I'm tasked with updating our shipping rates whenever we have a temporary free shipping offer. I need to apply the change at 3 am, and remove the change once the offer has expired. I'm looking to automate this process, but looking in the app store I haven't found a solution. I'm curious if there is a way for me to set this up and have it expire without the need for me to stay awake until the wee hours.
Julie here from Shopify Support. It's great to see merchants offer their customers free shipping promotions; this is an excellent way to boost conversions, especially during the holiday period.
Which Shopify plan are you on? If you're on Shopify Plus, then this is doable through the Launchpad app, which is exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants. With Launchpad, you can schedule, coordinate, and execute events, such as sales, product drops, and inventory restocks. It's an excellent way to automate tasks like this!
In this case, you can use Launchpad in conjunction with shipping scripts that can be created using the Shopify Script Editor, another app specifically for Plus merchants. Setting this up will involve some knowledge of custom code, but I did manage to find a useful guide by PixelCabin that outlines exactly how you can schedule a free shipping rate using Launchpad and Shopify Scripts. If you need help with this, then I would suggest reaching out to a Shopify Expert. Alternatively, it looks like PixelCabin is offering assistance setting this up and they have included their contact information towards the bottom of this guide.
If you aren't a Plus merchant, then you could instead create a discount code for free shipping. Because discount codes allow you to choose an active time and end time, this would be a good way to make sure that the free shipping promotion is only offered during a set time period. Keep in mind that this will require customers to enter the code during checkout, however.
If you don't want to use a discount code, then manually adding the shipping rate would be the best course of action. I totally understand that setting your alarm clock for 3am isn't ideal, but it would be the most simple way to handle this. I also think that being able to schedule shipping rates would be an awesome feature to have, so I'll be sure to send this up to our developers as a feature request; this is definitely something that can be helpful for merchants who are planning their holiday promotions.
I'm curious to know how you end up implementing this! I'm also interested in seeing if any other merchants have suggestions.