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How to add a quantity-based variable shipping method to Auctiva Commerce

Auctiva Commerce allows you to set up custom shipping methods that accurately assess shipping charges for a customer's order. This tutorial will show you how to add a variable rate shipping method that assess shipping charges by the quantity of products in a customer's order.

What is a "Vary by Quantity" shipping method?

A "Vary by Quantity" shipping method is used to assess a variable shipping charge by looking at the amount of products in the cart and comparing it to the rate table you've configured. This method specifically looks at the total number of the products in a cart and not at any other variable. This type of variable rate is ideal for creating shipping charges that change when a specific quantity is reached. For example, you can set up the shipping method to charge a "base price" of $5.00 for a single item and every additional item will add another 10 cents to these shipping charges.

Shipping method parameters

A shipping method involves multiple parameters that determine whether or not a customer's order is eligible for this shipping service. Here are those parameters:

  • Shipping zones: defines the geographical areas where products can or cannot be delivered.
  • Warehouses: defines what products will be or will not be shipped by this shipping method.
  • User groups: defines which customers can or cannot choose the shipping method at checkout.

If you need to define these parameters, it's a good idea to set them up prior to creating a shipping method. Otherwise, you could provide a shipping service for products or customers that should not be eligible.

How to add a "Vary by Quantity" shipping method

For this task, you can use the Shipping Method wizard for a guided tour. To access the wizard, go to the Auctiva Commerce Dashboard and click on the Shipping link in the Welcome box. Otherwise, you can follow the steps below for more detailed instructions.

Step 1. Add a "Vary by Quantity" shipping method.
  • Go to Store> Shipping> Methods
  • Locate the Add Custom Method box at the bottom of the Configure Shipping Methods page.
  • Type: Choose Vary by Quantity. The Vary by Quantity option assesses variable shipping charges according to the number of products in the cart.
  • Name: Enter in the name of the shipping method. This is the name that will display on your storefront as a shipping option for your customers.
  • Click on the Add button.

You should now be at the Edit Method page for this shipping method. Continue to the next step to finish creating this variable rate shipping method.

Step 2. Edit the "Vary by Quantity" shipping method.
  • Ship Rate: In this field you will find a table. The Minimum and Maximum values express the range of the purchase cost for each ship rate in this table. For an example, if you enter "0" in the Minimum field, "10" in the Maximum field and "5" in the Rate field, you will assess a shipping charge of "5" for an order of 10 products or less in the cart. The range in this example is the quantity of items in the cart from "0" to "10" items and the shipping charge will be "5." To add more variable rates click the Add Row button. By using the Percent option box you can put a percentage in the Rate field that will create a shipping charge by the percentage of the order amount.
  • Handling Fee: Enter in any handling fees to be added to the shipping charges. Choose whether the handling fee is a Fixed Amount or Percent. The Fixed Amount will be the value you enter into this field and the Percent amount will take the percentage from the order amount.
  • Choose whether or not the handling fee will show separately from the shipping charges.
  • Warehouses: Choose which warehouses that will be assigned to this shipping method.

Important Note: When using this type of variable method, carefully consider the warehouse you will use. If you have this method set up in a way where a "base price" is established for the first item and an incremental shipping charge is added per item, you will want to make sure you limit this method to a specific group of products. You may need to separate the products that use this specific shipping method by assigning them to a new warehouse. Otherwise, you could end up with a shipping charge below the actual cost when the shipping method applies incremental charges for items that are much more expensive to ship in reality.

  • Zones: Choose which shipping zones will be assigned to this shipping method. Choosing the All Zones option will allow customers in every shipping zone that you've created to receive shipments by this shipping method.
  • Groups: Choose which user groups will be assigned to this shipping method. Choosing the All Groups option will allow all customers with eligible orders and shipping addresses to use this shipping method.
  • Minimum Purchase: Enter in the minimum purchase value that a customer needs to spend before this shipping method will be available to him. Leave this field blank if there is no minimum purchase required.
  • Tax Code: Choose a tax code option if you wish to assess taxes on the shipping charge. Don't choose a tax code if no taxes should be assessed on the shipping charge.
  • Click the Save button to finish.

That completes the task of adding a "Vary by Quantity" shipping method where the charges are assessed by the number of products in the cart.

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