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Google Adds New Shipping & Return Annotations in Search Results

Retailers can now indicate in Google when they offer special shipping and return promotions.

Google Adds New Shipping & Return Annotations in Search Results

Google is giving retailers the option to indicate in search results when they offer special promotions related to shipping and returns.

Retailers utilizing either free or paid listings in Google Shopping are eligible to take advantage of these new features.

The annotations, such as “Get it by Dec 24,” will also be displayed when product listings are returned in search results.

Google is introducing these specifically to target holiday shoppers, noting that US searches for “holiday gift ideas” in August have already surpassed 2020 levels.

Further, shoppers say they’ll intend to order online significantly more this holiday season than in previous years:

“As of June, 58% of U.S. holiday shoppers said they will shop online more this season than in previous years and 59% said they will shop earlier to avoid an item being out of stock.”

Searches are up and all signs point to an online shopping boom this holiday.

Given the state of the shipping industry this year and the numerous delays people are facing, guaranteeing delivery by December 24 can help you get the sale over competitors.

Here’s more about the new annotations rolling out today.

New Shipping Annotations in Google Shopping

Shipping annotations allow retailers to show customers they offer fast and free shipping.

Prior to today the only annotations available were either “fast” or “free.”

Now, retailers can add the following:

  • “Free delivery by Fri, Dec 24,”
  • “Get it by Dec 24”
  • “Free X-day”

That last one refers to free shipping promotions within X number of days, such as “Free 2-day shipping.”

google shopping annotationsScreenshot from blog.google.com, August 2021.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify to add shipping annotations to your product listings, you’ll need to have:

  • An active Merchant Center account with products opted into Shopping ads and free listings in the United States.
  • Active web conversion tracking in your Google Ads account.
  • Active products in your Merchant Center account which you can identify with these annotations.
  • Account-level shipping settings configured for special shipping promotions.
  • Product feed attributes shipping_label and transit_time_label
  • Product landing or detail pages and checkout pages with messaging that corresponds to the annotations.

New Return Annotations in Google Shopping

When setting up shopping listings retailers can choose to provide information about return and refund policies.

Return annotations give shoppers more confidence in their purchases knowing they can get a refund within a set period.

Prior to today the available annotations were generic and not applicable to any particular shopping season, such as “Free 30 day returns.”

Now, retailers can indicate a specific date that holiday purchases can be returned by, such as “Free returns until Jan 31.”

To set up returns annotations, you’ll need to create return policies in your Merchant Center account.

Return policies can be associated with all products, with specific groups of products, or even a single product by using the return_policy_label attribute in your product feed.

For more tips from Google on how to target holiday shoppers with existing features, see Google’s announcement.


Featured Image: Golubovy/Shutterstock

CategoryNewsSEO

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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