Calculating the shipping costs is only one of a myriad of things e-commerce retailers have to think about, and deciding the shipping fee can make a huge impact on customer retention and profit margins. Choosing the exact shipping rates that will result in fewer abandoned carts while still maximizing profits is by no means easy, thus integrating a shipping software in your online store is integral to making the shipping process easier and more efficient.
Shopify tries to lessen the hassle for its sellers through its inbuilt free shipping software called Shopify Shipping. Its rates are among the lowest, thanks to its partnership with major carriers such as USPS, UPS, and DHL Express, among others. Depending on your plan and item destination, you can take advantage of up to a 90% discount through Shopify Shipping’s reduced rates. Keep reading to learn more about the discounted rates and integrating Shopify Shipping to your e-commerce store.
Shopify Shipping Rates Discount Comparison Chart
|Calculated Price||Calculate Shipping Cost||Calculate Shipping Cost||Calculate Shipping Cost|
|Standout Feature/s||More Cost-Effective||More Affordable Worldwide Shipping||Faster Shipping Times|
|Basic Plan: Domestic Shipping||Up to 15%||N/A||Up to 61.38%|
|Basic Plan: International Shipping||Up to 21.7%||Up to 78.91%||Up to 73.43%|
|Shopify Plan: Domestic Shipping||Up to 90%||N/A||Up to 61.38%|
|Shopify Plan: International Shipping||Up to 21.7%||Up to 78.91%||Up to 73.43%|
|Advanced Plan: Domestic Shipping||Up to 90%||N/A||Up to 61.38%|
|Advanced Plan: International Shipping||Up to 21.7%||Up to 78.91%||Up to 73.43%|
|Available Shipping Times||From 1 to 10 business days||2 to 5 business days through DHL Express Worldwide||Next day morning to 5 business days (including worldwide shipping)|
Shopify Shipping: Pros and Cons
Shopify Shipping is free for all Shopify plans, but it is limited to e-commerce stores whose fulfillment locations are within the US, Canada, or Australia
Shopify Shipping is a free Shopify feature available to all of its plan subscribers. It alleviates the need of installing a third-party shipping application that typically requires an additional monthly payment on top of the extra step in setting-up your shipping process. Apart from the discounted Shopify Shipping rates, this built-in shipping platform further lets you display actual shipping rates depending on the weight and quantity during checkout. In addition, Shopify Shipping offers lower shipping label costs, bulk label printing, and tracking features that help keep your customer’s mind at ease.
While Shopify Shipping offers rates that are hard to beat, it has its limitations. For US-based fulfillment centers, the only carriers available through this shipping tool are DHL Express, USPS, and UPS. If you prefer other mail carriers such as FedEx, you will have to install a third-party shipping software. Another area that Shopify can definitely improve on is its maximum number of labels that can be printed for every batch. Currently, the maximum is only set at 20 labels at a time. In addition, Shopify Shipping doesn’t support the shipping of irregularly-shaped packages and those that are larger than 84 cubic inches.
Shopify Shipping Calculator
You can use Shopify’s built-in shipping calculator to determine which carrier is the best option for your business and existing Shopify plan
The Shopify Shipping rates calculator is a handy tool that can help you decide which carrier works best for your online store and whose rates will yield the most profit margins for your business. It will show you the discount rates you can enjoy depending on the type of items you typically ship and your shipping address. Just make sure that you’re entering the accurate weight so the results are closer to the actual shipping cost.
USPS is one of the best mail carriers for smaller packages as they offer seller-friendly rates without sacrificing shipping times. As seen in the calculation above, you can enjoy up to a 36% discount when shipping a 15oz package from NYC to Chicago. Meanwhile, for those who require faster shipping times, UPS can deliver as fast as next day morning shipping. Of course, that comes with a steep shipping fee, too.
