Shipping Rates, Zones and Profiles explained
Shipping Rates, Shipping Zones and Shipping Profiles are fundamental to setting up shipping in Shopify. It's important to understand how they work.
The Shipping Rates you set for your products in Shopify can either be free, flat-rate, or calculated. Calculated rates are those that have been provided by a third party app like Addition.
Addition automatically displays retail rates provided by Australia Post to your customers when they checkout, which means you don't have to manually enter in each rate, or update them if Australia Post's prices change. All you need to do is make sure you have enabled Addition in each of your shipping zones.
Retail rates are Australia Post's standard rates - the price you would pay if you were to pay over the counter at an Australia Post retail outlet. These are also the rates quoted on the Australia Post retail website.
If you select Addition to provide your rates, the rates in your store will automatically be retail rates.
MyPost Business rates
MyPost Business is a free account with Australia Post which offers account holders discounted retail rates. If you wish to display these discounted rates to your customers at checkout, you can connect your MyPost Business account with your Addition account. Contact Support to have this set up.
eParcel is a freight management tool from Australia Post for higher volume businesses, offering 'agreed' rates based on their shipping volumes. If you wish to display these agreed rates to your customers at checkout, you can connect your eParcel account with your Addition account. To set this up connect your Shipping & Tracking API, then contact support to finish the process.
StarTrack is a courier & freight service offered by Australia Post offering 'agreed' rates. If you wish to display these agreed rates to your customers at checkout, you can connect your StarTrack account with your Addition account. To set this up connect your Shipping & Tracking API, then contact support to finish the process.
A Shipping Zone is a group of countries or regions that have the same Shipping Rates.
When you setup a zone you can select the countries you'd like to include in the zone, or you can create a 'catch-all' made up of all countries not already assigned to a shipping zone.
Acme Inc. ships globally from Australia so they create two shipping zones - one that has a single country (Australia) and another that is assigned to ‘Rest of World’ (every other country aside from Australia).
Once you've created a shipping zone you are able to add rates to it. You'll need to add rates to any zone you'd like to enable Addition.
Shipping Profiles are groups of products and zones (and the rates associated with those zones).
You'll need to make sure you have Addition (Australia Post Shipping) selected as the rate provider for every zone, in every shipping profile that Australia Post rates are required.
It's also important to make sure your products are assigned to the correct shipping profile. By default, new products are put in the 'General Shipping Rates' profile.
Setting up multiple shipping profiles allows you to create different shipping rates for items that have special requirements.
For example, you could create a shipping profile:
for products that ship free
if some of your products are particularly heavy
if some of your products are fragile
for items that require a different form of transport (ie local courier)
To find out more about Shipping Profiles, see the Shopify help article Shipping Profiles.