In order to set up shipping methods, you must first define your shipping zones - these are the locations to which your shop ships orders. Afterwards you can define the shipping methods, which you will need to further assign to your shipping zones. The system allows you to offer different shipping methods, based on the shipping zone to which your customer's shipping address is allocated.
During the checkout process, based on the shipping address provided by the customer, the system will detect the shipping zone which corresponds to the customer's address and will only display the shipping methods assigned to that particular zone. The customer is identified through a single shipping zone, which is the first compatible zone that the system finds according to the evaluation order of the shipping zones.
These are the zones to which your shop ships orders. You can simultaneously use several shipping zones, if you would like to limit certain shipping methods to particular zones.
A shipping zone can consist of:
- a selection of states / counties from a specific country;
- a country, excluding certain states / counties;
- a country;
- a selection of countries.
When setting up shipping zones, it is recommended that you plan how the shipping methods will be further assigned to the desired shipping zones.
If a shipping zone has no associated shipping methods, the placement of orders will be controlled by your settings regarding placing orders with shipping to zones with no associated shipping methods.
Example for setting up shipping zones
Let's assume your shop allows shipment of orders all over England. Shipping through DPD courier is only available in the counties Kent and Surrey. UPS courier is available for the entire country.
In this case, here's how you can set up your shipping zones:
- add a shipping zone based on a selection of counties from England and only include the counties Kent and Surrey. To this zone you will further assign the shipping method DPD and also the shipping method UPS which is available all throughout the country, including Kent and Surrey;
- add a second shipping zone based on a selection of counties from England and exclude the counties Kent and Surrey - as a result, this zone will include all the remaining counties in England. To this zone you will further assign the shipping method UPS.
Based on these settings, the customers with a shipping address located in Kent or Surrey will be able to see both shipping methods DPD and UPS, while the customers with a shipping address located elsewhere will only see UPS as available shipping method.
The Rest of the world shipping method
This zone is automatically created by the system. If you haven't set up specific shipping zones, the zone Rest of the world will include all possible locations, either national or international. However, if you have defined specific shipping zones, these will be automatically excluded from the Rest of the world shipping zone.
If your shop only ships to the shipping zones that you have defined, do not assign any shipping method to the Rest of the world zone and do no allow placement of orders when there are no shipping methods available for the customer's shipping zone.
A shipping method will become visible in your shop only after you assign it to a shipping zone. A shipping method can be assigned to multiple zones.
If there are several shipping methods available for the zone that corresponds to the customer's shipping address, the shipping methods will be displayed in the checkout page in the order for which you have opted in.
If the customer's shipping address simultaneously corresponds to several of your shipping zones, the customer will be automatically allocated to the first most limited zone available (e.g. type County/State zone) or to the first zone based on the creation date if the zones are of the same type.
You can set up free shipping at zone level, for all shipping methods assigned to the zone, or for a selection of shipping methods assigned to the zone. You can also enter a minimum cart amount that is required in order to receive free shipping.
In addition to this, you can also offer free shipping by using the Discount Rules system or by setting up free shipping at product level if you have activated the setting which allows you to control the shipping cost at product level.
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