DHL Express offers some of the best worldwide shipping rates. In fact, the only shipping option available for DHL through Shopify Shipping is DHL Express Worldwide. Here’s a sample shipping rate calculation for sending 1lb box from New York City to South Korea when you’re on an Advanced Shopify plan:
Third-Party Shipping Apps
If Shopify Shipping does not meet your requirements, there are other third-party shipping solutions and calculators you can integrate to your Shopify store
As mentioned earlier, the downsides to Shopify Shipping are the limited fulfillment center locations and carrier options. If you are based outside of the USA or prefer other mail carriers, you will have to look into third-party shipping applications you can integrate into your Shopify store. Some of the top Shopify Shipping alternatives are Bespoke Shipping, Shipping Easy, Easyship, and Shipstation. ShippingEasy is one of the highest-rated third-party shipping apps on Shopify.
Just like Shopify Shipping, they offer discounted rates through their partner carriers. They further support integration with a wider range of carriers and some even allow entering more than one fulfillment address. Those who need to print more labels by batch may also want to consider the above-mentioned third-party shipping suites. However, they usually require an additional monthly subscription which can start from $9 USD/month depending on your monthly shipments.
Another handy shipping tool you may want to install to your Shopify is the Estimated Shipping Cost app that shows customers how much it will cost to ship an item they’re eyeing. This app helps reduce abandoned carts, as customers won’t get surprised anymore with the shipping fee during the checkout process.
Free, Price-Based, & Other Shipping Rate Options
Apart from the calculated shipping rates, you can also set free, flat-rate, price-based, or weight-based rates
What we have thoroughly discussed already are calculated Shopify shipping rates. However, those who are still beginning their Shopify stores or are in the dropshipping business typically set flat-rate shipping fees for their products. Apart from integrating third-party shipping apps to your e-commerce store, you can also set your Shopify shipping rates through the following:
- Flat-rate shipping: with this, you know exactly how much to expect for the shipping fee every time a customer places an order. You can add one for standard shipping and a higher flat-rate shipping fee for expedited shipping.
- Free shipping: similar to flat-rate shipping, except you set the cost to $0. If you want to offer free shipping for, say, purchases above $50 USD, you can do so through setting the flat-rate fee to $0 for the minimum purchase amount.
- Price-based: you can set your preferred shipping fee for a certain total purchase order. For instance, orders below $50 USD will be charged a $5 shipping fee while those who purchase above $50 will get free shipping.
- Weight-based: a similar set-up to price-based, except the shipping fee depends on the total item weight. Let’s say purchases with a total item weight of .50 to l lb will be charged $9.99 for shipping while those that weigh from 1.1 lbs to 2 lbs will be charged higher.
Shopify Shipping’s rates are hard to beat and it remains an excellent shipping solution for e-commerce sellers, but those who ship large quantities or are not from North America may want to consider third-party shipping software
Best for US/Canada-based Shopify sellers
Best Shopify Shipping alternative/third-party app
If your fulfillment center is located in the US or Canada, the Shopify Shipping rates are among the lowest you can get. You’ll get even better-discounted domestic and international shipping rates if you’re on a Shopify or Advanced Shopify plan. On top of the lower rates, Shopify Shipping comes built-in with your plan, thus you won’t need to install a third-party app and pay an extra monthly subscription. If you’re still on the fence, Shopify offers a free 14-day trial so you can see how Shopify Shipping works and whether it fits your business needs well. At the time of writing, Shopify’s mail carrier partners are USPS, UPS, and DHL Express.
A downside to Shopify Shipping is its batch label printing that is limited to 20 at a time. Thus, e-commerce stores that ship large quantities every month may want to consider third-party shipping suites such as Shipping Easy. It is one of the top alternatives to Shopify Shipping as it offers extensive shipping services and support for a reasonable monthly fee. Depending on your plan, Shipping Easy allows printing of up to 200 shipment labels at a time and offers. If you want to get a feel of the platform, you can take advantage of Shipping Easy’s free 30-day trial first.