Shopify Shipping Guide

Learn more about Shopify Shipping and different fulfillment models to improve the post-purchase experience for your customers.

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Ecommerce businesses that jump into expansion without first streamlining their processes are bound to experience a setback. Whether it's the process of marketing, product development, taking orders, or order fulfillment, you simply cannot think of jumping to the next step until you feel in control of these processes.

Fulfillment services can be tricky sometimes and if a business fails to carry them out in the right way, things can become very chaotic and overwhelming. This ultimately can cost the business its reputation and cause it to end in failure.

This is the reason why businesses turn to services like Shopify shipping. Having a Shopify store can fulfill all your shipping needs in addition to providing you competitive shipping rates. By offering services like label printing, pickups, and incredible discounts in shipping rates Shopify can help save your time and effort that you can then utilize to focus singularly on the growth of your business.

What is Shopify shipping?

Shopify shipping is a software that is built into every Shopify account, allowing Shopify merchants to fulfill all their shipping requirements without having to install any third-party software.

Shopify fulfillment models

Shopify offers a number of fulfillment models to choose from. If you are a small business and can fulfill your orders yourself you can choose the self-fulfillment option. If you do not like the hassle of handling fulfillment yourself you can rely on Shopify shipping or the third-party logistics offered by Shopify to do your work for you.

Self-fulfillment

Shopify allows you to have a Shopify store and handle the fulfillment yourself. This option is suitable for you if you're a small business and don't need too much automation. You can also choose to use the self-fulfillment option if you are confident that you will be able to cut down shipping costs that way or if you need to ship from a place other than Australia, Canada, or United States. However, if you are looking to expand your business, it's advisable to rely on a trusted fulfillment service and focus your energy on growth instead.

3PL

As Shopify Shipping itself allows you to ship only from the United States, Canada, or Australia, it offers third-party integrations that you can use to ship from other places in the world. Third-party apps like Veeqo also allow you to ship orders from other channels than Shopify and give you the ability to bulk print more than 20 labels at a time.

Using third-party integrations can be very helpful if your business is expanding and you want more repetitive tasks to be automated. Using apps like ShipStation or Shippo allows you to use FedEx, USPS, UPS, other courier services.

Dropshipping

If you want to run a business without getting into the manufacturing of goods, Shopify dropshipping is just the thing for you. All you need to do is find the right supplier and then use one of the Shopify dropshipping apps for importing the products that you want to sell.

You can use large marketplaces like AliExpress and Amazon as your supplier and connect them to Oberlo (a Shopify app) to create your own store. Every time you receive an order all you have to do is press the order button and the product will be directly sent from your supplier to your customer anywhere in the world.

Shopify Fulfillment Network

Shopify Fulfillment Network allows you to make sales on as many Shopify channels as you want and handles all your fulfillment needs using Shopify shipping itself. This includes the picking up, packing, and shipping of the orders. However, in order to use Shopify Shipping the country of origin for shipping must be either the United States, Canada, or Australia. Shopify uses highly regarded courier services like DHL, UPS, and others for delivery and provides pre-negotiated discounted rates for each of them.

Shopify shipping options

Shopify sellers get to choose from a number of shipping options based on what suits their business the best. Building the right shipping strategy for your business can prove very fruitful in the long run and help you gain more customers. Following are some shipping options offered by Shopify.

Flat rate shipping

Flat rate shipping is when the shipping costs don't vary with the number, type, or size of the product ordered by the customers. We'd suggest you use flat rate shipping when the products you are selling are more similar than different in terms of type and size. This is important as it will keep you from overcharging or undercharging your customers.

Weight-based shipping

Weight-based shipping allows you to charge different flat rates for products within a different weight range. Using this feature you can charge more for heavy orders and compensate for your shipping cost.

Free shipping

Offering free shipping can be a great way to avoid cart abandonment as high shipping rates is one of the main reasons people abandon their shopping cart. When offering free shipping you must first determine how will you cover the cost of the shipping as a business. Some businesses increase the price of their products to cover shipping costs and others bear the cost themselves. In order to be consistent with your shipping strategy, you must first figure out what suits you the most financially.

You can also limit free shipping to a minimum order or to a specific region to encourage bigger orders and local sales respectively.

2-day delivery

Shopify offers a 2-day delivery service through different carriers. A 2-day delivery service can be more expensive than a regular delivery service but it will help you provide your customers with different shipping options and make a choice according to their priorities.

How to set up shipping on Shopify

Shopify shipping is already built into your Shopify account making the process of order fulfillment super easy for Shopify merchants. Following are some simple and easy steps you need to follow in order to set up shipping on Shopify.

Add your shipping address

The first step towards setting up shipping is to set up your pick-up locations. This can include a number of different warehouses and storerooms you have for your products. While setting up a shipping location make sure that you enter the details right. Shopify only allows you to ship from the US, Canada, and Australia unless you use a Shopify third-party integration.

Choose shipping carriers & services

Shopify offers pre-negotiated discounted rates from a number of well-reputed carriers like DHL, USPS, UPS, and Canada Post. You can compare the rates and services offered by different carriers and choose the one that suits your business the best. If you are unsure about which carrier will manage rates the best, you can also choose the option of showing your customers live rates at the time of checkout. This way your customers will feel like they have a choice and they can choose what suits them best.

