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Shipping Setup

The BigCommerce shipping manager lets you control where and how you ship your products. To set up shipping, you will first define shipping zones to establish which areas you ship to. You will then select which shipping methods (such as UPS or flat-rate) should be available to customers in those regions.


BigCommerce does not ship products for you. BigCommerce connects to carrier services to provide shipping quotes. The store owner is responsible for fulfilling shipments.

To access Shipping Manager, go to Store SetupShipping.


Shipping Origin: Where you're shipping from

Shipping origin

This address determines which real-time shipping carriers are available as shipping methods. For example, you won't be able to see the option to set up Canada Post unless your "origin" address is in Canada.


Can I have more than one origin address? If you want to calculate shipping quotes from multiple points of origin or need other advanced shipping features, we recommend using our integration with ShipperHQ.


Shipping Zones: Where you're shipping to

A shipping zone refers to a geographical area that you ship to. Defining your shipping zones gives you control over where you are comfortable shipping. As your business grows, you can add more shipping zones as needed. If a user enters an address at checkout that is not located in one of your defined shipping zones, they will receive a shipping error message

Shipping zones can be defined as a single country, a group of countries, states/provinces, or ZIP/postcodes. You can have multiple shipping zones that offer different shipping services. For example, a store could offer USPS for the Contiguous United States in one zone and have a separate zone offering UPS and FedEx for Alaska and Hawaii.

Shipping Zones Map

To create a shipping zone, click Add shipping zone and select how you want to define the zone. More details on each type of zone creation are detailed below.

Once a zone is created, add shipping methods by clicking the Configure or Edit button next to the zone so the shipping zone to function. See set up shipping methods below for more details.

A shipping zone can be enabled or disabled by clicking the toggle by its name. Disabling a zone retains all the setting information, but will not display shipping methods for users trying to ship to that zone. This can be useful if you need to temporarily restrict a shipping zone.

Shipping Manager

To delete a zone completely click the X by the zone.


Creating a Shipping Zone by Country

A shipping zone for a whole country will use the same shipping methods in all states, provinces or territories. To add a single country, click Add shipping zone and select Add a country zone from the drop-down menu.

Add a country

Select the country you want from the drop-down menu then click Submit.

To add more than one country, click Add shipping zone and select Add a custom zone from the drop-down menu.

Country Zone

Fill in the form:

  • Name — an internal name for your zone, e.g. Europe.
  • Type — select Selection of countries from the drop-down menu
  • Country — you can add countries in one of two ways: click the box to choose from the drop-down or type the name of the country to filter the drop-down

Click Submit when finished.


Creating a Shipping Zone by State or Province

To create a zone that includes a collection of states or provinces, click Add shipping zone and select Add a custom zone from the drop-down menu.

Select States

Fill in the form:

  • Name — an internal name for your zone, e.g. West Australia.
  • Type — select Selection of states or provinces from the drop-down menu
  • Country — select the appropriate country from the drop-down menu
  • State — add states from the drop-down by selecting states or typing a state name to filter the menu

Click Submit when finished.


Can I make a zone for multiple countries and states? To add a zone for states and provinces across multiple countries, follow the same process as a zip code based zone but choose multiple states/provinces across countries, and select a country before choosing states or provinces.


Creating a Shipping Zone by Zip or Post Code

Shipping zones based on zip or postcodes represent the most specific geographic shipping areas that can be defined. They are especially useful for businesses that offer an In-Store Pickup shipping method. Postcodes include numbers and/or letters.

To create a zip/postcode based zone, click Add shipping zone and select Add a custom zone from the drop-down menu.

Fill in the form:

  • Name — an internal name for your zone. e.g. Travis County.
  • Type — choose Advanced, then select multiple postcodes
  • Country — select the appropriate country from the drop-down menu
  • Mutliple postcodes — Enter your postcodes, one per line. Do not separate by commas or add multiple postcodes on one line. Learn how you can use wildcards in your postcodes.

Click Submit when finished.


Using Wildcards in Postcodes

You can use wildcards to account for variation in how customers enter their postcodes.

An asterisk (*) can stand in place for multiple characters. For example, if you want to include all postcodes starting with 78, you can use 78*.

If you are concerned that your customers will enter postcodes in 9-digit format, enter them, then copy and paste a second set ending with -*. This will ensure that both formats are accepted.

Wildcard postcodes


Set up Shipping for the 'Rest of the World'

The "Rest of the World" shipping zone lets you provide shipping options to customers in all geographic regions that have not already been explicitly defined in other zones.

