Set up your online store shipping
You can create a free online store using your emyspot website management tools, or a large-scale online store using the full e-commerce subscription option. Whatever kind of store you’re setting up, configuring your shipping fees means your store customers will be able to select the kind of product delivery option that best suits their needs, and shipping fees will be automatically calculated and billed for each purchase they make.
Choosing where to ship goods: geographical zones
To set up fees for your customers, you’ll first need to decide where your target customers are located, and authorize sales for the states and countries to which you’ll allow sales.
Each state or country for which sales are authorized needs to be added to a “zone” in your store and that zone needs to be enabled for purchases to work.
A country or state can only be located in a single zone created in the site manager, but you can create as many zones as you need. Each zone will be used to calculate shipping fees, so the shipping costs for the countries or states in any one zone need to be identical.
Creating and managing zones
You’ll create and manage zones for your online store from the Add-ons > Store > Settings > Zones menu of the site manager. Click New zone to create a zone, or edit an existing zone to add or remove countries or states from the zone, or to rename it.
Zone names aren’t visible on your website – they’re used to help you identify zones in the site manager, and to apply them as you set up your store.
- In our example to the right, we’re editing the zone we’ve called “North America”, to which we've added the 48 contiguous US states, together with Canada and Mexico.
We’re including these states and countries in a single zone, as our selected shipping companies bill deliveries to each of these states and countries at a single rate.
To add or remove a state or country from the zone, click its name in the list to the left of the map.
Defining default shipping fees
When a customer first makes a purchase on your website, estimated shipping fees will be automatically calculated for them.
They’ll create an account and choose a shipping address before completing their purchase, but until they do so, the country defined as the default country for store purchases will be used to provide them with an estimate of shipping fees.
- To define the default country for new store clients, or clients that aren’t connected to their accounts on your site, head to the Add-ons > Store > Settings > Preferences menu, then scroll down to the Customers section.
Defining how to calculate shipping fees
The shipping fees for purchases made on your store will be calculated according to the total weight or the total price of all items in a single purchase transaction.
Whether you choose to bill by the weight of customers’ orders or buy price will depend on how you’ll be billed for shipping by the shipping company you’ve chosen.
- To define how to calculate shipping fees, head to the Add-ons > Store > Settings > Preferences menu, and scroll down to the Shipping section.
You can also choose whether to define a limit for orders, by price and/or by weight, above which purchases will be shipped free of charge.
Managing shipping carriers
Each purchase on your store can be made available for delivery to each zone, using one or more type of shipping method. Each shipping method or company is called a carrier.
A carrier can be used to provide a way for clients to collect their goods directly from your physical store or warehouse, to provide conventional postal delivery, express courier delivery … use as many different carriers as you need, to provide as many different options for clients as you’d like.
You’ll create and manage carriers from the Add-ons > Store > Settings > Carriers menu of the site manager. Each carrier can have a personalized description (for providing estimates of delivery times for that carrier, for example) and be enabled for the zone or zones of your choice.
- Our store in the example to the right has created three different carriers. Each carrier is used to provide customers with a different shipping option, with its own pricing schedule according to the weight of each customer’s purchase.
Defining shipping prices for each carrier
Once you’ve created carriers, you’ll need to define the different prices for each one, for each of the zones you’ve enabled for that carrier. Shipping rate schedules are readily available for download on delivery companies’ websites, or by contacting them directly.
Use the shipping rates schedules for each delivery company to create the shipping weight or price ranges for each of the zones enabled for the carrier you’ve created for that delivery company.
- In our example, we’re billing shipping fees according to the total order weight. Here, we’re editing the shipping fee schedule for one of the zones we’ve enabled for the carrier we’ve called “Regular mail”.
- Note that each weight or price range band begins with the value of the weight/price range immediately below. Weight or price ranges should always begin “0” and end at the maximum limit defined for your store.
- In this example, we’ve included weight ranges up to 100kg, as that’s the upper limit for billing shipping fees we’ve defined for our store. As all orders whose total weight is above 100kg will be shipped free of charge, we don’t need to create any weight ranges in excess of that value.
Troubleshooting shipping fees
If you’re having trouble getting shipping fees to price automatically on your online store, here’s a few things to review in your store settings:
- Ensure the delivery country or state is included in one zone only
- Check to make sure the zone containing the state or country is enabled
- Verify that at least one carrier has been created and that the zone containing the state or country is enabled for that carrier