How do I setup shipping?

Shipping Zones

In a manner similar to your Shopify store, Mothership lets you specify which geographic areas (shipping zones) you will ship to and how much your retailers are charged when you ship their orders (shipping rates). Mothership tracks the shipping zones and corresponding shipping rates in your Shopify store and automatically imports them into the app. 

Mothership utilizes price and weight-based shipping rates. Unfortunately, the app does not currently support carrier-calculated shipping rates. This means that if you do not already use price or weight-based shipping rates, you will need to set them up for each of your shipping zones

Determining Shipping Rates
How do you determine how much to charge your retailers? The easiest thing to do is to offer free shipping and build your shipping costs into the price of the product. Another approach is to calculate your average shipping cost per order and set that amount as the shipping rate. You may also want to break down your calculations by shipping zone. With this strategy, some orders will cost more than the average to ship, others less than the average. Over a sufficiently large number of orders, however, the impact of this variance on your bottom line is minimized.

Applying Shipping Rates to Orders
Mothership lets you specify the shipping rate for manually placed orders that come from retailers connecting to you through the web-based Mothership Connect app. However, for orders that come from retailers using the Shopify Mothership Connect app, Mothership will attempt to automatically select an applicable shipping rate based upon the price and weight-based rates you specify for the particular shipping zone. In the case where more than one shipping rate applies, Mothership will select the cheapest rate. As such, it is recommended that you do not have shipping rates that overlap. 

Initial Setup

Depending on your existing configuration, Mothership may be able to import your existing shipping zones and shipping rates. If so, you'll see a green enabled tag and a list of the shipping rates in each shipping zone (like the image below). 

You must ship to at least one shipping zone in order to finish the setup process. This means you must provide at least one shipping rate and enable the shipping zone before being being able to continue. 

By default, each shipping zone is automatically enabled. This means that Mothership will present that zone's applicable shipping rates for selection whenever you place an order. To enable/disable the shipping zone, click on the 'Enable' or 'Disable' link in the top right corner of the card.

New Shipping Rate

To create a new shipping rate, click on the blue 'New shipping rate' drop down button and select the type of shipping rate that you would like to create. 

New Weight-Based Shipping Rate

To add a new weight-based shipping rate, provide the name, minimum weight, maximum weight, unit of measurement, and the price you want to charge your retailers for this rate. Then click save. 

To create a weight-based free shipping tier, enter a minimum weight of 0, a very large maximum weight (say, 10000 lbs), and a shipping cost of 0.

When you place an order, Mothership will calculate the total weight of each item in the order and present the applicable weight-based shipping rates for you to select from.  Importantly, this calculation uses the value of the weight specified on the product configuration pages in Shopify admin panel. If you have not specified a product's weight in the Shopify backend, Mothership calculates the weight as if it were 0 and can result in inaccurate shipping charges.

New Price-Based Shipping Rate

To create a new price-based shipping rate, enter the name for the rate, the minimum price, and this price you want to charge your retailers. Price-based shipping rates do not require a maximum price. Click save to create your new shipping rate. 

As with the weight-based shipping rates, Mothership will find the applicable price-based shipping rates and present them for you to select from when you place an order. Mothership utilizes the order subtotal to determine which price-based shipping rates are applicable. 

A couple of important aspects of shipping rates

As mentioned before, Mothership will track your shipping zones and rates you have configured in Shopify. However, if you decide to modify an imported rate in Mothership, the app will no longer track the corresponding rate in Shopify. This means if you change the price of a shipping rate in Mothership to X, then change the corresponding price in Shopify to Y, the Mothership price will remain X.

Lastly, for the time being, you can only ship to zones you have configured in your Shopify store. This means that if you want to ship to a geographic area that is not already configured in your Shopify store, you will need to configure it in Shopify before it is available in Mothership. 

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