Setting up Shipping Zones

The Shipping Zones feature allows you to offer your customers shipping rates based on their South African postal code. This feature can be used on bidorbuy, Shopify or both.  The below tutorial details how to set up the feature on both platforms.

  1. What are Shipping Zones?
  2. Enabling Shipping Zones
  3. Setting up Shipping Zones in uAfrica
  4. Setting up uAfrica Shipping Zones in Shopify
  5. Setting up uAfrica Shipping Zones on bidorbuy
  6. PLEASE NOTE: We do not support Shipping Zones on WooCommerce and you will have to set up your shipping rates on WooCommerce directly.

What are Shipping Zones?

In terms of location, Shopify shipping only allows you to charge your customer shipping costs based on province. Of course, this is not ideal as the couriers will charge you based on local, main centre or regional areas, which could all fall within one province. Ideally, you would like to charge your customer based on whether their address is classified as a local, main centre or regional. And this is exactly what uAfrica Shipping Zones allow you to do.

uAfrica Shipping Zones allows you to specify shipping rates and service levels according to your customer’s South African postcode. In a similar way to how couriers charge you according to zones and service levels, Shipping Zones can be configured according to your own custom zones and service levels and then you’re able to create rates based on product weight and/or price. The default zones include Local, Main Centre and Regional and you can then create different rates and service levels to each of those zones. When a customer enters their postcode at checkout, the system classifies that particular postcode into the respective shipping zone that you created and presents the rate for the corresponding zone.

For example: Your store is based in Cape Town and you sell a product to a customer in Kathu in the Northern Cape. Your customer proceeds through checkout and enters the postcode 8446. The Shipping Zones feature then looks up the postcode and classifies it as a Regional area, displaying the rate that you have set up for the Regional zone.

Shipping Zones is also customisable, allowing you to edit zones, add zones and even classify postcodes into different zones. This gives you more granular control of your shipping rates presented to customers.

Enabling Shipping Zones

Before you start setting up your Shipping Zones in uAfrica, you need to enable Shipping Zones on your various Sales Channels.

Enabling Shipping Zones on Shopify:

If you would like to use Shipping Zones on Shopify, you will need to have the “Real-Time Carrier Rates” functionality activated on your Shopify plan.  

This functionality is available to the “Advanced Shopify” plan holders by default. However, you can add this functionality to your plan in one of two ways:

  1. You can pay an additional $20 per month for the functionality, or
  2. You can lock into an annual Shopify subscription; you will receive a 10% discount on the subscription and the carrier rates functionality will be added for free.

In order to activate the functionality, you need to speak to the team at Shopify.  They can be reached on (012) 940-1069 or by going to their support page and doing a web chat.

Once you have the “Real-Time Carrier Rates” activated on your Shopify store, log into uAfrica and click on the “Shipping Zones” tab. In the secondary tab, select “Settings” and make sure your Shopify channel is Enabled.

Enabling Shipping Zones on bidorbuy:

To enable Shipping Zones on bidorbuy, you’ll need to first install the bidorbuy channel.  

Then click on the “Shipping Zones” tab and select “Settings”. You need to ensure that your bidorbuy channel is Enabled.  This will push your customised rates to bidorbuy in the “Payments and Shipping” tab, underneath your product image and price information on bidorbuy.

When customers view your products on bidorbuy, they can add their suburb and postal code to find out the shipping rate you will charge to their area.  When they checkout, this rate will appear again, once they have added their shipping address.

Setting up Shipping Zones in uAfrica

The Shipping Zones feature allows you to offer your customers shipping rates based on their South African postal code. This feature can be used on bidorbuy, Shopify or both. The below tutorial details how to set up the feature on both platforms:

When you log into uAfrica, click on the “Shipping Zones” tab at the top of the screen. It is VERY IMPORTANT to note that the rates given on this page are sample rates, are not real and need to be customised according to own shipping rates.

The first step is to create Service Levels; you will find this in the secondary tab. Service Levels give your customers an indication of how long the goods will take to get to them (for example; economy, overnight or same-day delivery).  On the “Service Level” page, you can create, edit and delete the service levels you would like to offer your customers. Once these are set up, you can customise the rates for each service level you offer.

Next, you need to edit the Rates. To edit the rates, click on the blue link on the left of the screen, then edit the rate on the right of the screen.  You can edit the minimum and maximum weight, the minimum and maximum order price and the shipping rate price. You can also assign the rate to a specific Service Level and Zone.

In the backend of the uAfrica platform, there is a postal code CSV file that links your rates to Zones.  Make sure that you are using the correct zone file based on where you are in South Africa – we have files for most main cities around the country. To locate these files, click on the “Shipping Zones” tab and then on “Zones” in the secondary tab.

This video tutorial will show you how to set up your Shipping Zones in uAfrica.

Setting up uAfrica Shipping Zones in Shopify

Ensure that your Shipping Zones are set up in your Shopify store as well:

  1. Log into your Shopify admin dashboard.
  2. Click on the “Settings” tab, then on “Shipping and Delivery”.
  3. Then select “Manage Rates”.
  4. Under the “Shipping to” section, make sure to delete all the rates under the “Your Rate” tab. Do this by clicking on the hamburger menu and selecting “Delete”.
  5. Next, ensure that sure that “uAfrica Shipping Zones” is activated on the second tab, “Carrier and app rates”.
  6. If it is not there, simply click on “Add rate”, select the “Use carrier or app to calculate rates” option and add “uAfrica Shipping Zones (Rates provided by app)”.

Setting up uAfrica Shipping Zones on bidorbuy

When you click the button to enable Shipping Zones on bidorbuy, the system automatically replaces the shipping rates on bidorbuy.
However, to manually enable the Shipping Zones on bidorbuy, the merchant has to select uAfrica under “Package” section.

  1. Log into your bidorbuy account and select “Sell an item” from the dropdown menu.
  2. Next, complete the order information.
  3. Once you are on the “Shipping” section, change the delivery type.
  4. Select either the “uAfrica Shipping Zones” package or add a new package type.