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• Last Updated: 03/25/2020
• ( 15 minutes reading )

How to set up Shipping Methods in X-Cart


The fundamental idea of eCommerce stores is to provide the possibility of purchasing goods online and have them delivered straight to your door. Therefore, your shipping strategy is one of the things you should absolutely focus on. One of the keys is to offer a variety of delivery options so that you can meet the exact requirements of several customer groups. The real challenge is to find a solution that lowers your expenses as much as possible and yet remains attractive to customers.

Fortunately, X-Cart supports a diversity of shipping methods to choose from and develop a cost-effective delivery strategy depending on your business scope. First and foremost, you have to determine whether to use a third-party carrier service, like DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc., or to handle the delivery on your own.

In this tutorial, we are going to introduce every shipping method supported in X-Cart and guide you on how to configure it properly.


Understanding how Shipping Methods work

Before we step into actually reviewing each of the shipping methods, there are few essential notes to point out.

For a start, please log in to your X-Cart Admin Area and navigate through the left-hand side menu bar to Store setup Shipping.

You are, by default, redirected to the first "Settings" tab where you are supposed to be.


Shipping Methods Overview


Under this tab, you can see a list of the Shipping Methods configured in your store.

The Power icon in front of each Shipping Method indicated whether it is enabled (green) or disabled (grey). You can control them by simply clicking on it.

You should be aware that the order of the Shipping Methods in your Admin Area determines the order they are displayed at checkout to unregistered customers. In other words, the first enabled method in this list is going to be suggested first to the customer. You can organize the Shipping Methods as required by clicking on the Arrow Cross icon and dragging the method to the desired position.

For registered customers, the default shipping method is determined based on the previously used one.


Third-Party Carrier Services

In X-Cart, you can integrate some of the most popular shipping carriers, including:

In case this sounds like a suitable workaround, you can apply the actual carrier shipping rates. In other words, charge your customers the exact rate you are paying the carrier based on the product dimensions (length, width, height) and delivery address. The rate is calculated in real-time and displayed to your customers during checkout.

The actual process happening in the backend is simple enough to understand. Once the customer provides their address, X-Cart submits the order information (customer's address, origin address, and product dimensions) to the carrier's API. The carrier calculates the shipping rate based on the parameters mentioned above and submits the information back to X-Cart, which is then displayed to the customer.

So, let's cut straight to the chase. Back at the "Shipping" tab, please click on the "Add shipping method" button.


Add Carrier Shipping Method


A pop-up window is going to appear. From the "Carrier-calculated rates" tab, you have to choose the desired carrier by clicking on it.


Selecting a Carrier


When selected, depending on whether the shipping carrier integration Addon is installed and enabled or not, you are going to be either redirected to the Addon settings section or the X-Cart Addon Marketplace.

In the first scenario, you have to configure the settings of the selected shipping carrier Addon. In the second case, you have to install and enable the Addon first and then configure its settings. Detailed instructions on how to configure each shipping carrier Addon, you can find in X-Cart's official documentation:

In case you need to apply an additional charge on top of the carrier rate to cover extra expenses, please refer to our tutorial on How to set up Handling Fee in X-Cart.

When you complete the configuration, please make sure to go ahead and test if everything is appropriately being calculated and applied by submitting an order from your storefront. Once you confirm it all works as expected, you are all set!


Custom Shipping Rates

If you are not planning to use a third-party shipping carrier but handle delivery on your own, or if your shipping carrier is not integrable in X-Cart, you can configure your custom shipping rates using the "Custom table rates" method.

The shipping rates configurable in a Custom table rate could be based on:

  • Order Subtotal Amount
  • Items' weight
  • Number of items
  • Any combination of the order subtotal, items' weight, and number of items

The Custom table rates method could also be used for configuring Flat rate shipping and Free shipping methods.

To configure a Shipping Method based on a Custom table rate, please click on the "Add shipping method" button.


Add Custom Shipping Method


This time, please switch to the second "Custom table rates" tab in the pop-up window displayed.

First, you have to configure the general details of the Shipping Method.

  • Method name - Specify the title of this shipping method as it is going to be displayed to your customers on the storefront.
  • Delivery time - Specify the estimated delivery time as it is going to be displayed to your customers on the storefront.
  • Table based on - Select the parameter on which shipping rates to be calculated. You can choose between:
    • Subtotal - Based on defined order subtotal amount. For example, you can apply a $10 shipping rate for orders below $80 and free shipping for orders above this amount.
    • Discounted subtotal - Works the same as the above method, but for order amounts with a discount applied on.
    • Weight - Based on the order items' weight. For example, you can apply a $10 shipping rate for orders with a total weight of up to 5 pounds, and a $2 shipping rate per pound for orders with a total weight of over 5 pounds.
    • Items - Based on the number of items in the order. For example, you can apply a $10 shipping rate for orders with a total of 5 items and a $1 shipping rate per item for orders over 5 items. 
    • Subtotal, weight, items - Based on a combination of the three parameters. For example, you can apply a $10 shipping rate for orders below $80 and below 5 pounds; free shipping for orders above $80 and below 5 pounds; and a $5 rate for orders above $80 and above 5 pounds.
  • Address zone - Select the Zone this method to be available for. If you have not yet configured your Zones, please take a moment to review our tutorial based on How to set up and manage Countries, States and Zones in X-Cart and get familiar with the concept.


