This article will help you set-up shipping methods for your store's orders.
Real-Time Shipping Calculation
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If you have your Shift4Shop Store integrated with any of the available Shipping Carriers, you can provide Real-Time shipping calculation rates to your customers when they place their orders. This is done by connecting to your shipping carrier account's API and providing the order's point of origin (where your product is shipping from), its destination (where the order is going), and other details about the order. (package weight and dimensions if applicable). Your shoppers will then see selectable rates for their orders which will be added to their sub-total.
If you have not yet integrated your store with the available shipping carriers, please complete this process first. You can get information on this topic by clicking here.
To begin adding real-time shipping methods to your store, please use the following steps:
- Log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager
- Use the left hand navigation menu and go to Settings >Shipping
- Next, click on the "Enter Settings" button located in the "Shipping Settings" section
At the very top of the page, you will see an area labeled "Real Time Shipping Information" with a +Icon to the left of it. Click on this icon to expand the setting.
- Enter your Real Time Shipping Information,
- Click "Save" to commit your changes.
This section determines where your products are shipping from for the real time shipping calculation. This could be your main warehouse address or wherever you do your shipping from.
If you plan to use Drop Shippers or multiple locations for your orders, please review this article as well:
Adding Real Time Shipping Methods
The following steps will outline how to add a real time shipping method
Real Time Shipping methods are available for the following carriers:
For a complete list of the available Shipping Methods, please click here.
- Go to Settings >Shipping
- Next click on the "Select Methods" button found within the "Shipping Methods" section
- Click “+Add Methods’ button listed for the carrier that you would like to set methods for
- Select the country and state the shipping method will apply to.
- Then select the individual methods that you'd like to add.
- Finally, click "+Add" to have the methods added
This will add each selected method to the page. Next, you will configure each method as needed
In order to ship products outside of the United States you must at least include one International Shipping method (i.e. UPS Worldwide Express, Fedex International Economy, USPS Express Mail International, etc)
Each method will have its own individual "Settings" link. Clicking on this link you will have options for the following:
This field is the label of the method as it will appear on your store front. You may edit it to suit your needs.
This field will allow you to add a markup to whatever shipping cost is returned by the shipping method.
The markup can either be a monetary amount or a percentage - when the % checkbox is enalbed.
Within the base settings section you will also see a link labeled "Advanced Settings"
Clicking on Advanced Settings will let you further refine the following settings:
- Min. Weight
The minimum weight range that the order must meet for this shipping method to be available.
- Max. Weight
The maximum weight range that the order must meet for this shipping method to be available.
- Customer Group
The customer group that this shipping method will be available for.
- Country/State Exclude State
This link allows you to add locations to the method's exclude list so that the shipping method will not apply when these areas are used for the order.
Once the shipping method is created, you can edit most of the parameters, such as the min/max weight, exclude states, as well as select a particular customer group this shipping method applies to. However, the country the method applies to cannot be edited after the fact. If you need to specify a different country after you've created the shipping method, you will need to create a new shipping method altogether.
Custom Shipping Methods
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Aside from the Real Time Shipping methods, you can also set up Custom or Offline Shipping methods on your store. These are methods that can be based on the Weight, Order Amount, Number of Items, or Zip Code.
In some cases you may need to create a custom shipping method in order to cover shipping costs for a particular set of circumstances. For example, perhaps your products need special shipping considerations not offered by Shift4Shop (freight shipping) or perhaps you'd like to set a free shipping type option where your customers come to your warehouse directly to pick up the merchandise. In these cases, you would use the custom shipping methods to accommodate these circumstances.
With Shift4Shop, you are able to set up 4 different types of custom shipping methods. These are:
- Custom - By Quantity
Based on how many items are being ordered/shipped
- Custom - By Value
Based on how much the total order costs
- Custom - By Weight
Based on how heavy the total order is
- Custom - By Zip
Based on the zip code where the order is going to
The basic set up for each of these is the same as for the real time shipping methods described above. However, their execution is what sets them apart from each other.
For information on using Custom Shipping methods, please click here.
Additional Shipping Method Options
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In this next section, we'll describe some of the other Shipping options available to you.
When you first set up your Shift4Shop store, ALL countries and ALL states are enabled. However, you may have specific needs which require you to limit the scope of your shipping area.
For example, you may sell Region 1 DVDs that are only available and viewable in North America and selling them to European countries would only increase the amount of returned merchandise you get. Perhaps there are legal, or even product licensing reasons for limiting the areas you ship to. Whatever the case may be, you can specify exactly which countries your cart is able to ship to.
To update the available shipping countries and states, do the following:
- Go to Settings >Shipping
- Click on the "Country List" link located towards the right hand side of the page.
- Check the checkbox next to country you want to deliver to, uncheck countries you do not want to deliver to.
- Click Save
You may also want to limit or enable specific states (these can be states/territories/provinces/etc) within your selected countries. For example, in the case of the United States as the country, you may have product that cannot be shipped to a specific states due to their individual state laws. Or perhaps you only want to ship to specific provinces in Canada. Whatever the case may be, you can also click on "Check States" to enable/disable or even add/remove specific "states" within these countries.
- Repeat steps 1 & 2 above.
- Click Check States next a country you want to deliver to.
States are pre-populated for you in regards to the United States and Canada. States for all other countries will need to be manually added.
From here, you can do one of the following:
- Check the checkbox next to a state to make that state available and click Save.
- Uncheck the checkbox next to a state to make that state unavailable and click Save.
- To remove a state, check the Remove checkbox next to a state to sand click Save.
