Welcome back to another BOA Ideas video on Shopify. This time we’re talking about shipping, shipping methods, and shipping prices.
So, first of all, I want to say that Shopify has many many options to define the shipping methods that are presented to the surfer at checkout. Right now, we’re going to talk only about things that are displayed to the surfer.
IDEAL SHIPPING PRICING
But before we start talking a little about these topics, and there really is a lot, it’s important for me to say that the best goal and the best thing for me to outline is the distinction of free shipping and flat rate. Meaning, one set price for all types of deliveries.
Free shipping is clear - you can display it to the surfer at all of the points of the sales process and they’ll know that no surprises await them at the end. But if we don’t want to offer free shipping because it’s expensive for us and we want to save money on the cost of shipping, then flat rate is something you can display also from the first moment a visitor comes to the website. And that way there also won’t be surprises.
This idea of the “surprise” - that I don’t know how much it will cost me, at the end of the day, is something that can really really hurt. At the end, people will get to the checkout and see the added shipping cost that you didn’t tell them about and it will make them upset.
And of course the combination of the two - the flat rate and free shipping. That is - one specific price for deliveries but above a certain amount, which you can publish on the website in a very prominent way, free shipping. Or reduced - it doesn’t matter.
This approach, of course, is very easy to set in Shopify. There are no dependencies or things like that. In any case, we’ll talk about the options that Shopify offers to have shipping methods and prices in a more sophisticated way.
And I will remind you a few times about the free shipping or flat rate and I’ll say that maybe it’s only worthwhile to use the sophisticated tools in an exceptional case. Or if you’re a special kind of shop that has specific products, or within the catalog, you have specific kinds of products that you have to exclude from the simple shipping approaches of free shipping or flat rate.
So what exactly does Shopify give us? In Shopify, you can define the deliveries, first of all, on a high level called “profiles”. And complex profiles, essentially, are for certain products in a catalog for which we want to create a special shipping policy. For example, if you have very heavy or large products that need a special shipping policy, you can define it as a separate profile. Or maybe you have products that are fragile or products that require refrigeration, so they have different costs - it will be a specific profile. And then, there is the default profile that is for all of the products that are not in the profiles that I specially defined.
Within each profile, there are other distinctions - it’s a little advanced, but I’ll remind again about from where we’re shipping. If we have several locations in Shopify that are our different warehouses, and it can be several locations in Israel or in the world, we can define that a shipment from a specific warehouse costs a certain amount, but from a different warehouse, even of the same product, costs a different amount. It brings us to a more sophisticated place and we won’t dig into it right now.
And of course, within each profile, within each group of locations, we can define the rates. Now, the rates can also be defined either according to the sum of the amount in the cart or by the weight of the cart.
For someone who really wants to have a picture of the cost of the shipping for the customer and the cost to us as the merchant, you can use the approach of weight. But this requires you to define the weight of every product in Shopify. Because of that, it’s less recommended. And again, for the customer at the end, it will increase even more the element of uncertainty and he won’t know how much it will cost him. At least with the approach of amounts, there’s a way to advertise it to the customer.
So that is what we get from Shopify and I want to talk about a couple of approaches that can use this. First of all, it’s important to pay attention to the small points. For example, if you’re using several profiles, pay attention that in the checkout, if I have products in the cart from several different profiles, Shopify will connect it to one amount, and not just pick the most expensive or something like that.
If we want to do things that are on hand more sophisticated, and the definitions that Shopify gives are not a good fit, then there are a lot of tricks you can implement.
For example, doing deliveries based on weight but instead of entering the weight in kilos, create different groups. For example, a group of one, a group of two, a group of three, and then you mix them and you can get to lots of complexities of definitions of shipments.
The second option is an application. There are lots of types of applications that connect to Shopify and using them, you can define other types of definitions. Even applications for the shipping companies themselves, if it’s the international companies, can provide the cost of shipping in real-time.
And, lastly, of course using development, which is what we do for you according to all of your requirements, it will just be more expensive.
I know that I spoke about all of this quickly and you probably aren’t walking away with an understanding of what to do. But it was because the goal was to show you that there are many many possibilities and settings to do a lot of sophisticated things. But I spoke about it quickly because I really want you to do either free shipping for the whole world, but at least in Israel, or for a specific price at least. Or one unified shipping fee.
Again, I’ll talk about the free shipping, that essentially for free shipping, what we can do is add a set percentage to all of the prices of the products. It doesn’t have to be the actual price of the shipping because we have to take into account that sometimes customers order more than one product.
Incidentally, this is the place in which free shipping starting at a certain amount helps us. Because we know that the customer added several products so we earn a little more on the shipping if we added it into the price of the product.
So essentially you need to do a calculation of averages to see more or less how many products people order, what the average of the order is. And according to that, calculate the cost of the shipping. It won’t be exact and it’s not something you can set once and leave it forever because purchase patterns change. But from the other side, it will increase sales and therefore you need to constantly have your finger on the pulse and make sure you have the right pricing.
It’s an art and it takes time but in the end you’ll succeed. And it’s definitely preferable to saying, “I won’t take any risk and I’ll charge the customer exactly how much it will cost me.” Because then that means that the customer gets a surprise at checkout.
THE BEST SOLUTION: MAPIT
I want to talk about another example of something sophisticated that people often ask us about. For example, for someone who knows, in Shopify, you can define the costs of the shipping approaches with differences between countries. But often people say to me that even within Israel they can offer cheaper shipping for certain areas. For example, if it’s in the center of Israel it can cost less than if it’s to the periphery in the north or south.
So specifically for this, there’s an application called MapIt. It’s an app that we built that allows you to draw the areas you want to create a specific shipping policy for at specific prices directly on the map. And only people whose address is within that area will get this shipping option.
So we can define, for example, a shipping area that we can call “discounted”. You don’t have to display it - we understand that it’s discounted. And to mark the central area, and then in other areas, to do a more expensive price. And this is how we can make an internal division within Israel and it’s drawn on the map for the prices.
Another use for this - someone who has physical branches throughout the country, it can be one, two, three, however many you want. If you want to offer an option of self-pickup from the brach, of course for free, what happens is, and especially if you have a lot of branches, but even if you have a few, people all over the country see the list of all of the branches. You set it in the settings of the shipping and see it at checkout.
So someone who lives in Kiryat Shmona sees the options for self-pickup from Eilat. And for anyone who knows Shopify, the free shipping options are first on the list. And often, people don’t pay attention and click next and choose that it will be self-pickup from Eilat, since it’s the first letter of the [Hebrew] alphabet, and after they realize they aren’t going to go to Eilat to pick it up. And they call and then there are problems.
So the solution is also to use MapIt. I mark the area around each branch that I want to offer self-pickup for the people that live there and only people that live there. Of course there’s no problem to have overlap. If you have two branches in Tel Aviv - in north Tel Aviv and south Tel Aviv - the people who live in the overlapping area will see both branches, which is great. So that’s another use for it.
I’ll give one more example. For example, someone who uses the Gett taxi services to do same-day deliveries. This most often happens in the area where the warehouse is, and if I’m not mistaken it’s limited to the central region. So again, you can mark it on the map and only people in that area will see that option. And that’s how this solves the problem.
So that’s an example of something you can do with development. If you have other needs and requests for things you want to offer in the shipping space that require development and can’t be done in Shopify, we’re here for you and we’d be happy to help you.
And if you have questions or other topics you’d like us to talk about, write to us, call us, we’re here for you.
So thanks very much and see you in the next video.
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