Custom table rate General Information


When you are ready, it is time to configure the rules according to which shipping rates to be calculated. The values you have to set are the same for each "Table based on" parameters except for the "Subtotal, weight, items," which requires additional details.

Note that, in any case, the first, default row shown applies to the first row of your Custom rates table. Of course, if you need to add additional rows to configure multiple calculation rules, you can do so by clicking on the Plus (+) icon.

Let's review the following example, so we can ensure you understand perfectly clear how to configure your calculation rules.

We are going to configure our Shipping method to apply:

  • $10 flat rate to orders below $80 and below 5 pounds
  • free shipping for orders above $80 and below 5 pounds
  • $5 flat rate for orders above 5 pounds

For the first row, we have set up:

  • Subtotal range: $0.00 - $79.99
  • Weight range: 0 lb - 5 lb
  • Flat rate: $10

For the second row, we have set up:

  • Subtotal range: $80.00 - $∞
  • Weight range: 0 lb - 5 lb
  • Flat rate: $0

For the third row, we have set up:

  • Subtotal range: $0.00 - $∞
  • Weight range: 5 lb - ∞ lb
  • Flat rate: $10


Configure Custom table rates


When you are ready, with your rates, please do not forget to click on the "Create" button to finalize the creation of your new Custom table rate. Once this is done, you can see it displayed in the list of your Shipping Methods.

Now, please go ahead and test it on your store by submitting an order to confirm the calculations are done correctly.


Free Shipping

Without a doubt, this is the customers' favorite shipping method. In X-Cart, free shipping can be configured for:

  • Orders meeting particular conditions
  • Specific products

Depending on your business strategy, you can enable one or both of them. As each method is configured differently, we are going to review them separately.


Free Shipping for orders meeting particular conditions

This Shipping Method is based on the "Custom table rates" method we have reviewed in the previous section. Using Custom table rates, you can configure Free Shipping based on:

  • Order subtotal
  • Address Zone
  • Number of items
  • Items' weight

To begin, you have to create a new custom table rate, as shown in the previous section. First, please click on the "Add shipping method", then switch to the "Custom table rates" tab. Afterward, fill the general details with attention to "Table based on" and "Address zone", as they determine the condition under which to offer free shipping.


Order Subtotal

You can configure free shipping for orders above a certain subtotal amount. To do so, please make sure to select "Subtotal" from the "Table based on" dropdown and specify the "Subtotal range" as per your requirements. For example, $80.00 - $∞ to offer free shipping to all orders with a total amount of over $80.


Configuring Order Subtotal Free Shipping


When you are ready, click on the "Create" button, and your new free shipping method is going to be saved and enabled.


Address Zone

You can configure free shipping to be offered only in a specific geographical region. Note that the respective Zone has to be created first.

In this case, you have to specify the "Method name", "Delivery time" and select the desired Zone from the "Address Zone" dropdown. The rest of the fields you should leave as they are.


Configuring Address Zone Free Shipping


When done, click on the "Create" button to save your new shipping method.


Number of items

You can configure free shipping for orders containing a certain item amount. To do that, please select the "Items" option from the "Table based on" dropdown and specify the "Items range" as per your requirements. For example, 10 - ∞ for orders with more than 10 items.


Configuring Item Range Free Shipping


When ready, hit the "Create" button to save and enable the shipping method.


Items weight

You can also configure free shipping in a condition the total weight amount of an order is below or above a specific value. In this scenario, you have to select the "Weight" option from the "Table based on" dropdown and specify the "Weight range". The rest of the details you should configure in the same manner. For example, 10 lb - ∞ lb to offer free shipping to all orders with a total item weight over 10 pounds.


Configuring weight Range Free Shipping


When done, do not forget to click on the "Create" button.

Regardless of the free shipping conditions, you decide to offer - when you configure your shipping methods, you have to go ahead and test them on your storefront to confirm the free shipping is appropriately applied when the given condition is met.


Free Shipping for Specific products

In X-Cart, you can configure and offer free shipping for specific products using the Free shipping and Shipping freight Addon. When the Addon is installed and enabled, the shipping is automatically configured and present in the list of shipping methods under the "Settings" tab ("Free Shipping" indicated with a question mark icon).

This method must be configured on a per-product basis. When enabled, two additional settings are included under the "Shipping" section on a Product Details page:

  • Free shipping - If enabled, the product is delivered for free in case all other products in the shopping cart are eligible for free shipping or excluded from shipping calculations.
  • Exclude from shipping cost calculation - If enabled, the shipping fee for the product is going to be excluded from the order subtotal, nevertheless the rest of the products in the shorting cart.


Free Shipping for Specific Products


Please note that to configure this shipping method, the "Shipping Required" option should always be enabled.

As usual, when you are ready with the configuration, please go ahead and test the shipping method on the storefront.


Local Pickup

The Local Pickup shipping method allows your customers to come to your physical store and pick up the order themselves. In X-Cart, it is pre-configured and enabled by default. You can further customize it by clicking on its title.


Local Pickup Shipping Method


When you perform the desired changes, make sure to click on the "Update" button to apply them.


Update Local Pickup


If required, you can also disable it by clicking on the Power icon in front of it.

At this point, you know how to configure every shipping method supported in X-Cart. After this tutorial, we expect you to feel confident in your abilities to manage the delivery of your products efficiently. In case you have additional questions on this topic, please free to contact our Support Team.



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