If you run an online store, you're familiar with the daily challenges of printing postage and delivering packages on time. Because managing logistics is unnecessarily complicated, I often recommend merchants integrate full shipping software into their shopping cart systems. Using shipping software can help streamline your fulfillment process and prevent hassles caused by incorrect postage.
In the past, Shopify customers had to look elsewhere for shipping support, but Shopify has recently made major improvements to its shipping features. In fact, Shopify has introduced a brand new shipping system , Shopify Shipping , to help you simplify fulfillment.
Shopify Shipping is a built-in shipping suite that allows merchants to access calculated rates via USPS, UPS, and DHL. With Shopify Shipping, you can batch process orders and print shipping labels without worrying about third-party integrations. What's more, Shopify has struck deals with major shipping companies to save on shipping.
Unfortunately, there are bound to be mistakes at work. Most importantly, while you (the merchant) can view real-time shipping rates, your customers cannot. In order for customers to see real-time rates, you have to pay a premium or subscribe to Shopify's premium plan.
Still, Shopify Shipping is worth considering. Read on to learn more about Shopify Shipping and how to implement it in your business.
Set up Shopify Shipping
Since every Shopify platform includes shipping features, implementing Shopify shipping is a breeze.
You can find Shopify shipping options in the admin by navigating to Settings and then clicking Shipping. Or, for simplicity, you can click this link to your Shopify admin.
This page allows you to contact shipping companies, set shipping areas, and add drop-off services.
For Shopify Shipping to really work for your business, you must make sure to list the dimensions and weights of all your products and product variations.
Once you've set up your carrier and double-checked your products, you can start fulfilling orders. Here's what your order fulfillment page looks like:
You'll notice several shipping methods listed below the product information. You can choose to keep your customer's selected shipping speed, or upgrade it to a faster or cheaper service.
You should note that while you can choose from a variety of shipping speeds, your customers won't get those options. Instead, customers will only see flat or calculated shipping rates that you manually set in your Shopify admin. In order to show the rates calculated in real time, you need to pay for the Advanced Shopify plan or buy the add-on for $20 per month.
Shopify Shipping doesn't offer the most powerful shipping features. However, their shipping kits should suit the needs of most small businesses.
Here are some features you already have built in:
- Integrations with major carriers: Get real-time shipping rates from DHL , USPS , and UPS .
- Bulk order fulfillment: Set up shipping rules to process your orders in bulk. Buy shipping labels in your admin.
- Batch Label Printing: Print multiple shipping labels at once. You can use a thermal printer or a regular desktop printer to make these labels.
- Shipping Insurance: Guarantee your package. If something goes wrong, you will be covered.
- Flat rate or calculated shipping options: You can choose to set flat shipping rates or calculated rates based on weight and dimensions.
- Better customer service features: Provide customers with real-time updates and tracking information.
- International Features: Shopify Shipping will recognize your international orders and create customs information.
- View and UpdateShipping Choices: View your customer's shipping preferences. Upgrade customers to cheaper or faster services in your admin.
Given how quickly Shopify has built this shipping system, you won't be surprised to see more features continue to be added in the coming year.
Reduce shipping costs
One of the main reasons to consider Shopify Shipping is their reduced shipping rates through USPS, UPS, and DHL. This discount is available to all Shopify customers, but merchants on higher plans will save more on shipping.
Discounts are available for certain services. You can check out Shopify Shipping's full knowledge base for in-depth information and sample rates, or you can check out a brief list of services below.
USPS is an online seller's best friend when it comes to shipping small, lightweight products. Their partnership with Shopify Shipping will let you save up to 46% on your shipments. Check out Shopify's sample rates for a more detailed breakdown.
Here are the USPS services that Shopify Shipping can access:
- Domestic rate
- Priority Mail
- Priority Express Mail
- First-class package service
- International rates
- First Class Package International Rates
- Priority Mail International Rates
UPS focuses on fast shipping and guaranteed delivery, and is often the best option for time-sensitive shipments. Depending on your Shopify plan, you can save up to 52% on UPS rates. Check out Shopify's knowledge base for details.
Here are the UPS services you can access:
- Domestic rate
- UPS next day delivery
- UPS next afternoon delivery
- 2 day delivery by UPS
- 3-day delivery by UPS
- UPS General Rates
- International rates
- UPS Worldwide Express Rates
- UPS Global Savings Rate
- UPS World Expedited Rates
- UPS Standard to Canada Rates
If you ship internationally, you should consider DHL to make it happen. Global logistics is what they do best. While I can't find a single percentage that states the DHL discount, Shopify does say that DHL offers "special DHL express rates exclusive to Shopify." You can check out some examples of special rates in the knowledge base I keep mentioning.
While Shopify Shipping supports most packages, it doesn't support all packages. The following is a brief list of unsupported shipment types:
- Flat envelopes are thinner than ¼ inch
- big package
- Overall dimensions (the sum of the length, width and height of the package) are greater than 84 inches
- irregular package
- non-rectangular packaging
As you set up your online store, be sure to keep an eye on Shopify Shipping. You may find it meets all your needs, or you may find that you need some add-ons to fill those needs.
Either way, we're excited to see improvements like this from Shopify, and we hope to see continued progress going forward. In particular, we want each storefront to get a real-time calculated rate. We will definitely keep an eye on this feature!
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