Yesterday, Google announced a new feature in the Merchant Center – a shipping configuration tool that allows merchants to provide shoppers with more accurate shipping rates.

Retailers will be able to leverage shipping rules, differentiate between shipping methods, and provide location-based rates so that shoppers see the accurate shipping rate before landing on the product page (with the intention to increase conversion rates).

Jeff-colemanOur Director of Retail Search, Jeff Coleman, stumbled across the new feature 2 days ago and maintains that the update is a significant improvement:

“The shared library is a great addition. You can specify custom location groups by city, state, or postal code and use these in either a shipping rule or a shared rate table.

gmc-shipping-configuration-tool-shared-library

For example, I set up a West Coast custom location group with California, Washington, and Oregon in it:

google-merchant-center-shipping-configuration-tool-location-group

Then you can use the custom location group in a shipping rule to specify different shipping rates in that group (or by other dimensions like price, weight, etc.) in a shared rate table.

When you start adding shipping dimensions, you have the option of adding in each state, but creating custom location groups would probably be easier if the retailer has custom rates across a lot of different states/cities/zip codes so that you can specify 1 shipping rate across the entire group in stead of specifying each one individually.

gmc-shipping-configuration-tool-custom-location-group

Then you just add your shipping rates and save:

gmc-shipping-configuration-tool-rates

Once you set everything up in the shared library, it looks like you still have to create a new shipping method for those rules to be used. When you create the new shipping method, all you have to do is select “Rate Table” under the shipping calculation option and select which table you want to use.”

gmc-shipping-configuration-tool-rate-table

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About the AuthorJon Gregoire is the Director of Demand Generation at CPC Strategy. Jon heads up the agency's inbound marketing program. A UC San Diego grad, Jon is a Chicago native and full-time San Diego tourist. He enjoys Bear Grylls-like backpacking trips, archery, weekend getaways in Southern California, watching his beloved Chicago Bears, and bidaily coffee consumption. See all posts by this author here.

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