Simple guide to setting up shipping on your Shopify store

2022-06-07

Written by David Renwick

Setting up shipping in your eCommerce store is one of the most important steps in order fulfilment. Fast order fulfilment and shipping keeps customers satisfied and means you make more sales in the long run!

We are taking you through the importance of shipping for your eCommerce store, steps to take for an efficient shipping process, and the basics of setting up your Shopify shipping defaults.

Importance of shipping for your eCommerce store

eCommerce shipping integrations help you maximise your eCommerce customer experience.

Here are just a few eCommerce shipping stats that show why it's so important in your eCommerce store:

  • 53% of customers won’t even place an order if shipping details are unclear
  • 43% of customers will abandon their cart if the shipping is too expensive
  • 83% of online shoppers expect regular shipping notifications on their order

Getting shipping right can help you save and make money. You can longer leave shipping processes out of their customer strategy.

Starshipit customers who started using shipping integrations saw immediate time-cost benefits in their eCommerce store. For example, HER Empire saved 15 hours a week on fulfilment. The Feather saved 80% on order admin time. Eat My Water saved $15,000 a year on postage costs.

This is why setting up shipping is so important!

By simplifying the delivery process, speeding up your behind the scenes systems and making it easy for customers to track their order, shipping integration is the secret ingredient for a first-class post-purchase strategy.

3 steps to set up an efficient eCommerce shipping process

Setting up shipping for your eCommerce store sets you up for a great customer experience. There are a few key steps you’ll need to get Shopify shipping right the first time.

Create an order fulfilment plan

Before a customer places an order, you need to know how they’re going to receive it.

The sale isn’t complete until they have your product in their hand!

If you are doing everything yourself still, order fulfilment could look like:

  • Manually managing fulfilment yourself (this might work while you’re small but as you scale it will become untenable)
  • Signing into each courier platform to lodge delivery (this can be clunky if you need to use different computers, monitors and printers for each courier company)
  • Integrating with a fulfilment automation platform (this integrates all of your couriers into one system, and makes it really easy to print all of your shipping labels and documentation)

Whether you outsource fulfilment or do all of the steps yourself, take some time to write up an order fulfilment checklist. That way when an order comes in, anybody can follow the steps and get it out as quickly as possible. Include things like logins for couriers, how to choose postage, and setting up automatic parcel tracking.

Choose your shipping partners

How do you want customers to feel during the delivery process? You should pick couriers that are known for being efficient and reliable.

Understanding your actual shipping costs is an important step in setting up shipping.

If you are shipping overseas and internationally, it is sometimes cheaper to use separate couriers for each. This requires a little bit of research on your part to make sure your customers are getting the best value.

You might think that a shipping aggregator (i.e. all in one) is the best way to get the cheapest rates. In actual fact, if you deal with the courier companies directly you’ll be more likely to get a better rate than the aggregators because you can negotiate directly (and the aggregator can’t add a margin on top).

Starshipit is an enabler, not an aggregator. That means we connect businesses to the couriers directly so they have total control over their shipping. We have excellent relationships with leading domestic and international couriers, so we can help businesses of every shape and size negotiate the best rates with them directly, instead of being overcharged by all-in-one shipping services.

Set up simple label printing

You don't need a fancy label machine when you are starting out, but you also can’t be writing all labels by hand. This makes it hard for couriers and ends up in unsent parcel penalty fees.

If you use Shopify, you can buy and print labels directly from the order fulfilment dashboard. This won’t necessarily give you the best price but it is a simple way to start.

When you’re ready to get more efficient, fulfilment automation software like Starshipit looks after everything printing-related for you.

You can print single or multiple shipping labels and packing slips at the click of a button. Printing manifests for couriers and customs documentation for international orders is easy too. You can even autocorrect invalid addresses before you print the labels, so even if your customer input the wrong details their parcel will still get to the right place.

Setting up your Shopify shipping 101

Ready to start shipping from your eCommerce store? Setting up your defaults will make order fulfilment fast and efficient.

Add your shipping locations

Shopify shipping setup starts with setting up your locations. This tells the system how to allocate shipping and couriers. It also tells couriers where you sell from and what information is needed for things like international deliveries.

To set up or change your shipping locations in Shopify:

  1. Go to Settings>Locations
  2. Click Add Location
  3. Give it a name
  4. Choose whether this is a location available for online order fulfilment
  5. Choose whether it is a physical retail store

When you first set up your Shopify account, the address you put in is the default pickup location. If you ship orders from home, this will be your primary location.

When you have a warehouse or third party logistics, this becomes another location. Shipping apps that are used for inventory management also get lodged as a location.

Saved packages

Setting up saved packages helps you charge more accurate shipping for your customers.

This setting works well if your orders are usually the same price. To offer different shipping options at checkout, it is easier to use a shipping integration app.

You can change your default package dimensions by going to your shipping settings.

Your default packaging is used at checkout, but you can choose any dimensions when you buy a shipping label.

This is a good starting point for eCommerce stores. However, it can mean that either you or your customers are losing money on shipping over time.

With Starshipit you can display accurate shipping rates at checkout. You can offer your customers a range of shipping options at checkout such as table rates, instead of charging blanket shipping rates that might be perceived as steep by your customers.

Default package and shipping calculations

Shipping directly through Shopify means you need to set up default packages.

This will calculate both shipping at checkout and shipping label prices.

The default will be under saved packages. To edit your default package settings, you need to have an order that requires a shipping label.

To set this up:

  1. Go to orders in your Shopify admin
  2. Select and unfulfilled order that needs to be shipped
  3. Click Create Shipping Label
  4. In the Package and weight section, click the drop-down list and click Set default package
  5. Choose your method for determining default (E.g. same every time, same as last time)

To simplify your shipping process even more, you can integrate Starshipit directly into your Shopify store. This will accurately and automatically calculate shipping based on the type of order, customer location and other variable factors.

Note: If you’ve built your eCommerce store using Shopify, you may find it useful to consult with a Shopify plus agency to ensure your setting up your Shopify shipping correctly.

Conclusion

eCommerce shipping set up may take a bit of tweaking, but it is worth getting it right from the get go. Want to make shipping even easier? Use the Starshipit shipping integration app.

Book a call with our Success Team to help you ship the smart way, so you can grow faster. Start your FREE 30-DAY TRIAL (no credit card required).

David Renwick

David Renwick

David is Starshipit's Content Marketing Lead. When he's not whipping up a fresh new product update or chatting to customers for an exciting case study, you'll typically find him scoping out coffee spots and talking about what's on at the movies.

More from this Author