Shopify has two methods for handling shipping costs for your customers: price-based and weight-based. Inkthreadable's system uses weight-based shipping when sending parcels, so to set up your Shopify shipping rates to match ours you'll need to use the same method.
This means you can't use the price based option, so offering promotions like 'free shipping for orders over £30' isn't possible by strictly following this guide. On the flip-side, by following our guide you'll be able to set up your rates to match ours as closely as possible, and you'll be able to offer the cheapest shipping rates for all orders as a result.
But you don't need to follow this guide literally. It'll show you how to set up your rates to match ours, and that's it. So if you want to get creative... there's nothing stopping you.
Shipping rates vary by parcel weight and destination, and this means you have a little freedom when it comes to offering free shipping based on these variables. For example, you can offer free shipping to the UK for certain parcel weights or even for a full service such as Royal Mail 48 by setting the cost to zero for these variants in your Shopify store. If you're new to Shopify shipping rates this will make sense as you follow the guide.
So, let's get started!
Changing the default unit of weight
To get started, head to your Shopify dashboard, then click Settings > General.
We're going to set the units of weight to Kilogrammes (since this is the unit we've used to assign weights to our products). Scroll down to the Standards and formats section at the bottom of your General settings page and change the Unit System to Metric System and the Default weight unit to Kilogrammes (kg).
Changing these settings changes the default weights used for calculating shipping. Skipping this step will leave your shipping being calculated using the Imperial unit Pounds (lb) instead of the Metric unit Kilogrammes (kg) so don't skip this step.
Assigning weight values to your Shopify products
Since we're using weight-based shipping you'll need to make sure your products have weight values assigned to them.
If you're just getting started and don't yet have any products listed in your Shopify store you can ignore this step, though it may be useful to understand the method if you're planning on creating any products manually.
Any products exported from Inkthreadable to Shopify will have weight values assigned to them. We always recommend you import products from Inkthreadable to your store for this reason — you can always edit them afterwards.
But if you already have some products created, or if you do want complete creative control, then following these steps will make sure your shipping is always calculated correctly.
Assigning weight values
Editing each product manually would be pretty time consuming, but Shopify has a handy tool to help with that - the Bulk Editor.
To use this tool, navigate to your dashboard and click Products. Check any (or all) of your products and click the 'Edit products' button.
If the Weight field isn’t shown by default, click 'Add fields' and choose Weight.
Starting with your first product, click the cell at the top of the weight column. Hold shift and click the bottom one. This will highlight the weight field for each variant of the product. Now, as you type it'll input into each cell simultaneously. Make sure you change the weight to grams (g).
Please note: You can work in kilograms (kg) if you'd prefer. Products export in kg by default, and either g or kg will work fine. When working in kg, make sure to convert all weight value (so 100 g becomes 0.1 kg).
The weight of a hoodie is 200 g, so this is the value we've assigned to the Space Odyssey Hoodie variants. Most products are either 100 g or 200 g, but there are exceptions so it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with them.
It's worth noting that these weights aren't accurate and literal; they're approximations based on the bulk and weight of each item, and it's more the value itself we're interested in rather than the physical weight of the product.
Each weight has a value assigned to it, and for each parcel shipped these weights are combined to calculate the accurate shipping cost for any possible combination of products.
Working this way you'll never pay too much or too little for shipping, and you can match the rates with Inkthreadable's to keep shipping costs for your customers as low as possible.
Use Shopify's bulk editor to assign the appropriate weight value in the table above to each of your products in turn. You'll only need to do this once.
Creating your Shopify shipping rates
Once you've assigned weights to each of your products we can move on to the setting up your shipping rates.
Before we get started it's worth mentioning that your shipping rates don't need to match ours. We simply pass on the cost of shipping to you, and to keep this cost as low as possible we don't make any profit ourselves from shipping your parcels.
You can charge your customers less to offer them cheaper shipping, more to increase your profit or nothing at all if you want to offer free shipping. In each case, we'll still charge the rates listed on our site.
Please note: the prices on our site are subject to change and may not match the rates shown in this guide. We'll always try to keep the guide updated, but regardless we'd always recommend reviewing the shipping rates yourself.
To begin creating your rates, head to your Shopify Dashboard > Settings > Shipping and Delivery.
At the top of this page, you'll see the 'Delivery methods at checkout' heading. This is where we'll populate the methods available to your customers when checking out through your store.
You'll see three options: Shipping, Local delivery, and Local pickup.
If you want to offer local delivery or local pickup you can do, but this guide won't cover those options. Inkthreadable doesn't offer these services, and so you would use these options if you stock products yourself.
