Shipping

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Shipping rates are a key setting of online shops. Ecwid provides you with a flexible tools to have various types of shipping costs calculation.

Introduction 

Shipping cost is a key setting of online shops. After you sell an item, you're supposed to arrange its shipment to the buyer. You may walk to a post station nearby, or hire a courier, or rely to a carrier company (like USPS or FedEx) to deliver your products. In any case this work demands a payment that will cover your costs on the products' shipping. So you may want to charge your customers for the shipping in addition to the main products prices.

Ecwid can be of great help to you in arranging the charge for the shipping of your goods, as it supports all necessary tools for that. Using Ecwid, you can easily receive information from your customers on what delivery method they prefer, and define a fee that you will charge for the shipping. Ecwid allows setting up different shipping methods as well as various types of charges like per item/ per order / flat fee, etc. or the shipping rates services from major carrier companies.

Ecwid offers three main shipping methods types:

1. Real-time (or carrier-calculated) shipping rates. 

If you want to fully rely on such companies as UPS, USPS, Australia Post, etc., in calculating the shipping rates for your store, this variant would be perfect for you.

2. You can setup your own shipping rates:

  • Fixed Flat Rate: a fixed fee per order
  • Custom table: Various combinations of your own rates based on customer destination, order subtotal, and items weight

3. Individual product shipping freight.

Further in this article we will go in detail on each option, give you instructions on several variants of shipping methods configuration, and explain most frequently asked issues related to shipping.

How do I setup shipping in Ecwid?

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

A shipping method consists of three main settings:

Destination zone - To what location (country, state/county/region, city, zip code) you will allow delivery of your products.

Shipping method (carrier) -  How you will deliver your products (e.g. by mail, delivery guy, services provided from UPS, FedEx, etc, or it could be a local pickup).

Shipping rate - How much you will charge your customers for shipping.

You should configure destination zones at first place, and submit the address from which you will deliver your products:  in Ecwid Control panel, Settings -> Shipping -> Origin Address. For instructions on setting up destination zones, please refer to this article: Destination zones

After that you can add necessary shipping methods in Ecwid control panel, Settings -> Shipping.

Carrier-calculated shipping methods.

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 customer's placing an order, Ecwid will send the order details to e.g. FedEx, and FedEx will return the corresponding shipping rates. The rates are calculated behind the scene so the customer will not notice anything and will see the shipping methods and rates, offered by the delivery company, immediately s/he submits the shipping address. 

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). If you can control the first three, 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.

Ecwid allows defining parcel dimensions for each carrier-calculated method.

Go to Ecwid control panel, Settings -> Shipping: when you edit or create a shipping method of carrier-calculated type, choose a company, click 'Account details' button -> 'Advanced Settings' and submit the parameters:

These dimensions will be sent to the carrier company together with all orders details. This feature will be useful, for example, if you ship your products in parcels of specific or non standard sizes. By defining your own parcel dimensions you will receive more accurate shipping rates. 

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, open a product editing page at Catalog -> product page -> tab "Tax and Shipping":

If you need to update many products with specific dimensions, you can do the bulk update via 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 feature. Shipping markup is a flat fee that is added to the shipping cost. 

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

How to setup shipping markup in your store: 

  1. Please, open your Ecwid control panel > Settings > Shipping page
  2. Create a new shipping method of carrier-calculated type or open the existing shipping method for editing
  3. Go to “Account details” section
  4. Set the shipping markup value 

In order to disable shipping markup in your store you should 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 Handling fee option. 

FedEx and UPS money-back guarantee on late deliveries.

Both FedEx and UPS carrier companies have 100% money-back guarantee on late deliveries. If you ship the packages using FedEx and/or UPS and your ground or international shipping arrives late by one minute or more, you may claim for 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 fill the 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 rate. 

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

When you create a new shipping method at Settings -> Shipping, you can choose 'Flat rate' type and decide whether it'll be a per cent or a flat amount. 

Free shipping

You could absorb the price of shipping altogether and 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.

If you want to apply free delivery on certain products only, you can use another shipping type - Shipping freight (scroll down the page to read about this option).

Rates based on weight or subtotal

The best approach is to charge your customers what shipping actually costs your business. You can use the carrier companies' services for that, or estimate how much your shipping costs will be for your products and configure your own shipping rates in Ecwid using Custom table calculation type. 

Ecwid allows setting up shipping rates based on weight or order subtotal (amount to which customer is ordering):

When you add a shipping method, select calculation type Custom table. 

