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Store Shipping Costs for Physical Products

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Freelancer, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Freelancer

    Freelancer Well-Known Member

    Let the admin set standard locations in the backend ....


    ....and lets then edit the shipping cost per weight per region.


    Shipping costs must be separated from "VAT". To my knowledge these are not with VAT in any country.

    So it would be:

    Product 1 Cost
    + Product 2 Cost
    + ...
    Sub-Total Product Cost
    + VAT
    Total Product Cost
    + Shipping Costs
    Grand Total
  2. ALfa1

    ALfa1 Well-Known Member

    Most shipping services (FedEx, DHL, TNT, UPS, etc) do not use weight. They use dimensional-Weight. (Volumetric weight)
    Unless you are only shipping very close-by, weight alone is are pretty much useless.

    Dimensional weight is a combination of weight and box size.
  3. Freelancer

    Freelancer Well-Known Member

    Box size is not as important as weight. German DHL has two box sizes but 5+ weight classes
  4. ALfa1

    ALfa1 Well-Known Member

    It makes a world of difference in terms of costs if you ship internationally. At least here in the Netherlands DHL requires volumetric weight if I ship to Germany. I cant imagine it different in Germany.
  5. Freelancer

    Freelancer Well-Known Member

    I ship Merch and Gear Worldwide. I see no real problem with this.
  6. ALfa1

    ALfa1 Well-Known Member

    If you do a calculation of costs on DHL.com then compare 2 parcels From Germany to Australia:
    2kg: 90x50x60 Cost: $1736,00
    2kg: 10x10x10 Cost: $174,00

    I used Australia to portray how extreme the shipping cost differences can be. Both box sizes are accepted by DHL.
    So no matter what cost you enter into the store for 2kg to Australia, some customers will be undercharged (lost money) and other customers are overcharged (lost orders because customers get put off by high shipping cost and never make it through the conversion)
    I have had both issues with e-commerce software that had failing dimensional weight.
  7. Freelancer

    Freelancer Well-Known Member

    I don’t see a real issue here. Just take my proposal from above with two tables that are freely configurable and you are covering any possibility:
    1. A Region List Table
    2. A “Unit Layer” List per Region Table
    So make the “Unit Layer” List freely namable and you can cover any type of unit you want.

    Then it does not matter if you name it “weight”, “dimensional weight”, “box size” etc.

    All it needs to integrate shipping is these two tables.
  8. ALfa1

    ALfa1 Well-Known Member

    Dimensional weight doesn't work like this. It needs to be a combination of weight and dimensions.
    Dimensional weight is calculated differently per parcel service. We cannot compare apples and oranges.
    In essence something like what you propose is possible, if there are additional tools to:
    1. set dimensions at product level.
    2. define the conversion of the total product volume to the box volume.
    3. convert the weight plus volume to dimensional weight.
    Without a calculation of the volume at checkout there will be no correct shipping price. The result of your example would be that the customer would choose the box size at checkout. Which of course cannot be.
    At checkout the volume of the package needs to be known to know the price.

    The list of dimensional weight / billable weight prices per region is immense. These prices change yearly. If we would need to enter hundreds of prices for each location around the world then this would be a monks task taking weeks to do. But we only need the prices for the box sizes that we use. Most companies will not use more than 7 box sizes which really narrows down the dimensions. So there is a lot of benefit to be able to define prices at box level only.

    Another thing to consider is that countries have regions which differ in price. So there would need to be another layer of locations. This is not only important for shipping prices, but also for available shipping methods, transit times, VAT and shipping restrictions.
  9. Freelancer

    Freelancer Well-Known Member

    I think you are overthinking this. ;)

    Two tables will cover this. Regions/Countries and Unit Layers. If both are free to configure, you have covered every aspect. This is used by eBay and DHL themselves. I can not see how this needs to be more complicated.

    Let me make a mock-up of it. Maybe then it’s easier to understand.
  10. Freelancer

    Freelancer Well-Known Member

    So now I made some mockups to show how a sophisticated shipping cost feature can work...

    The ACP navigation could look like this:


    Give the admin the option to define standard shipping types that always will be used throughout the store:


    Then let the admin define shipping regions:


    How it works: Let countries be added to specific regions and as soon as a buyer selects a country in his shipping address, the system picks the specific region to calculate.

    Then the most important thing: LAYERS... a combination of Shipping Type, Region and Whatever you want to have as a layer within the different Type/Region combinations.

    Note: You can name the layer whatever you want and are therefore extremely flexible to cope with whatever demand there is. If you want to offer gift wrapping, bodyguard delivery... whatever.

    You then create the Product and SELECT which layer you want to offer as SHIPPING METHOD with the product.


    The buyer/customer can then select which shipping method he wants.

    COMBINED SHIPPING: Whenever the shopping cart has multiple items, the Store Add-on system offers the highest layer of the layers used with the items. So if you have two items that are small parcel and one that is large parcel, the system offers large parcel for the combined shipping only and removes the two small parcel layers. Of course there are scenarios where the shop owner must be able to edit the shipping method and change the options manually. But that is true for all shop ecommerce systems out there.
    ALfa1 likes this.
  11. ALfa1

    ALfa1 Well-Known Member

    This is a very nice concept and a lot of it makes sense, but there are a few issues with it:

    You cannot preselect the box size for a product or order because you never know how many items or what combination of products the customer will buy.
    If a customer orders 100 units of product A, then clearly this will not fit in the same box as 1 unit of product A.
    If a customer orders 100 units of product A, 20 units of product B and 10 units of product C and all have different box sizes defined then this can not lead to an accurate box size. Not even if the largest box of the 3 products is used.

    Volume needs to be defined at product level. Then the total order volume needs to be defined. There are scripts to calculate total volume. Based upon the total order volume it needs to defined which box will be used.

    Boxes have weight as well, which is optimally added to the order weight.

    Also see these interesting topics:
    Shipping Box Calculation Algorithm - OpenCart Community
    Maximizing the Accuracy of Your WooCommerce Shipping Prices - Sacramento Web Design and Internet Marketing Company - Post Modern Marketing
    Understanding the Shipping Calculator - BigCommerce Support
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  12. Freelancer

    Freelancer Well-Known Member

    If @NixFifty is willing implement a weight/dimension-algorithm I will not hold anything against that. ;)