Shipping profiles

Shipping profiles help you charge accurate shipping rates through product-based shipping rules. You can use shipping profiles to set shipping rates for specific products, and charge different amounts based on where you're shipping your products to and from. You can add products that should share shipping rates to a shipping profile, and then set up shipping zones and rates for each location that fulfills those products.


When to use shipping profiles

By default, each Shopify store is created with one shipping profile, the general shipping profile. For businesses with a simple shipping setup, the general shipping profile is often sufficient. For businesses that manage products and locations that have different shipping costs and regional availability, shipping profiles help keep shipping costs accurate and easily managed.

The following diagram shows the shipping settings for a store that uses a custom shipping profile for two specific products, and a general shipping profile for the rest of its products. Each shipping profile has different shipping zones and rates for the locations that it includes.

Diagram showing a simple shipping profiles setup with a general profile and one custom profile

For example, if you sell a few products that are fragile and need more expensive shipping options, then you can create a shipping profile for these fragile products and charge different shipping rates than the rest of your products. Or, if you want to ship orders from the location that is closest to your customers, then you can specify which countries that you want each location to fulfill. For more information, refer to Ship to your customer from the closest location.

Before you use shipping profiles

  • Learn how to create shipping zones and rates - Each location in each profile can have its own shipping zones and rates. Before you create a shipping profile, make sure you understand how shipping zones and shipping rates work and how best to use them for your business.

  • Consider apps that affect shipping - If you use apps that affect your shipping settings, then your shipping profiles might not work as expected. Before you use shipping profiles, contact the developers of the apps that you use to make sure that they work with shipping profiles.

  • Consider how rates are combined at checkout - If an order contains products that ship from different locations or profiles, then each shipment's shipping rates are added together to produce a combined rate at checkout. This can lead to high shipping costs at checkout for your customers if large orders are not considered when creating shipping rates. For more information, refer to Combined rates at checkout.

General profile

You can use your general profile to create the default settings for your shipping. If a product or variant isn't in a custom profile, then it uses the shipping rates in your general profile.

You can set your general profile by creating shipping zones and adding shipping rates to them. Before you set up your general profile, review combined rates at checkout and how to name your rates.

Create a shipping profile

Before you create a shipping profile, make sure that you understand how to make shipping zones and shipping rates.

A product or variant can belong to only one shipping profile at a time. If you add a product or variant to a second shipping profile, then it is removed from the first profile.

In addition to the general profile, you can create 99 custom shipping profiles for 100 shipping profiles in total.

Steps:

  1. In your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Shipping.
  2. In Shipping profiles, click Create new profile.
  3. Enter a name for the profile.
  4. In the Products section, use the search bar to add products to the shipping profile.
  5. Address any changes you need to make to your locations. Refer to Manage your locations for more information.
  6. For each shipping zone that you want in your shipping profile, complete the following steps:
    1. In Shipping to, click Create shipping zone.
    2. Name the shipping zone.
    3. Select the countries or regions that are part of the zone, and then click Done.
    4. For each shipping rate you want in the zone, click Add rate, choose the rate's details, and then click Done.
  7. Click Save.

Manage your locations

By default, when you create a new shipping profile, all your locations that can fulfill orders online are added to the profile in the same group. Any locations that can fulfill online orders become possible fulfillment locations for the products in your profile and all share the same rates and zones. Locations that don’t fulfill online orders do not appear in your shipping profiles.

Locations that are deactivated are added to the shipping profile with an Inactive label. You can add zones and rates to these locations, but they won’t be used at checkout until they are activated. To manage which locations are active, refer to Deactivate and reactivate locations.

You can set different rates depending on which location fulfills an order by putting the locations in groups. This lets different groups of locations have different shipping zones and rates. For more information, refer to Create a new group of locations.

You can remove a location from a group so that no rates apply to the location. Locations that aren't included in a shipping group are listed in the Not shipping from section. For more information, refer to Remove a location.

If you create a new location after a shipping profile is created, then it is automatically added to all shipping profiles in the Not shipping from section. To fulfill products from a new location, you can either add the location to an existing group of locations to use their zones and rates, or create a new set of zones and rates in its own group.

Create a new group of locations

Creating a new group of locations in your shipping profile lets you specify the zones and rates for locations in that group.

For example, suppose that you have two locations that ship your products worldwide and one that ships only to the United States. You can move the location that only ships to the United States to a new group and create zones and rates that apply only to that location.

