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Free Shipping

Just about any business can benefit from offering free shipping in some form. Free shipping can boost conversion, reduce abandoned carts, and when used with up-sells or cross-sells can increase your average order value. This article will guide you through the different ways of offering free shipping.


Be careful! The methods listed in this article will only work if the customer is ordering from a destination that has been enabled in the Shipping Manager. That destination must also have a functional shipping method (e.g. flat rate, FedEx) in addition to the free shipping option, or the customer will receive an error at checkout.


By Destination

Use this method if you want to:

  • apply only to orders within the specified shipping zone
  • limit free shipping to orders over $X
  • offer free shipping as well as other shipping options (e.g. expedited shipping)

1. Go to Store SetupShipping.

2. Click Configure next to the shipping zone you want free shipping available in.

Shipping zone

3. Toggle on the switch to the right of Free shipping.

Free shipping method toggled on shipping zone details

4. There will be a Free Shipping Options pop-up.

Free Shipping Options pop up

  • Limit to order over $X — limits free shipping to orders over a certain amount
  • Use discounted order subtotal (Recommended) — will use the discounted order subtotal to determine eligibility for free shipping
  • Make products with a Fixed Shipping Cost ineligible for Free Shipping — will exclude products with a fixed shipping price

5. Click Submit in the pop-up, then Done.

6. Your Free Shipping method is now up and active. If you need to disable it, simply Toggle off the switch.

Free Shipping toggled off

Depending on your needs, you might consider a Ship by Order Total, or Ship by Weight method with $0 instead. These let you change the display name (e.g. "Local Pick-Up"), specify costs for orders that don't meet the order total for free shipping, or base shipping prices on the order weight instead.


With a Cart-Level Discount

Use this method if you want to:

  • offer free shipping internationally
  • limit free shipping to orders over $X
  • offer free shipping as well as other shipping options (e.g. expedited shipping)
  • display a dynamic "Spend $X more and get free shipping" message to customers (Not all templates support this feature)

1. Go to MarketingCart-Level Discounts.

2. Click Create Cart-Level Discount.

Create Cart-Level Discount button

3. Type your Rule Name. For example, Free Shipping over $50.

Rule name field

4. For Choose a Rule Type, choose Free shipping discount. Then select one of the following:

  • Order at least X units of product Y, get free shipping to specific shipping zones
  • Order at least $X, get free shipping to specific shipping zones

Choose a Rule Type options

Order at least X units of product Y, get free shipping to specific shipping zones

  • Set the product amount at which free shipping should be offered. Then, click this product (none selected).

Order at least X units of product Y option

  • A new window will open from which you will select the product.

Select product pop up

Order at least $X, get free shipping to specific shipping zones

  • Type in the order amount at which free shipping should be offered and select which shipping zone(s) (or all) the discount should apply to.

Order X amount option

5. Scroll down to Free Shipping Discount Rules Options. Alter your Free Shipping Message if desired.

Free Shipping Message text box

6. Select at least one Message Location.

Message Location options

7. Save your changes.


By Coupon

Use this method if you want to:

  • require customers to enter a coupon code to get free shipping
  • limit free shipping to orders over $X
  • limit free shipping to certain locations
  • limit free shipping to certain shipping methods e.g. FedEx, Ship by Weight
  • limit free shipping to certain products or categories

1. Go to MarketingCoupon Codes.

2. Click Create a Coupon Code.

Create a Coupon Code button

3. Change the Coupon Code if desired. This is what the customer types in at checkout.

Coupon Code text field

4. Enter a Coupon Name. This is for your reference only.

Coupon Name text field

5. For Discount type, choose Free shipping.

Discount Type options

6. The following settings are optional:

More coupon code details

  • Minimum purchase for the coupon to take effect
  • Limit the total number of times the coupon code is used
  • Limit the number of uses per customer
  • Expiry date after which the coupon code is disabled automatically

7. To limit the coupon to only apply to certain categories or products, scroll down and select which categories or products you wish it to apply to.


Will this coupon only affect the category/products selected? The coupon applies free shipping to the whole order if a shopper has a qualified item in their cart. This means that if they put in an item that is not qualified, so long as a qualified product is also in their cart, the order gets free shipping.

"This coupon applies to" settings


Be careful! Clicking a category will only enable the coupon for that category, not for its subcategories. Click the plus (+) to expand a category and select its subcategories as well.

For product, choose the second radio button and select Add a Product.

"This coupon applies to" these products

A new window will open from which you will select the products.

Select products popup

8. To restrict the coupon to certain locations and shipping methods, click the Advanced tab. Select the region or shipping methods you would like the coupon to be used in conjunction with.

