SparkLayer offers two ways to manage your B2B shipping:
- 1.Using Shopify shipping: you can use your pre-existing shipping methods as set up on your Shopify store, even if you're using a third-party app to manage this (such as Intuitive Shipping). This is useful if you want to keep your shipping configuration within Shopify and/or you have complex shipping requirements
- 2.Using custom shipping via SparkLayer: you can use SparkLayer to set your own B2B shipping rules that you can vary based on the B2B customer group. This is useful if you're running B2C and B2B on the same store and you want a simple way to differentiate your B2C versus B2B shipping rules.
Out of the box, SparkLayer uses the Shopify shipping setup. If you need help with setup, we recommend reading their guide here or contacting Shopify support. Shopify live shipping rates or apps which provide shipping rules can also be used and the information will be pulled through.
Shopify has limitations in how shipping can be customised meaning that it's not possible natively to vary Shopify shipping methods and rules based on different customer types. For example, you may want a special 'B2B shipping method' to show when a B2B customer starts the checkout process.
The solution to this is to use a recommended Shopify app to achieve the desired effect.
The app works by allowing you to set up special shipping rates and rules based on customer tags. For example, when a B2B customer signs in (i.e. one assigned with a customer tag of
b2b), their specific B2B shipping methods can then be applied successfully.
You may want to change the shipping charges after the order is placed. If orders are left as drafts within Shopify or the customer uses the 'Request a Quote' payment option, it's possible to adjust the shipping rate to a custom amount. You can learn how this works here. This means that you could technically allow customers to select your standard Shopify shipping methods and then simply edit the shipping amount once they've placed an order.
When a customer adds items to an order, the SparkLayer Frontend will automatically display their shipping rates as defined in your Shopify Shipping admin, giving them an accurate overview of their order cost. The user-journey works as follows:
- 1.The customer adds products to their order
- 2.When they're ready to checkout, they select their preferred shipping address
- 3.On the summary screen, they'll then be given their available shipping method to select (as you've set up within your Shopify shipping admin)
- 4.One they select a shipping method, they'll be given their final total, including tax
Shopify allows merchants to enable a special shipping method called 'local pickup' that allows customers to choose a store (or location) to pick their order up from. If you're using this feature on your Shopify store, unfortunately SparkLayer doesn't yet have direct support.
An alternative that can work for merchants is to simply create a new shipping method within Shopify called 'Local pickup' that allows B2B customers to select during the checkout process on SparkLayer. Setting this up works just the same way as you would do when creating/editing other shipping methods with Shopify. Simply go to the shipping admin (
yourstore.myshopify.com/admin/settings/shipping) and follow the steps to create a new shipping method and associated rates.
Once added, this will then display within the SparkLayer interface.
SparkLayer has support for a variety of different shipping rules, allowing you to offer your B2B customers customised shipping rates that will show when they place an order on your website. To get started, within the SparkLayer Dashboard go to Configuration and click Shipping and you'll see the Shipping section.
Within your eCommerce platform, it's likely that you already have a variety of Shipping Rates set up. The Shipping section within SparkLayer is designed to replicate this set up ensuring that shipping rates synchronise correctly between systems.
For example, your backend system may have a shipping rate set up whereby customers from the United Kingdom get free shipping when spending over £100. Within SparkLayer, this exact rule can be replicated allowing the customer to have a seamless experience when using the SparkLayer Frontend and using the checkout.
Broadly speaking, when configuring your shipping it's important to understand the following terminologies:
To create your first Shipping Method, click the Create new method button and you'll then see the following screen:
Once you've completed this information, you'll then be prompted to Save your changes and then begin adding Shipping Bands
Shipping bands let you define rules for the shipping method you've just created, allowing you to create different charges based on criteria being met. Currently, SparkLayer has support for:
- Shipping bands based on order total (NET)
- Shipping bands based on order weight (in grams)
Click Add new band to get started and you'll then see the following screen:
For example, if you're looking to set up a shipping band that charges £20 for orders under £99, this would look like the following:
Whether you're using the Shopify shipping methods or custom methods via SparkLayer, once you've created your Shipping Methods and assigned Shipping Bands, you will then see these reflected in the SparkLayer Quick Order and checkout process.
We recommend trialling a few scenarios during your testing to make sure the shipping methods display as required.