#1468 open

e-Commerce Shipping Options - from ticket #1467

Reported by peters@slx-online.biz | July 9th, 2022 @ 11:53 AM | in User issues

The shop I am creating has a very simple structure that doesn't require any complicated shipping options. Initially there will be only books for sale. For each book we have a price, and a shipping price on top of that for the UK, Europe and World-Wide. In all cases shipment is via Royal Mail. We have pre-calculated these shipping rates, and they are all the same for all books.

There is a plan to extend the range to include die cast models and souvenir items, where these three shipping rates will be different from the books. And there's at least one new book that's bigger and heavier... Also we won't necessarily offer international shipping on all products (don't ask me why, I have no idea who thought of that... I guess different people holdimg stock or direct from different publishers). There's at least one showing post free UK only.

The ideal structure is to have up to the three shipping options, but not necessarily all, for Royal Mail shown on the same page as the product. The buyer goes to the product page, selects shipping option and adds to basket. The basket shows product price, shipping price and total. These shipping rates would be entered for each product, no lookup from a shipping option. Attached mock-up.

I did create a Royal Mail shipping option, with three prices, but this only applies to books and not necessarily all of them. This is why we need the ability to show shipping with the product. Other products will have different prices.

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • dleffler

    dleffler July 9th, 2022 @ 06:44 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “open”
    • Milestone set to User issues

    Typically, the shipping cost is calculated on the Checkout screen based on shipping address. While you could use the product 'options' feature (which is what your image looks like), it'd require creating an option group, then adding the option to each and every product, and then assigning a value (shipping amount) to each product and each option.

    A feature/limitation on (shipping) addresses, is the country and region/state MUST be in the list of Locations (Countries and Regions) and MUST be active. Specifically countries and regions are selected from drop-downs. And, we format most addresses in the US style. 'City, State PostalCode

  • peters@slx-online.biz

    peters@slx-online.biz July 10th, 2022 @ 09:38 AM

    I'll go play in my sandbox with various options and see if I can come up with something. I'm not sure enabling all countries on the off-chance of an order would be a good idea. There has to be a simple work-around. I'll get back after I've looked at this further. Peter.

  • peters@slx-online.biz

    peters@slx-online.biz July 10th, 2022 @ 10:52 AM

    Setting up a free shipping option, I get a number of warnings - see attached

  • dleffler

    dleffler July 10th, 2022 @ 01:13 PM

    That's the same warning from not having location upcharges, fixed in development already.

  • peters@slx-online.biz

    peters@slx-online.biz July 10th, 2022 @ 01:20 PM

    OK. When will there be a patch for me to fix this please (as well as the inability to save store general settings)? Thanks. Peter.

  • peters@slx-online.biz

    peters@slx-online.biz July 10th, 2022 @ 03:51 PM

    Workaround for now - I have modified existing shipping options - Free / Books UK / Books UK Large. We'll worry about international another time.

    How do I add new shipping categories, there's no link on the page to do that. I will need to add more like the Books options but for other items. I could also do with changing the Descriptions if I can't create additional ones.

    Products now populated, but I do urgently need a fix for the general settings not saving please.


  • dleffler

    dleffler July 11th, 2022 @ 12:06 AM

    Shipping Basics:

    • Shipping is displayed/selected on the 'Checkout' page just prior to submitting the order. So you'll need to place something in the cart, then checkout.
    • Each 'active' shipping calculator will be displayed as a separate tab on the checkout view, with any options for the current shipping method being displayed on the tab
    • Though you've given them different names, the shipping calculator functions remain the same
      • Free - is always a fully no cost shipping method
      • Simple (Books UK) is based on the table you set up in it's configuration based on the total cost of the order
      • Per Item (Books UK Large) is a set charge per item in the order regardless of item cost, size, or weight
    • Not sure how/why, but there are 2 default shipping calculators, where only one can be default (first one from db select)
    • You can FORCE any shipping service and method on an individual product on the edit product shipping tab; even if that shipping calculator is NOT active - I may have to test this variation out though -- Therefore, if you have a book that ships free, you could force it to use the Free calculator, but not allow the Free option to be available at checkout
  • dleffler

    dleffler July 11th, 2022 @ 01:30 AM

    • Assigned user changed from “expNinja” to “dleffler”

    Additional optional shipping charges are:

