Three Ways To Better Manage Rural Delivery Cost In Shopify

February 28, 2022

Three Ways To Better Manage Rural Delivery Cost In Shopify

Shopify shipping is generally straightforward for many businesses. Until you hit one little (or not so little) roadblock. Shopify merchants in New Zealand are faced with one particularly unique shipping challenge: rural delivery cost.

And it can cause no end of headaches. It goes beyond your usual shipping processes. But, there are ways to streamline and better manage your rural delivery cost in Shopify.

Let’s explore the three best ways now.

Three Ways To Better Manage Rural Delivery Cost In Shopify

Standard Shopify Shipping

For the most part, Shopify is pretty clever when it comes to shipping. It can calculate shipping for you out of the box, setting this by order weight or order price, right down to the region in the destination country. You can also charge a flat fee if you prefer.

If you want some extra info on how to set different shipping rates in your Shopify store, you can access it here.

Rural Delivery Cost

With a number of your Kiwi customers likely rurally based, rural delivery cost adds another layer of complexity to be addressed (pun intended!) in the juggle of running an online business. While we love Shopify, one thing it cannot do out of the box, is identify a New Zealand rural address.

As Kiwi Shopify experts, we well understand this struggle! But, there are some workarounds. We’ve assembled our three favourite hacks to ensure the extra costs associated with rural delivery are covered by the customers who require them – and don’t end up eating into your profits.

Solution 1: A No-cost, Honesty Based Solution

This solution is an honesty based one that many merchants adopt in New Zealand. If you’re running a smaller shop, one free solution can be to simply offer a rural surcharge at checkout.

This requires customers to select their own correct rate – and requires you to rely on customer honesty. While there will always be one or two people who flout the rules, this solution will work most of the time.

Solution 2: Integrate With Your Shipping Service Provider

Another option is to integrate with a shipping service provider who can push live rates to your store. Starshipit, is one example of a 3rd party platform that can push live shipping rates to your store from various courier companies.

This means that the shipping rates displayed to a customer checking out on your site will be postcode based.

Starshipit offers fulfilment automation, and can send automatic notifications at various stages of the delivery process. It is all housed on your own branded tracking page, instead of the generic courier portal so delivers a good customer experience.

There also other courier companies that are able to integrate with Shopify and push through live rates - you'll need to contact your service provider to find out if they support this.

GoSweetSpot and eShip (NZ Post Business) integrate with Shopify to make organising delivery easy, however they don't have the ability to push live rates to your store and solve the rural delivery issue.

Solution 3: Use An App

Shopify offers a number of apps to implement an advanced shipping solution in your shop. Certain apps will allow you to add rates for postcodes. Installing an app comes at a monthly cost, and every app is different – but you’re looking at costs upwards of $20 USD per month.

You can browser for advanced shipping apps here.

In addition to this you’ll need carrier-based shipping enabled for your Shopify account which is free if you are on an annual Shopify plan. 

Note: you'll also need carrier-based shipping enabled for solution 2 above.

Rural Delivery Cost Assistance

A rural delivery cost can be a tricky thing to get right in your Shopify store. So, we’d love to help you come up with the best solution for your individual store.

For further advice on shipping solutions, Creative Web Designs are the ones to ask: as New Zealand-based Shopify experts, we’ve got a great understanding of the unique challenges Kiwi merchants face when running an online store.

Reach out to us today.


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