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Google Now Supporting Dim Weight in Merchant Center

Ecommerce pros selling lightweight but bulky items found themselves recipients of an unwelcome yet anticipated change in shipping rate calculations by UPS and FedEx. As the 2014 holiday shopping season ended, both package carriers shifted to using dimensional weight as the factor in determining shipping rates, which meant certain online sellers would have to alert their customers of new and possibly higher freight charges.

Sellers working with Google Shopping and use the company’s Merchant Center to make data available to Google now have support for dimensional weight shipping rates through that service as well. Inside AdWordsprovided some details about this update.

Merchants can now add three new attributes to the product data of their items to reflect the dimensions of how those items are packaged. The new attributes are shipping_length, shipping_width, and shipping_height.

By providing those attributes, Google can take those into account and determine the carrier-calculated shipping rates based on dimensional weights. That will give Google’s customers the most accurate costs for shipping an item impacted by dimensional weight rates.

The new attributes are required for sellers using carrier-calculated rates as their shipping method in Google Merchant Center. Google’s help topic on product feedsnoted that only measurements in inches (in) or centimeters (cm) can be used for these three attributes.

As EcommerceBytes noted last October, knowing box sizes will help manage those dimensional weight prices. The most appropriate shipping box for one’s products means being able to provide customers with accurate shipping costs, information that has proven to be critical to consumer purchasing decisions.

Meanwhile, the USPS is running a campaign to promote Priority Mail as an option for merchants looking for an alternative to the new ground dim-weight rates from UPS and FedEx, while UPS is calling for greater transparency into USPS accounting for competitive services.


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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.