    • The Location Upcharges are by country/region and applied to the simple shipping calculators (not Free, In-Store, UPS, Fedex, nor Easypost)
    • Any country upcharge will be applied to any order shipped into that country
    • Any region upcharge will be applied to any order shipped into that region, and added to any country upcharge
    • Most shipping calculators also allow for a 'handling' charge which is an additional fixed amount added to every order

    It might be possible to create/write a new shipping calculator, but the parameters must be established via a data structure

    • It appears there will be 2 to 4 groups of products (size/weight?). There must be a supported method/plan to aggregate them such as adding a 'weight' entry for all products (even though this would be an abstract number, it would differentiate the size groups), E.g., 1 - Books, 2 - Large Book, 3 - Cast Iron
    • It also appears there will be 3 groups of locations (shipping address). We'd need to create a shipping calculator configuration interface to select countries/regions assigned to each address group

    I don't think there's a way to get around having a LARGE list of all countries you are willing to ship to, and making them active. However, you wouldn't necessarily have to have regions (or active regions) for each country, unless it was specifically required to have a complete mailing address. E.g., I don't think you require a 'region' in the UK, simply use the Postal Code, whereby in the US, you need to 'state' to have a complete address. Since mailing takes place OUTSIDE Exponent, it's likely the invoice will not necessarily always have a properly formatted mailing address.

  • peters@slx-online.biz

    peters@slx-online.biz July 11th, 2022 @ 09:00 AM

    Thanks again for the updates and clarification. What you see so far is me messing around to try and fit shipping options around our very simple shop. So that there are 2 defaults comes from the system not restricting me to one only and me seeing what happens if I select more, and me confusing enabled with default.

    We have decided to only ship to UK for now, so we can get the site finished. Shipping abroad since Brexit is something of a pain, and most of the options are not needed. There's no store pickup, no UPS, EasyPost, FedEx, per weight and never will be. All I need for the foreseeable is Free and Per Item, with per item having several prices linked to specific products.

    The first shop iteration is based upon this shopping page, translated into Exponent, from which we can expand product offerings to the UK only. The person looking after sales has confirmed they have up to now had very few orders outside the UK, and we can probably handle any on an individual basis outside the system. Perhaps the intro at the top of the shop page will just say if you are wanting to order from abroad, email us.

    Your last point on the first append is kinda what I need, forcing a product to use a specific option. Free is clear. Per Item, if I'm only allowed one Per Item option, will need to have several UK only rates for now 2 but expanding later. I haven't experimented doing that yet but please could you confirm if I can do that. Ideally I would prefer a number of identical Per Item options that I can customise with one price each that I can force onto specific products, if that's do-able.

    The upcharge description is interesting. I can't see this ever being needed, nor will we need handling charges.

    I'd really like to display the shipping price on the product detail page. I guess I'll need to do that manually. People like to know what the total cost might be before adding to the cart. Sometimes you can get the same thing elsewhere for less.

    Sorry to keep coming back on this. You have created an excellent package but shipping seems a bit too complicated for simple souls like me (and simple websites...)!


  • dleffler

    dleffler July 11th, 2022 @ 02:35 PM

    Calculating shipping costs can be difficult unless you can have the actual shipper (UPS, Fedex, Easypost) calculate the actual shipping cost dynamically and pass that actual cost onto the customer at checkout.

    Otherwise, most eCommerce sites must create a more abstract method of helping cover the cost of shipping. In practice, most sites would only use a single shipping calculator configured to ensure the cost of shipping is recouped across all orders (may lose some on some orders, may profit from other orders).

    In any case, the cost of shipping will NOT be determined until the customer arrives at the Checkout page, as is the case with most shopping sites.

    Perhaps the best approach may be to include the cost of shipping with the cost of the item and imply 'shipping included' and use free shipping calculator renamed to 'Shipping to UK included'.

    My understanding is that purchasing 1 copy of 'A London Trolleybus Reborn' would cost £25.00 + £3.35 shipping, and ordering 2 would cost £50.00 £6.70...therefore, the cost of the item in the store would better be served as £28.35 shipping to UK included.

  • peters@slx-online.biz

    peters@slx-online.biz July 14th, 2022 @ 02:55 PM

    For now we have agreed to include the postage cost with the product price, and note in the description Price + Postage. We are also staying with UK only for now. This will allow me to progress the site ready for launch. The sales person says he receives exceptionally few orders from overseas, so we can handle that manually.

    I will come back to shipping at a later date. Thanks for the help so far. Peter.

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