Importing Orders and Import Automations
So far, we’ve gone over how Shopify and ShipStation integrate with each other and how to connect carriers. Now, it’s time to learn how ShipStation can automatically apply shipping configurations to your orders when they import. This can save you a great deal of time and avoids a lot of common errors associated with manual entry. If you know which shipping service to use for an order just by looking at it, there’s not a reason to manually apply it. If there are conditions that can change that shipping service, those can be automated too. Finding ways to minimize the amount of time you spend shipping allows you to focus on business sectors that require more attention. While shipping is important, it’s not the most important part of your business. In this section, we’ll go over how automation makes shipping even simpler.
How to Set Up Shipping Import Automation in ShipStation
You don’t have to select the carrier and shipping service each time you want to ship an order in ShipStation. You can configure shipping parameters to automatically apply to your orders as soon as they import into ShipStation. The video below introduces and explains concepts like product defaults, product preset groups, service mapping, and automation rules. Setting these up may take a little time, but once you configure these settings, you’ll save tons of time on shipping.
Product Defaults and Product Preset Groups
When ShipStation automatically applies shipping services and other configurations to orders, the first thing it looks for are product defaults. These are configured on the product level in ShipStation. Product defaults allow you to apply product-specific shipping configurations to an order. You can configure for both domestic and international services on each of your product’s product defaults.
For instance, if you always ship a specific shirt out with USPS First Class Mail Thick Envelope, and it always weighs 6 oz, you can add that information to ShipStation’s product record. If you have multiple items that all fit the same size, weight, and dimensions, you can create a Product Preset Group to quickly apply this to multiple product records.
These will only apply the shipping configurations to an order if it is a single-item, single-quantity order. If you have multiple quantities of the item, or other items in the order, you would need to automate the shipping service based on an order-level setting. This is where service mappings and automation rules come in.
Service mappings reflect the shipping service you or the customer choose for their order at checkout. So if you set up a Shipping Profile in Shopify you can map the corresponding service within ShipStation.
For example, if you set up “Free” as a shipping option in Shopify and a customer selected it, this would import along with the order in ShipStation and be listed as the requested service. From here you could configure ShipStation to always apply First Class Mail to these orders.
Additionally, you can configure shipping presets on the store level. Simply go to the store settings and enter the service mappings you have set up in Shopify (or any other supported store) and enter the name of the store and the shipping service. You can learn more about setting this up on the service mapping help article.
Automation Rules have the most customization of any import automation process. They also apply last in the series of import automations, with product defaults, product presets, and shipping presets applying beforehand. So, make sure that you have your automation rules set up properly.
How Automation Rules Work
Automation rules are based on a criterion or set of criteria that you configure. For instance, any order weighing more than 5 lbs that’s going to a USPS zone of 6 may be less expensive with UPS than it is with USPS. You can set up your account to automatically apply UPS Ground to any order that meets these criteria. It would be set up like this:
If you wish to override any order import automation process, you can manually configure an order or you can apply a bulk action. As with automation rules, a wide array of things can be applied via a bulk update. Anything from putting an item on hold, to updating a shipping service, to assigning orders to different workers are all possible when applying a bulk action in ShipStation.