For instance, say you want to offer free shipping to all addresses within the United States, but still want to provide $10 flat rate shipping everywhere else in the world. A Rest of the World shipping zone allows you to do this easily and without having to specifically identify all those countries.

Click Add shipping zone, then Add the rest of the world. If you already have "Rest of the World" zone set up, you will not see this option.

Rest of the World Zone


Be careful! A Rest of the World shipping zone will allow a customer to complete checkout with any shipping address. Make sure this aligns with your overall business or shipping strategy before enabling it.


Shipping Methods: How you're shipping

A shipping method determines the shipping charge that a customer pays at checkout. It can be a fixed charge, like a $5 flat rate on all orders, or a dynamically calculated charge through a real-time shipping service based on the details of the shipment (e.g. weight, origin, destination).

Static Shipping Methods

To add a shipping method, click Configure or Edit next to the shipping zone you want to add a shipping method.

Edit Zone


Free Shipping

BigCommerce offers multiple ways to offer free shipping. Setting up free shipping in the Shipping Manager allows you to limit free shipping to a specific shipping zone, set a minimum purchase price to meet, and offer free shipping as an option in addition to other shipping methods. To learn about other methods of offering a free shipping discount, see Setting up Free Shipping.

To apply, toggle on the switch to the right of Free shipping. There will be a Free Shipping Options pop-up with the following options:

  • 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.

When finished, click Submit in the pop-up, then Done.

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


Can I change the display name for Free Shipping? 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.


Flat Rate Shipping

Flat rate shipping charges a fixed rate for shipping. It can be based on products in the order or the order as a whole.

You can offer as many flat rate methods as you want by duplicating them. This is useful for merchants who want to offer their own static cost for different delivery methods.

To learn more see Flat-Rate Shipping.


Ship By

This shipping method allows your store to use a preformatted table to determine how much to charge an order for shipping. A table may be based on the total weight of an order or the total sale price of the order. There are a few reasons why you might choose to use this method:

  • Your shipments are heavy and fall outside the weight limits imposed by real-time quote providers.
  • You want to charge shipping as a percentage of the order total.
  • You want complete control over how much to charge for each zone.

See Flat-Rate Shipping for more information.


Pickup In Store

This shipping method allows shoppers to elect to pick up their order at a physical store location. No charges are applied to this method, but you can add a handling fee. It is best to use this method in a custom shipping zone based on local zip codes. See Local or In-Store Pickup for more information.


Real-time Shipping Quotes

Real-Time Shipping Quote examples

Real-time shipping quotes are generated from shipping providers such as USPS, FedEx, UPS, Canada Post, Royal Mail and Australia Post. BigCommerce as integrated with these carriers to allow you to display the quotes at checkout.

This can be a benefit for both the merchant and shopper. As a merchant, you're able to ensure you don't lose any money when it comes time to purchase postage. Transparency in shipping costs helps to improve consumer confidence and assures shoppers they're not paying too much for shipping. Customers feel empowered by having access to a variety of shipping options — from low-cost ground delivery to premium, expedited fulfillment.

See Setting Up a 'Real Time Shipping Quote' Shipping Method for more information about setting up Real-time shipping quotes.



I have complicated shipping needs for my business. Is there a way to handle that on BigCommerce?

If your business requires more flexible shipping rate management, we recommend you try our integration with ShipperHQ. ShipperHQ offers advanced shipping capabilities such as setting up shipping groups if you have groups of products which need to be shipped differently or shipping from multiple locations if you're shipping from more than one origin.

How do I print shipping labels?

We've integrated with USPS by Endicia to give you the option to print USPS shipping labels directly from within the BigCommerce control panel. You can also use an app like ShipStation to print labels for other carriers such as USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, Australia Post, Canada Post, and much more.

How do I bypass shipping altogether?

If you have physical products, there is no way to bypass the shipping module. If you are selling a service, we recommend marking your products as downloadable rather than physical, which will allow your customers to pay without having to enter any shipping information. See Creating Downloadable Products for more details.

Why did a shopper receive a shipping error message?

This message will be shown to shoppers who attempt to check out using a shipping address that does not fall into one of your shipping zones or in a zone that does not have a shipping method. It can also appear when using a Ship by table if their order does not meet any of the ranges specified. For more information, see Changing the Shipping Error Message at Checkout.

What if real-time shipping quotes are not calculating quotes?

There could be several reasons why real-time shipping options do not show up at checkout. It may have to do with the limits of the carrier. If you are finding errors in the real-time shipping quotes, see Troubleshooting Real Time Shipping Quotes for more details.

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