The reason the shipping process in Shopify could be a potential stumbling block is the sheer volume of options and product variables. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but by identifying your businesses’ specific shipping needs, you’ll find that Shopify’s shipping options do get the job done and can actually make getting your product to customers easier than you’ve ever imagined. So, let’s take a step-by-step look at what Shopify has to offer and how you can easily apply it to your own business situation.
Shopify Shipping Types and Deciding What Works Best For You
We’ll be focusing on Shopify’s three basic rate options for shipping. Each type has its advantages, but it ultimately comes down to your own products and which method best suits your products and shipping preferences. If you’re a bit lost, you can check out my video on the subject to get a simple walk-through on navigating the shipping setup page.
1. Price-Based Rates
If shipping weight variance isn’t a major concern for you, this might be the best option as it gives you more price control. Also, if you plan on offering FREE shipping (which more and more customers are beginning to expect), this will be the way to go.
This option is completely dependent on order price. You’re given the option to determine a set shipping rate for a range of order prices. For example, you could set a flat $10 shipping rate for any shipment between $50-$100. You can get more specific as well, allocating a flat $15 rate for any purchase under $50. This is also where you can allocate FREE shipping at any threshold. For example, for any purchase over $500, the shipping could be free – an added incentive for your buyers.
So again, this is all about price – the price of the order and the price of the shipping. Price-based shipping gives a lot of control over shipping prices, but it’s not recommended if there are wild variants in your product weights. You’d hate to have $10 flat shipping and have to eat the true cost of sending out a 125 lb order that managed to land between that $50-100 order price threshold.
2. Weight-Based Rates
A similar function as above only this time instead of setting order price ranges you are setting weight ranges. This option works best if you sell a variety of different products of varying sizes and weights. So now you could set a flat shipping fee of $15 for anything shipment that weighs between 0-25 lbs, easily covering your costs anywhere in the US. From there, you can continue to add rates covering any weight class.
Note: It should also be noted that you can customize the cost of all US territories or international shipping using different costs in different geographical “zones”.
When using the Weight-Based Rate shipping, you’d do well to do your homework on flat rate shipping boxes through the USPS as you can use those rates to help determine your own shipping rates. If you know your product well (as you should), you should know how much of your product will fit into a medium-sized flat rate box and price shipping accordingly, hopefully getting the cheapest rate possible for your customers.
3. Calculated Rates
It’s important to note that this shipping rate will be largely dependent on the shipping origin address which you will have to specify when first setting up your shipping page, but this method could be quite beneficial to sellers as the USPS offers certain discounts specific to Shopify.
With this calculated method, you now can offer different shipping levels (First Class, Priority, etc) and rates will be automatically calculated. For this information to be displayed to customers, however, you obviously need to know and enter the weight and dimensions for each product in your store. Of course, many of your customers will love this sense of control, allowing them to determine their shipping costs and speed of delivery.
Shopify Pricing & Shipping Features Included
Since Shopify has steered clear of that “one size fits all” mentality, this thinking has been applied to the different plans available to online sellers as well. As with any service that offers tiered plans, there can be vast differences between price points, but here’s a quick breakdown as it applies to shipping:
1. Basic Shopify
At the $29 a month level, you get access to all three shipping rate types described above. You’re also offered a USPS discount and the option of calculated rates for shipping through USPS ONLY.
This is the standard offering at $79 a month. While this price point offers many new features for your online store, we’re only discussing shipping here, and the difference between this level and the basic is only a slight increase in the USPS discount and the same calculated rate option.
3. Advanced Shopify
At the highest level and $299 a month, there is finally a new and quite important addition to your shipping arsenal. As well as an even better USPS discount, you can also now offer customers calculated rates for shippers other than the USPS, including UPS and FedEx, companies that many customers have come to prefer.
All in all, Shopify has an abundance of shipping options for eCommerce, and if you look at that as an incredible benefit for creating the absolute best experience for your customers as opposed to a daunting task full of percentages and fractions, your bottom line will thank you.
Important Updates About Shopify Shipping, Bulk Labels, and more
“Shopify Shipping” is a thing!
I didn’t realize it until I did the research for the Shopify Shipping video above, but Shopify Shipping is an actual thing now. Introduced sometime in 2016-17, they’ve integrated with the US Post Office to provide easier calculated shipping rates to store owners on all Shopify plans. Before – you had to be on the Advanced plan to get access to calculated rates with all shippers and the alternative was creating your own rates using the methods I described above. The new Shopify Shipping option is an awesome added benefit to sellers to help tackle one of the biggest pains in their side (shipping!) until teleportation becomes a reality or shipping drones rule the skies!
So this is awesome news for US shippers, but Shopify Shipping recently added DHL integration for international shippers as well!
Bulk Label Printing & Other Shipping Features
I recently spoke to a manager at Shopify about their new shipping options and she said there were new features coming to Shopify Shipping so you’ll have to stay tuned to this post and the Shopify blog for more announcements. One recent addition is the ability to bulk print your labels in Shopify shipping. You can now purchase and print multiple labels at once. Did you know that the average person spends a few hours per year and up to a few days per year literally pressing the button on their mouse??! Well, thanks to Shopify and bulk label printing, you can shave some serious clicks out of your day!
What’s Your Preferred Shipping Rate?
Have you figured out your shipping setup on your Shopify store? Do you need some help deciding? Comment below…