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How to setup shipping methods in Magento 2

With the given dynamics of the cutthroat market, some large retailers have fueled the expectation that shipping should always be free. However, in reality, most business owners know that this simply doesn’t make sense. Shipping costs money, and someone has to pay. But 36% of online customers who abandon a purchase do it due to the shipping calculated at the end.

This emphasizes the fact that regardless of what others are doing, you have to curate a shipping strategy that pleases customers without eroding profits. A win-win for all!

If you’ve just started your new online shop on Magento 2, learn about shipping methods. There are generally three options: Free Shipping, Flat Rate, and Table Rates. Before determining a strategy for your business, let’s find out what factors affect shipping costs.

Factors Affecting Shipping Costs

Here are some factors that significantly affect your final shipping costs.

Weight and Size 

A lighter package that is larger in size may or may not cost less to ship than a heavier package that is smaller, depending on the carrier. 

If products you sell vary in size and weight, your best shipping strategy will be different than if you sell products that have a similar weight and size.

Packaging and packing materials

In some cases, extra padding is required to ship your product safely, or in other cases, products are fragile, temperature sensitive, or perishable. All of these factors contribute to an increased shipping cost.

As a shop owner, you want to master the right balance to satisfy your savvy online customers who are looking for the best deals while you look to provide the best service and stay profitable.

After you curate the perfect shipping strategy for your e-commerce business, it’s now time you take a deep dive into the entire process of implementing your strategy by configuring shipping methods in Magento 2.

How to configure shipping methods in Magento 2

Before you explore the default shipping methods, you would have to configure the default shipping settings. 

To do this, simply go to Stores > Configuration > Sales > Shipping Settings and configure Origin and Shipping Policy Parameters.

This is a mandatory step so that Magento can calculate the taxes and shipping costs based on the shipping origin.

The information that you would have to provide here includes:

  • Country
  • Region/State
  • ZIP/Postal Code
  • City
  • Street Address/Street Address Line 2

You would also have to decide whether to Apply a custom Shipping Policy along with writing your Shipping Policy text to be displayed during checkout.

How to Configure Default Magento 2 Shipping Methods?

After finishing the basic shipping settings, it’s time you configure the shipping methods. They are managed in Stores > Configuration > Sales > Shipping Methods.

Flat Rate Shipping Method

One of the standard shipping methods in Magento 2 is the Flat Rate. It can be applied per single item or order regardless of product attributes such as size, weight, etc.

Every shipping method has some similar options (e.g., Title, Enable Disable, Method Name). So, let’s talk about the distinctive ones.

1. Define how the shipping fee is added to the subtotal in the Type field. There are three possible options: None, Per Item and Per Order.

  • None means no change. In this case, the Flat rate shipping method is equivalent to Free.
  • Per Order means the charge is for the whole order and every single item separately.
  • Per Item means that a Flat Rate shipping fee is charged for each item in the cart.

2. Set the Price that you would like to charge for the Flat Rate Shipping.

3. Determine the method to Calculate the Handling Fee.

4. Then, set the amount of the Handling Fee accordingly.

5. Write the text for the Displayed Error Message field that will be shown to the customers when the Flat Rate Shipping is unavailable.

6. You also need to choose whether you want to ship to all Allowed countries in the Ship to Applicable Countries, or you can simply select some separate countries if you decide to Ship to Specific Countries.

7. Also, decide whether you would want to Show Method is Not Applicable as an option during checkout even if it couldn’t be applied to the order.

8. Then, to define the place of the Flat Rate method in the list of shipping methods, set the Sort Order.

Free Shipping Method

The free shipping method is the most popular and customer-attracting type of shipping used in Magento 2. Merchants leverage this by offering customers free shipping if certain conditions are met. These conditions often include minimum order amount or nearby places.

The configuration process for the free shipping method is similar to the previous method.

Table Rates Shipping Method

The Table Rates shipping method is used when business owners want to charge the fee based on different conditions. (e.g., Number of Items v. Destination, Weight v. Destination, Price v. Destination) This is why the price for Table Rates shipping varies.

Table Rates shipping method is very similar to the Flat Rate shipping method. However, there are some distinctive features:

1. Choose the Condition rates.

2. Set Include Virtual Products in the Price Calculation option.

Prepare or update the table rate files after finishing the default Table Rates configuration.

3. In the Stores > Configuration section, switch the store view or the website you want to apply this shipping setting to. You will find two additional options there.

4. Export the CSV file, update it, and then import it.

5. Then, to check if it’s working fine, make several orders from the storefront with different destinations and see how the Table Rate shipping fees are calculated.

To provide a better customer experience, you must consider several factors related to your store, and shipping methods are no exception.

By providing your customers with different options, you give them a choice to select what’s best for them.

Understanding your target market’s needs and integrating suitable distribution options can help you stand out from the competition, save on operating costs and increase sales.

We hope this guide helped you configure shipping methods in Magento 2 stores.

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