Learn more about handling shipping and fulfilment while running your Shopify store in the UK.
This thread is part of the Regional Support threads offered for merchants in the United Kingdom. To see which other topics are available, you can visit the UK hub here.
Merchants based in the United Kingdom can offer both manual and third-party carrier calculated shipping rates to their customers at checkout. This second option allows UK merchants to link their FedEx and UPS accounts to Shopify and offer live rates from these providers at checkout.
Please note that the live rates can only be enabled if the merchant has the carrier calculated shipping feature enabled, which is a standard feature of our Advanced and Plus plans. However, this feature can also be added to a merchant's store for an additional cost of $20 USD per month if they are on the Shopify plan. Merchants on the Shopify plan can instead have this feature enabled at no additional cost if their subscription is paid for on an annual basis. If you’d like to add this feature to your account, please contact our support team.
Outside of the integrated options of FedEx and UPS, there are a number of third-party applications that allow UK merchants to offer live rates from other shipping providers. Some apps will also allow you to buy shipping labels for different providers in the UK. These include:
Royal Mail also offer their Click & Drop app, which can be installed in the form of a sales channel in the Shopify admin. This app will allow you to easily buy and print Royal Mail shipping labels for your orders. You can refer to Royal Mail’s setup instructions to install the app in your store.
If you’re looking for more information or direct assistance with any of these apps, we recommend contacting the developers of the app directly. The developers build and support these apps and their contact information can be found on the app’s page on the Shopify App Store.
If you have a question or comment to make about shipping when based in the United Kingdom, please post it below.
Victor | Social Care @ Shopify
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I am not aware of the specific reasoning behind why this hasn't be done yet, although I don't believe it's due to any issues of legality. We've also had requests from merchants in other countries who are wanting more specificity when setting up shipping zones for their region.
Many of the more recent features announced, including Shopify Email, have been in the work for some time prior to their launch. Some features and their launches have also been prioritized due to the ongoing pandemic (e.g. the launch of the curbside pickup feature). I do believe it is mainly a question of prioritizing which features are rolled out first, although I understand that this is something UK-based merchants have been requesting for years and personally I hope it is something that is addressed soon, as I know it would be a huge help to many of you.
I've advocated for this feature internally and am continuing to log all feedback we receive on this in the merchant feedback system we use here. As mentioned before, I will be sure share more information about this feature here if and when it comes.
Victor | Shopify Social Care
I hope this is the right place to ask this question.
We are currently setting up our Shopify and was looking at doing our shipping through Click and drop. However Click and drop cannot apply postage to any orders that have more than 1 item and we would manually have to apply the postage. Most of our orders contain more than 1 item.
We also want a Shipping label to be printed once a barcode on the Shopify was scanned. Click&Drop have a scan and print option, but I cannot figure out how to add this barcode to the Shopify dispatch note. We do customised products so we need to use the Shopify dispatch note.
Are these two things possible? if so what would we need to use. I have seen Boxify but they do not work with Royal Mail.
Thank you for getting in touch. If the Click & Drop app has this restriction with regards to applying postage to orders with more than one item, then there's not much we can do—the app is built and supported by Royal Mail and we wouldn't be able to make any changes to allow for more flexibility here. Royal Mail do offer direct support for the app, so I'd recommend reaching out to them directly and asking if there are any workarounds. If you head to their contact page you can choose Shipping solutions > Click & Drop from the menu, after which you will see an option at the bottom of the page to seek direct support from them.
If you're open to considering other apps that can be used to manage shipping and purchase labels, you can refer to the first post in this thread where some apps are mentioned. They should allow you to buy labels from Royal Mail as well as other UK-based shipping providers.
When you mention your Shopify dispatch note, are you referring to a slip you include in your orders when you post them? Or something else?
Victor | Shopify Social Care
Thanks for getting back to us, I have already spoken to the Click&Drop Team, and they cannot automatically apply postage to an order with Multiple items as Click&Drop cannot figure out the parcel size.
We can deal with this by applying postage manually to these orders... but I am trying to make these thing automated so we can scale the business easily.
I have emailed Boxify team as that looked very promising, however they do not work with Royal Mail.
Ideally we want to process orders in the following way:
We print a batch of dispatch note/slip > Our pickers will pick the items > Once picked the packer will scan a barcode on the note that will print the postage label.
So in the background we need an app to work out what parcel size the order is, apply the correct postage with Royal Mail and have the label ready to print once the pack scans a barcode on the paper work.