Steps:

  1. In your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Shipping.
  2. In Shipping profiles, click Manage rates beside the shipping profile.
  3. Move the location to a new group:
    • If the location belongs to a group of locations already, then do the following:
      1. In the location's group, click Show details.
      2. Next to the location that you want to change, click Manage.
      3. Select the option to create new rates, and then click Done.
    • If the location is in the Not shipping from section, then do the following:
      1. Next to the location that you want to change, click Add rates.
      2. Select the CREATE NEW RATES option, and then click Done.
  4. Add any zones and rates, and then click Save.

Remove a location

If you remove the last location from a group, then the shipping zones and rates associated with the group are deleted.

Steps:

  1. In your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Shipping.
  2. In Shipping profiles, click Manage rates next to the shipping profile that you want to update.
  3. In Shipping from, click Show details.
  4. For each location that you want remove, click Manage, select the REMOVE RATES option, and then click Done.
  5. Click Save.

Add a location to an existing group of locations

If you create a new location or want to change which set of zones and rates a location offers, then you can add that location to an existing group of locations so that it shares the same shipping zones and rates.

For example, suppose that you have a shipping profile for your line of t-shirts that is fulfilled out of a warehouse in Los Angeles. You recently expanded your business to a warehouse in San Francisco, and so you add it as a location in your Shopify admin. If you want to offer the same shipping options as your Los Angeles warehouse, then you can add your San Francisco location to the same group as Los Angeles.

Steps:

  1. In your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Shipping.
  2. In Shipping profiles, click Manage rates next to the shipping profile that you want to update.
  3. Next to the profile that you want to change, click one of the following:
    • If the location has zones and rates already, then click Manage.
    • If the location is in the Not shipping from section, then click Add rates.
  4. In USE SAME RATES AS, choose the location group that you want to add the location to, and then click Done.

Ship to your customer from the closest location

When you create your different groups of locations, you can specify which countries they can fulfill orders from by creating shipping zones.

For example, suppose you have a product that has inventory in three warehouse locations: Germany, the United States, and Thailand. When you create the shipping profile for your product, you can create three groups of locations, each with their own shipping zones:

  • For your warehouse in Germany, you can add Europe and Africa to your shipping zone.
  • For your warehouse in the United States, you can add North America, Central America, and South America to your shipping zone.
  • For your warehouse in Thailand, you can add Asia and Oceania to your shipping zone.

For more information on setting up shipping zones, refer to Setting up shipping zones.

Combined rates at checkout

If you decide to create multiple shipping profiles, or have multiple locations within profiles, then some orders might contain products from different profiles or locations. When this happens, the separate shipping rates for each product are added together. This provides the customer with a single shipping rate at checkout.

For example, suppose that you had a shipping profile for a cat bed that charges $3 shipping worldwide and a shipping profile for cat food that charges $5 shipping worldwide. If a customer orders both the cat bed and cat food, then the customer would see a shipping rate of $8 in their checkout.

Example situation of how shipping rates can be combined for products from different profiles but the same location
Cat bed shipping profile Cat food shipping profile Combined shipping rate
$3 worldwide shipping from a US warehouse $5 worldwide shipping from a US warehouse $3 (Cat bed)
+
$5 (Cat food)
=
$8 total shipping

Rates are added together only if there is no option to have a single rate from one shipping profile or location. If all items can come from one location but there is more than one location that carries these items, then fulfillment priority picks which location fulfills the order.

If a single location can't fulfill an order, then the shipping rates of each product are added together even if the products are in the same group of locations within a profile.

Example situation of how shipping rates can be combined for products from different profiles and different locations
Cat bed shipping profile Cat food shipping profile Combined shipping rate

US warehouse (priority 1)

  • $3 worldwide shipping

Canada warehouse (priority 2)

  • $5 worldwide shipping

US warehouse (priority 1, no inventory)

  • $5 worldwide shipping

Canada warehouse (priority 2)

  • $8 worldwide shipping
$5 (Cat bed)
+
$8 (Cat food)
=
$13 total shipping

In the last example, the fulfillment priority chooses the Canadian location to fulfill both items because it has both products available. This gives the customer a combined rate of $13 in the checkout. If cat food was available at the United States location, then the combined shipping rate would be $8.

Naming your shipping rates

Rates with the same name in different location groups or shipping profiles are added together and shown to your customer at checkout. If your rates have different names, then the cheapest options are added together and shown to your customer at checkout with the name Shipping.

