Knowledge Base

How do I set-up shipping (online store / Ecwid)

There are various types of shipping types, cost calculations that can be used in your online store,

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.

In your online store you will find different option for arranging and charging your customers for the shipping of goods, it supports all necessary tools for that. 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. You can set-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.

You will find 3 different option available in your online store:

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?

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, System 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, System 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, System 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. 

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 > System 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 feeoption. 

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 System 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 'System 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 'System settings -> Shipping'

When a product has a shipping freight setting, the shipping methods for this product will be taken from the settings at System 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

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. 

 

For full details on setting up the shipping in your Online store, you can read through the our partners knowledge that offers a step by step guide: http://help.ecwid.com/customer/portal/articles/1161340