Shipping cost is a key setting of online shops. After you sell an item, you arrange its shipment to the buyer. You may walk to a post station nearby, or hire a courier, or rely on a carrier company (like USPS or FedEx) to deliver your products. In any case, this work demands a payment that will cover your costs on the products' shipping. So you may want to charge your customers for the shipping in addition to the main products prices.
The StoreFront can be of great help to you in arranging the charge for the shipping of your goods, as it supports all necessary tools for that. Using the StoreFront, you can easily receive information from your customers on what delivery method they prefer, and define a fee that you will charge for the shipping. The StoreFront allows setting up different shipping methods as well as various types of charges like per item/ per order / flat fee, etc. or the shipping rates services from major carrier companies.
The StoreFront offers three main shipping methods types:
- Real-time (or carrier-calculated) shipping rates.
If you want to fully rely on such companies as UPS, USPS, Australia Post, etc., in calculating the shipping rates for your store, this variant would be perfect for you.
- You can set up your own shipping rates:
- Fixed Flat Rate
- Custom table: Various combinations of your own rates based on customer destination, order subtotal, and items weight
- Individual product shipping freight.
To add shipping methods, go to the Store Control Panel, click Shipping & Pickup, and click +Add Shipping Method.
How do I setup shipping?
A shipping method consists of three main settings:
- Destination zone. To what location (country, state/county/region, city, zip code) you will allow delivery of your products.
- Shipping method (carrier). How you will deliver your products (e.g. by mail, delivery guy, services provided from UPS, FedEx, etc, or it could be a local pickup).
- Shipping rate . How much you will charge your customers for shipping.
You should configure destination zones at first place, and submit the address from which you will deliver your products.
- Go to the Store Control Panel, and click Shipping & Pickup.
- Click Set up Origin Address. For instructions on setting up destination zones, see Destination zones.
After that, you can add necessary shipping methods in the Store Control Panel, Shipping & Pickup.
Carrier-Calculated Shipping Methods
Some carrier companies provide their own shipping rates that online store owners can use. This method would be perfect for you if you want to receive automatic rates from the delivery company. When your customer's placing an order, StoreFront will send the order details to for example, FedEx, and FedEx will return the corresponding shipping rates. The rates are calculated behind the scene so the customer will not notice anything and will see the shipping methods and rates, offered by the delivery company, immediately when the shipping address is entered.
Such methods are named Carrier-calculated. You can receive carrier-calculated rates from the following companies:
- Australia Post
- Canada Post
- Brasil Correios
These carriers have their own rates that are calculated based on destination zone, origin address, the weight of the products and parcel dimensions (length, width, height). If you can control the first three, the parcel dimensions are set by the carrier company unless the dimensions are provided by the merchant shop.
You can setup your own parcel dimensions as well.
To define parcel dimensions for each carrier-calculated method:
- Go to the Store Control Panel, and click Shipping & Pickup.
- When you edit or create a shipping method of carrier-calculated type, choose a company, click Account details, and click Advanced Settings to submit the parameters.
These dimensions will be sent to the carrier company together with all orders details. This feature will be useful, for example, if you ship your products in parcels of specific or non standard sizes. By defining your own parcel dimensions you will receive more accurate shipping rates.
If you want to set one shipping cost that will be charged to all customers equally regardless of order weight or subtotal, you can consider using Flat rate.
This rate type will allow you to define one fixed shipping charge (or a fixed per cent rate) on all your orders, as well several different fixed charges (or per cent rates) depending on the customer's destination zone.
When you create a new shipping method in the Store Control Panel → Shipping & Pickup, you can choose Flat rate type and decide whether it'll be a per cent or a flat amount.
You could absorb the price of shipping altogether and offer free delivery to all destinations or to certain zones. Usually free shipping is provided to customers from the same zone as yours.
So if you deliver your goods to different states or countries, and want to offer free delivery to one state/country, you can create a separate shipping method for this very zone and set zero shipping cost using the Flat rate shipping type.
If you want to apply free delivery on certain products only, you can use another shipping type—Shipping Freight per Product.
Rates Based on Weight or Subtotal
The best approach is to charge your customers what shipping actually costs your business. You can use the carrier companies' services for that, or estimate how much your shipping costs will be for your products and configure your own shipping rates using Custom table calculation type.
The StoreFront allows setting up shipping rates based on weight or order subtotal (amount to which customer is ordering):
When you add a shipping method, select calculation type.
Examples of use:
- The shipping costs depend on how much your products weigh. The higher the weight is, the more expensive the delivery will be.
- Shipping cost needs to be calculated per item or per gr/kg/lbs
- The more customers buys, the less they need to pay for the delivery
It is possible to setup individual shipping cost per each product. See Catalog → Products → Product Page → Tax & Shipping tab.
The StoreFront allows setting up shipping freight in four variants:
- Use Global Settings. The shipping for this product is calculated according to the rules configured in the Store Control Panel, on the Shipping & Pickup page.
This option is enabled for all products by default.
- Free shipping. The product will always have free shipping. The settings from Shipping & Pickup page will be ignored.
- Fixed rate per item. The shipping for this product will cost the fixed amount inserted in this field. The settings from Shipping & Pickup page will be ignored.
- Global + Fixed rate per item. The shipping charge for this product will be a sum of the individual fixed rate and the shipping rate configured in Settings → Shipping & Pickup.
When a product has a shipping freight setting, the shipping methods for this product will be taken from the settings at Settings → Shipping & Pickup, that is, the customer will receive those methods that correspond to his/her location (shipping address).
Shipping Setup for Downloadable Products
Products have option to require shipping on the Product Page. It is enabled by default on all products. If you sell goods that do not require shipping (for example, intangible, like software programs, documents, online cards) you can easily disable shipping for them by deactivating This product requires shipping option. When customer buys this product, the shipping costs will not be calculated on checkout.
- Go to the Store Control Panel, click Catalog, and then click Products.
- Next to a product that does not require shipping, click Edit Product.
- Click Tax and Shipping and disable the This Product Requires Shipping or Pickup toggle.