
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