logo
Welcome to our new AbleCommerce forums. As a guest, you may view the information here. To post to this forum, you must have a registered account with us, either as a new user evaluating AbleCommerce or an existing user of the application. For all questions related to the older version of Gold and earlier, please go to forums.ablecommerce.com. Please use your AbleCommerce username and password to Login. Forums Registration.

Notification

Icon
Error

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
jeffr_ca  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, October 29, 2019 11:16:07 PM(UTC)
jeffr_ca

Rank: Member

Groups: Authorized User, Developers
Joined: 1/7/2019(UTC)
Posts: 18

Thanks: 1 times
I'm trying to establish a shipping configuration to allow free shipping on only some items in our catalog. In prior versions of AC, we used a "Free Shipping Warehouse" and assigned that warehouse to products that were supposed to ship at no charge in all cases. It works except that if a free shipping product and charged shipping products were ordered at the same time, you would get two Shipments for the customer to specify methods and also have two shipments in the order processing queue.

With AC9, I was hoping that Shipping Groups might provide improvements to achieving the same results but I'm having difficulty making it work as I envisioned. Consider the following for simplicity:
1. All products ship from one warehouse.
2. Most products have shipping charged with some method (flat rate, variable by weight, order value, etc.)
3. Some items in the catalog ship for Free in all cases whether they are ordered alone or if they are ordered with other charged shipping products

I've set up a "Always Ships Free" Method.
I've also set up a "Ships Free" Shipping Group.
I have set the "Always Ships Free" Method to the "Ships Free" Group, as shown in attached.

Free_Shipping_Setup01.JPG (51kb) downloaded 2 time(s).

I have taken one of the products and assigned "Ships Free" shipping group to it, while other products in the catalog have "Ships Standard" as their only Shipping Group.
Free_Shipping_Setup02.JPG (64kb) downloaded 2 time(s).

With the above configuration, if the "Ships Free" product is alone in the cart, it works.
If other "Ships Standard" products are alone in the cart, they work.
But if we have a mix of "Ships Free" & "Ships Standard" in the cart, we get a message saying "No shipping methods are available for the current items and/or the given destination."

I suspect this error is a condition of the notation on Shipping Groups warning "For products using multiple ship groups, only the common shipping methods will be available, so make sure to provide overlapping shipping methods where possible." In our configuration, there would be no overlapping shipping methods.

If I add the "Ships Standard" group to our Free Shipping product the cart will then calculate a shipping rate, but the rate increases according to the value/properties of this product that should ship for free (or no additional shipping charge).

What I'm trying to find out is whether the desired configuration is possible at all or if we will need to revert back to the "Free Shipping Warehouse" technique? Or am I missing out on something with the Shipping Group intended usage?

Thanks for your guidance!

-Jeff

Wanna join the discussion?! Login to your AbleCommerce Forums forum account. Forums Registration.

katie_able_support  
#2 Posted : Thursday, October 31, 2019 3:47:20 PM(UTC)
katie_able_support

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Developers, Registered, HelpDesk, System
Joined: 10/29/2018(UTC)
Posts: 74

Thanks: 2 times
Was thanked: 4 time(s) in 3 post(s)
Hi Jeff,

I think the answer largely depends on how you wish to present the shipping options page, but if I understand, there are products that will only ship free. I know you'd like to show them all in the same shipment, but the only way you could do that is by changing the shipping weight to 0 and using your own calculated shipping rates matrix that would allow them to be part of the shipment calculation without increasing the amount.

I don't think the above idea is a very good approach though.

If it were me, I would go back to using the Free Warehouse like you had in the prior version. There is a change on the retail side so it will group multiple items in the same shipment with the Free shipping method option. All other items will be in their own shipment with the available paid shipping option.

And remember, that we have improved the order admin so you can reform your shipments and recalculate them if needed.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Katie

Thanks for your support!
Katie
jeffr_ca  
#3 Posted : Thursday, October 31, 2019 4:00:35 PM(UTC)
jeffr_ca

Rank: Member

Groups: Authorized User, Developers
Joined: 1/7/2019(UTC)
Posts: 18

Thanks: 1 times
Thanks for your help Katie... I had considered the zero weight scenario and maybe that could still work...I'll give it a look and worst case scenario we go back to the Free Shipping Warehouse.

Do you have an example of where Shipping Groups would be used? That might help us better understand situations where we can take advantage.

Thanks again!

-Jeff
judy at Web2Market  
#4 Posted : Friday, November 1, 2019 6:17:17 AM(UTC)
judy at Web2Market

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: HelpDesk, Developers
Joined: 11/7/2018(UTC)
Posts: 60

Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Katie, One thing several merchants were hoping was that the new shipping configuration would not allow for not having to split free shipping products to a separate warehouse- that it would combine them into the same shipment as other products, but not charge shipping. Will this ever be possible?
katie_able_support  
#5 Posted : Friday, November 1, 2019 7:29:55 AM(UTC)
katie_able_support

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Developers, Registered, HelpDesk, System
Joined: 10/29/2018(UTC)
Posts: 74

Thanks: 2 times
Was thanked: 4 time(s) in 3 post(s)
Hi Judy,

Please check the changes we made on the shipping page w.r.t. display of grouping. The free products are all together in the same shipment with the free shipping method. I believe in Gold, they would each be listed separately.

