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Google Simplifies Adding Shipping & Return Policies For Online Stores

Google introduces Search Console feature for online stores to easily manage shipping and return policies.

  • Google now allows online stores to manage shipping and return policies via Search Console.
  • This simplifies providing vital information to customers.
  • The feature can potentially boost sales for retailers.
woman online shopper affixes a barcode sticker to a cardboard box, marking it for return and refund

Google has announced a new feature allowing online stores to manage their shipping and return policies through Search Console.

This simplifies providing customers with vital information, potentially boosting retailers’ visibility and sales.

Addressing Consumer Priorities

Recent trends indicate that shoppers prioritize total price transparency when making online purchases. Shipping costs, delivery speed, and return policies impact consumer decision-making.

Recognizing this, Google has made it easier for stores to communicate these details.

New Search Console Integration

Configuring shipping and return information in Google Search Console eliminates the need for complex markup on individual product pages.

This may be a boon to merchants who found the previous setup challenging.

Key Features:

  1. Direct input of shipping and return policies in Search Console
  2. Automatic synchronization with Merchant Center accounts
  3. Option to set general return policies for entire businesses
  4. Precedence over website configurations and product-level markup

Potential Benefits For Merchants

Online stores can enhance their product listings in Google Search by providing clear, up-to-date shipping and return information.

This improvement may increase visibility and traffic, particularly by highlighting services like free and fast shipping options alongside product information.

How To Implement

Google has provided a straightforward process for adding and managing their shipping and return policies through Search Console.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Accessing The Feature

Open the Settings page for your Search Console property.
Navigate to the “Shopping” section and select “Shipping and returns”.

2. Adding Shipping Policies

  • Click on the “Shipping” tab and select “Add shipping policy”.
  • Choose the country the policy applies to.
  • Set delivery times by specifying minimum and maximum days for delivery.
  • Configure shipping costs. Options include:
    • Flat rate (with currency matching the selected country)
    • Free shipping over a certain purchase amount
    • Free shipping for all orders
    • Other custom options
  • Submit the policy.
  • Repeat for each country you ship to.

3. Adding Return Policies

  • Select the “Returns” tab and click “Add return policy”.
  • Choose the applicable country.
  • Enter the URL of your return policy page.
  • Specify the return window (number of days allowed for returns or no returns).
  • Set the return cost:
    • Flat rate (matching the country’s currency)
    • Free returns
    • Percentage of the product price
  • Submit the policy.
  • Repeat for each country where you offer returns.

4. Editing Or Deleting Policies

  • Locate the policy you wish to modify.
  • Click the “more” icon next to the policy.
  • Choose “Edit” to make changes or “Delete” to remove the policy.
  • Follow the prompts to complete the action.

5. Important Notes

  • Shipping details are automatically approved upon submission.
  • Return policies require manual verification, which can take 10-13 days.
  • Newly submitted return policies will be marked as “pending” until verified.
  • Only owners or full users of the Search Console property associated with a Merchant Center account can access these settings.
  • Policies created in Merchant Center cannot be managed in Search Console.

What Does This Mean?

Google’s new tool for showing shipping and return info could affect the ecommerce experience in several ways.

For shoppers:

  • Easier to see shipping costs and return policies right in search results
  • Saves time comparing different stores
  • Builds trust by being upfront about costs and policies

For sellers:

  • Smaller shops can now compete better with big ones
  • Stores with good shipping deals might stand out in searches
  • It’s now easier for all shops to share this info, not just tech-savvy ones

    Featured Image: olgsera/Shutterstock

    Category News Tools
    SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

    Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

    Google Simplifies Adding Shipping & Return Policies For Online Stores

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