That leaves 'Shipping', which is what we'll be focusing on.
We have no shipping rates set up since we've deleted all default rates. You can do the same, or edit the ones that exist in your store.
To create your first shipping rate click 'manage rates'. When we're finished, this page will be full of shipping rates that cover each destination and shipping method available. For now, click 'Create shipping zone'.
We'll start by creating domestic rates for the UK. In the window that pops up, enter United Kingdom as the 'Zone name' and use the search field to add the UK as a country in the zone.
This zone has now been added, but we need to populate it with rates that will apply to your customer's basket when checking out.
Beneath the United Kingdom zone, click the 'Add rate' button, and then click 'Add conditions' to expand this window.
Each of the fields in this window are important for different reasons:
This is what your customers will see, but it also needs to contain a specific keyword so that our system assigns the correct shipping method to the order when it comes through to your Inkthreadable account. You can find the correct keywords below.
We'll fill this field with the price you pay Inkthreadable, but you can charge as much or as little as you like for each rate. If you want to offer free shipping for any specific rates, leave it at £0.00.
Minimum weight & Maximum weight
The minimum & maximum weight of the order that the rate you're creating will apply to. This is where the weight values assigned to each product come into play. Any combination of products will fall into one of these weight brackets.
We'll create a rate for each weight bracket available for each shipping method, to each destination. For this first zone, the 'Rate name' is Royal Mail 48, the 'Price' is 0.98, the 'Minimum weight' is 0, and the 'Maximum weight' is 0.099'.
We've just set up our first shipping rate! Now any orders of up to 0.099 kg being shipped to the UK will automatically have the shipping rate calculated at £0.86 when the Royal Mail 48 option is selected at checkout.
The next step is to set up each individual rate based on weight and destination. The tables below list the rates for Royal Mail 48, 48 Recorded, 48 Tracked, Royal Mail 24, 24 Recorded, 24 Tracked, and DPD based on weights to the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and the rest of the world.
When using this system it’s important to make sure your shipping rates include the correct keywords for each shipping method. Our system looks for these when an order is received from your Shopify store so to avoid mistakes these keywords should be used for each shipping method.
Keywords for the UK:
- Royal Mail 48 - '48'
- Royal Mail 48 Recorded - '48 Recorded'
- Royal Mail 48 Tracked - '48 Tracked'
- Royal Mail 24 - '24' or 'Regular'
- Royal Mail 24 Recorded - '24 Recorded' or 'Recorded'
- Royal Mail 24 Tracked - '24 Tracked' or 'Tracked'
- DPD - 'Courier'
Keywords for the rest of the world:
- Royal Mail 1st Class - 'Regular'
- Royal Mail 1st Class Recorded - 'Recorded'
- DPD - 'Courier'
- USPS (US only) - 'USPS'
Using these keywords is as simple as including them in the Name field for each shipping rate you set up.
UK shipping rates
Continuing on from the first rate added, use the same method to add the rates listed below.
The Tracked rates are the same for all weights shipped so you'll only need to create one rate to cover the full range of weights up to 0.699. When finished, you'll have something like this:
When you're finished, click 'Save'. You've now set up your rates for the UK!
Europe shipping rates
To set up rates for Europe we'll need to create five zones like the one created for the UK. The first four zones will include specific European countries, with the fifth including the remaining European countries not covered by the first four.
After saving your UK rates, scroll to the bottom of these rates and click 'Create shipping zone'. Call this zone 'Europe Zone 1'.
The countries you'll be adding to these zones are detailed on our Shipping Costs page. F for this first zone we're adding Poland, Germany, Czechia, Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg.
Use the search box to add each of these countries to the shipping zone by checking the box next to each one in turn.
As with the rates for the UK, click the 'Add rate' button and fill in the details listed here:
The courier rate of £8.70 for zone 1 has been taken from our zone table on our Shipping Costs page. You find all rates listed here for each zone, with Zone 5 being the rate for any country not listed in Zones 1 - 4. The Royal Mail shipping options all have the same cost, it's simply the Courier rates that will be different for each zone.
Click 'Save' before moving on to the next zone.
Next, you'll want to repeat the process above for Zones 2, 3 & 4;
- Create a new rate and name it according to the zone you're creating.
- Add each country in the zone you're creating.
- Add the weight-based rates for Regular & Recorded shipping.
- Add the Courier rate based on the cost listed in the zone table.
- Click Save!
Zone 5 will include all countries in Europe that haven't yet been accounted for.
The process for setting it up is the same as above, but rather than adding individual countries you can select an option to add all European countries that haven't been added to another zone. Make sure you create this zone last, otherwise you'll need to delete it to create the other zones.