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 customers buys, the less they need to pay for the delivery

Shipping freight per product

It is possible to setup individual shipping cost per each product. See Catalog -> Products -> a product page -> Tax&Shipping tab. 

Ecwid allows setting up shipping freight in four variants:

1) Use Global Settings. The shipping for this product is calculated according to the rules configured in 'Settings -> Shipping'.

This option is enabled for all products by default.

2) Free shipping. The product will always have free shipping. The settings from ‘Shipping’ page will be ignored.

3) Fixed rate per item. The shipping for this product will cost the fixed amount inserted in this field. The settings from ‘Shipping’ page will be ignored.

4) 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 'Settings -> Shipping'

When a product has a shipping freight setting, the shipping methods for this product will be taken from the settings at Settings -> Shipping, i.e., the customer will receive those methods that correspond to his/her location (shipping address).

Shipping setup for downloadable products.

Ecwid products have option "This product requires shipping",  in Ecwid control panel, Catalog -> Products -> product page. It is enabled by default on all products. If you sell goods that don't require shipping (e.g., intangible, like software programs, documents, online cards) you can easily disable shipping for them by deactivating "This product requires shipping" option. When customer buys this product, the shipping costs will not be calculated on checkout. 

See also: article about downloadable products feature -  E-goods

FAQ

Will Ecwid ship products to my customers for me? 

No, Ecwid doesn't do the shipping. Ecwid provides the shopping cart platform which is equipped with all necessary tools: to specify different shipping methods/companies in your online shop, or use standard carrier shipping rates for companies like UPS and Fedex  - to make it easier for you to add these methods into your online store. But it's up to you to physically send the products to the customer yourself by whichever shipping methods you have set up in your store.

Can I offer an option for instore pick up?

Ecwid App market features an App for this – In-store Pickup.

 In-store Pickup lets you show pickup location options and your user can select the most convenient place and time. The app has a user friendly interface which makes sure the setup and management of pickup orders are simple and straightforward. Get the app here: In-store Pickup

The app is paid with free trial.

Ecwid App Market is available on all Ecwid paid plansUpgrade to get this feature

Another way to offer a free pickup option to your customers at checkout, is on the Shipping page in your control panel, create a new Flat rate shipping method, set the shipping rate as 0.00 and name it 'Pick up' (enter any name you prefer).

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 the usual delivery.

2. Go to Ecwid control panel, Settings -> Shipping page.  

Add two shipping methods:

a) "Local pick-up" shipping method, for zone 'local pickup'. The calculation type - Flat rate, shipping rate - 0.00.

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

Select how you calculate shipping? -> Custom table 

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

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 Settings -> Shipping, click 'New shipping method' button to create 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

I setup shipping freight for each product and now I need to change shipping freight to 'Use global settings' to all my products. How can I do this change for all the products at once?

It is possible to update shipping freight for all the products at once using product import/export feature. Please refer to this article for instructions:

How can I update my products in bulk

How do I setup free shipping on all orders over $100?

You should use Custom Table shipping type. Proceed to Ecwid control panel, Settings -> Shipping to add a shipping method. Specify the following shipping rule:

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. 

I only ship to one country. How do I restrict shipping to everywhere else?

If you want to ship to one particular country/region/area you need to restrict shipping to everywhere else, so that that your shipping methods would work for this particular area only. This is how it’s done. 

First of all you need to define a destination zone for the place you ship to. This will set limits to the coverage area. After that, configure the shipping method and shipping rates for this destination zone. In this case only those customers whose shipping address is covered by the destination zone will be able to go to the checkout. Otherwise “Sorry, we do not ship to this location” message will be displayed and the customer won’t be able to place an order.

Let’s say, you want to set up shipping for Australia only:

1. Create destination zone.

  • Go to Ecwid control panel → Settings → Zones tab
  • Click “New zone” button
  • Enter “Australia” as the name of Shipping zone 
  • Click “Add country” button and pick Australia from the list
  • Click “Save” button to finish shipping zone creation

2. Define shipping method limited for that zone

  • Go to Ecwid control panel → Settings → Shipping tab → New Shipping method
  • Choose “Australia” zone created on previous step from zones list
  • Select the calculating method and customize it according to your needs and name it 

Or you ship to NYC only:

1. Create destination zone

  • Go to Ecwid control panel → Settings → Zones tab. 
  • Click “New zone” button
  • Enter the name of Shipping zone (for example, “New York City”)
  • Click “Add country” button and pick United States from the list
  • Click “Add states” in right column and specify New York state
  • Define New York City Zip/Postal Codes in order to constrict shipping area
  • Click “Save” button to finish shipping zone creation

2. Define shipping method limited for that zone

  • Go to Ecwid control panel → Settings → Shipping tab → New Shipping method
  • Choose “New York City” zone created on previous step from zones list
  • Select the calculating method and customize it according to your needs and name it

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

Can I change the order of delivery methods? 

