Shopify Shortcomings

Tourist
7 0 2

First let me say that I do a brisk business on Shopify, therefore the software has a lot going for it. At the same time, being a heavy user means I also experience some of its limitations. Here's my list of Shopify's top shortcomings:

  1. No way to set up flat rate shipping. This is one of the most commonly needed functionality, and should be a default feature. eBay provides it in its listing form, free of charge. Shopify requires you to upgrade the service and install an add-on application in order to have this basic feature.
  2. No out-of-office functionality. Many of us are running a small business, and occasionally need to put the business on pause when we are away. Yet, there is no simple way to display a banner notifiying customers that the shop is temporarily closed, and no way to prevent customers from checking out while you are away. Again, eBay provides these functionalities to eBay store owners.
  3. No way to print an invoice! That's right. You can only print an order, along with various activity messages below it. A lot of times customer want to see an invoice. Neither they nor I can print out a proper invoice.
  4. No way to buy a second label on the same order. There are many use cases for this. eBay let's you do it. On Shopify, once you paid for a label, that's it. If you want to buy another label, you have to go to the USPS website to do it.
  5. No way to print a packing slip if the order is fulfilled elsewhere. For example, if you have your own DHL account, and you create the label on the carrier's site, then enter the tracking # in Shopify to fulfill the order. The system will not generate a packing slip!
  6. If you ship an order after 5pm, the default ship date does not automatically advance to the next day. I think just about every carrier's website has implemented this basic logic.
  7. When you issue a refund to the customer and enter some comments in the notes field, the content of the notes field does not get forwarded to the customer. The customer will receive a refund email, but has no idea why they received a refund. A lot of times they email me to ask why their money got bounced back.
  8.  When you fulfill an item on Shopify and need to select a package size, you have to scroll through the list of packages you have pre-configured. There is no quick search function. I have at least 20 different sizes of boxes and envelopes that I use, and every time it's a chore to scroll through the list. There has got to be a better way!
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Shopify Expert
535 24 88

I think I can help you with a couple of those:

1. Not sure what exactly you mean by "flat rate shipping", but setting up a price-based shipping rate that applies from $0 on upwards doesn't work for you?

3. Have you tried the free Order Printer app? The included templates are a bit basic, but you can get great templates via the Order Printer Templates app for a very reasonable one-time price.

5. That should also be possible using the Order Printer app.

7. The notes field is for internal merchant use. When refunding an order, you can enter a reason for the refund in the dialog that pops up when you hit the refund button.

 

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Tourist
7 0 2

Thanks for your reply. I just installed Order Printer. Will try it out.

Flat rate shipping means I will charge a fixed cost to ship an item, regardless of weight, distance, or any other factor. It is one of most commonly needed business functions. I can't use price based shipping because my business mainly runs on weight based shipping. If I use price based shipping I can no longer use weight based shipping. 

I understand the notes field is for internal use. It's of some value, but the major business need is let the customer know why they are getting a refund. When I select the reason in the dialog, does that reason get passed to the customer or is it also for internal use?

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Shopify Expert
535 24 88

You can combine price-based and weight-based shipping rules. If more than one shipping rule applies, both will be available at checkout. I'm not sure I understand your shipping setup though:

You want flat rate shipping, but you say your "business mainly runs on weight based shipping". So in what cases should the flat rate apply?

Regarding the refund reason: Not sure if that actually goes to the customer, the docs don't say. I would recommend a test order to find out.

★ ThemeUp: Nifty Upgrades for your Shopify Store ★ https://themeup.net
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Tourist
7 0 2

Flat shipping is a common business practice. USPS supplies many kinds of flat rate shipping boxes. If an item fits in the box, it ships at a fixed rate regardless of weight.

Let me give you a business scenario: I sell a set of hand tools, which weighs quite a bit. If I ship in my own box, it will cost $20 to ship it across country. If I put the tools inside a USPS Medium Flat Rate box, it costs only $12, or if I use an USPS Regional Rate A box, it costs only $10. Based on the way my system is currently set up, it will always go by weight and charge the customer $20. However, I always ship this item with one of the above mentioned USPS boxes to save cost, therefore I want to charge the customer a flat rate for shipping this item. 

Another business scenario is that I ship some heavy wheels by Ground at a more favorable rate than my normal weight based freight. I want to charge the customer a fixed / flat rate for shipping these wheels rather than based on my weight based setting, which would charge some exorbitant amount.

In summary, weight based shipping will take care of majority of my business scenarios, but there are additional scenarios that call for flat rate shipping. Anybody who has experience with shipping and logistics will tell you flat rate shipping is a necessary and basic business function. This isn't an IT matter, it is a business matter. Any software application that does not consider business requirements is inadequate.

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Tourist
25 0 1

Hi guys, 

I hope you're all well.

I think we can help you out with your 3.-4. points, Roger. We are running the Printout Designer app that allows you to create, design and even print out custom invoice, packing slip and label templates using our simple Drag & Drop Interface.
Our app allows you to add your personal touch on the invoice - without the trouble of coding - and print them out in bulks to send out to your clients. 

Regarding your 4. point. With Printout Designer you can generate as many labels as you need. 


You can try out the app for free for 14 days: https://apps.shopify.com/printout-designer
If you have any questions please let me know

Hope it helps,
Robert

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Tourist
11 0 1

Roger,

 

You figure anything out yet?

 

It's dreadfully awful we either A) miss a sale because Shopify "thinks" it is calculating the cheapest rate and it's not and it scares off the customer, or B) we have to partial refund shipping. 

 

I probably have partially refunded 15% of my orders because I can't tell Shopify "If < x 3 of Product A is ordered , and Regional A < Priority, then ship in Regional Box A."

 

I have ZERO interest in making any money from shipping - I've been burned too many times, and still get burned.  I want to sell my product for X amount, and have the customer choose shipping methods.

 

It's an Excel spreadsheet problem.  Shopify should hire a 13 year old and work on it over the weekend. :\

 

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Tourist
7 0 2

I put in all kinds of workarounds, such as under-weighing a heavy item that will be shipped flat rate. Looks like Shopify doesn't care to fix this issue. It's ridiculous, as this is such a common scenario that can't be missed. Ebay has it, and everyone else has it.

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