The difficulty arises when you have product weights combined with real time shipping methods. The shipping gateway is expecting a valid weight for the items being sent in for calculation of the shipment. If you weren't going to use real time shipping, then it can be accomplished with a 0 weight product.

When you have a situation where a product is very unique and can only ship with certain methods, then using the warehouse is still the best way to go. This is where we made improvements to how the shipments are grouped and displayed on the shipping option page.

I'll be working on this section of the documentation guide next. Hopefully, it will clear things up with working examples.

Thanks
Katie
Thanks for your support!
Katie
Joe Payne @ AbleMods LLC  
#6 Posted : Friday, November 1, 2019 8:28:44 AM(UTC)
Joe Payne @ AbleMods LLC

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Developers
Joined: 11/9/2018(UTC)
Posts: 37

Thanks: 4 times
Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)
The general concept of Shipping Groups comes from the need that certain products cannot be shipped via specific shipping methods. So the store admin needs a way to restrict what ship methods become available during checkout when those items are present.

For example: USPS might accept a can of varnish for shipment, but UPS Ground will not. So you would set the product to a ship group that is assigned to the USPS Priority Mail ship method. By connecting the product to the ship method via a common 'group', you can then start to tailor specific shipping scenarios. At that point the checkout page will then only offer the shipping methods that are common to all items in the basket based on those ship group assignments.

One thing that's important for ship groups is you should have at least one shipping method that is NOT assigned to any ship group. This would be your catch-all ship method. Without it, certain basket item combinations might result in no shipping methods available to the shopper at all. So you definitely need a catch-all ship method.

In terms of handling 'free shipping' scenarios, ship groups isn't really designed to help for the reasons mentioned above.

thanks 1 user thanked Joe Payne @ AbleMods LLC for this useful post.
katie_able_support on 11/1/2019(UTC)
jeffr_ca  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 11:45:57 PM(UTC)
jeffr_ca

Rank: Member

Groups: Authorized User, Developers
Joined: 1/7/2019(UTC)
Posts: 18

Thanks: 1 times
I've done a bit more testing on the new Shipping Groups and have a good idea now where they will be useful. Joe, your explanation helped here.

Katie, the sorting of the Free Shipping Warehouse items in the cart for easier identification looks good. It does still set up a second shipment that the admin would merge into the primary shipment if appropriate.

However, simplicity that Judy mentioned and that I was searching for aren't really improved. There actually appears to be some complications for upgraded product databases because in AC9 shipping Methods cannot be assigned to a specific warehouse (like a Free Shipping Warehouse) the way they were in AC7, etc.

Instead, it appears that you must assign a Free Shipping method into a Shipping Group, which in turn is specified in the Product in conjunction with specifying "Free Shipping Warehouse" to get things working.

I might still be missing something here that I'll keep testing, but I've run into a couple configurations where the shipping options presented aren't as desired.

One of them is where let's say you have an item that ships free if it meets a $20.00 minimum. For that item you create a "Free Shipping Over $20" method. Assign that method to a "Allow Free Shipments Group" and assign that shipping group to the Product. You assign this product to the "Free Shipping Warehouse". We are using real-time shipping calculations so we cannot use a 0.00 weight for the product, otherwise we won't get any rates.
FreeShippingProduct.JPG (45kb) downloaded 1 time(s).


If the tally for this item is over $20 and there are other items in the order, you get two shipments presented, one of which is "Free". This is good and is easy for the customer to choose the options. It is clear that the customer will pay shipping for some items but others ship for no charge. This is quite nice and looks good...the customer could optionally "speed up" their free items if they wish...
FreeShippingWarehouseOK.JPG (75kb) downloaded 2 time(s).

But in a case where the tally of the item is less than $20.00, because this product is isolated in the "Free Shipping Warehouse", it still creates an extra, redundant shipment when it would be desired to have it merged with the first shipment at a lower incremental cost. The customer may abandon the order at this point or is forced to select the extra shipping cost option that admin will need to merge & override with a message back to the customer. AC9 behaves the same in this situation as prior releases. Is there any other method that we could use to improve this customer experience?
FreeShippingWarehouseExtraCharge.JPG (72kb) downloaded 2 time(s).

Edited by user Wednesday, November 6, 2019 11:48:24 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

katie_able_support  
#8 Posted : Thursday, November 14, 2019 8:18:12 AM(UTC)
katie_able_support

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Developers, Registered, HelpDesk, System
Joined: 10/29/2018(UTC)
Posts: 74

Thanks: 2 times
Was thanked: 4 time(s) in 3 post(s)
Quote:
One thing several merchants were hoping was that the new shipping configuration would not allow for not having to split free shipping products to a separate warehouse- that it would combine them into the same shipment as other products, but not charge shipping. Will this ever be possible?


I had opened an issue report, but it's still waiting on feedback from a developer. It may be still be possible...let me see what I can find out.
Thanks for your support!
Katie
jeffr_ca  
#9 Posted : Thursday, November 14, 2019 8:31:07 AM(UTC)
jeffr_ca

Rank: Member

Groups: Authorized User, Developers
Joined: 1/7/2019(UTC)
Posts: 18

Thanks: 1 times
Thanks Katie...it would really be helpful and save lots of configuration and admin effort.

-Jeff
Users browsing this topic
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.