Introducing Shopify Shipping Scripts: Innovative Shipping Customizations To Grow Your Business

Introducing Shopify Shipping Scripts: Innovative Shipping Customizations To Grow Your Business

What if you had the power to create your own in-house shipping guru…

An expert who could look into every customer’s cart and identify which products can be shipped via certain carriers- and those that cannot - based on specific SKUs to certain zip codes, regions, or countries?

Even better, what if all of it was automated?

Imagine your own shipping impresario working around the clock to make sure you automatically ship the right product through the appropriate third party in the most efficient and margin-boosting way possible while simultaneously improving the customer experience.

The ability to ship in this manner is no longer a dream…

Your ability to ship smarter, more profitably, and in ways your customers are increasingly demanding is here.

Introducing Shopify Shipping Scripts

Ready to offer more intelligent shipping options?

Instead of spending the time and treasure necessary to build a potentially site-slowing application to analyze customer carts and modify shipping rates and options based on a customer’s geographic location as well as international rules and regulations, Shopify has expanded the functionality of Shopify Scripts to empower you to customize your own shipping solutions and run your store the way you’ve always desired.

With Shopify Scripts you can now remove, rename, and re-order various customer shipping options with just a few clicks.  

When a customer adds a product to their cart and enters a shipping address, your customized shipping options will automatically be presented.

For instance, consider using Shipping Scripts to show or hide custom shipping offers based on the following variables:

  • Products- You can show or hide shipping rates based on the products in a customer’s cart. For example, you can tailor your script so that a customer who places an order for a high-value item is only shown shipping options that include a tracking number.
  • Customer group- You can show or hide shipping rates based on a customer group or tag. In other words, a store with both B2C and B2B customers can now ensure that less expensive shipping rates are not offered to B2B customers or wholesalers.
  • Locations- Choose to show or hide shipping rates based on your customer's shipping address. If you cannot sell in a particular country or specific regions, you can now remove the shipping rates for those customers.
  • Promotions- Similar to Discount Scripts, you can now offer free shipping as a promotion to customers who have added items to their cart that meet your free shipping threshold.

You may also use Shipping Scripts to change the order in which your shipping options appear to customers; for example, most expensive to least expensive or vice versa.

How Merchants Can Creatively Use Shopify Shipping Scripts

The customer expects flexibility when it comes to shipping…

Not only does Shopify Shipping Scripts allow you to offer that flexibility but they also allow you to easily offer shipping options that are best for you and your margins. Shopify Plus merchants are already creatively using Scripts to get the best of both worlds; an improved customer experience along with shipping options that make business sense.

Here's how it works:

  1. Install the Script Editor app
  2. Write the script with the help of a developer or Plus partner, based on your customization needs
  3. Copy the code into your Script Editor
  4. Run and test the Script
  5. Get a preview
  6. Publish when you’re ready to go

Here are some sample Shipping Scripts to get you started. 

Here are also five additional ways you might consider using Shipping Scripts to customize your shipping options and grow your business:

Shipping Scripts Use #1: Increase Average Order Value & Offer Free Shipping on Your Terms

Product launches can cause even loyal customers to hesitate…

New is unknown and therefore potentially risky.

Consider using Scripts to provide customers the nudge they often need to overcome the natural hesitation associated with purchasing a new release while simultaneously increasing your average order value. For instance, imagine offering customers purchasing your launch product a twenty-percent discount on the purchase of a second product plus free shipping.

When a customer adds the launch product and a second item to their cart, Scripts may be configured to calculate and display the free shipping at the checkout automatically. The result is not only a larger ticket for the merchant but a customer who feels satisfied having earned the free shipping she desires.

Shipping Scripts can also be used in other ways so merchants can offer free shipping after certain conditions have been met and on their terms.

“Shopify scripts allowed us to create a minimum price threshold which unlocked free shipping for our customers,” says Russell Saks, co-founder of Campus Protein. “Scripts allow for an easier conversion as you don’t need to worry about potential bugs as you would from plug-in apps.”

Shipping Scripts Use #2: Abiding By Differing Shipping Partner Rules & International Laws

Imagine selling your products all over the world…

Breaking into new markets and selling into emerging middle classes around the globe sounds enticing at first. However, making a mistake by shipping something you’re not allowed to ship into a foreign country can be costly to both your reputation and bottom line.

For instance, let’s say your main SKU contains a dairy product that another country does not permit to be shipped into the country from overseas vendors. You can use Scripts to identify when the SKU containing a banned dairy product is trying to be purchased by someone in the aforementioned country.

Scripts will prevent that customer’s payment from being captured and prevent the order from being fulfilled.

Separately, let’s say you run an ecommerce store that sells drones and one of your shipping partners does not permit you to ship batteries. Using a JavaScript workaround to hide that particular shipping option is notoriously fragile and can break other parts of your site when updates are made.

Not only does Scripts allow you to easily hide the shipping option that doesn’t permit battery shipments, but it does so safely and in ways that won’t negatively impact other parts of your site.

Shipping Scripts Use #3: Offering a Prime-Like Exclusive Club Model

Especially for companies offering seasonal products, sales can be extremely lumpy which can make it more difficult to plan capital investments. Smoothing out the top line can position ecommerce merchants to have greater visibility into their company’s future.

With Scripts you can also satisfy customer hunger for free shipping.

One way to do this- with the help of Shipping Scripts- is to mimic the elephant in the room; Amazon Prime. Imagine offering customers the opportunity to opt-in to an exclusive club in which members- who are tagged using Shipping Scripts- receive free ground shipping on items they add to cart and checkout with.

Or tweak the model just a bit and use Scripts to power a subscription-like service in which customers who agree to receive an “item of the month” are incented to do so because they can receive their orders via free ground shipping.

Shipping Scripts Use #4: Offer In-Store Pick Up

Not everyone has the luxury of selling lightweight items that can be shipped more economically than their larger counterparts. Imagine what it’d be like then if you were in the business of selling steel security safes that can weigh hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

Sounds impossible to do economically online, right?

With Scripts, merchants can easily offer alternative delivery methods. For instance, a merchant selling safes that also has a brick & mortar footprint might consider using Scripts to hide ground shipping options that could cannibalize much of their margin or deter a customer from purchasing altogether.

Additionally, not only might a merchant selling large safes use Scripts to detect when a safe has been added to a customer’s cart, but Scripts can also be used to offer in-store pick up as a delivery option based on a customer’s zip code.

Shipping Scripts Use #5: Use Scripts to Build Smart Carts

Merchants can use scripts to look inside a customer’s cart and automatically offer the best shipping options to the customer and merchant.

This can work especially well for merchants selling SKUs that vary greatly in size.

Imagine you are a merchant selling bicycles and related gear. You might use Scripts to identify whether a bicycle has been added to a customer’s cart. If so, Scripts may be used to show the customer only the shipping options and rates available for bicycle shipments.

In the event no bicycle has been added to cart- say the customer is looking to purchase only a helmet- a standard set of shipping options and rates may be shown to the customer.

Impress Us, Won’t You?

We’ve taken credit for Shipping Scripts thus far but merchants like you are really the ones who deserve the credit. We listened to your requests, spent a year developing this functionality, and have outlined a handful of ways you can use Scripts to customize shipping rates and options for you and your customers.

Shopify Shipping Scripts is officially yours…

Get creative with how you use them and be sure to let us know the role they play in helping to improve the customer experience and grow your business.

About the Author

Nick Winkler is a contributor to the Shopify Plus blog & founder of The Winkler Group, a strategic communications firm that provides content marketing services to the world's best know brands, businesses, and marketers. Get more from Nick here.

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