Getting Started

Once you have installed Zone Based Shipping, you will need to configure it through the ZBS dashboard pages. 

ZBS is much more sophisticated than many other shipping models, but don't let that put you off. The way ZBS works is fairly intuitive and you should soon get the hang of it. The main thing you need to remember is that it has its own suite of dashboard pages for configuration. You still need to enable ZBS as a shipping method within eCommerce, but other than that all configuration of ZBS uses the ZBS dashboard section.

Define your zones

Got to the Zones dashboard page and add one or more shipping zones. Each zone should be a geographical region of equivalent shipping cost. For example, you could have zones for Local, Regional, National and International shipping.  

You can re-arrange zones by dragging them up or down.

You probably only want to have zones for regions within your own country. Other countries tend to get grouped together into much larger zones.

30 Zones.png

Delivery Options

Next go to the Delivery Options dashboard page and add a delivery option. For many online shops, a single 'Delivery' or 'Shipping' is all that is needed, but you can define more than one if you want to.

40 Delivery Options.png

Map addresses to zones

Use the Address to Zone Map dashboard page to add rules that map a customer's shipping address to a delivery zone.

Begin with rules for Countries, then where necessary insert after any country rule one or more additional rules for State/Province, Town/City or Postal Code within that country. A rule for a State/Province, Town/City or Postal Code only applies to the preceding Country.

You can re-arrange address rules by dragging them up or down. Only have a default country match on the last row of the list; a default rule will always match and subsequent rules will be ignored.

The rules are evaluated in order. A customer shipping address will be matched to the first country rule that matches, then to the last rule within that country that matches.

20 Address to Zone Map.png

Select cost basis

A cost Basis is a measure used to calculate base costs or additional costs for shipping. You need to enable one or more Cost Basis on the Cost Basis dashboard page.

Only enable the Cost Basis measures you actually need to use. The most likely options are Weight or Items and many online shops will use just one of these, but many other measures are available for those with more complex shipping requirements.

Once enabled, a Cost Basis measure will be available for use in the Shipping Cost Rules. Cost Basis measures can be dragged into sequence. The sequence on the Cost Basis page governs the sequence they will be used within the Shipping Cost Rules.

A Cost Basis measure enabled for Base Cost Calculation will be calculated and compared against a set value as a pass or fail. A Cost Basis measure enabled for Additional Cost Calculation can be used to calculate a cost proportional to the measure, such as £0.50 per kilogram.

Whilst a Cost Basis measure is enabled on the Cost Basis dashboard page, all that does is make it available for use in a Shipping Cost Rule. The details of the rule are entered later.

50 Cost Basis.png

Enter shipping cost rules

Now we are ready to enter the details of our shipping cost rules. On the Shipping Cost Rule dashboard page, you enter rules that, when they pass, provide a shipping cost for a zone and delivery option. These rules are evaluated in sequence until a rule passes, and that rule returns the shipping cost for an order.

Each rule evaluates one or more of the Cost Basis measures you have previously enabled. Typically most rules will check a single measure for being less than or equal to a value and provide a cost. These are Base Cost Conditions.

After a series of increasing steps in cost, with most shipping requirements the cost is capped or becomes proportional to further increments in the value. This is where an Additional Cost Calculation can be used.

Have a look at the sequence of rules for 'UK standard' and 'Courier' in the image below.

60 Shipping Cost Rules.png

As with other ZBS dashboard pages, rules can edited, copied or deleted and can be dragged into sequence, but only within their zone.

70 Shipping Cost Rules.png

Run some test orders

And that is it, you are now ready to run some test orders and see your shipping rules in action. Before doing so, perhaps you would like to enable some of the diagnostics to trace your rules to the log. That way, you can read the log and confirm your rules are doing what you expected them to do!

A0 Diagnostics.png

There are other ZBS dashboard pages for General Settings, Delivery Splits, Attributes, Import/Export and built in documentation, but you don't need those for now.

Don't forget, you also need to enable ZBS as a shipping method within eCommerce.

Last updated: over a year ago