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Planning Shipping Methods and Rates for Your Shopify Store

Learn the basics about planning the shipping strategy of your Shopify store. Shipping, local delivery or local pickup. Free shipping, flat rate or calculated shipping rates. Calculating your shipping costs.

Joel Taylor
By Joel Taylor

Updated February 10, 2023.

Planning the shipping strategy (methods and rates) for your Shopify store is highly important. A suitable shipping strategy can increase your sales while supporting a sustainable operation.

Here is a short brief of your options while planning your shipping policy.

Local Delivery and Pickup

The first thing to think about is your shipping method. Your options are shipping, local delivery, or local pickup:

  • Local delivery: you deliver the product to the doorstep of clients within a zone that you determine.
  • Local pickup: you let clients pick up the product at a location that you choose. Naturally, there is no shipping charge in this case.

Setting Shipping Rates

If you go for shipping, you need to set your shipping rates. Your options are free shipping, flat rate, or exact carrier rates.

  • Free shipping Works as a sales promotion and can positively impact your sales. Nothing really comes for free so you should calculate your expected shipping costs while pricing your products.
  • Flat rate Simpler to handle and makes sense when you have a standard product variety (similar size and weight). Try to estimate your average shipping cost and set a rate that won't cause you losses. It is recommended not to overcharge since it can have a negative impact on your sales.
  • Exact carrier rates/Calculated shipping rates These are more complicated, yet effective, options. Your clients get to choose their preferred shipping method and pay according to the actual carrier cost. It saves you the need to calculate your shipping costs and price your products accordingly. If you're in the United States and use Shopify Shipping, you can also get reduced rates from carriers who work with Shopify.

It is critical to be aware of your shipping costs, no matter which strategy you choose. Undercharging or overcharging may hurt your bottom line. There are helpful tools for calculating your estimated shipping costs. Here is one from Shopify - shipping cost calculator 

If you are based in the US, Canada, or Australia you should consider using Shopify Shipping.

Shopify Shipping users can display calculated shipping rates to clients at checkout, get reduced shipping rates, and print the shipping labels directly from the Shopify admin.