This was the process from a previous company I worked for, however they were using a different platform for their shop.
We are not concerned about applying live shipping rates at the checkout as once the order reaches a parcel size (over 750g) we pay the same price.
In regards to the apps in the first post, non of these mention printing a label on scan of a barcode.
Thanks for your time,
Thank you for this further context. I have a couple of apps that I would recommend checking out.
The first is Zenstores, an app which definitely works with Royal Mail. The app is designed to make the process of shipping orders as seamless as possible and allows you to buy numerous shipping labels with a few clicks, and can be used to easily print various forms that can used with your fulfillment team. I believe this app is primarily targeted at UK-based merchants so I would definitely suggest checking them out. They have a phone number and email address listed on the app's page, so you can contact the developers directly if you have further questions. The app is also free to install with charges coming on a per shipment basis.
You can also check out Shipper HQ, which integrates with 50+ couriers and I believe Royal Mail is one of them (although you may wish to check this with the developers directly, who also have contact options on the app page). This app is also aimed at reducing friction with the shipping process, both for customers and merchants, and can help you set a shipping strategy and manage orders more effectively. This app comes with a monthly subscription charge but there is a free trial you can make use of first to see if the app is best for you.
There are a number of other shipping apps available on the Shopify App Store, so I would recommend also taking a look around and seeing what else is available to you if these two apps don't seem like a good fit. Please also let me know if you have any further questions.
Victor | Shopify Social Care
thank you for this, however it doesn't solve our problem as our shipping label quoter from our fulfilment service needs the constituent parts of the address. I have forwarded them the information from shopify in case it helps, but it is really very bizarre what shopify has done as there is absolutely no reason anyone would need to know whether an address was in England, Scotland or Wales for shipping reasons. We need to separate out Northern Ireland and Highlands/Islands but England, Wales and Scotland make no sense as shipping zones. Is shopify trying to push the Scottish and Welsh Nationalist agenda, are they pre-emptively thinking Nicola Sturgeon will get her second indyref?
We have also noticed that shopify seems to be adding the WRONG country sometimes, for example, addresses in Gloucester are coming up as in Wales (also some in Merseyside). What information is shopify using to determine whether or not an address is in England or Wales as it doesn't seem to be getting the right results? It is all just rather embarrassing.
Thanks for any feedback you are able to provide to shopify.
Thank you for your feedback, and this has all been communicated to the members of our development team who are continuing to work on the UK shipping zone. The changes are designed to provide more flexibility to merchants shipping to and within the UK by breaking it down to its constituent countries, and can assure you that no changes are made with any political statement in mind.
In terms of the example you gave of Gloucester appearing as being in Wales, this appears to have been an error and it should have now been rectified so that the town is listed as a part of England. There may be some other examples of towns and cities that feature on the borders appearing in the wrong area, which was expected upon release.
We also recognize that breaking down the UK shipping zone in this manner does not solve all the issues merchants have cited, with the increased prices of shipping to the Highlands and Islands in comparison to the rest of Scotland an example of that. Other members of our development team are continuing to work on this as we hope to evolve this feature in the future.
Victor | Shopify Social Care
We are still seeing issues with areas of England coming up as being in Wales, most recently addresses with Chester and Shrewsbury postcodes, eg in Chester, Prenton (Wirral), Ellesmere (Shropshire), Church Stretton (Shropshire), Shrewsbury (Shropshire), etc
What is the best way to report these and ask for a fix? I have tried emailing shopify but didn't get a reply. Would you be able to pass this on and ask shopify to check it has the correct Wales-England border please?
Thanks for your help,
My understanding is that this issue you've referenced was expected when the roll out was made, with mapping every postcode to a zone not being a perfect science and this resulting in what you have seen. Our developers are aware of this and I am communicating all of the feedback I am receiving here to them directly. I do not know all of the technical details but my understanding is that the split of the UK zone is more complicated from a development standpoint than it may seem on the surface.
In terms of delivering your feedback, please continue doing so here if you have any to share, as I am speaking regularly with the developers working on this specific issue. I am not fully in the know in what exactly is being worked on but do know that work is being done to smooth out some of the issues raised as a result of the UK shipping zone split. I will post updates on any changes here if and when they come.
Victor | Shopify Social Care
@Victor - the ultimate solution here would be for Shopify to allow UK customers to define shipping zones by UK postcodes (zip code), and for this to be "out of the box".
