How Shipping Rates Work

Shipping Rates for Scheduled Orders are managed and powered by your connected QPilot Site.  Shipping Rates for Scheduled Orders are not part of your WooCommerce Shipping Rates and do not apply to the WooCommerce Cart or Checkout.

Merchants can create and manage Shipping Rates in their connected QPilot Site or when logged into the WordPress Admin ( WP-Admin > Autoship Cloud > Shipping Rates ).

3 Important Features of Shipping Rates

  1. Automated: Also known as "frictionless", Shipping Rates for Scheduled Orders will automatically recalculate and automatically apply each time a Scheduled Order is created or updated.   This automation removes the "friction" from Shipping Rates, so that customers always receive the best Shipping Rate possible - even when making a change to an upcoming Scheduled Order!
  2. Matched to Specific Scheduled Order Conditions: Merchants can create different conditions for each Shipping Rate that must be matched by a Scheduled Order in order to be applied.  When a Shipping Rate matches the conditions of a Scheduled Order, this is called an "Available" Shipping Rate for the Scheduled Order. Many different conditions are possible, and the most common conditions are:
    • Shipping Address
    • Product Shipping Class
    • Minimum Subtotal
    • Minimum Item Quantity
    • Minimum Cycles
  3. Optimized for Lowest Cost: Deliver a great customer experience and always apply the lowest cost Shipping Rate to Scheduled Orders - automatically!  When more than 1 Shipping Rate matches with a Scheduled Order (in other words, more than 1 Shipping Rate is Available), the lowest cost Shipping Rate will be applied.  The Shipping Rate that both matches the Scheduled Order and is the lowest cost is displayed as the "Default" Shipping Rate.

Shipping Rates Are Only Applied to Scheduled Orders

This means that the Shipping Rates you create (in WP-Admin > Autoship Cloud > Shipping Rates) to apply to Scheduled Orders are completely independent of the WooCommerce shipping rates that you create to apply to an Order in the cart/checkout.

For example, many stores will offer a "Free Shipping" Flat Rate or "Low Cost" Flat Rate exclusively to their Autoship Customers in order to incentivize their loyalty and recurring orders with Autoship.  A Shipping Rate for Scheduled Orders is only applied to your Autoship Customer's Scheduled Orders, so it will not affect any of the shipping rates offered at cart/checkout.

Pro Tip! If you do want to offer a Free Shipping rate to Customers in the WooCommerce Cart/Checkout when they opt in to Autoship, the Autoship Cloud powered by QPilot plugin does provide a special option for this!  Learn more about this option here.

How a Shipping Rate Is Automatically Applied to a Scheduled Order

A Shipping Rate is automatically applied to a Scheduled Order when it matches a cascading set of rules that are defined on the Shipping Rate. 

This is done in 3 validation steps:

1. A Shipping Rate is validated by matching Scheduled Order and Product(s) data

Each Shipping Rate is configured with rules that are validated to match a Scheduled Order’s data like Minimum Cycles and Minimum Subtotal, as well as Product data like Quantity, Weight, and Shipping Classes.

2. A Shipping Rate is validated by matching the Shipping Address of the Scheduled Order

Each Shipping Rate is validated to match a Scheduled Order’s Shipping Address by searching for a match for country, state, city and postcode combination.

3. Matching Shipping Rates are filtered by following an order of "specificity" to see if they are available and can be applied to a Scheduled Order

This means that the more specific a Shipping Rate's rules are (for Address, Product Shipping Class, Product Dimensions, Minimum Subtotal, etc.), then it will be considered an "Available" Shipping Rate and will be selected over other less specific matching Shipping Rate/s.

How Shipping Address matching works from the most specific match to less specific match:

  • First, a match is searched for the country, state, city, street address and postcode combination (Shipping Rates which have country, state, city, street address and postcode defined)
  • If none is found, a match is searched for the country, state, city and postcode combination (Shipping Rates which have only country, state, city, and postcode defined)
  • If none is found, a match is searched for the country, state and city combination (Shipping Rates which have only country, state and city defined)
  • If none is found, a match is searched for country and state combination (Shipping Rates which have only country and state defined)
  • If none is found, a match is searched for country and postcode combination (Shipping Rates which have only country and postcode defined)
  • If none is found, a match is searched for the country (Shipping Rates which have only country defined)

How the "Default" Shipping Rate is Automatically Applied to Each Scheduled Order

When all available Shipping Rates have been determined for a Scheduled Order, the Shipping Rate that is the lowest cost will be labeled as "Default" and automatically applied to the Scheduled Order.

When more than 1 Shipping Rate can be applied to a Scheduled Order, they are displayed within a dropdown of Available Shipping Rates.

If no Shipping Rates are available for the Scheduled Order, the Scheduled Order fails ( processing error #1002).  This error occurs when there is no Shipping Rate found for the Scheduled Order.

Refreshing Available Shipping Rates for a Scheduled Order

When making changes to a Scheduled Order's shipping address or products, the available Shipping Rates can be refreshed & updated by selecting the "Refresh" button next to the Shipping Rates field. 

Follow these steps to refresh & update the available Shipping Rates for a Scheduled Order:

  1. Edit a Scheduled Order
  2. Select the "Refresh" button next to the Shipping Rates for the Scheduled Order
  3. All available Shipping Rates will appear with the "Default" rate automatically labeled and applied

Overriding the "Default" Shipping Rate with Another Available Shipping Rate

When the "Default" Shipping Rate is not the preferred available Shipping Rate, Merchants can override the "Default" Shipping Rate by selecting another Shipping Rate that is available to the Scheduled Order.

To override the "Default" Shipping Rate with another available Shipping Rate:

  1. Edit a Scheduled Order
  2. Go to the "Shipping Rate" Section 
    1. The total number of available Shipping Rates are displayed in parenthesis ()
  3. Select the "Refresh" button next to the Shipping Rate, to update the available Shipping Rates for the Scheduled Order
  4. Select a different Shipping Rate to apply to the Scheduled Order
    1. The cost for each available Shipping Rate is displayed in parenthesis () after each Shipping Rate's name
  5. Confirm your change by selecting "UPDATE"
  6. When reviewing a Scheduled Order from the Scheduled Orders page, the new Shipping Rate name will appear within the "Shipping Method" column for the Scheduled Order

Important: only other available Shipping Rates can be selected.  An available Shipping Rate may cost more than the "Default" Shipping Rate, but it must also match with the Scheduled Order's shipping address, product restrictions (like shipping class), and other shipping rate conditions.

In the example below, a Merchant selects a different available Shipping Rate to override the "Default" Shipping Rate.

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