Yes, you can set any order in which the delivery methods will be shown to your customers. In Ecwid control panel, go to Settings > Shipping, click on 'Actions' button, select 'Sort' and change the sorting as you wish by dragging and dropping the items. Click 'Save' to save your changes.

Can my customers 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.

 

Troubleshooting

I've set up my shipping methods, but Ecwid doesn't ask for shipping address and doesn't show any shipping rates.

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

To fix this issue, you need to put the "This product requires shipping" checkbox for all your products that need shipping. In order to do that, sign in to your Ecwid control panel, proceed to Catalog → Products → product editor page, and make sure the checkbox 'This product requires shipping' is checked.

In order to apply this change for many products at once, you can do a bulk update of the products via 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 SKUs of the products that need shipping. 

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

Why do I get "Sorry, we do not ship to this location" error on checkout?

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

1) For user-defined shipping 

You should make sure you have configured your Zones rightly. Please refer to this article to learn about Zones setup:

Destination zones

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 moment Ecwid displays the shipping rates it has connected to the carrier site to get the shipping rates. For successful connection your Ecwid control panel must have correct details of your account registered as the carrier site.

The following troubleshooting steps are recommended at first place:

1. Make sure shipping zones are setup correctly. Please refer to these instructions:  Destination zones

2. Check whether your carrier account credentials submitted in the Ecwid control panel are correct. For that, go to 'Settings' -> Shipping -> click on 'Carrier-calculated' link -> 'Account details'

You should contact the carrier support to ask them for these credentials.

3. Test the method via the same 'Account details' window: click '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 test mode which does not allow receiving live rates.

4. Also in 'Account details' you select a mode in which your merchant account works at present: 'Use negotiated rates' and 'Use test server'. You should ensure your account is in the mode selected here.

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

You should enable the shipping methods that serve the areas of your destination zones: in Ecwid control panel, Settings -> Shipping -> 'Carrier-calculated' link.

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

We will be glad to consider integrating this shipping carrier into Ecwid. Please feel free to send an idea for this method to our ideas base:

https://ideas.ecwid.com/

For now you can configure a method emulating the rates of the carrier manually via the Ecwid control panel, Settings -> Shipping. Follow the instructions above to add the methods. 

PayPal Express Checkout doesn't display any shipping at all

The exact shipping cost is only calculated after Ecwid knows the shipping address of the customer placing the order.
PayPal Express Checkout is not just a payment method - it substantially changes the checkout process by holding a few first checkout steps on their sites. Hence when a customer goes from your site to PayPal Express Checkout, Ecwid is not able to calculate the shipping cost because no shipping address has been given yet. It will be known only after the first steps at PayPal Express Checkout.
More details on how this method works can be found in this article
So once the customer returns to your shop to confirm the order details and to place the order, Ecwid will display all shipping methods corresponding to the customer's shipping address.  

Destination zone setup for UK 

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

a) There's no standard, finalized list of counties that are supposed to be used in online stores. At first we received many requests from clients to update the counties list in Ecwid. Eventually we made the 'state' field for UK country as input text field. So customers type in county name manually. At that they may mistype. As a result the submitted address won't be covered by your destination zone.

b) UK shipping only requires postal code and address for a successful delivery. County name is not necessary.

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

1. It needs to contain only country - UK. If you included counties as well, you should remove them, making the regions list empty.

2.  (optional)To adjust postal codes for the UK zone if you want to distinguish shipping rates per specific locations within 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 UK that you’d like to ship to. Customers will have to submit postal code and Ecwid will calculate shipping rates considering these postal codes only.

More to read:

One of Ecwid store owners writes so nice and helpful posts on Ecwid use that we want to share them with you.

A post about shipping setup:

http://thecraftymummy.com/2013/07/ecwid-tutorial-how-to-set-up-shipping-rates/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ecwid-tutorial-how-to-set-up-shipping-rate

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