Setting up shipping

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Before you start selling, you need to decide what shipping methods you want to use, and then set up shipping in your store so that your customers could select a delivery method at checkout.

Ecwid allows to set up different shipping methods as well as various types of charges like per item/per order/flat fee, etc. or get the shipping rates from UPS, USPS and other major carrier companies.

How to setup shipping for store

This video shows how to setup shipping methods in your Ecwid store. More tutorials on our YouTube channel: Ecwid Team

Shipping methods can be set up in your Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup

A shipping method consists of three main settings:

  • Destination zone — to what location (country, state/county/region, city, zip code) you deliver your products.
  • Shipping method (carrier) — the way you deliver your products (e.g. by mail, courier, services provided by UPS, FedEx, etc.) or local pickup.
  • Shipping rate — how much you will charge your customers for shipping.

First, you should define where you will ship to by configuring your destination zones. For instructions on setting up destination zones, please refer to this article: Destination zones

You need also to submit the address where you ship from in your Ecwid Control panel → Settings -→ Shipping & Pickup, the "Shipping Origin" section. 

After that you can add necessary shipping methods in your Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup

Rates calculated by shipping companies

Some carrier companies provide their own shipping rates that online store owners can use. This method would be perfect for you if you want to receive automatic rates from the delivery company. When your customers place an order, Ecwid will send the order details to the shipping company, and it will return the corresponding shipping rates. The rates are calculated behind the scene so the customer will just see the shipping methods and rates, offered by the delivery company in your store.

Such methods are named 'Carrier-calculated' in Ecwid. You can receive carrier-calculated rates from the following companies (click on a company name to enter an article with configuration instructions): 

Parcel dimensions

Basically, these carriers have their own rates that are calculated based on destination zone, origin address, weight of the products, parcel dimensions (length, width, height). The parcel dimensions are set by the carrier company unless the dimensions are provided by the merchant shop. 

You can setup your own parcel dimensions in Ecwid for each carrier-calculated method.

Go to Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup, when you edit or create a carrier-calculated shipping method, choose a company and click on it,  then proceed to the "Advanced Settings" section and submit the average size of the packages you are planning to ship under "Default package dimensions"

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These dimensions will be sent to the carrier company together with all other orders details.

Product dimensions

What if you ship items with different sizes and weight, and every shipping rate varies depending on the products' sizes or weight? Ecwid will help you to receive precise rates from the shipping carriers.

Every product can have individual dimensions: weight, length, width, height. If you're using an online shipping carrier, these dimensions will be passed to the carrier together with the order details. 

To add the dimensions go to your Ecwid Control Panel → Catalog → Products, product details page, the "Tax and Shipping" tab:

If you need to update many products with specific dimensions, you can do it in bulk with the help of the product export-import feature.

 

Shipping markup for carrier-calculated shipping methods 

Ecwid allows you to slightly increase the shipping rates returned from the carrier. You can achieve this with the help of Shipping markup. Shipping markup is a flat fee that is added to the shipping cost. 

Use the shipping markup to cover additional handling expenses, for example order packing or insurance. 

How to setup shipping markup in your store: 

  1. Go to Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup
  2. Create a new carrier-calculated shipping method or open the existing shipping method for editing
  3. Go to the "Account details" section
  4. Set the shipping markup value 

markup.png

To disable the shipping markup in your store change the rate to $0. 

Please note, the shipping markup value is not shown up separately at checkout, the fee is just included in the shipping cost. In case you’d like to inform customers about extra charge, we recommend to use the Handling fee option. 

FedEx and UPS money-back guarantee on late deliveries

Both FedEx and UPS have 100% money-back guarantee on late deliveries. If you ship the packages using FedEx or UPS and your ground or international shipping arrives late by one minute or more, you may claim a full refund. 

Collecting your due shipping refunds can be simplified with the help of the 71lbs or Share a Refund apps for Ecwid. They handle the monitoring of your FedEx and/or UPS shipping accounts and automatically file claims on all identified late deliveries. Refunds are credited directly to your shipping account. Both apps are available in the Ecwid App Market for free.

Flat rate

If you want to set one shipping cost that will be charged to all customers equally regardless of order weight or subtotal, you can consider using flat rates.

