Top 5 Automation Rules to Save Time & Money on Shipping



We know that most e-commerce retailers don’t have the luxury of a “one-size fits all” shipping process. Depending on where your package needs to ship, its weight, the customer-requested shipping speed, etc. you may need to adjust shipping settings or the fulfillment process for your order(s).  These intricacies to online shipping are inevitable, but often tedious and error-prone.

What if I told you ShipStation can automate almost any shipping-related task for your online store? It’s true! We’ve built automation rules—which are basically “If This, Then That” statements—into our app to help you get what you need done, without costing you a ton of grunt work and stressful mistakes.

What Are Automation Rules?

Automation rules are actions that you want to apply to a set of orders that meet a certain criteria. Here are some things you should know about ShipStation’s automation rules:

  • Only apply to newly imported orders
  • Take priority over Product Defaults and Service Mappings
  • Rules are hierarchical in nature and can be written to overwrite each other given certain circumstances (rules can be re-arranged by moving them up or down in the menu)
  • The activity tab on an order shows you which automation rules have applied to each order
  • Automation rules are different from settings, where you can choose settings for Customs Forms, default packing slips and more

Itching to get started? Here are five automation rules you can put to work now to save you time and money on shipping. Each rule begins with navigating to Settings and then Automation Rules in your account. Once there, click Create a Rule, and set them up like you see in the screenshots below.

Set orders to be sent via USPS First Class depending on weight

  • Criteria:
    • Country = United States
    • Weight = 16 ounces or less
  • Action:
    • Set Carrier/Service/Package = USPS First Class Mail/Package

Choose a default international shipping setting

  • Criteria:
    • Country ≠ United States
  • Action:
    • Set Carrier/Service/Package = USPS Priority Mail Int’l/Package
      (This could be whatever you wish to use to ship your packages, we’ve just used Priority Mail here as an example)

Insure international orders over $100

  • Criteria:
    • Country ≠ United States
    • Order Total ≥ $100
  • Action:
    • Insure the Package with Shipsurance

Include a return label with all outgoing orders

  • Criteria:
    • Every Order
  • Action:
    • Include a UPS Ground return label

Certain products ship out with specific shipping settings

This one needs a little bit of setup since we need to specify which products we want to send out with the specific shipping service. So, the first thing is to go to our products page and add a tag to the product(s) we want to single out.

Here, you can see we’ve added the “FedEx” tag to our large tank. Now, let’s make every order that comes in with that product in it ship via FedEx.

  • Criteria:
    • Order Tags include “FedEx”
  • Action:
    • Set Carrier/Service/Package = FedEx Ground/Package
      This, again, is only for this example, and you can do a multitude of actions with specific products.

These five rules can start saving you time and money today. They’re basic examples of the kinds of things you could set up for your orders. You can get more detailed information on automation rules and more on our knowledge base.

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