Since 22nd April Google Merchant Center in its Diagnostics tab has placed alerts notifying advertisers (online shops) that since 31st July 2019 it will be necessary to enter delivery costs in the panel. If they are not entered, such advertisements shall be rejected. This time Google added Poland to the list of countries where this rule is valid. Other countries on the list include Austria, Belgium, Canada and Ireland.

Changes in Google – food industry

The update is serious for the whole e-commerce. For example the FMCG sector will face the absurd resulting from the new guidelines. Next to the bun, which costs PLN 0.30, one will find the information that delivery costs are approximately PLN 15. We can wait to see how the Internet reacts to this. Will changes introduced by Google redefine the way in which consumers rate the shop, will online shops lose their image or will consumers approach this in a reasonable way, treating the information on delivery as a manifestation of transparency, allowing them to find information on transport costs easily?

Changes in Google – home and garden

Industries which delivered large size items (furniture, home appliances) will be obliged to quote delivery costs, which may not always be realistically assessed due to the fact that they are priced on the basis of the location of the ordering party. Google is quite restrictive about his and products without the provided delivery cost will be blocked and finally, the whole accounts will be suspended.

The new update constitutes a real challenge to the whole home and garden sector. How can they calculate delivery costs if they do not know the location given by the client?

How to adopt (and not to go crazy)?

The whole creation of the new delivery services comprises of five steps. As Google informs – “While creating the delivery service you can describe it, determine products it concerns and configure tables with delivery costs”. Consecutively, you must set the service, name it, choose the area and the currency. Then you configure the delivery time – inter alia giving the time by which an order must be placed so that you could start processing it on the same day. The next step entails advanced settings, but they are configured optionally. They concern the minimal value of the order. The next point can be omitted since it concerns dates of Christmas deliveries and they can be configured only for the United States. In the last step we must set the delivery costs. And here the fun begins.

Google informs:

“Use this section [delivery costs] to create many tables with delivery costs within a given delivery service. You can ascribe the attributes of shipping label to delivery costs depending on the type of the product you send (for example when it is oversized, perishable, fragile), and then set various delivery costs for particular groups”.

And then:

“In order to add delivery cost:

  • First click the criterion, for example Order weight > Weight in kilograms. You will see a row in which you can write ranges.
  • Enter the range, for example from 0.0001 to 10 kg.
  • For each row choose the delivery option, for example “Fixed rate”.
  • Depending on the delivery option, enter the price, the percentage rate, etc.
  • To add more ranges, click + row.
  • To add another criterion, click Add criterion, and then one of the options, for example “Order price”.
  • Set values for each new column, choosing delivery options as before.
  • To add more ranges, click + column.
  • Click Next, to return to the service level and to add the new delivery cost or to save the delivery service.”

An important element for the whole procedure of setting costs is also choosing and configuring the delivery options. There are a number of possibilities, allowing us to precisely determine the real delivery cost. What choice do we have?

  • fixed rate – an option to choose is we use a fixed rate for the delivery,
  • percentage of the order sum – “if the payment for delivery is set as percentage of the order cost”,
  • a link to sub-tables (at least three criteria) – if we determine fees on the basis of three or more criteria, we can add a sub-table to each cell,
  • products which cannot be sent – “allows us to exclude totally some products from the delivery configuration”.

The change introduced by Google will definitely be felt. This is a compliment to users who want to find information as quickly as possible. In this case this is often information of key importance, an essential element of the decision process concerning the purchase. Online shops will certainly have some work connected with this and will have to analyze user behavior regarding the implemented changes.