Add product weights

In order for Shopify shipping calculators to come up with accurate calculations, you need to give Shopify accurate and precise information about the dimensions and weight of your products. This process will help you determine the shipping costs which you can then use to come up with a suitable shipping strategy for your business.

Set a default package

As you set up shipping on Shopify, you will need to fill in the details of your default package size and weight. You can also fill in the details for each individual product separately to print shipping labels but Shopify will use the information you provided for the default package to show your customers live shipping rates at the time of checkout.

Set up a printer

The process of printing shipping labels is pretty simple. You can use your regular desktop printer to print labels on paper or you can use a label printer that allows you to print labels on stickers. All you need to do for printing labels is to make sure that your device is properly connected to the printer and then set up the printer.

Adjust shipping zone settings

The next step in setting up shipping in Shopify is to divide the world into shipping zones. You can set up different shipping rates for different destinations depending on your customer base, shipping costs, and distance. You can also choose to offer free shipping in some areas and keep a flat shipping rate for others. Offering free shipping near the country of origin can help you increase local sales and offering free shipping or discounted shipping rate for a minimum order can help you get larger orders from your international customers.

Shopify shipping rates

Shopify cuts down your shipping rates by offering your discounted rates from a number of well-reputed courier services. The plans and packages offered by different courier services vary in some aspects, you can build your shipping strategy based on what plan suits your business the best.

USPS

Sample 30 oz shipment from New York City to Chicago on Shopify:

  • Priority Mail $7.80 (28% savings)
  • Priority Mail Express- $36.80 (15% savings)
  • First-Class Package International Service (New York City to London)- $22.80 (6% savings)

UPS

Sample 1 Ib shipment for New York City to Chicago on Shopify:

  • UPS Ground- $8.31 (27% savings)
  • UPS Nex Day Air- $37.51 (48% savings)
  • UPS Standard to Canada (New York City to Toronto)- $19.56 (28% savings)
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited (New York City to London)- $39.33 (63% savings)

DHL

Sample 1 Ib shipment on Shopify:

  • DHL Express Worldwide (New York City to Toronto)- $25.15 (71% savings)
  • DHL Express Worldwide (New York City to London)- $34.47 (69% savings)
  • DHL Express Worldwide (New York City to Sydney)- $38.56 (68% savings)

Shopify shipping apps

Despite the built-in Shopify shipping software, the Shopify app store allows its customers to choose from a variety of shipping apps that are integrated with Shopify and offer unique features for different business needs. Following are a few of them:

Malomo

Malomo is a shipment tracking platform that can help you generate more engagement, loyalty, and revenue by turning your customers' shipment tracking experience into a full-scale marketing channel. With Malomo, you can turn the traditionally stale experience of shipment tracking into an avenue for driving customer engagement. And you'll do this without sounding overly intrusive or desperate.

Pros

  • Create branded tracking pages to upsell customers who check their delivery status
  • Deep integrations with Shopify and Klaviyo
  • Proactively notifies customers of shipping delays

Shippo

Shippo can help you streamline the shipping process by giving you discounted shipping rates from a number of carriers, allowing you to print labels, and by providing tracking services for your customers. Shippo also allows you to print return labels and does not charge you until they are used. With Shippo there are no hidden charges or monthly subscription fees; you only pay for the labels and tracking number.

ShipBob

ShipBob has direct integration with Shopify and allows you to connect with it in a few easy steps. Once the two are connected the order process becomes automated. As soon as someone places an order on Shopify it automatically gets pushed to ShipBob. Along with providing shipping services ShipBob also provides inventory management and tracking services for Shopify. Moreover, it offers guaranteed two-day shipping for customers that qualify which can be something you are looking for in your business.

ShipHero

ShipHero is a shipping app that makes the shipping process very simple and easy to handle. ShipHero requires a single rate fee for a variety of shipping-related services like picking, packing, and postage for 48 states.

Shopify shipping FAQs

Can I actually make money through Shopify dropshipping?

Yes, if you invest enough time, money, and effort into Shopify dropshipping and do the marketing right, Shopify dropshipping can be a great way to make money.

Does Shopify ship internationally?

Yes, Shopify allows its customers based in Australia, Canada, and the US to ship internationally through a variety of carriers. Other customers can use Shopify integrations for shipping services.

What are the best Shopify shipping apps?

Some of the best Shopify shipping apps include Veeqo, Shiping Easy, Shippo, EasyShip, and ShipStation. The app that will work the best for you depends on your individual business needs.

How much does UPS charge for shipping?

UPS, when used as a Shopify carrier, charges range from $8.31 to $39.33 for a 1 lb shipment based on the shipping destination and time of delivery.

What is the cheapest shipping method?

USPS is the cheapest shipping method but it works the best for light-weight and less urgent orders.

Conclusion

In the end, it all boils down to using the shipping method that works for your business the best. The best approach is to analyze your business goals, work out your financials, explore the available shipping options and choose the one that provides you the best value for money and allows you the time and energy to focus on growing your business.