So, when a postcode is entered, it would be recognised and would determine delivery by the following 'areas' which most UK delivery services use.
With the UK being one of Shopify's top customers, having this sorted by yourselves rather than yet another expensive app would be welcome after this causing many a problem for many UK Shopify store owners over many years.
As a minimum, I even think if the set up for Spain (provinces) could be replicated, that would be an improvement on what is currently there. Having England/Scotland/Wales/N.Ireland shows a massive mis-understanding of how things work over here.
Happy to be corrected, but I think the UK zones should be displayed as
UK - Mainland (England, Wales, Most of Scotland)
UK - Northern Ireland
UK - Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark + a few other small islands)
UK - Offshore (Orkney, Shetland Isles, Scilly, Skye, Isle of Man + many more small islands)
UK - BFPO (British Forces - I think this is only served by Royal Mail + Hermes)
There are many custom built websites and smaller solutions that have solved this issue, I'm sure given the resources at Shopify, this shouldn't be too much to ask.
Thank you for your feedback on this and your suggestions; I'll be sure to pass them on. I am not privy to the decisions our developers have made and are making with regards to this change, although I do believe that many different ways of splitting the UK zone were considered and there was no one perfect solution. The way it has been rolled out is indeed imperfect, but offers merchants some degree of flexibility that they did not have before.
As I've mentioned, this is continually being worked on and we may see changes come in the near future. I'll be sure to post updates if they come and will also monitor this thread for feedback.
Victor | Shopify Social Care
Thank you for sharing this example here. I am not involved with the decision-making process for the way the UK shipping zone is being handled, but I have passed on feedback from others in this thread and will continue to do so. I have shared the example site you have provided with our development team and the way in which they have split their UK shipping options.
Victor | Shopify Social Care
Unless you're on the most expensive Shopify plan or you pay monthly for a shipping app like Better Shipping the shipping profiles are always going to be added together at checkout. The only hack I've found around this is having one shipping profile making it weight-based and inflating the weight of certain products that need to be charged more. This way a flat rate shipping rate will be calculated (the highest one) and even if the customer also adds smaller items into the basket it will all be under one amount.
This will of course affect the weight in any of the third-party shipping solutions. For Example, if you use Click & Drop the inflated weight will have to be adjusted to the correct weight so you can pay the correct shipping price.
I hope that makes sense.
Thanks for the reply - i suspected that was going to be the only way unfortunately but was hoping there was some free miracle work round !! I just feel awful charging £3 postage on a product that only costs £2.50 and plus the customer will see how much the postage actually was on the postage label.....
But my other problem, and i guess more urgent to sort is that it lets items that are not eligible for shipping go through checkout to be shipped if there is also an item in the basket that is eligible for shipping......
I am having huge problems with your shipping profiles because it doesn't account for different packaging sizes. I sell dolls and doll clothes to customers all over the world. Most dolls need to be sent as a parcel, whilst clothes and smaller size dolls are large letters. Your system just doesn't work! I am a very small business and cannot afford to pay for extra shipping apps - please tell me you are going to include shipping dimensions on products at some point soon for the UK??? I thought having custom profiles for individual products might help, but you then add up the different profiles rather than using the higher cost shipping. e.g. someone buys a doll and some clothes from me. If I had a parcel price for the doll and a large letter price for the clothes your system would add them up when what I need is for the customer to just be charged for a parcel if they are combined.
Thank you for getting in touch, and I can completely understand your frustration with the issues you've cited. Shipping prices are determined by the default package you have on file and the dimensional weight of the order is based on this package, which I appreciate is not always ideal when you sell products of varying sizes and weights that come would be shipped in a wide range of packing sizes. If you use calculated rates you can adjust them to a higher rate to try and account for this, even if this is not a perfect science. I understand that you don't wish to use third-party apps that come with a cost but the Boxify app is probably the best solution for you at this time (which comes with a $19 USD monthly charge).
I appreciate the points you have made here and will be sure to pass all of your feedback onto our development team. I know that this is a much requested feature so hope that in future changes to the platform will be made to allow for more packages to be considered when live rates are calculated.
Victor | Shopify Social Care
Thank you for suggesting this tool. I will pass this onto our development team who are working on this feature in case they are not aware of it.
Victor | Shopify Social Care
Is there the ability native to Shopify to set rates based on postcode?
We currently use an app and it is so difficult to understand. We have DPD shipping and need to differentiate rates between Mainland UK and then the Scottish Highlands and Northern Ireland. Is this possible?
