Custom Shipping Methods

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What are Custom Shipping Methods?


Custom Shipping Methods are a powerful feature in Spark Pay Online Stores that allow you to create your own shipping options that calculate order shipping charges based on the rules you set. Custom shipping methods can charge different amounts for shipping based on order subtotal, number of order items, weight units, shipping region, customer type, shipping warehouse, and other criteria. This article will explain custom shipping method rules in detail as well as explain how to create custom shipping methods for three common use cases: Free Shipping, Flat Rate Shipping, and Variable rate shipping. At the end of the article are troubleshooting tips and a detailed explanation of each custom shipping method setting. 

 

Custom Shipping Method Rules


From your Spark Pay admin dashboard, navigate to Setting > Shipping > Custom Shipping Methods, and click New to pull up the Edit Custom Shipping Method screen. Once you give the method a name and click Save, the Method Rules will be available at the bottom of the screen. The rule in the screenshot below shows an example of a method rule that gives free shipping on orders $50 and above to all customers:

The above rule can be read as follows:

If subtotal is between 50 and 99,999 Dollars, shipping is 0 dollars plus 0 dollars to every region, from every warehouse, for customer type of all types.

The upper and lower bound amounts are inclusive, meaning that this method will give free shipping to orders with a $50.00 subtotal, but not orders with a $49.99 subtotal.

To better demonstrate the possible selections, the screenshot below shows a custom shipping method rule with all of the drop-down options expanded:

The shipping region, warehouse, and customer type options shown above are examples only. You will need to setup your own shipping regions, warehouses, and customer types before those options will be available in shipping method rules on your online store. 

Custom shipping methods must have at least one rule to function, but multiple rules are allowed, and each rule can have a different combination of the above selections. This configurability makes Custom Shipping Methods a powerful feature, and gives store owners the flexibility needed to account for real world shipping scenarios.

 

Setting up a Free Shipping Option


In this example, we're going to setup a shipping method for a fictional brewing company based in Beaumont, Texas. The brewing company delivers to anyone with a Beaumont zip code for free. Fill in your own information and specifications to create a similar method for your store. To get started, navigate to Settings > Shipping > Custom Shipping Methods and click New to open the Edit Shipping Method Screen:

After clicking save, the shipping method rules will be available at the bottom of the screen. Fill out the rule as seen in the screenshot below, click Add Rule, then click Save:

The rule in the above screenshot reads: 

If subtotal is between 0.0000 and 1000.0000 dollars and between 0.0000 and 0.0000 , shipping charge is 0.0000 dollars plus  0.0000 dollars to Beaumont, TX region from every warehouse for customer type of all types.
Match values below lower bound: True
Match values above upper bound: True

Setting up a Flat Rate Option


In this example, we'll setup a flat rate shipping method that charges $30 on orders less and $100 and $15.00 on orders $100 and greater. To get started, Navigate to Settings > Shipping > Custom Shipping Methods, and click New to pull up the Edit Custom Shipping Method screen:

After clicking save, the shipping method rules will be available at the bottom of the screen. Fill out the rule as seen in the screenshot below, click Add Rule, then click Save. Repeat the same process to add another rule. This time, set the lower bound to 100 and the upper bound to 1000 and check Match values above upper bound:

Once finished, you should have two rules that read as follows:

If subtotal is between 0.0000 and 99.9900 dollarsand between 0.0000 and 0.0000 , shipping charge is 30.0000 dollars plus  0.0000 dollars to Lower 48 States region from every warehouse for customer type of all types.
Match values below lower bound: False
Match values above upper bound: False

If subtotal is between 100.0000 and1000.0000 dollars and between 0.0000 and0.0000 , shipping charge is 15.0000 dollars plus 0.0000 dollars to Lower 48 States region from every warehouse for customer type of all types.
Match values below lower bound: False
Match values above upper bound: True

Setting up a Variable Rate Option


Below is an example of a rule setup for a variable rate shipping method. This method charges $5 for shipping, plus an additional $1 for every pound of shipping weight: 

Note: This example assumes you already know how to create a shipping method and add rules. If you need a step by step example on creating shipping methods, see Setting up a Free Shipping Option and Setting Up a Flat Rate Option above.

 

Troubleshooting


To test custom shipping methods, pretend  you are a customer and add a product to your shopping cart and run the shipping calculator on the shopping cart page or checkout page. If the shipping method does not show up, it might be because: 

  • The method does not have Active checked
  • The method is set to inactive in Settings > Shipping > General
  • The package weight does not meet the weight rules (note: shipping weight is always converted to pounds for shipping weight rules).
  • The items do not meet the warehouse rule
  • The zip code does not meet the shipping region rule
  • The customer doesn't meet the customer type rule
  • No shipping regions are setup in Settings > Shipping > Shipping Regions

For more information and troubleshooting steps, see: Troubleshooting no Shipping Methods on Order

If you've been making lots of recent edits to a shipping method, you may need to clear your cart and re-add the items, or test in a private/incognito window to see the most recent edits reflected on the shopping cart or checkout page. 

 

Custom Shipping Method Settings


 

Method Name: The name of the method customers will see

Description: Description of the method, only visible in the admin console

Active: Toggling this setting activates/deactivates the method for all stores

Default Method: Causes the method to be selected automatically if available

Fallback Method: Custom Shipping Methods with Fallback enabled are ONLY used if all enabled shipping providers are temporarily down. They will not be available to the customer in normal circumstances.

Use Store Base Shipping Rate: The Store Base Shipping Rate allows you to specify a base charge for custom shipping methods.  This base charge is applied to the overall shipping as determined by a custom shipping method.

Limit to Campaign Code:Only enable this custom shipping method if the following campaign code is applied on the cart. Visit the How to Setup Campaign AdCodes article for more information on Campaign Codes.

Combine shipping value for warehouse based shipping rule: This setting will decide custom shipping is warehouse based or package based.

For example: Free shipping when subtotal >= $100 from a warehouse.

If you have 10 items from the warehouse and each item costs $10, weighs 10 lbs. The maximum weight for each package in your store setting is 60 lbs. The order has 100 lbs. worth of items split between two packages:

Package A is 60lbs, and has a subtotal of $60.
Package B is 40lbs, and has a subtotal of $40.

When combine shipping value for warehouse is selected, subtotal, weight, # of Items from all packages for the warehouse will combined to evaluate shipping rules. Subtotal from Package A and B will be combined because they are from the same warehouse. The subtotal is $100; free shipping is available for this order.

When not selected, each package will use its own subtotal, weight, # of items to evaluate shipping rules. Every package must pass the shipping rules. Subtotal for each package ($60, $40) is less than $100; free shipping is not available to this order.

Match values below lower bound: When this is checked, the method will be available on orders with subtotals less than the lower bound specified in "If Subtotal is between ____ and ____".

Match values above upper bound: When this is checked, the method will be available on orders with subtotals greater than the upper bound specified in "If Subtotal is between ____ and ____".

Location of Other Custom Shipping Method Settings:

Custom Shipping Method Setup: Settings > Shipping > Custom Shipping Methods

Store Specific Custom Shipping Method Settings: Settings > Shipping > General

  • Base Shipping Charge for Custom Methods (Miscellaneous Section)
  • Inactivate/Activate (Custom Shipping Method Settings Section)
  • Sort Order (Custom Shipping Method Settings Section)
  • Enable Lead Time (Custom Shipping Method Settings Section)
  • Lead Time # of Days (Custom Shipping Method Settings Section)
  • Lead Time Cutoff Time (Custom Shipping Method Settings Section)
  • Delivery Time # of Days (Custom Shipping Method Settings Section)

 

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