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April 04, 2022
When it comes to setting up your Shopify ecommerce store, your shipping settings are a critical component. You will need to configure these settings before you can make your first sale. And as your store grows, you will probably tweak and adjust your settings over time.
If your shipping settings aren’t established correctly, you could end up overcharging your customers (thereby creating a poor customer experience) or undercharging the customer (thereby costing you precious revenue). Neither option is good for your business, so it’s best to configure these settings properly right away.
In this tutorial, we show you how to set up shipping on Shopify. First we'll discuss your shipping strategy and then we will go through each of the configuration options.
Before you start adjusting your shipping settings, it’s important to determine your shipping strategy. You’ll need to decide whether to charge shipping, and if so, how much. Your shipping strategy may change over time as your store grows, so these decisions aren’t permanent.
Below are some options when it comes to charging for shipping. Keep in mind that you aren't limited to one of these choices. You can use a combination of different shipping strategies for different products or locations. We’ll explain how to set that up in the next section.
Free shipping is as simple as it sounds: You don’t charge for shipping. This has the greatest impact on store conversions because people absolutely love free shipping. If you choose this method, make sure to add the cost of shipping into your prices.
This is when you pass the exact cost of shipping to your customers. You can either set up accounts with individual carriers or (if you are located in the U.S. or Canada) take advantage of Shopify Shipping to calculate shipping rates for your customers. In order to use this option, you’ll need to add weights to all of your products and choose some packaging options so the calculator can put accurate quotes together.
Flat rate shipping is when you charge every customer a fixed amount for each package. For instance, you might charge a flat $5 for all orders. Typically, this practice means you’ll lose a little on some orders and earn a little extra on others, but hopefully it evens out in the end. You can also set flat rates for certain weight ranges, destinations, or cart totals.
Once you choose a shipping strategy, make sure to outline it clearly on your shipping policy page.
Now that you have an idea regarding how you will charge your customers for shipping, it's time to go through Shopify shipping settings and configure everything for your needs. Click the Settings link at the bottom left of your Shopify dashboard.
Once you’re inside the Settings menu, find the Shipping & delivery tab.
Once you are in the shipping and delivery settings, you'll need to go through each section to edit your settings.
Your first step is to choose a delivery method (or multiple methods). There are three options:
Local delivery and local pickup are pretty straightforward. If you choose to use either or both of those delivery methods, click into its menu, toggle the “This location offers local delivery” or “This location offers local pickup” checkbox, and complete the fields that appear.
Shipping is a bit more complicated. Click the “Manage rates” link to adjust your settings.
By default, Shopify starts you with a general shipping profile. Shipping profiles let you create product-based and location-based shipping rules so your prices are always accurate. For instance, you might offer free shipping on all of your products except for a fragile collection that requires an additional charge. Or you might offer free shipping to domestic customers and exact cost shipping to international customers.
This default profile includes all of your products. First, confirm that the Shipping from address is accurate. The default address is the address you submitted when you first created your store. But you may want to include something different if you ship from elsewhere, like a warehouse or fulfillment center.
Next, adjust your shipping zones. In our example, we have two shipping zones: the United States and the rest of the world. Edit the cost of each zone by clicking the Add rate button. You can also add new zones by clicking the Create shipping zone link.
If you want to create a new profile (perhaps for that collection of fragile products), return to the main shipping settings and click the Create new profile link. You’ll be asked to name the new profile, add products, and set up shipping zones just like the general profile.
In this section of your shipping settings, choose a package that matches the type you intend to use. Since carriers charge by size and weight, you should use a package that’s only as big as you need to contain your products. When you're ready to buy a shipping label for your order, you will have the option to choose one of your saved packages.
Shopify comes with a default package. You can change the package dimensions by clicking the Edit link. Or you could add a new package by clicking the Add package link. You can add as many additional packages as you like.
Keep in mind that if you are letting your carriers calculate the shipping cost, your products must have weights and dimensions, otherwise the calculator won’t produce accurate shipping quotes when your customers reach checkout.
Shipping labels are the documents you tape or stick on to the outside of your packages. They include the recipient’s name, address, and phone number, the sender’s address, and a bar code for the carrier to read. Your labels might also include the order number, a tracking number, the carrier’s information, the order date, and the shipping service.
There’s not much to do here. Just confirm that everything looks right for each shipping service. (The example below only shows one shipping service: Shopify Shipping.) You can also select your label format and print tests.
When you fulfill an order, it’s smart to include a packing slip. This document helps you make sure that you include all of the correct items. It also reassures the customer that everything they purchased is in the box.
If you want to edit the layout and design of the packing slip, click Edit.
In the layout editor, you can use HTML, CSS, and Liquid code to design your own packing slip. Use the green Preview template button to preview.
Shipping carriers are the parties or services who deliver customer orders. USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL are popular options. If you have accounts with any of these services integrated with your Shopify account, you’ll see them here.
Shopify default shipping features are suitable for most stores. But if you have unique needs or want more control over the shipping process, you may decide to use a third-party shipping app. These apps vary in regards to features and cost, so you'll need to evaluate them carefully before settling on one.
Here are some highly recommended Shopify shipping apps:
That said, if you don't have unique needs or require any special features, we strongly recommend using Shopify's native shipping capabilities. It's best to keep things simple by not introducing third-party applications unless you absolutely need to.
Looking for more great Shopify apps? Check out our list of the best conversion apps for Shopify.