Shipping is an important aspect of any online business that deals in tangible products. We have put together this two-part shipping guide to help you understand how to set up shipping in your Shopify store. In part one, we discussed entering your information for shipping defaults and choosing your destinations. In part two, we will look at establishing shipping rates, choosing your carriers, and working with fulfilment providers.
Establishing Shipping Rates
There are two ways to establish shipping rates: either manually or by real-time calculation. Manual configuration requires you to figure out in advance how much you plan to charge, based either on weight or the total value of an order.
Weight-based shipping is preferred so that you do not lose money by underestimating how much shipping costs. You will be pleased to know that you don’t have to weigh each product individually every time it is ordered. You can include weight in the product description when you first enter it into your store. Shopify will remember it and calculate the total weight when an order is placed.
To establish shipping rates manually:
- From the Admin panel, click on Settings> Shipping.
- In the shipping rates window, locate one of shipping zones you created earlier and click ‘Add shipping rate’.
- Fill in the options; they include your shipping rate, your preferred shipping service, and minimum and maximum order prices. Be sure to add a shipping rate in the ‘Shipping cost’ box in the lower right corner.
- Click ‘Save’ to make your new rate permanent.
If you want to establish shipping rates using real-time data, you have to establish accounts with individual carriers first (think UPS, FedEx, and so on). Once those accounts are established, simply choose ‘Real-time estimates’ from the drop-down menu when you click ‘Add shipping rate’ on the shipping rates window (see step 1 above).
In the new window, you will need to select your preferred carrier and then decide on four additional options. At the bottom of the screen, you will have the opportunity to add a flat fee or a markup percentage to cover handling.
Working with Fulfilment Providers
You can use a fulfilment provider if your business is based on the dropshipping model. Shopify includes three providers by default: Amazon, Shipwire, and Rakuten. You can also use another fulfilment provider of your choice.
- In your Admin panel, click Settings> Shipping.
- Scroll down to Fulfilment>Dropshipping. Click on Dropshipping> Activate.
- In the new window, choose your preferred fulfilment service and click the Activate button.
You will then have to set up your shipping parameters accordingly. All three providers can provide you with technical assistance for this configuration. If you want to use an unlisted fulfilment provider, that provider must be able to receive orders via e-mail. Follow the same process listed above with one exception: instead of clicking on ‘Activate’ in the Dropshipping menu, click on ‘Add dropshipping service’. Then configure your shipping parameters.