Weight-based shipping rates

From Spiffy Stores Knowledge Base

Weight-based shipping rates use the total weight of the shopping cart to determine which shipping rate will apply in calculating the shipping costs.

Add a weight-based shipping rate

Shipping rates can be created and managed from the "Preferences -> Shipping & handling" page of the Toolbox.

Select the destination country and click on the "Add a weight-based rate" link. If no shipping rates are defined already then you will see a message informing you that rates need to be defined. Click on the "add one" link.

By default, you will be able to create a Fixed Price Shipping Rate.

  1. Specify a Shipping Rate Name for the shipping rate. Use a name that describes the method of shipping, rather than the weight range that applies to this shipping rate. For example, use "Standard Post" or "Courier" rather than "Goods between 0kg and 2.5kg". If you are defining multiple weight ranges for the same method of shipping, use the same name for each shipping rate range.
  2. Specify the low value for the Weight Range. The weight of the shopping cart needs to be greater than this value.
  3. Specify the high value for the Weight Range. The weight of the shopping cart needs to be less than or equal to this value.
  4. Specify the Shipping Cost. This is the cost that you will add for shipping goods that fall within the weight range you have defined. If you specify a value of zero, then the items will be given free shipping. This can be useful if you want to configure a local pickup option.
  5. Click on "Save Rate" button when you have finished.

Continue to add weight-based shipping rates to cover each of the weight ranges you want to support. Remember to include a weight range starting at zero and ensure that there are no gaps in the defined ranges.

For example, you can define multiple weight ranges as follows:

  • 0.00 kg - 2.50 kg
  • 2.50 kg - 5.00 kg
  • 5.00 kg - 20.00 kg

Note that the high value of each range is equal to the low value of the next range. This will ensure that there are no gaps in the ranges. Remember that each range covers values that are greater than the low value but less than or equal to the high value.

Be sure to include enough ranges to cover the maximum weight that can be shipped by your store. If you use a postal service such as Australia Post, then there will be a maximum weight that the postal service will support.

If you are selling large items then you may need to add additional weight ranges to support weight ranges that are greater than the maximum weight supported by the postal service. In this case, you may need to split the shipment into parts and ship them separately.

Note: If you use real-time carrier calculated rates by using a Shipping Agent calculator, then you don't need to worry about a customer's order exceeding the maximum weight supported by the shipping agent. In these cases, the Spiffy Stores Advanced Packaging technology will automatically split the shipment up into multiple parcels, each optimized to minimize the total shipping cost.

Using Shipping Agents

A shipping agent is an organization such as a national postal service, courier company or some other organization that provides shipping services and also provides an online rate calculator to determine the costs of shipping using their services.

Before you can add weight-based shipping rates using a shipping agent, you will need to configure which shipping agents and which services you wish to use. To do this, click on the "add a shipping agent" button at the top of the sidebar on the right of the "Shipping & handling" page.

Underneath this button, you will see a list of all the shipping agents that are already configured for your store. At a later date, if you want to change any of the shipping agent configurations, just click the "add a shipping agent" button again to take you to the "Shipping Agent Rate Calculators" page.

Configuring a Shipping Agent

In order to use a Shipping Agent, you will need to activate it by clicking on the "activate" button.

If the Shipping Agent is already configured, you can disable it by clicking on the "deactivate" button.

You can also edit an active Shipping Agent by clicking on the "edit" link. This will allow you to edit and change the configuration of an already configured Shipping Agent.

In order to activate a Shipping Agent, you may need to provide some account credentials. This is usually required for private courier companies, but is generally not needed for a national postal service.

A list of available services will displayed, and you have the option of selecting which services you want to use. Please make sure you check to see that the service is available to all countries that you are shipping to.

For example, Australia Post does not support "International Sea Mail" to New Zealand. All goods are sent by "International Air Mail". This would cause a problem if you disabled the "International Air Mail" service because it would mean that you would not be able to ship items from Australia to New Zealand.

When you are finished configuring the Shipping Agent, click on the "Activate" button to save your settings.

These can be edited later by clicking on the "edit" link.

Add a weight-based rate using a Shipping Agent

Once you have one or more Shipping Agents activated, then you will see a "Switch to a Shipping Agent rate calculator" link when you create a new weight-based shipping rate. Click on this link to create a Shipping Agent calculator rate rather than the standard fixed-rate shipping rate.

When you choose to use a Shipping Agent rate, you will see a number of additional options that are available to you.

  1. If you have a number of active Shipping Agents, choose the one that you want to use for the rate you are adding.
  2. You can optionally add a number of additional days for delivery. Click on the immediately link and you will be able to enter the number of additional days that will be added to the quoted delivery date when one is provided by the carrier.
  3. An additional handling fee can be specified. Click on the handling fee link to enter a value for this fee.
  4. You can choose to increase, or decrease the calculated rate returned by the carrier by a fixed percentage. Click on the percentage amount link to enter a positive or negative percentage amount which is used to modify the carrier rate.
  5. Finally, you can choose some options on what action to take if the carrier calculated rate service is unavailable for some reason. You can cycle through each of the options by clicking on the specified link to move to the next option.
    • the rate will be ignored - In this case, the rate is ignored and will be unavailable for the customer's shipment. Of course, if there are no rates available, then the customer will not be able to complete the checkout process.
    • a zero rate will be assumed - All shipping using this shipping agent, but assume that there will not be any charge. You may need to contact the customer to arrange additional payment for the actual shipping costs.
    • use the default rate - Enter a default value to be used in cases where the actual rate cannot be calculated. Again, you may need to contact the customer to arrange an additional payment to cover your shipping costs.

Further Reference