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 enabled on other plans for an additional $20 USD per month, or it can be enabled for free if the merchant’s 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
Thank you for reaching out, and I'm glad that you found the information helpful. We hope these threads will prove to be an ongoing source of information for merchants in the UK moving forward.
The key difference between the UK and the US/ Canada in terms of managing shipping on Shopify is that Shopify Shipping is not currently available to merchants in the UK. This feature allows merchants to directly purchase shipping labels from shipping couriers such as USPS, UPS and Canada Post, and multiple packages can be added to the admin that can then be selected when these labels are being purchased. However, it should be noted that even for merchants in the US and Canada who are using Shopify Shipping, there can still only be one default package selected at any one time, and this is the package used at checkout when live rates are being calculated.
Making Shopify Shipping available to merchants in other countries, including the UK, is a request we've received from other merchants and it is something our product development team are aware of and are considering. I hope it's something we see in future but for the time being, there other apps currently available that you can use to buy shipping labels from couriers available in the UK. Apps such as Starshipit and Zenstores, which I referenced in my original post, are ones I'd recommend looking into. There is also an app called Boxify that allows for multiple packages to be used at checkout when calculating live rates, although I am not sure if this would work with UK-specific carriers - I'd suggest reaching out to their support team via the contact details listed on their app page, if indeed you're interested in this potential functionality.
I hope this information has helped in some way but please do let me know if you have any more shipping-specific questions!
Victor | Shopify Social Care
My situation is this -
I dont need to print labels - Or provide automated tracking as I will be integrating with a 3rd party manually. I will have no logistics sharing with them only that they will print on demand and ship to the customers address I give to them and in turn I will update the order status in shopify and add the tracking number once the order has shipped.
I will be shipping to 51 countries.
We will be selling items that come in 2 different form factors, tubes and flat parcels. I will be shipping orders ranging from 40 cm by 10 cm tube at 700 grams to 1 m by 2.5 m framed and glazed prints at 12 kg.
For tubes it is easy as they come like this:
Small | 50 cm x 10 cm 500 grams
Medium | 70 cm x 12 cm 700 grams
Large | 100 cm x 15 cm 1kg
Extra Large | 150 cm x 15 cm 3 kg
XXL | 200cm x 20 cm 5 kg
Then theres everything else that comes like this -
Small (S) | 40 cm x 40 cm x 8 cm - 4 kg
Medium (M) | 60 cm x 60 cm x 10 cm - 6 kg
Large (L) | 90 cm x 90 cm x 12 cm - 8 kg
Extra Large (XL) | 120 cm x 120 cm x 12 cm - 10 kg
Extra Extra Large (XXL) | 180 cm x 180 cm x 15 cm - 12 kg
Giant (G) | 220 cm x 220 cm x 15 cm - 15 kg
And also these other aspect ratios.
aspect ratios X-Tall | Tall | Portrait | Square | Landscape | Wide | X-Wide
Extra Large (XL)
Extra Extra Large (XXL)
So that is different parcel 48 parcels of different weights and sizes and 51 countries.
That gives me 2448 variables to input based on the way shopify functions currently.
I shouldn't have to pay £££ for an app that I don't really need. Can shopify in its native non extra app state let me pass on the correct information to the cart so that when a customer reaches the checkout the correct data is used to calculate shipping cost instead of false information. (Default Package Size)
As a startup I hope you can appreciate my need to prioritise for advertising and marketing as opposed to the brass tacks of any ecom system as this is what I assumed would come as the basics with shopify’s offerings.
I cannot afford to pay for an app so please can you let me know my options.
Thank you in advance for any advice / support.
Elle here from Shopify, happy to help answer your question.
At this time, dimensional shipping is not supported by Shopify; however, you can accomplish this with Boxify. I can certainly submit a feature request for dimensional shipping to our developers on your behalf!
We do offer per-item shipping and the ability for you to integrate live rates from other couriers and fulfillment apps (for example: Printful) when the carrier calculated shipping feature is activated on your account. I would definitely recommend looking into this option since you're using a Print on Demand app.
Hope this helps!
Thanks for your feedback. It is no problem at all to submit a feature request on your behalf! We are always looking to improve our product so your feedback is valuable.
I understand you are not in a position to use an app at this time; however, I wanted to clarify all options in case this post will help others! Another workaround would be to adjust your calculated rates to reach a better balance of profit and loss from shipping.
Our support is available 24/7 if you have any other questions!
An Even better solution would be for shopify to allow me to put accurate data into the cart concerning a products dimensions that a customer wants to buy. If the incorrect false data cannot be overridden due to shopify’s core code then I as a small merchant owner am handicapped. I am referring to DEFAULT PACKAGE SIZE.
Regarding your offer to submit a feature request could you let me know how many times this feature has been requested in the last 10 yrs? When you offer something to someone there has-to be a reasonable chance of the outcome they are looking for being met because without that then you are creating false hope.