For example, suppose that you have two shipping profiles: one for cat beds and one for cat food. They each offer a standard mail service and an expedited mail service. If the standard and expedited mail services have the same name in both shipping profiles, then a customer who places an order with cat food and a cat bed sees both shipping options at checkout.

Example of combined shipping rate names when shipping rates with the same name are added together
Cat bed shipping profile Cat food shipping profile Combined shipping rates at checkout
Shipping rates
  • Standard shipping - $3
  • Expedited shipping - $9
  • Standard shipping - $2
  • Expedited shipping - $6
  • Standard shipping - $5
  • Expedited shipping - $15

If the rates are not named the same in both profiles, then only the cheapest options are added together and shown to the customer at checkout as Shipping.

Example of combined shipping rate names when shipping rates with different names are added together
Cat bed shipping profile Cat food shipping profile Combined shipping rates at checkout
Shipping rates
  • Standard shipping - $3
  • Expedited shipping - $9
  • Basic shipping - $2
  • Very fast shipping - $6
  • Shipping - $5

Advanced shipping setup examples

Shipping profiles let you create detailed shipping rules for each of your products. For any product in your store, you can create unique shipping zones and rates for each location that ships that product.

Diagram showing that shipping profiles contain groups of locations that each have their own shipping zones and shipping rates

Understanding when your rates will be added together within a complex shipping setup helps you create more accurate shipping rules for your customers.

Suppose that you have the set up shown below:

Advanced shipping setup using shipping profiles
General shipping profile Custom shipping profile A Custom shipping profile B
Product details

Cat bed

  • Product price: $25
  • Product weight: 0.5 lb

Cat food

  • Product price: $15
  • Product weight: 4 lb

Cat food bowls and water dishes

  • Product price: $5
  • Product weight: 1 lb
Locations and inventory

US warehouse (priority 1)

  • 5 cat beds

Canada warehouse (priority 2)

  • 10 cat beds

US warehouse (priority 1)

  • 20 bags of cat food

Canada warehouse (priority 2)

  • 20 bags of cat food

US warehouse (priority 1)

  • 2 food bowls
  • 1 water dish

Canada warehouse (priority 2)

  • 1 food bowl
  • 10 water dishes
Shipping rates per group of locations

US warehouse (priority 1) and Canada warehouse (priority 2)

  • Standard Light Shipping - $3 for 0.5 lb
  • Standard Heavy Shipping - $5 for 1 lb
  • Free Shipping - 0$ for orders over $50

US warehouse (priority 1)

  • Standard Light Shipping - $5 for 0-8 lb
  • Standard Heavy Shipping - $13 for 9-12 lb
  • Free Shipping - 0$ for orders over $50

Canada warehouse (priority 2)

  • Standard Light Shipping - $7 for 0-8 lb
  • Standard Heavy Shipping - $18 for 9-12 lb
  • Free Shipping - $0 for orders over $50

US warehouse (priority 1)

  • Standard Light Shipping - $3 for 1 lb
  • Standard Heavy Shipping - $5 for 2-5 lb
  • Free Shipping - $0 for orders over $50

Canada warehouse (priority 2)

  • Standard Light Shipping - $4 for 1 lb
  • Standard Heavy Shipping - $6 for 2-5 lb
  • Free Shipping - $0 for orders over $50

Based on what customers order, different shipping rates are combined to provide customers with the appropriate shipping cost.

Example shipping rates shown to customers at checkout based on their orders and the shipping settings in the chart above
Cart details Shipping rates combined Final shipping rate
Order A 2 cat beds and 1 bag of cat food The total price of the cart is over $50, so the free shipping rates apply. Free Shipping - $0
Order B 1 cat bed, 1 bag of cat food, and 2 food bowls
  • $3 Standard Light Shipping for 1 cat bed
  • $5 Standard Light Shipping for 1 bag of food
  • $5 Standard Heavy Shipping for 2 food bowls
Because the shipping titles are not the same, the customer gets Shipping for $13.
Order C 1 bag of cat food and 2 water dishes Because the Canada location can fulfill both items, its rates are used for both items:
  • $7 Standard Light Shipping for 1 bag of cat food
  • $6 Standard Heavy Shipping for 2 water dishes
Because the shipping titles are not the same, the customer gets Shipping for $13.
Order D 2 food bowls and 2 water dishes Because a single location can't fulfill both items, the different locations' rates are combined even though they are in the same profile:
  • $5 Standard Heavy Shipping for 2 food bowls
  • $6 Standard Heavy Shipping for 2 water dishes
Because the shipping titles are the same, the customer gets Standard Heavy Shipping for $11.

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