Adding Shipping Rates to your Shopify store is one of several ways that you can offset the cost of international shipping.

Done correctly, Shopify will automatically calculate and add the appropriate shipping fees to your customers orders at the checkout. 

However, setting this up can be a little tricky. As you may already know, Shopify operates a weight-based shipping system. Kite, on the other hand, operates on a per-item shipping system.

So, how do you work around this?

Shipping apps

If you have real-time carrier shipping already included in your Shopify plan, great news! There are plenty of free and subscription-based 3rd-party apps offering advanced shipping rate customisation, including the option to set up per-item rates. Check out Parcelify or Better Shipping to start with!

If you aren’t sure whether you have real-time carrier shipping included in your plan, you may want to get in touch with a Shopify Guru.  

Weight-based shipping rates

If you don’t have real-time carrier shipping, it is possible to manipulate the weight-based shipping model for the purpose of charging a per-item flat shipping rate (i.e. $4 per item).

We set things up so that all Kite products are published with a default ‘weight’ of 1 unit (kg or lb depending on where you are in the world). This means that you can set a rate for 0-1 units (i.e. 1 product), 1-2 units (2 products), 2-3 units (3 products), etc. 

Make sure you check your average shipping costs carefully. You may wish to set up different rates for different regions to reflect the true costs - for example, charging more for orders shipping to South Africa (ROW) than France (EU).

Alternatives - Free Shipping?

If it all seems a bit confusing, don’t despair! After all, it isn’t absolutely necessary to set up shipping rates in your Shopify store. 

In fact, Shopify goes as far as stating that having to pay additional shipping fees is the number one reason customers abandon their shopping carts.

As long as you factor in the potential cost of shipping your products to your retail prices, you can offer your customers ‘free’ shipping without being left out of pocket.

For more information, check out Shopify’s guide to offering Free Shipping.

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