This rate type will allow you to define one fixed shipping charge (or a fixed percent rate) on all your orders, as well as several different fixed charges (or percent rates) depending on a customer's destination zone.

When you create a new shipping method at Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup, you can choose "Flat rate" and decide whether it'll be a percent or a flat amount. 

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Free shipping

You can offer free delivery to all destinations or to certain zones. Usually free shipping is provided to customers from the same zone as yours.

So if you deliver your goods to different states or countries and want to offer free delivery to one state/country, you can create a separate shipping method for this very zone and set zero shipping cost using the "Flat rate" shipping type.

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If you want to apply free delivery on certain products only, you can use another shipping type - Shipping freight. Please note that in this case the free shipping is applied to all zones.

Rates based on weight or subtotal

The best approach is to charge your customers what shipping actually costs your business. You can use the automatic courier companies rates for that, or estimate how much your shipping your products will cost and set your own shipping rates using the "Custom table" calculation type. 

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Ecwid allows setting up shipping rates based on weight or order subtotal:

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Examples of use:

  •  The shipping costs depend on how much your products weigh. The higher the weight is, the more expensive the delivery will be. 
  •  Shipping cost needs to be calculated per item or per gr/kg/lbs
  •  The more a customer buys, the less they need to pay for delivery

Shipping freight per product

It is possible to setup individual shipping cost per each product. You can set this in your Ecwid Control Panel → Catalog → Products, a product details page, the "Tax&Shipping" tab. 

Ecwid allows setting up shipping freight in four variants:

  • Use Global Settings. The shipping for this product is calculated according to the rules configured in your Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup. This option is enabled for all products by default.
  • Free shipping. The product will always have free shipping. The settings from the Shipping & Pickup page will be ignored.
  • Fixed rate per item. The shipping for this product will cost the fixed amount inserted in this field. The settings from the Shipping & Pickup page will be ignored.
  • Global + Fixed rate per item. The shipping charge for this product will be a sum of the individual fixed rate and the shipping rate configured in the Shipping & Pickup page.

Shipping setup for digital products.

Ecwid products have the "Requires shipping or pickup" option, it can be found in your Ecwid Control Panel → Catalog → Products, a product details page.

requires_shipping.png

It is enabled by default for all products. If you sell goods that don't require shipping (e.g., intangible or digital products like software programs, documents, online maps, etc) you can easily disable shipping for them by deactivating the "Requires shipping or pickup" option. When customer buys this product, the shipping costs will not be calculated on checkout. 

Check for more information about selling intangible goods in our article about selling digital products.

Shipping FAQ

Will Ecwid ship products to my customers for me? 

No, Ecwid doesn't do the shipping. Ecwid provides the shopping cart platform which has all necessary tools to set up your store so that the shipping rates were calculated there. But it's up to you to physically send the products to a customer by any of the shipping methods you have set up in your store.

How to offer in-store pickup

Yes, you can. We've got a special "In-store pickup" method for that. You can create several locations for in-store pickup, set up business hours and order fulfillment time. To add the in-store pickup option to your store, go to your Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup and click the "Add In-store Pickup" button. See the detailed instructions on how to do all that in our article about in-store pickup

How to create three shipping methods: a free one for picking up from our store, a cheap one for small items, and the third one for big items

 For this configuration, you need to do the following: 

1. Create two destination zones, one for the local pickup, the other one for usual delivery. You can set it in your Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Zones 

2. Go to Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup  

Add two shipping methods:

a) Create a new shipping method, set it for the "local pickup" zone. The calculation type: "Flat rate", shipping rate - 0.00. Name it "Local pick-up".

local_pickup.png

pickup_rate.png

b) A shipping method for the second zone with the following settings:

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Table based on → Weight

Rate based on → Range only

Set shipping rates → 2 rows: 

Weight range: 0 -2   Per order: $X

Weight range: 2.01 - xxx  Per order: $Y

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3. Make sure all your products have the correct weight.

How to charge $2.75 for 250lbs , $3.75 for 500lbs, and so on till $4.00 for 750lbs?

Proceed to Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup, click the "+Add Shipping Method" button to create the necessary shipping method.

