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Setting up Shopify shipping methods may not be the most exciting task, but it’s a fundamental step to ensure the proper functioning of your online store.
Once you’ve set up your Shopify shipping methods, you’ll see that orders will be delivered on time and customer service will improve.
Setting up Shopify shipping methods
Setting up Shopify shipping methods is a simple and relatively quick process that is essential to selling your products through your online store on Shopify.
The Shopify platform offers multiple shipping and collection possibilities for your customers, from national and international shipments to local deliveries or in-store pickups. All of these options can all be useful for your business, although the type of customer each one is aimed at differs.
Without further ado, let’s start.
Before you start setting up shipping methods in Shopify, you first need to familiarize yourself with Shopify store locations.
Locations are, in essence, all the facilities in which you carry out some or all the activities related to your online store. A facility can be a warehouse, a physical store or a place from which you process orders or manage inventory.
Depending on the Shopify plan you're on (Basic Shopify, Shopify, or Advanced Shopify), you'll be able to manage between 4 and 8 different locations. It is important that you include all your locations so that they can all be selected as the exit point for the parcels, regardless of whether they’re shipments or pickups.
To add a location, go to the configuration section of your online store and enter "Locations". Shopify chooses a location for your online store by default. The default location can be changed within this section.
You can also choose which location you want the orders to go to first:
Once you’ve added all of your locations, you can start planning your shipping methods.
Shipping methods on Shopify
To set up Shopify shipping methods, you need to modify and complete three specific aspects of your online store.
The first of these is the shipping zones. Shipping zones are the places the online store ships to. They can be divided into regions, countries or groups of countries.
Go to the “Shipping and delivery” section and click on Manage rates within the shipping section:
You can start creating shipping zones by clicking Create shipping zone.
If you want to set a different shipping method for any region, just uncheck that territory from the list.
Next, we are going to establish the shipping rates for this shipping zone. To do this, click on Add rate.
You can set these rates based on courier prices or choose to set up your own rates.
We’re going to work with our own rates, so we’ll select that option. Needless to say, you must take into account the prices that are stipulated in the contract you have with your couriers to ensure that they aren’t higher than what you establish in your shipping rates.
The first step is to set the Shipping speed. Regarding the price, enter the rate you want to charge customers. You can set conditions in “Add conditions”.
These conditions may depend on the weight or price of the products. If you want to establish the weight as a criterion, you’ll need to include the weight of your products in your store.
If you prefer to choose the value of the order as your main criterion, choose a minimum and maximum price for that rate. For example, if you decide to offer free shipping, you can set a minimum order value of €25.
In that case, you must create a new condition in which you include the shipping costs that the buyer must assume if they spend less than €25. For example, in price, you would put €7, €0 in the minimum price criterion and €24.99 in maximum price.
With this, you have free shipping and standard shipping set up for domestic orders.
If you ship internationally, create any needed shipping zone and repeat the steps that we have just explained, modifying the data as necessary.
If you have products that, because of their nature, require special shipping conditions, you can create a shipping method for them. This can be useful for fragile products or products that need refrigeration.
To do this, go back to the general shipping section and click on Create new profile. The process is the same as the one we previously described, with the difference being that you’ll need to include the products that apply for the new shipping method.
You can also use these profiles to limit the areas in which you sell and ship a product. If, for example, the product requires certain licenses to be shipped to a specific country, or if you simply don't want to or don't have the resources to ship products to certain geographic areas.
Set up ‘local delivery’
It can be beneficial for your business to enable faster shipping options to those customers that are closer to your facilities.
Shopify allows you to choose specific postcodes for as many locations as you have. Remember that these locations can be physical stores, warehouses and other types of facilities from which you can ship or hand in products.
To enable the local delivery option, you must first go to the configuration area of your online store and then go to the shipping and delivery section.
Within the ‘local delivery’ field, select the location for which you want to enable this type of delivery and choose a criterion to establish the distance limit (postal codes of the areas or a delivery radius from your location).
In this case, we’re going to call this delivery zone ‘Local Delivery,’ because we are only going to enable this option for one store.
If you have multiple locations and you want to enable the local delivery option for several of them, we recommend giving them each a distinct name, such as ‘Local delivery Madrid,’ or identifying them with the name or address of each branch: ‘Local delivery Rozas,’ ‘Local delivery Gracia’.
You can add new delivery zones at the bottom of the page once you have enabled local deliveries for that location.
If you opt for the zip code criterion, you’ll need to include the eligible zip codes in the designated field.
You can then choose, if you want, a minimum order price (this is important to make sure you don't lose money if you offer free local deliveries) or set a price for this service.
You can also add conditions, just as you did for standard shipments.
Include the radius you choose for local deliveries and fill in or change the rest of the fields. As always, when you're done, it's important to save the changes.
The local delivery method is now set up for that location. To enable the local delivery feature for other locations, repeat the process.
Set up local pickup
To enable local pickups, go to the relevant field within the ‘Shipping and delivery’ section and click on ‘Manage pickup by location.’
Show the estimated preparation time for the order so that your customer can see when to pick up the order.
Other aspects related to Shopify shipping configurations
Within the ‘Shipping and delivery’ section, you can also include the different types of packaging you use to ship your products, as well as the weight and dimensions of the box, envelope or padded bag.
Including this information can help you more accurately calculate shipping costs for you and/or your customers.
Shipping and return policy
Just as important as setting up Shopify shipping methods is creating and publishing clear and concise shipping and return policies for your customers. This is one of the most common factors that potential customers check before making a purchase.
It’s therefore extremely important to make return policies short and clear and to display them in key parts of the checkout process.
Custom order fulfillment
In this section, you can add an email that connects your online store with the logistics service responsible for preparing Shopify orders.
Once you've set up shipping zones, created shipping rates and set the price you want to charge your customers, you're ready to start shipping your products domestically and internationally through your online store.
If you have the possibility of offering local pickups or enabling local deliveries for customers near your facilities, you can attract a sector of the population that may be reluctant to shop online, either because of the mistrust generated by not seeing the products in person or because of the incessant wait for the arrival of the courier (and the shipping issues that can happen).
If you want to avoid shipping issues, the next step to accelerate the growth of your online store on Shopify is to optimize the logistics processes, with regards to both the shipment of products and the returns that will inevitably occur.
To do this, you can rely on a tool like Outvio. Integrating all of your couriers and rates into a single interface means less time needed for shipping, tracking and shipping-issue management. This is only one of the advantages of using Outvio. Discover all of its features.
If you want to learn more about Shopify, you can check out this article in which we cover many additional aspects and functionalities of the platform.