Under the 'Shipping and Delivery' section of Settings of the Shopify admin panel, we can define our shipping regions and shipping rates. Last year Shopify rolled out an update which divided United Kingdom into 5 regions So now separate shipping rates can be natively defined for UK mainland, Scotland & Northern Ireland without requiring to set up postal codes using a third-party app
As mentioned by @tadabburbooks above, Shopify split the United Kingdom shipping zone into smaller parts last year so merchants can now differentiate shipping rates for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and British Forces. This means you can, for example, set cheaper rates for England and Wales than you would for Northern Ireland.
That said, you cannot differentiate between the Scottish Highlands and the rest of mainland Scotland through your shipping settings alone. There are apps on the Shopify App Store that allow you to specific shipping rates by postcode, including the following:
These apps allow for greater control of your shipping rates and can be used to set shipping rates based on post codes. As a note, please be aware that these apps do require our carrier-calculated shipping feature to be active on your store, which comes as standard with our Advanced plan but can be added on to other plans for $20 USD per month (or activated for free if you pay for your subscription on an annual basis).
I hope this helps but please let me know if you have further questions.
Thank you for your feedback on this; I know that this is the case for many merchants who ship to places such as the Scottish Highlands and that being able to set more specific regional rates would be a big help for them. For the meantime, the apps I suggested in my last post should be able to help with this, but I will be sure to pass your comments onto our development team for their consideration moving forward.
@Linzi It's been a problem for years unfortunately. When you see how Spanish provinces are broken down on Shopify, it makes you wonder why this is so problematic for them.
If they could have broken the UK down as per transglobalexpress, and added Isle of Man this would have hopefully solved things
Whilst I've no knowledge of the entire code base,
looking at the code, they need only add 2 or 3 values when country = UK
data-provinces = Scottish Highlands & Offshore Isles (& Isle of Man) and this would be fixed for most cases.
Isle of Man - I think Hermes and RM ship there for the same price as UK, unlike some other remote isles.
I understand that if my business was in the US, I could enjoy shipping discount from international courier companies like DHL FedEx and UPS. How about from the UK? I don't seem to be able to find any discounted shipping rates from DHL/FedEx/UPS... One of the reasons I joined Shopify was really to enjoy the international shipping discount rates but now I'm worried this benefit is only for US customers...
Cheap shipping isn't a key reason to use Shopify. Just use ups small business, parcel2go, transglobalexpress. They've just introduced cheap domestic shipping on DPD and Hermes, maybe more will follow.
While I understand this wasn't everyone's reason, this was one of my considerations. Thanks for the suggestions, I will look into them.
Shopify Shipping is available in the United Kingdom, although the shipping suppliers we have agreements with do vary by region. At this time, merchants based in the UK can purchase labels from Hermes and DPD directly through the Shopify admin:
As mentioned by @Tenpinshop, there are alternative third-party shipping services available that allow you to purchase shipping labels from a wider variety of couriers. Many of these integrate directly with Shopify which keeps the process of buying labels very straightforward. You can often receive discounts on labels through these services as well.
Along with the services previously mentioned, you can also check out Zenstores, which a dedicated UK shipping app that allows for label purchases from a number of couriers (including DHL and FedEx). Another option is PH MultiCarrier Shipping Label through which you can buy labels from Parcelforce and Royal Mail.
I hope this helps, but please let me know if you've any further questions.
@Victor - Royal Mail integration would be a big help to a lot of us if you are able to feed that in.
Also regarding the shipping labels, when printing on A4, it would be great to have the ability to add some left and top padding on labels as (at least on my printer) they don't have that, so I have to print to PDF and adjust from there. On EVRI, p2go, royal mail, they print to a4 with sufficient padding for my labels.
Thx in advance if you can feed this in.
Thank you for your feedback. I'll be sure to pass your comments onto our development team.
Hi Victor, I have discovered on my account that I can buy direct as it is integrated into my admin shipping labels for Evri and DPD, is it that straight forward, I just need to set up a preset and buy a label and drop at my nearest drop off point, I have been trying to get a DPD account for ages at a rate I can afford to ship, but this seems too be good be true. I am a but weary proceeding as all my items are one offs.
Have tried to call the helpline but gentleman in Canada very nice but not able to give me the UK specfics and reassurance I need. Do I need a DPD account, do I need to download the app?
Ta Jen, Liverpool. Overdress Vintage
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