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Choosing the right shipping options

Use this guide to compare shipping methods to find the best fit for your business. You can add as many shipping options as you need to. For steps to add them to your store, visit Setting up shipping rates.  

Tip: To learn about setting up shipping for large products, visit Selling large or heavy items.

Flat rate

Use Flat rate shipping to apply a Per Order fee that applies to any order, regardless of the total number of items. You can also use flat rate shipping to create a per-item fee that doesn’t account for product weight, or add a free shipping option.

Recommended for: 

  • Small packages of high-value merchandise where shipping is negligible to the item cost, like jewelry.
  • Stores where all products are roughly the same weight and size.
Advantages Disadvantages
This option is simple for customers to understand and a great selling point to advertise on your website. This option can’t easily accommodate varied product weights.

Depending on weight

Use the Depending on weight option to set shipping charges based on the total weight of all physical products in an order. You can create ranges to cover your various products and an ∞ (infinity) range to cover anything exceeding your pre-set ranges. To add this option, you must enter the weight for all of your products.

Recommended for: 

  • Businesses where weight is critical but all of your products are roughly the same size.
Advantages Disadvantages
This option allows you to vary pricing based on order weight. This option doesn’t account for package volume dimensions, and doesn’t account for shipping distance.
Tip: Depending on weight shipping doesn’t factor in shipping distance, but you can limit the option to a specific shipping zone, allowing you to control for distance.

Carrier calculated

If you’re on the Commerce Advanced Plan, use carrier calculated shipping to automatically calculate shipping costs based on FedEx, UPS, and USPS rates. If you select this option, you must enter package dimensions and weights for each physical product.

Recommended for: 

  • Packages where the cost of shipping is a significant percentage of the price and depends on product dimensions.
  • Larger items where increased distance adds a lot of costs.
  • If you have many different types of items that require different shipping costs.
Advantages Disadvantages
This option provides very accurate estimates based on true shipping costs. It takes location, weight, and dimensions into account. With this option, it’s more difficult to communicate or advertise your shipping costs to customers ahead of time.

To get the best results with carrier calculated shipping, be very precise with your product and package dimensions.

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Choosing the right shipping options