Shopify Shipping Calculator: All You Need to Know

May 11, 2022

If you run a Shopify store, you need to ensure your customers have a seamless experience even after checkout.

A lot can happen between the moment a customer places an order from you and the moment the shipment arrives at their doorstep. In addition, you have to care about your bottom line and profit margin.

Implementing the Shopify shipping calculator is easier said than done. How can you ace shipping and fulfillment? Read this article to find out.

Table of Contents

What is Shopify Shipping?

As a Shopify store owner, you have several options for shipping orders. Besides third-party shipping apps and order fulfillment services, Shopify also has its own solution—Shopify Shipping.

Shopify Shipping is only available for stores in the United States, Canada, Australia, France, and the United Kingdom.

There are eight shipping carriers to select: USPS, UPS, DHL Express, Canada Post, Sendle, Hermes, DPD, and Colissimo.

This service gives you access to Shopify carrier calculated fees for order processing and printing shipping labels in bulk without using third-party integrations.

Here is how it works:

  • List the dimensions and weights of your products and their variations.
  • Set up carriers.
  • Buy shipping labels from Shopify.
  • Pack your box and attach the label to it.
  • Send your order from the post office of your choice.

What is the Shopify Shipping Calculator?

Before shipping any orders using Shopify Shipping, you must configure your shipping options and rates. This includes calculating how much you will pay for Shopify Shipping and how much you will charge your customers.

Here are the most common ways to calculate Shopify Shipping costs.

Exact Shipping Cost

Exact shipping costs are when you charge shoppers the amount shipping carriers such as USPS or UPS would charge for shipping.

Pros:

  • Avoid overcharging your customers by providing accurate costs per order.
  • You do not have to worry that you will lose money.

Cons:

  • It may seem expensive or like an unexpected expense at checkout and lead to cart abandonment.

Free Shipping

Free shipping means you do not charge customers for shipping. This can be applied for the entire store, orders over a certain amount of weight, or coupon codes.

Pros:

  • Reduce cart abandonment and encourage your customers to complete their purchases.
  • Help you stand out from the competition.
  • Seen as a deal and can be utilized in your marketing campaigns.

Cons:

  • You can lose money if you do not calculate how it will affect your profit.
  • If you change your offer, repeat customers may not buy from you anymore, as they expect free shipping from you.

Weight-Based Shipping

Weight-based shipping refers to charging shoppers for shipping based on the weight of their order.

Pros:

  • Keep your shipping costs more accurate, as the Shopify Shipping calculator takes account of orders’ weight.
  • You can charge different rates for different weight ranges.

Cons:

  • The total cost of the order is not taken into account.
  • Dimensional weight can be a confusing concept for shoppers.
  • You will need to know the exact weight of each product and record them in your Shopify store.

Flat-Rate Shipping

Flat-rate shipping means you charge a fixed shipping fee for every order.

Pros:

  • Offer a consistent cost for every shopper.
  • Keep shipping options manageable.
  • You can charge a shipping fee for all orders to a particular country.

Cons:

  • While this should be a calculated average across all shipments, it may not fully cover your costs on some orders.
  • Flat-rate shipping can also seem too expensive for smaller order values, thus causing cart abandonment.

Price-Tiered Shipping

Price-tiered shipping refers to charging shoppers for shipping based on the total cost of the entire order. For instance, a $20 order will have a different shipping cost than an $80 order.

Pros:

  • Offer more appropriate shipping rates based on how much shoppers spent.
  • Prevent shopping cart abandonment for shoppers who spend very little.

Cons:

  • Must be calculated strategically.
  • Do not account for order weight. Therefore, this is not a good choice for cheap but heavy goods.

What Shopify Shipping Carrier Should You Choose?

As we mentioned above, there are eight shipping carriers you can select. As a Shopify user, you will get exclusive access to discounted prices with these vendors and the real-time Shopify Shipping calculator.

When a customer is ready to pay, their cart and shipping details are sent to the carrier, who will automatically return the shipping charges for that order.

The main benefit of using the real-time Shopify carrier-calculated shipping rates is that you will charge your customers the exact cost of shipping their products. So even though you will not make any money, you will not lose any either.

Based on the Shopify plan you use, you will have access to different discounts. The table below shows the maximum discount each supplier offers in 2022 for domestic shipping:

In this article, let’s discuss the four most commonly used Shopify shipping carriers.

USPS

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is ideal for shipping small items and is often the cheapest option in the US for small, light packages.

You can purchase USPS shipping labels through Shopify, which means you do not need to queue at the post office. And there is no minimum shipping requirement.

You can also ship internationally with USPS and offer order tracking for customers to track their delivery status.

DHL

DHL specializes in fast, global shipping. Therefore, if you are planning to ship widely internationally, it could be the best Shopify Shipping carrier for you.

DHL reaches over 95% of the world's population and currently ships to more than 220 countries and territories.

Through Shopify Shipping, you have access to DHL customs forms and guaranteed international shipping, usually within three to five days.

UPS

UPS offers the fastest shipping of any Shopify Shipping carrier. Therefore, it is the best choice for time-sensitive deliveries.

UPS’s Next Day Air Service offers guaranteed next-day delivery. Also, it has comprehensive tracking capabilities, allowing both you and your customers to monitor shipments.

UPS also allows you to schedule pickups from different locations, which is excellent if you store items in multiple locations.

Canada Post

Canada Post is Canada’s primary mail delivery service. This is the only option if your store is in Canada. As a result, it is perfect for those selling domestically in Canada.

Canada Post's rates vary depending on your location. And although they offer international shipping, delivery rates to the United States and other countries vary.

If you use Canada Post, it is important to remember that it does not support envelope wrapping through Shopify Shipping, only boxes, and soft packs.

The Downsides of the Shopify Shipping Calculator

There are some limitations of the default Shopify Shipping calculator. This prevents eCommerce businesses from doing beyond the basics and requires manual intervention.

Real-time Shopify Shipping Calculator is Not Available for Everyone

Your physical store must be based in the United States, Canada, Australia, France, and the United Kingdom to use Shopify Shipping. Otherwise, you will have a hard time with the fixed-rate shipping fees strategy.

Plus, you must be on the Advanced plan or higher to use the real-time Shopify carrier shipping.

It Does Not Work Well with International Shipping

Calculating the correct Shopify Shipping rates is even more complicated if you ship globally, since you need to complete a customs declaration form.

Shopify Shipping does not automatically calculate import duties and taxes for international shipping. Therefore, you will have to manually update the rates at the country level.

It is Difficult to Scale

You can calculate Shopify Shipping costs yourself until a certain point is reached. If you are consistent in your sales and do not have a plan to grow, keeping it simple can work for you.

But if your business grows, you inevitably need to incorporate new systems, markets, shipping options, and sales channels. You will want to provide a consistent customer experience and find the best shipping rates, service, and speeds.

Therefore, when many Shopify stores grow, their owner will move to a third-party Shopify shipping calculator.

Final Words

If you already have a Shopify store, the Shopify Shipping calculator can make your life significantly easier.

There are many different shipping carriers and rates. Therefore, you can calculate and optimize the Shopify Shipping cost of your business.

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