Create the new zone as above and name it 'Europe Zone 5'.
When you click the Add countries button, scroll down a little to find the checkbox next to Europe. Check this box and you'll see all countries but those previously added to other zones selected.
You can now set up your weight-based rates as above, and use the Zone 5 courier cost of £22.75 to decide what to charge your customers.
That's it, Europe is complete!
USA shipping rates
Next, we're going to create a zone for the US. We're singling this country out from the rest of the world since we offer a cheaper option than Royal Mail for shipping parcels to the US which uses their domestic USPS recorded service.
Once you've saved your Europe rates, scroll down to click the 'Create shipping zone' link again.
Name the zone 'US' or something similar to help you identify it, and then add United States under Countries.
There are two shipping methods which ship to the United States: USPS and Courier.
Click the 'Add rate' button.
Enter USPS (Recorded) in the Name field, with a minimum and maximum weight of 0.00 kg and 0.099 kg respectively.
We've used Inkthreadable's cost of £4.31 for this weight, so refer to our Shipping Costs page to calculate your own costs for this rate.
Click Done. You'll now need to create weight-based rates for each additional weight bracket, using our shipping costs to determine the rates you'd like to charge your customers:
- 0.1 - 0.1 kg
- 0.101 - 0.199 kg
- 0.2 - 0.299 kg
- 0.3 - 0.399 kg
- 0.4 - 0.499 kg
- 0.5 - 0.599 kg
- 0.6 - 0.699 kg
The final weight bracket is 0 - 30 kg for Courier.
Again, we've used Inkthreadable's rates for this so ours might look different to yours:
Hit the 'Save' button. That's your US rates completed!
You might have noticed the rate for 0.101 - 0.199 kg is higher than for those following it. This isn't a mistake. We've made the rates as cheap as possible, but each weight bracket cost is based on both weight and parcel size.
The vast majority of parcels shipped in the 0.101 - 0.199 kg are mugs, which are much heavier than t-shirts. Based on the minimum and maximum weight of this bracket there are only two product combinations this will be used for: a single mug, or a t-shirt shipping with a lightweight accessory (socks, phone cases and morfs). Two t-shirts will hit the 0.200 - 0.299 kg weight bracket, so they'll ship at a cheaper rate.
Australia shipping rates
Based on feedback from customers, we've introduced a shipping method for Australia which replaces the previous 'Regular', 'Recorded', and 'Courier' options.
This service is called P2P.
This shipping method replaces all other options and as a result, no keywords are required since any orders shipping to Australia will default to the P2P method.
To set this rate up, click the 'Create shipping zone' link and create a new shipping zone which only includes Australia.
Click the 'Add rate' button to add your first rate for Australia.
The rate name can be anything, so we've gone for 'Courier (P2P)'. The price for this first rate is £9.55, and the minimum and maximum weights are 0 to 0.1 kg.
Following this, there are just five more rates to add:
- 0.101 to 0.299 kg: £13.32
- 0.3 to 0.399 kg: £15.12
- 0.4 to 0.599 kg: £19.01
- 0.6 to 0.699 kg: £20.72
- 0.7 to 30 kg: £36.00
And that's Australia completed!
Rest of World shipping rates
The last steps to finish your rates are to cover the rest of the world. All remaining countries will be covered under one zone.
Once your rates for Australia have saved, scroll down to click the 'Create shipping zone' link one last time. This zone should be called Rest of World, and rather than searching or adding countries manually, you can simply check the 'Rest of World' checkbox at the top of the list.
Click 'Done', and then follow the previous method to add the following rates to the Rest of World zone:
And that's it. You've now created rates for all services shipping to all destinations!
Editing pre-set packaging weights
At this stage, it's a good idea to add some products to your basket to see what the shipping rates come to. Test different product combinations and shipping destinations too; you want to make sure your store is calculating rates correctly.
If you find that your shipping rates are totalling more than they should despite following this guide then you may have a package set up by default that's adding extra weight to your orders. This is easy to resolve, though!
Head to your Shopify Dashboard > Settings > Shipping and Delivery and scroll down to 'Packages'. This is where you'd assign extra shipping costs based on weight and package size, but packing costs are included in our shipping rates.
This means if you have a package set up here it'll only serve to add more weight to a parcel that doesn't need it, pushing your order shipping up to a higher weight bracket.
Edit anything listed here to have a weight of 0.0 g.
After this step, your shipping rates should perfectly match ours (if they didn't already).
Congrats! That's everything. Your store will now charge your customer shipping in the same way that Inkthreadable charge you for shipping their orders.