- To add a new state, in the Add New State section, enter the name and two letter abbreviation for the state and click
(Check your shipping carrier for the appropriate abbreviations)
Please be aware of how your shipping carriers handle specific territories. For example, some shipping carriers consider Puerto Rico as its own country, while some carriers consider it as an applicable state/territory for the US. Therefore you may need to specify Puerto Rice as both a country AND a US state to accommodate multiple carriers.
As a further example, the Canary Islands are considered part of Spain for some carriers as well as its own county by others. (Check with your shipping carrier for specific information)
Multiple Shipping Distributors/Drop Ship
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If any or all of your products are shipped directly from the distributor to your customers, then you can use your Shift4Shop store as a "drop shipping" cart. This allows you to have the orders come into your store while automatic email notifications are sent to your distributors containing the specifics of the order (distributor items, quantities, address, etc). Your distributor then sends the product out to the customer as needed.
Shift4Shop's drop shipper features also allows you to use the distributor's address as the origin address for the shipping calculations. Therfore, at checkout the items will be grouped by distributor in order to correctly calculate the shipping rates for the total weight of the order from the distributor's address to the customer's address.
Setting up the Distributors
To add the distributors list
- Log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager
- Select Settings >General >Distributors
- Click on the "+Add" button at the top right of the page
- Specify a name for the distributor and click on its "+Add" button to create it.
- Next, enter the distributor's contact information including their shipping point of origin and contact email addresses
- Check the "Is Dropshipper" checkbox to have shipping calculated based on the distributor's address.
- Check "Notify on New Order" checkbox to send the automated email to the distributor when a new order is received.
- Check "Notify on Cancelled Order" checkbox to send cancellation notices to the distributor when an order is cancelled.
When checking these last two checkboxes, the interface will expand to allow you to customize the email that is sent to the distributor. This is to be used if you wish to provide a personalized or specific message to the distributor.
If the email Subject and Message sections are left blank, the store will use the its default Distributor email template found in Settings >Design >Emails
The order emails will be sent to the distributor only when the order includes products that belong to this specific distributor.
The next step in the process is to assign the individual products that are shipped by your distributor.
Assigning Products to the Distributor
After setting up the distributor's list you need to assign the products that belong to each distributor.
- Login to your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager.
- Using the left hand navigation, go to Products and view (or search for) the product that you'd like to edit
- Look to the far right of the product listing and click on its "Action >Edit" button
- Select a distributor from the "Distributor" drop-down list
- Click "Save"
Your product will now be tied to the distributor and drop shipping will correspond accordingly.
Shipping Will be Calculated Later
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The "Shipping will be calculated later" option is failover option that allows customers to place orders on your site when the available shipping methods don't apply to the address provided. In some cases, your configured shipping methods may not be applicable to the customer's circumstances, whether it is due to their particular area of delivery or purchase items in general. For example, you may have shipping methods that only apply to a maximum weight range of 150lbs while your customer is ordering 200lbs. In a case like this, no shipping method would apply to the purchase and the cart would generate an error stating that no shipping method could be found.
The "Shipping will be Calculated Later" setting would allow for a simple fail-over message stating that shipping will be calculated later in order to allow the checkout process to continue. Then, after the order is placed, you can charge the customer separately for shipping as needed.
This control can be access from the Shift4Shop shipping settings. To access shipping settings from your Shift4Shop control panel, go to Settings >Shipping and then clicking on the "Enter Settings" button under the "Carrier Settings" section.
Once there, click on the + Icon next to "Shipping Settings to reveal a series of checkboxes. Within this area you will see a checkbox titled "Shipping will be Calculated later "
Selecting this option will then apply the following Shipping Message to your customer's cart during checkout.
The wording of the message can be edited by going to Settings >Design >Store Language and editing the text for the "shipping-fail" parameter.
Specifying Shipping Container Parameters
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You can use the store's shipping container settings to determine how shipping calculation will be handled based on how many boxes will be used on the order.
You may set a maximum weight of items each box will hold per shipment. For example, you may want each box to weigh no more than 50 pounds per order. Therefore, if a customer makes an order that is a total of 100 pounds, your store can calculate shipping for two 50 pound boxes.
Alternatively, you may want to use predefined shipping boxes instead. Both options maybe configured in your shipping settings section.
In your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager, go to Settings >Shipping and click on the "Enter Settings" button found within the "Shipping Settings" area. Within this page look towards the top left and click on the + icon next to Shipping Settings.
You will see a series of additional shipping settings that can be toggled and set for use on the store.
Max Box Weight
In Shipping settings, you'll see a radio button and an open number number field titled "Max Box Weight (Lbs)."
By default, this setting will be set to the number 75. However your specific carrier may allow for larger shipment weights, so you should check with your carrier's limits and set this field accordingly.
Although the label of this setting mentions (Lbs) as the weight denomination, please be aware that the actual weight measurement (Stadnard or Metric weight) is ultimately determined by your carrier. Therefore, the number entered here is not specifically pounds, grams, kilograms or any actual weight measurement, but rather a number that is sent to your carrier for calculation.
This is important to note for merchants who use shipping calculation provided by metric based services like Australia Post where the maximum weight number should ideally reflect grams.
Predefined Shipping Boxes
An alternative to setting a maximum box weight is to use "Use predefined boxes" radio button instead. This button ( and the "Configure boxes" link) will allow you to specify dimensionsal box sizes to be used on orders.
With multiple box dimensions set up, the store will select the appropriate box to use for the shipping calculation request that will be made to the carrier. This box selection will be based on the total weight and dimensions of the products being ordered - in comparison to the available weights and measures specified for your boxes.
If a particular order is heavier or larger than the largest box, the store will then add the next appropriate box size to the order for proper factoring of the shipping costs.
For more information on using pre-defined boxes, click here.