You should create a shipping method with the following settings:

Select how you calculate shipping?  Custom table 

Table based on → Weight

Rate based on → Range only

Set shipping rates → 3 rows: 

Weight range: 0 -250   Per order: 2.75

Weight range: 250.01 -500  Per order: 3.25

Weight range: 500.01 - 700 Per order: 4.00

shipping.png

How to setup free shipping for all orders over $100

Proceed to your Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup, click the "+Add Shipping Method" button to create the necessary shipping method.

You should create a shipping method with the following settings:

Select how you calculate shipping?  Custom table 

Table based on → Subtotal

Rate based on → Range only

Set shipping rates → 2 rows: 

Subtotal range: 0 - 99.99   Per order: X

Subtotal range: 100 - and up   Per order: 0.00

This rule will apply $X shipping rate for the orders less than $100, and free shipping to the orders over $100. 

free_over_100.png

According to the settings in the screenshot, $20 shipping rate will be applied for orders less than $100, shipping order over $100 will be free. 

How to limit the delivery area to one country/city

If you want to ship to one particular country/region/area you need to restrict shipping to this zone only, so that your shipping methods worked for this particular area only. 

First of all you need to define a destination zone for the area you ship to. After that, configure the shipping method and shipping rates for this destination zone. In this case processing to checkout is available only for the customers whose shipping address is covered by the destination zone. All other customers will see the  "Sorry, we do not ship to this location" message and they will not be able to place an order.

Example 1: setting up shipping for Australia only:

1. Create a destination zone.

  • Go to your Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Zones tab
  • Click the "+Add New Zone" button
  • Enter "Australia" as the "Zone Name" 
  • Click the "Add country" button and pick Australia from the list
  • Click the "Save" button to finish shipping zone creation

destination_zone.png

2. Create a shipping method limited for that zone

australia.png

Example 2: setting up shipping for NYC only:

1. Create destination zone

  • Go to your Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Zones
  • Click the "+Add New Zone" button
  • Enter "Australia" as the "Zone Name" 
  • Click the "Add country" button and pick "Unites States" from the list
  • Click the "Add states" in right column and select "New York"
  • Add the New York City Zip/Postal Codes in order to limit the shipping area
  • Click the "Save" button to finish shipping zone creation

nyc.png

2. Define shipping method limited for that zone

ny_ship.png

Once you have created the shipping methods connected to destination zones, only the customers from this region will be able to place the order.

How to change the order of delivery methods

Yes, you can set any order in which the delivery methods will be shown to your customers. In your Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup click on the "Actions" button, select "Sort" and change the sorting as you wish by dragging and dropping the items. Save the changes.

How the customers can track shipments

It is possible to add tracking number to the order and send it is the email notification so that customer could track its status on the shipper site. Please check this article for instructions on adding the tracking number to the order: How to assign a tracking number to an order?

Ecwid App Market also features the apps that allow you to track all your shipments as well as update the customers on this shipping status.

AfterShip

AfterShip allows to track all your shipments and send delivery updates to your customers automatically. With this app you can view order delivery statuses, filter your shipments by date, status, courier, and destination, take stock of your delivery performance, and take real-time action before problems might occur.

AfterShip automatically generates a tracking page for each shipment. You can customize tracking page with your brand’s logo, link to your store, or even its Instagram feed and generate more sales. You can also embed the AfterShip Track Button to allow tracking directly from your store’s site. 

The app has free and paid plans.

Shipway

Shipway allows to notify your customers about their shipments via email and SMS (for India customers). It lets you add a tracking widget right to your store where your customers can track the shipment status of their order right on your website.

The app also allows customers to to leave feedback on delivered orders which helps you gain loyalty among your new customers.


The app costs from $0.007 to $0.022 per shipment.

The shipping methods are set up, but Ecwid doesn't ask for shipping address and doesn't show any shipping rates

Most likely you have not marked your products as requiring shipping, so Ecwid treats them as intangible/digital ones. Intangible products don't require shipping address and shipping method selection at checkout. As a result a customer is not charged for shipping, and the order does not contain any shipping details and costs.

To fix this issue, you need to check the "Requires shipping or pickup" checkbox for all your products that need shipping. You can do it in your Ecwid control panel → Catalog → Products, product details page.

In order to apply this change for many products at once, you can bulk update products with the help of the product import feature: you will need to make an import that would assign weight values (any values, even zero weight will work) to the products that need shipping matching them by SKUs. 

