Add shipping and returns information into structured data

By Ilana Davis

A few months ago I placed an order for shampoo and conditioner. Something I would usually pick up at the local store, but wanted to order from a Shopify store instead.

They didn't tell me, however, it would take 10 days to ship plus a week to travel from California to Oregon.

Something we could have picked up on a quick trip to the store took nearly three weeks to get here.

Communicating shipping times is so important for a few reasons.

  • Will it arrive before I need it? - Busting objections before they make the purchase helps to ease any concerns they have.
  • Where's my order? - The majority of customer questions post-purchase are usually around locating their package.

Being upfront with the shipping timeline also reduces the load on your customer service team.

One way to do that is by adding the shipping and returns policies to your product data.

Google will automatically pull the shipping and returns information from Merchant Center. They do this by connecting the structured data with your product feeds via the product identifiers. From there, they'll be able to include the shipping and returns information in Rich Results.

Rich Results in Google Search that includes delivery and returns information

Search Console however doesn't talk to Merchant Center so you end up receiving notices saying the fields are missing.

Adding the shipping and returns information to your structured data is available to all JSON-LD for SEO customers on the Annual Plan.

If both structured data and Merchant Center have data, Google will default to Merchant Center.

Visit the Business Settings in JSON-LD for SEO to set up the shipping and returns data. Be sure to enter as much information as possible. Skipping data may result in non-critical issues in Search Console.

Shipping settings in JSON-LD for SEO that includes the rate, currency, country code, handling time, and transit time.

Returns settings in JSON-LD for SEO that includes if returns are allowed, country codes, return window, costs, method and type.

Don't want to upgrade your plan or have more complicated shipping and return policies? Use Merchant Center instead.

  • You can configure the delivery information in Merchant Center using this doc or there is a setting in the Google Sales channel to automatically pull it from Shopify.
  • You can configure the returns information in Merchant Center using this doc.

Here are a few additional tips on communicating estimated arrival dates.

  1. Add estimated arrival dates or shipping delays above the Add To Cart buttons on your product pages.
  2. Remind them of potential delays on the cart page.
  3. Reduce confusion by keeping your shipping, returns, and exchange policies current.
  4. Under promise, over-deliver. Provide longer lead times but get it out your door as soon as possible.
  5. Send emails with estimated arrival dates.
  6. Send a confirmation email with tracking numbers.

I will still order from the Shopify store because I know shipment delays weren't their fault. Not everyone will be so inclined. Get ahead of these customer service issues before it's too late.


Get more organic search traffic from Google without having to fight for better rankings by utilizing search enhancements called Rich Results.

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