Choosing a shipping strategy can be one of the more complex parts of running your online business. There's a lot to think about when you're getting ready to ship your products:
- choosing your shipping destinations
- setting how much you'll charge for shipping (or offering free shipping)
- activating any shipping providers (like UPS or FedEx) that you want to use.
You might also want to use promotional shipping rates to increase sales (like offering discounted shipping costs for orders over a certain amount). These decisions are all part of your overall shipping strategy.
Plan your shipping strategy
Your shipping strategy will probably change over time as your store grows. To begin with, you'll need to decide:
- which countries you'll ship your products to
- how you'll package your products (so you can make sure your shipping rates cover your costs)
- whether you'll post orders yourself, use carriers like UPS and FedEx, or use a fulfillment service
- what insurance you'll make available if you ship costly items
- how to meet customs and export regulations if you ship internationally
- how to provide tracking information to your customers
- what free shipping options you'll offer
- whether you'll provide in-store pickup as an alternative to shipping.
When making these decisions, remember that your goal is to balance your own shipping and handling costs with attractive pricing for your customers. If your shipping costs look too high, then you might want to consider decreasing them and adding a small amount to your product prices instead.
Set up shipping in Shopify
There are a few steps required to set up shipping in your Shopify admin:
- Enter your shipping origin.
- Add shipping zones.
- Add shipping rates or activate carrier-calculated shipping.
- If you're using Shopify Shipping to buy and print shipping labels, choose your label printer and default packaging types.
The process of shipping your products to your customers is referred to in Shopify as order fulfillment. You can view and fulfill your orders, and create new orders manually, from the Orders page in your Shopify admin.
You can fulfill your orders in a few different ways:
- fulfill orders manually
- use carriers who calculate shipping prices for you
- use a fulfillment service to ship your orders for you.
- Choose your shipping origin
- Create or modify a shipping zone
- Set your shipping rates or use carrier-calculated shipping
- Activate a local delivery service, like Postmates or UberRUSH