All the best
Accurate data about products arriving into the cart shouldn't cost £800 per month for plus or a costly app subscription. Surely you can understand that although not engineered towards small businesses and not mitigated by encouraging an almost insatiable reliance on app purchases the core code should allow this as a basic simple function.
Without an app subscription or £800 per month or a Shopify engineer making tiny modifications to the core code I am required to input data 2448 times and update it as prices fluctuate.
I hope that you don't feel I am pointing any blame at you here, it will have been a decision made up high and maintained that way, that I get, I just don't appreciate being put on a list that has been growing for the past 10 yrs and for there to be no evidence or chance of any change. Sure there may be a chance that shopify’s management team pushes a switch tomorrow that enables this.
At least as a minimum our products we have set up should be able to be updated using metafields.
All the best
Thanks again for your feedback, @Outer_net.
At this time, internal data cannot be shared externally.
Your business is important to us and we do hope to offer this feature in the future.
You REALLY need to allow Northern Ireland to be spilt up from Mainland UK in shipping settings.
I lose money on orders from N.I as I can't charge an increased price for shipping.
I will be sure to pass this along as a feature request to our developers.
In the meantime, you may be interested in the Better Shipping app which will allow you to set rates based on certain zip codes.
Thanks so much for your feedback!
Was it engineered this way? Do the developers have any say or contribution to the decision making process that leads towards certain features being developed and others not?
I have tried to explain my dilemma here as clearly as possible.
Any more advice or support would be greatly appreciated!
Just to clarify - I don’t need shipping labels or 95 % of shipping app’s features and cant afford an app 🥴
I just need to give products different parcel sizes.
All the best
At this time Shopify does not support dimensional shipping. I understand your frustration and I'll be sure to pass along your feedback to our developers.
Our product teams work together constantly to build and improve our product features. Your feedback is very important to this process.
There are some workarounds you can use such as:
- increasing your product prices to cover your shipping costs.
Thanks again for reaching out. Our support is available 24/7!
Thankyou for getting back to me.
I actually dont even need dimensional shipping ! The size doesn't matter neither the weight.
All I need to do is give shipping cost A to product 1 and cost B to product 2
If product 1 is tubed print it will cost A to ship
and Product 2 is a print framed / glazed and bigger than the average person so therefore it will cost B to ship.
MY Issue is that I have Products Type - PRINTS and then
Dimensional shipping would only come in useful for calculated rates not flat rates.
All I need to do is assign Price B to product 2 and price A to product 1.
I dont need dimensional shipping I just need to not be stuck with the one size fits all approach that Shopify has decided to take in regards to shipping.
If you can think of a way I can get shipping cost A to product 1 and B to Product 2 then I would be eternally grateful! You'll have payed it forward ?
Theres one simple question here - Can I get different shipping costs to different products and if so how ?
I have prepared this sheet to start laying it all out if you or your colleagues have any ideas I would be so so very grateful!
As you will see in the sheet multiples of anything dont have any influence on the cost of shipping so columns Cost 3 - 5 and Cost 5 + can be ignored. Also the only difference between the sheets - Mounted Prints / Stretcher frame and Framed products is the ETA + 1 day.
I think that 2 opposing formulas are at odds here, dead weight shipping VS dimensional shipping. The fulfilment centre size only matters not weight. Shopify Weight can only matter size is stuck in default. However I fall right between as I already know all the cost for shipping in the 5 different zones and that the factor influencing shipping cost being longest edge of the parcel, weight does play a factor but not as much as size.
Thinking aloud is it possible to not have any parcel sizes within Shopify settings and leave weight blank and to just assign a cost to certain product?
Alternatively interpolating the weight so 1 kg becomes 10 kg > to match required cost and so on?
Maybe using a zone for each country
All the best
Thank you for sharing this feedback with us, as I understand the inability to do this has been a source of frustration for many UK-based merchants over time. As Elle mentioned, your feedback has been shared with our development team and will be considered by them when it comes to implementing changes to the platform in future. I personally hope this change is one we will see made before long, and I'll be sure to post here if any adjustments are made to the UK shipping zone in future.
If you have any further questions for me, please let me know.
Victor | Shopify Social Care
You can definitely get dimensional weight shipping with the Multi Carrier Shipping label app which allows you to set up :
- dimensions for each product
- define multiple box sizes
- Based on this, it calculates the dimensional weight of the package and compares it with actual weight.
- Finally the app uses the higher of the two values and calculates rates based on that. So the rates are damn accurate.
@Victor Can you explain why New Zealand is split into 16 regions (along with a number of other countries) whereas the UK is just one? Surely if this can be implemented for other countries it can be implemented for the UK too? I don't understand what's preventing the dev's from implementing this feature.
This is one area where Woocommerce is much better at the moment. You can even break down shipping rates by postcode and have different rates for different products. With no extra apps required.
I’m just wondering how people offer pre-paid returns labels to their customers?
I currently send all my orders with Royal Mail and am looking for the best method to send pre-paid labels to customers who would need to return items.
Item are usually small parcels and weight less that 500g.
Thanks in advance.