Kartris can calculate shipping using two different systems. The first is to use a real-time lookup - presently both USPS and UPS are supported. The second is to use the internal 'banded' system. This is basically a lookup, where you specify rates for each shipping method, to each zone, for any number of weight or order value bands. To better understand this, we've done a quick walk-through below.
1. Shipping zones
The first step is to create your shipping zones. Each zone represents a geographic area to which pricing is the same. A simple example would be the following zones:
- Domestic (zone 1)
- Neighbouring countries (zone 2)
- Rest of the world (zone 3)
Go to Regional Setup > Shipping and then select the 'Shipping Zones' tab. You can see our slightly more complex settings below.
2. Map countries to shipping zones
You can click the 'Destionations' link on any existing shipping zone to see the countries presently mapped to it. You can find and edit any country by going to Regional Setup > Destinations. For example, to edit 'France', click on the 'F' to see a list of countries beginning with that letter, and then click 'edit' next to France. Select the shipping zone you wish this country to be mapped to from the dropdown, and click the 'save' button just below.
It will take time to work through and do this, but you can keep reviewing the countries from each shipping zone until you're happy. Any countries that you don't wish to ship to, you can map to an 'unallocated' zone - this just makes things a little cleaner later as it separates them from the countries your site will deal with.
3. Create your shipping methods
You may provide a variety of shipping methods, from normal postage to courier, express, overnight, and so on. You can set which tax rate applies to each too. Here is our sample selection:
4. Lookup rates based on order weight or value
Most stores will want to lookup a shipping price based on the total weight of the order. However, it is also possible to based shipping on the order value. The 'Config Settings' table within shipping provides a quick way to access the settings for this. You can also access them through the main config settings section of the back end.
5. Create bands
Click the 'Shipping Methods' tab, and then click the 'rates' link by each method. Here you can start to create banded pricing for each shipping zone. You can create a set of bands for each zone, for each shipping method. You can create any number of bands, and you only need to create them for valid shipping method/zone combinations. So for example, if 'standard post' is only available for domestic customers, then you only need to create shipping bands for the 'Domestic' zone.
You cannot edit bands, just delete them and create a new one if you make a mistake. In the 'up to' box enter an order weight (or value, if you've set to calculate shipping based on order value), and then a corresponding price. In the 'All higher orders' record, you can set a high price catch-all. You can see in our sample data below, we have set 'free shipping' for the UK (since there is only one band for 'All higher orders' which has a price of zero). The other zone below has a sliding shipping price, depending on the order value.
We started off by explained that Kartris supports both real-time shipping and the internal 'banded' system. In fact, you can combine the two. If you have activated a real-time shipping plugin, when you create shipping price bands, instead of adding a price, you can specify a real-time shipping lookup. This provides a huge deal of flexibility. For example, you may want to use UPS for orders up to 2kg, USPS for orders up to 5kg and then use the banded shipping system for orders above this.
Below you can see how real-time options show for each band, if any are active.