Advanced coupon settings

9. Save your changes. You can disable the coupon at any time by clicking the red X under Enabled. The red X means a coupon is disabled; the green check mark means it is enabled.

Column showing which coupon codes are currently enabled


Product-by-Product Basis

Use this method if you want to:

  • have free shipping on a product for all destinations set up in the Shipping settings
  • have 'free shipping' to be the only choice at checkout
  • take that product out of shipping calculations in orders that also contain other products
  • have 'free shipping' display on the product page when enabled in Store Settings

Be careful! Turning free shipping on for an individual product causes it to ship for free in all shipping destinations you have set up, regardless of any other shipping settings.

One product at a time

1. Go to ProductsView. Click the name of the product you plan to ship for free.

2. You will be on the Details tab. Scroll down to Shipping and turn on Free Shipping.

Free shipping in product settings

3. Save your changes.

Multiple products at a time

1. Go to ProductsView. Check the box to the left of the products you plan to ship for free. You may want to increase the View in the top-right of the menu to 100.

2. Click Choose an Action at the top of the menu, select Bulk Edit Selected, then click Confirm.

Products checked for bulk editing

3. Locate the Free Shipping column to the far right. Check the box to enable free shipping. You can click the checkbox directly under Free Shipping to turn it on for all of the listed products, or go through to check/uncheck it for individual products.

Column on the bulk editing screen showing which products currently have free shipping enabled on the product-level

4. Save & Exit when finished.


Need more advanced shipping features? We recommend using our integration with ShipperHQ. ShipperHQ enables you to ship on a per product per zone level, provide different shipping options based on customer group, provide different shipping options based on shipping origin, and more.


Offering In-Store Pickup

The best online retailers offer a variety of ways for customers to receive their products. Traditional shipping options are certainly the most common, but by offering in-store pickup and payment, you combine the ease of shopping online with the promptness of purchasing from a local retailer. By offering in-store pickup and payment, your shoppers can:

  • avoid shipping costs
  • make sure the product is available
  • buy now and pickup later

Setting up an "In-store Pickup" Shipping Method

These steps will cover how to set up a local pickup zone. This sets the geographical perimeter for which customers can pick up their order. See Offline Payment Methods for how to set up the payment method.

Anyone whose shipping address falls inside this zone will be able to use any shipping methods you create for it. Keep in mind that they will only have access to the methods set up for this zone, so you will want to add your usual shipping methods in addition to the local pickup method.

Creating a Local Shipping Zone

1. Go to Store SetupShipping.

2. Click Add shipping zone, then select Add a custom zone.

Add a custom zone highlighted in the Add a shipping zone list button in Shipping Manager

3. Fill out the following details:

  • Name — the zone's name (e.g. "Local")
  • Type — select Advanced Selection and select Multiple postcodes.
  • Country — select your country

Add a custom zone based on multiple postcodes popup


Creating a state-based zone? If you want to open up in-store pickup to anyone within your state, change Type to Selection of States or Provinces, then select your country and state. To open it up to anyone in multiple states, select Advanced SelectionMultiple states/provinces across countries and select your preferred states.

4. Enter the ZIP or postal code(s) in the text field under the country field. Each postal code must be on its own line. See more tips on adding ZIP codes. For tools to help you create ZIP codes within a specific radius, city, or county, see Additional Resources.

5. Click Submit. You have now created a local zone.

Creating a local pickup shipping method

1. Click Configure for your newly created local shipping zone.

Configure zone button highlighted next to a Local zone

2. Locate the toggle switch next to the Flat Rate method, and switch the toggle to ON.

3. Enter the following details:

  • Display Name — the name your customers will see for the shipping method (e.g. "In-store Pickup")
  • Shipping rate — enter a shipping charge or enter $0
  • Type — select whether the rate is charged per order or per item in the order. If you are offering free in-store pickup, it doesn't matter which you select.

Flat rate options popup

4. Save your changes.

Remember to include additional shipping methods in your local zone, so that customers in that zone can still opt to have their order shipped to them.

Managing Your In-Store Orders

Orders created with the in-store pickup and in-store payment methods require offline transactions to occur, so they will need to be manually updated.

Pay and pick up in store

Orders placed by customers using both the in-store payment and in-store pickup methods will be marked as Awaiting Payment in BigCommerce.

1. When the customer arrives, take payment using your normal brick-and-mortar payment processing.

2. After receiving payment, locate the order in the BigCommerce control panel under View Orders.

3. Change the order's status to Completed.

Completed order status on the View Orders screen

Pick up in store

Orders that have been paid for online will be assigned the Awaiting Fulfillment status.

1. When your customer arrives to pick up their products, locate their order in the View Orders section of your BigCommerce control panel.

2. Change the order's status to Completed.

Completed order status on the View Orders screen

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