Can Google's Promise Of 2-Day Shipping Compete With Amazon Prime?

Google recently launched a shopping ads feature to compete with Amazon Prime’s ecommerce product delivery method.

COVID-19 has slowed most retailers and brands, as well as the shipping of products. A new feature from Google guarantees better performance when consumers make a purchase, according to Adam Jones, director of business development at digital marketing agency Logical Position. It also answers two questions before the consumer gets through the purchase process. 

“It answers the questions whether or not the items ship for free and how long it takes to arrive,” Jones said. “Both have become more of an expectation, rather than a luxury.”

Retailers participating in the program place an annotation or indicator on their product listing ads, so consumers going through the checkout process know in advance when to expect their purchase.

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Typically, this information is hidden, Jones said, until the end of the purchase process. That's where the consumer discovers the hidden shopping fees and delivery times. The Fast & Free insignia lets the retailer put that information on the search engine results page.

A handful of retailers offer the information. Logical Position is one agency supporting the service. To qualify to participate, the company must have an active Merchant Center account with products opted into Shopping ads in the U.S., active web conversion tracking in Google Ads account, active products in a Merchant Center account, and account-level shopping settings configured, among other requirements.

The information also must appear on the company’s product landing page.

At Logical Position, customers have seen a 7% increase in conversions, 10% conversion per dollar increase and 9% conversion rate increase.

Calling out the service early in the purchase should become a “huge” competitive advantage, Jones said. “The last thing consumers want to find out at checkout is shipping isn’t free, and the product won’t be available for another week or two,” he said.

Matthew Mierzejewski, senior vice president-search capability lead at Merkle, doesn’t think the three-day shipping and handling will make much of an impact, compared with what exists today. “It’s two-day shipping in direct response to Amazon.”

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