For most online stores, shipping costs are one of the most important costs to the business. Before you launch your store, you will need to decide what your policy on shipping rates is going to be: how you will charge your customers for shipping:
The balance to be found is between clarity and simplicity for your customers on the one hand and covering your costs on the other hand. Some stores even make money on the shipping: it really depends on what you are selling and to whom.
Let's go and look at the shipping settings by clicking into Settings and then Shipping in the navigation panel. You'll notice there are three main sections: shipping rates, carrier calculated shipping and fulfillment/drop shipping.
For a new store, your shipping address, as in the address that you ship from, will not yet be registered. You'll see at the top of the page "You currently have not setup a shipping address". Click on Add one now and fill in the address that you ship from. This will be used for carrier calculated shipping but it's no harm putting it in, even if you're not planning on using that.
In this section, you will define the shipping rates for the countries that you would like your store to sell into, or in other words, the countries that you are ready to ship to. For a new store it will be set up for two destinations: "Rest of World" and the country of your business, the one you listed when you opened your Shopify account. "Rest of World" is a catchall to which one set of shipping rates can be applied. This is useful if you want to ship worldwide but depending on the shipping costs you pay, you may be better off to specify more individual destinations.
You can see in the screenshot above, there are two shipping
rates for orders to be delivered in the United States. For orders
between 0 and 5lbs, "Standard Shipping" will be applied at a cost
of $10 to the customer. For orders between 5 and 20lbs, "Heavy
Goods Shipping" will be applied at a cost of $20 to the customer.
For orders from everywhere else, the "Rest of World" shipping rate
is applied: $20 for orders between 0 and 20lbs.
There are two different types of shipping rates: those based on order price and those based on order weight. Clearly the examples we have just gone through are based on the order weight. To use shipping rates based on order weights, every product in your store must have an accurate weight listed in the admin. Alternatively with a shipping rate based on order price, you could specify the price to be charged to ship an order of a value within a certain range. For example, orders of a value between $100 and $200 should be charged $8 for shipping.
Remember it's in the general settings that you can set whether your store uses imperial (pounds) or metric units (kilograms) and also what money, or currency, is to be used in your store.
You can adjust the shipping rates in the following ways:
You can add as many rates as you want for any particular
country. You can also create multiple rates for the same weight or
price ranges. In this way you can offer a choice of different
shipping options if you like: economy or express for
Let's take a look at how shipping rates are defined. To do so, we'll add a new rate:
For a shipping rate based on order weight
Note: If the ranges for two shipping rates overlap then the
customer will be presented two options for shipping if their order
is within the overlapping range. So it's best not to overlap if you
want to avoid this. For example end one range at 9.99lbs and start
the next one at 10lbs or end a range at 10lbs and start the next
one at 10.01lbs. It depends how you decided to do your product
weights or prices, if you round up product weights or prices for
You may need to adjust a shipping rate that you already have in
place. To do so:
Editing the shipping rates for a destination with regions defined in Shopify, for example the United States, is a little bit different as you can also control the rates for each of the individual regions. When you click the name of the rate (for example "Standard Shipping" for the United States), you will see the same as you saw earlier but also a list of the regions and their respective rates.
For countries that have regions listed in Shopify, like the
United States, you can adjust rates for individual
From here you can:
Edit the overall settings for the rate: The same as before, here you can edit the name, range and price for the shipping rate. If you change the shipping price it will be copied across to the price for all the regions.
When you have finished editing the shipping rate for the country and its regions, make sure to scroll down and click the Save button to finish.
Enabling Carrier Calculated Shipping
If you are using UPS, USPS or
FedEx to ship your orders, you also have the choice to integrate
your Shopify account with that service and offer shipping rates in
real-time. This service is an option only available to those using
the Shopify "Business" plan or higher. To use this service, you
will need to make sure there is an accurate weight listed for each
of your products: remember to include the weight packaged.
To activate carrier calculated shipping, click on the Activate button for the carrier of your choice. You will need to fill in your credentials for your account with the carrier and click the Save button. The integration with each carrier is a little bit different. You will be brought through the steps required.
Fulfillment services can stock, pack and ship your products for
you and so free you up to focus on other aspects of your business.
They can also stock and ship from warehouses throughout the world,
enabling you to sell to customers around the globe. You'll find the
settings for this among the shipping settings.
Shopify integrates with fulfillment services by Amazon, Shipwire and Webgistix. It also provides a basic integration with other fulfillment services by emailing them directly with the full order details.
To activate fulfillment services for Amazon, Shipwire or Webgistix, click on the activate button for that particular service. For Amazon, you will be brought through to the Amazon site to carry out the integration. For Shipwire and Webgistix, you will need to enter your account details.
The custom fulfillment service, at the bottom of the "Fulfillmen/Dropshipping" section provides a basic integration with other fulfillment services: it emails them the orders for products they fulfill. To put in place a custom fulfillment service:
The only other step required to put in place your new fulfillment service is to let Shopify know which products should be fulfilled by them.
Who fulfills each product
For each product in your store, you can choose who will fulfill, or pack and ship it. Once you have put in place your fulfillment service, a fulfillment policy will be added to each product variant. As standard, these will marked as fulfilled by "me": that's you and your warehouse. But there is a dropdown to choose the other fulfillment services.
To change the "Fulfilled by" policies one by one: