Google is a world leader in online advertising, so it makes sense why so many of our merchants wish to utilize their broad reach to drive traffic back to their stores. The first step in making a sale is getting the customer to know you exist!
To this end, Shopify provides a method to easily synchronize your products and store settings to Google (via Google Merchant Center) while Google handles your search engine and in-page advertisements. They call this integration, “The Google Channel.”
However, though Shopify’s Google Channel is excellent at synchronizing your Shopify products and shipping rates, neither Shopify or Google matches the flexibility and granularity of shipping rates that Parcelify offers. So, that’s what we’re here to talk about!
This guide will establish how all of these services relate to one another, help you avoid the caveats that come with using them, and provide you with options to help you get the best of both worlds.
During a typical Shopify checkout with Parcelify installed, they will refer to us - based on your customer’s shipping address and products ordered - for what shipping rates should be displayed.
When Google Merchant Center is generating an advertisement for one of your products and calculating estimated shipping, they too refer to their internal system to decide how much that shipping rate should be.
However, many of our merchants are surprised to learn that these are two completely separate systems. At no point does Google ask Shopify for what shipping rates should be available. Since we are tightly integrated with Shopify, this means Google doesn’t ask us for rates either!
You may be wondering, “Why can’t Parcelify sync my rates to Google?”
The simple answer is that we have more methods to define shipping rates and information about your shop and products than Google allows. As we’ll discuss later in this guide, there are some Parcelify shipping options that overlap with Google, but shipping rates involving in-depth product information like product type, tag, and collection are simply not supported by Google Merchant Center.
The best course of action in our opinion is to set your Google Channel to manual shipping and approximate your shipping in Google Merchant Center as closely as possible.
To further aid you in this process, here is a list of Parcelify settings and their corresponding shipping option listed in Google Merchant Center. If you see a match it may be worthwhile to build your Google rates around that option:
Also, if you are using Parcelify to approximate a carrier rate and that carrier is available accurately in Google Merchant Center, by all means take advantage of it!