Real-time shipping rates I get are incorrect. They are bigger/smaller than they should be

Ecwid doesn't calculate real-time rates. It just sends information about the order (e.g. weight, value, sizes), destination and origin addresses to a shipping carrier's server. Then it gets a response with the rates and shows them to customers. Please see the details in our article about incorrect shipping rates.

My customers see the "Sorry, we do not ship to this location" error on checkout. Why?

The error indicates that the shipping address submitted by the buyer is not on the list of zones where you ship to. The solution depends on what shipping method type you are using.

1) For user-defined (flat rate) shipping

Make sure you have configured your Zones in a correct way. Your zones should be set up to cover all the regions you ship to. Please see the details in our article about Zones setup.

2) For carrier-calculated shipping methods

In case of carrier calculated rates (like UPS, USPS, etc), the exact shipping zone for each method is defined by the carrier. 

The following troubleshooting steps are recommended at first place:

1. Make sure the delivery zones are setup correctly. Please see the details in our article about Zones setup.

2. Check whether your carrier account credentials submitted in the Ecwid control panel are correct. For that, go to your Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup, find the shipping method you want to check/edit, click "Actions" and then "Change Account Settings". if you are not sure what credentials you have, you should contact the carrier support to ask them for this information.

3. Test the method in the same "Account details" window: click the "Test method" button and see if there are any errors.

Usually, the errors mean that the account details are wrong or your carrier account is in the test mode which does not allow receiving live rates.

4. In the "Account details" window you can also select a mode in which your merchant account works: "Use negotiated rates" and "Use test server". You should ensure your account settings match in Ecwid and on the carrier side.

5. Make sure you enabled the shipping services that provide delivery to your destination zones. For example, you want to ship from the US to Canada and turn on UPS Ground shipping method which doesn't deliver to Canada. As a result, a customer from Canada will receive the "Sorry we do not ship to this location" warning. 

You should enable the shipping methods that serve the areas of your destination zones: in your Ecwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup, click on the shipping method you want to edit. 

I need a shipping carrier that is not listed in Ecwid. What should I do? 

If you'd like to use a shipping carrier that is not integrated with Ecwid, please check the following solutions:

1. Manually configure a method emulating the rates of the carrier in yourEcwid Control Panel → Settings → Shipping & Pickup. Follow this instruction to add the methods.

2. You can opt for a custom integration: for that, you will need to create a custom script on your server using our Shipping API.

If you need help with integrating a custom shipping option for your store, we can help. Please fill in this form: Custom shipping for Ecwid store. We will be glad to help you with a custom solution for your Ecwid store.

PayPal Express Checkout doesn't display any shipping at all

The exact shipping cost is only calculated after a customer submits their the shipping address in Ecwid when placing an order.

PayPal Express Checkout is different from other payment methods — it changes the checkout process by holding a few first checkout steps on PayPal. Hence when a customer goes from your site to PayPal Express Checkout before submitting their address in Ecwid, Ecwid is not able to calculate the shipping cost because it has no shipping address. It will be known only after the first steps at PayPal Express Checkout.

So once the customer returns to your shop to confirm the order details and to place an order, Ecwid will display all shipping methods corresponding to the customer's shipping address.  

More details on how this method works can be found in our article about PayPal.

Destination zone setup for the UK 

There's a specific thing about destination zones for the UK:

a) There's no standard, finalized list of counties that are supposed to be used in online stores. So, the "State" field for the UK is an input text field. Customers should type the county name manually. At that they may mistype.

b) The zone settings for the UK only require a postal code and address for a successful delivery. A county name is not necessary.

Due to the above, we do not recommend using the UK counties in the "State" field in the zones setup. A recommended solution for the UK zones setup is thus:

1. "United Kingdom" on the "Countries" list. If you included counties as well, you should remove them, making the "Regions" list empty.

the_uk.png

2.  Optionally you can adjust postal codes for the UK zone, if you want to distinguish shipping rates per specific locations within the UK. Each zone has Zip/Postal Codes section for that. You can submit either a list of codes or masks (like 123***, there's an explanation next to this section). As a result, you should have a list of postal codes covering all places in the UK that you’d like to ship to. Customers will have to submit their postal code and Ecwid will calculate shipping rates considering these postal codes only.

 

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