Setting up weight based shipping using the postcode regions from your shipping provider is the most accurate way to charge customers for shipping, but it does take a bit longer to setup.
To keep this article simple and easy to understand, we won't explain how to add Shipping Companies or Shipping Regions here, however they will need to be added before the example in this article can be followed.
Setting up the Shipping Company is a quick and easy step, you can review the Adding a Shipping Company article to instructions on how to do this.
Setting up the Shipping Regions can be a short or long process depending on how you're setting up your shipping rates. For this example, the precise postcode ranges from your shipping company need to be added. Refer to Adding Precise Postcode Regions for instructions.
The following instructions assume the Company and Regions described in the articles above have been added, and the Shipping Methods described below are being added to that Company.
Understanding Shipping Company Zones
Once precise postcode regions have been added, there will be multiple entries in the regions area each with a region name matching one of the zones from your shipping provider. For example, with Australia Post there are 16 individual zones with names like V1, V2, N1, N2 etc.). It costs a different amount to ship to each zone, so 1 method would be created per zone, in which case the following instructions would be repeated 16 times, once per zone.
The total number of zones will vary by shipping provider, and if you notice the shipping rates for 2 zones are exactly the same, then you may add a single method to cover both zones.
If you wish to offer more than one service from the provider, such as standard and express shipping, this will require double the amount of methods to be added, since you'll need to add another set of methods for each zone, with the pricing of the other service.
Adding the Shipping Method
This process will need to be completed once per zone per service. The instructions below are for NSW standard shipping from WA, and can be repeated for the other zones easily.
- On the Shipping Overview page you'll find a list of the Shipping Companies that have been added so far. Click on the "Add Method" button for the new company you added.
- The following fields are required for this Shipping Method:
- Name and Method Description: These fields are both required and display information about this Shipping Method to customers in the checkout. A common setup is for the Name of the field to contain the shipping provider, such as Australia Post, and for the Method Description to describe the shipping service and destination, such as Standard or Express Shipping followed by the zone name. For example, using the Australia Post zone N1: Standard Shipping N1
- Domestic: Leave this box checked as this Shipping Method is handling shipping to domestic locations only.
- Selected Domestic Regions: Select each of the entries from the Available Regions section that begin with the name of the zone this shipping method is for. For example, if you're adding a method for Australia Post zone N1, select all the entries that look like "N1 - (XXXX-XXXX XXXXX)" and then click on Add Selected. After a few moments the selected regions will move over to the Selected Regions section. When adding the other zones, select the appropriate regions for that zone.
- Calculation Method: Choose By Basket Weight for this example.
- By Basket Weight: You will see a Min, Max and Cost column, along with a plus sign. Start by adding 0 to Min, 500 to Max, and 5 to Cost, then hit the plus sign and you'll see the data you supplied is locked in and a new row appears. This means orders that weigh between 0 and 500 will cost $5.
Next, add 501 to Min, 1000 to Max and enter 6 into the Cost field, then hit plus again. This means any orders that weigh between 501 and 1000 will cost $6.
Follow this process for each zone, using the weight ranges and pricing provided by your shipping company.
If your shipping company uses a base price, such as $5 plus $1 per 500g, then you can enter 5 into the Handing Fees field, and in the By Basket Weight area simply add the first row as 0-500g for $1, then 501-1000g for $2 etc. The price you enter here will be added on top of the Handling Fees price, allowing for simpler rate calculation in the By Basket Weight area.
Note: The Min/Max fields and the weight field for your products use the same weight unit. Ensure you base your Min/Max values on the same weight unit you used to specify product weights.
- Active: Leave this field checked if you want customers to see this option in the checkout.
- Click Save and Close to add the Shipping Method.
Now that you have added these shipping methods, whenever someone places an order being shipped to Australia and the postcode they supply falls within the postcode ranges assigned to one of these methods, the appropriate shipping method for their postcode will appear for them in the checkout at the price that applies to their order weight, plus Handling Fees if applicable.
Other Shipping Examples
This example is just one of many possibly ways to setup your shipping rate calculation. If you'd like to look at some other common methods, take a look at some of the links below: