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Google’s Structured Data Update May Boost Merchant Sales

Google updates structured data to support enhancements to brand knowledge panels which may improve merchant traffic and sales

Google updated their structured data guidelines to reflect support for a sitewide return policy within the Organization structured data. This eliminates the need to add redundant return policy information for every product listing structured data and can result in more traffic and sales to online merchants.

This doesn’t mean that merchants are required to change their current structured data, the old method remains unchanged. This simply adds an alternative way that is more streamlined and reduces the size of product structured data.

Improvement To Brand Knowledge Panel

Google’s change to the organization structured data will be reflected in the brand panel that Google shows when someone searches on a brand name. The updated brand panel will feature a new entry that reflects the company’s return policy.

Screenshot Of Brand Knowledge Panel Example

Benefits Of Organization-Level Return Policy

As part of this change Google is adding search features in Knowledge Panels and in Brand Panels that can show a merchant’s return policies. This means that a merchant’s search feature will be eligible to show a returns policy which in turn can encourage a higher clickthrough rate from the search engine results pages (SERPs) and a higher conversion rate.

Research conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) in 2024 shows that online shoppers are strongly influenced by a merchant’s returns policy.

They discovered:

“82% of respondents said that when shopping online, return policies influence whether they decide to purchase from a retailer.

… If retailers charged a fee to ship back purchases made online, nearly three-fourths (71%) of respondents said they’d likely stop shopping online from that company altogether, while 6 in 10 said they’d likely stop shopping online with retailers that shortened the free return window.”

Clearly a return policy can be a way to generate more online sales and Google’s new support for a sitewide returns policy structured data helps to communicate that information to online shoppers directly from search.

Google’s announcement explained:

“A return policy is a major factor considered by shoppers when buying products online, and so last year we enabled the extraction of structured data return policies for individual products. Today we’re adding support for return policies at the organization level as well, which means you’ll be able to specify a general return policy for your business instead of having to define one for each individual product you sell.

Adding a return policy to your organization structured data is especially important if you don’t have a Merchant Center account and want the ability to provide a return policy for your business. Merchant Center already lets you provide a return policy for your business, so if you have a Merchant Center account we recommend defining your return policy there instead.

…If your site is an online or local business, we recommend using one of the OnlineStore, or LocalBusiness subtypes of Organization.

We hope this addition makes it easier for you to add return policies for your business, and enable them to be shown across Google shopping experiences.”

Google Updates Organization Structured Data Documentation

Google added a new section to their Organization structured data documentation to reflect support for this new way to show return policies in the search results.

The new documentation states:

Use the following properties to describe general return policies for your entire Organization, if applicable to your business. If you have specific policies for individual products, use merchant listing markup instead.”

Read Google’s announcement:

Adding markup support for organization-level return policies

Read the new MerchantReturnPolicy documentation on Google’s official Organization structured data page:

Organization (Organization) structured data – MerchantReturnPolicy

Category News SEO
SEJ STAFF Roger Montti Owner - at

I have 25 years hands-on experience in SEO and have kept on  top of the evolution of search every step ...

Google’s Structured Data Update May Boost Merchant Sales

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