How To Create A Shopify Shipping Policy [Tutorial + Template]
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes.
Customers are happier when they know what to expect, and adding a shipping policy to your Shopify store helps to manage those expectations.
If you do it right, your shipping policy can act as a highly effective sales tool - at once making a commitment about your service, and letting customers know what happens with their items after they click that buy button.
A clear and concise shipping policy benefits both parties. Customers will feel confident that their purchase is covered, and if you receive a shipping complaint, the policy can act as insurance to protect your business.
It’s easy to set up your shipping policy on Shopify, and in this article, we’ll show you just how to do it.
We’ll also help you increase your conversion rates by providing guidance on how to make your policy more enticing to customers.
In this article on creating a Shopify shipping policy:
Table of Contents
Ready to get your business shipshape?
What’s Included in a Shopify Shipping Policy?
What you include in your shipping policy could influence your customers' purchasing decisions.
And what, exactly, influences purchase decisions? According to a 2018 report by Walker Sands on the future of retail, 74% of consumers cite free shipping as their biggest deciding factor.
Customers also mention the following factors as concerns in the decision-making process:
- Whether returns or exchanges are free.
- Shipping times.
So it’s clear that shipping processes can have a lot of influence over a purchase. With this in mind, let’s take a look at what your Shopify shipping policy should include.
What should a shipping policy include?
- National and international
- Shipping costs
- Shipping methods
- Estimated shipping time
- Shipping restrictions
- What qualifies (if anything at all): minimum spend, or shipping zone?
- Explain your tracking method/s
Duty tax for overseas orders
- Outline additional taxes for international orders
Order processing times
- Does order processing begin when the order is placed or fulfilled?
- Does it exclude weekends or holidays?
- Is there a daily cut-off time?
- Explain the procedure if a customer wants to pick up their item from a physical store
Missing or lost packages
- Explain the procedure when an item is missing
- Explain the procedure for lost packages
Having a shipping FAQ can:
- Reduce the quantity of shipping-related queries
- Quickly answer customer questions
- Will it arrive with your branding, or that of a third party?
- Cut-off time for changing or canceling orders
- Change of order procedure
Optionally, you can add your return policy into your shipping policy, or keep it separate.
Your return policy
- An outline of if and when items can be returned.
- The return procedure.
- Whether items can be exchanged.
- The exchange procedure.
- Return or exchange costs, either to you or the customer.
Your shipping policy will generally be a one-pager, and that’s a lot to fit in. Narrowing down the content will depend on the products or services you’re selling, and your shipping strategy. You may want to make a separate page for returns and exchanges.
How you present the information is just as important as the information itself - there’s no point in having a show-stopping shipping policy if nobody can navigate it. The use of bullet points and tables may make it easier for your customers to scan over information to find what they’re looking for.
To give you some ideas, let’s look at some shipping policy examples from existing Shopify stores.
Shopify shipping policy examples
You can gain a firmer grasp on what a good shipping policy looks like by analyzing the shipping policy content of other Shopify stores, especially those of your competitors.
You’ll also need to decide on what type of layout style you’d prefer for your shipping policy, because how your customers read is important.
Shopify shipping policy example 1: Love Billy
Your shipping policy could start with an FAQ section, adding links for customers to find more information.
The goal here is to answer customer shipping queries as quickly as possible so they can return to their cart in seconds. Below is an example of this:
Shopify shipping policy example 2: Kigurumi
If your products are received in packaging which could be unexpected for the customer, explain this front and center in your shipping policy. Below is an example of this.
Shopify shipping policy example 3: Your Super
Your Super ships to multiple countries, so their shipping policy has a lot of details included to ensure that everyone is covered. In this case, the return policy can be found in a separate link.
The first line explains what customers need to do to qualify for free shipping, and the neat grid layout categorizes a lot of information into an easy-to-read format.
Shopify shipping policy example 4: Ernest Alexander
This is an example of quickly answering common queries. Customers can scroll to find further information on the shipping and return policies, and the grid format organizes details concisely.
Shopify shipping policy 5: Tattly
Your shipping policy could be located on your store’s product pages. This way, your customers can check the shipping details during their decision-making process.
Shopify shipping policy templates
These templates can give you an idea of how to structure your Shopify shipping policy.
Once you’ve picked one that suits your requirements best, you’ll need to amend the content to outline your policies in your own words.
Here are some template options in different formats:
Shopify shipping policy template:
ShipBob Shopify shipping template:
Easyship Shopify shipping template:
Termsfeed Shopify shipping template:
- Termsfeed’s DOCX shipping policy template.
- Termsfeed’s shipping policy template as a Google Doc.
- PDF version of Termsfeed’s shipping policy template.
When you’re happy with your content, copy and paste the template into the Shopify shipping policy generator located in your Shopify admin. We’ll show you how to do this next.
How To Add A Shipping Policy to Your Shopify Store
In your Shopify admin click Settings > Legal.
Copy and paste your amended shipping policy and click Save.
If you’d like to change the formatting or add images and links, use the rich text editor.* Find out more from Shopify’s help center on how to use the rich text editor.*
By default, the shipping policy link will be located at the bottom of the product and shopping cart pages.
For a visual guide, watch the video below on how to generate a Shopify shipping policy and how to make your shipping policy link appear elsewhere on your website:
If you’d like to update or change your shipping policy, you can follow the same navigation when setting up your store policies and amend the details.
When to update your Shopify shipping policy
To avoid customer complaints or cancellations, you’ll need to act quickly and update your shipping policy as soon as an occurrence happens that may cause interruptions to your usual shipping service.
Like for example, during the global COVID-19 shipping delays.
Outline in your terms what customers should expect, such as:
- Potential service interruptions.
- Orders taking longer to arrive.
- When you’re expecting to get back to normal.
Overall, a well-thought-out shipping policy equates to informed customers and can take the load off when it comes to handling customer queries or complaints.
Be Informed About Your Finances And Save Time With A2X
Wouldn’t you like to be as informed about what’s going on with the health of your business as your customers are with a shipping policy?
A2X fills the gap between your Shopify account and your cloud accounting software for accurate and automated bookkeeping.
Your Shopify bank deposits can represent numerous line items that aren’t always detailed for you in your settlement statements, meaning lots of manual calculations and data entry. A2X fills this gap, doing all the legwork and posting journal summaries of your bank deposits to your accounting software.
Your books are neat, tidy and organized via the accrual method for the best and most reliable forecasting numbers.
Accurate ecommerce accounting without the fuss.
Shopify Shipping Policy FAQ
Here you can find some answers to the top questions on Shopify shipping policies. If you require further information, visit the Shopify Help Center.
Do you need a shipping policy?
No, you are not legally required to outline your shipping policies on your Shopify store. However, a shipping policy builds trust between your store and your customers, which may increase your store’s conversion rate and can reduce the time you spend responding to common queries.
What do you write in a shipping policy?
Your shipping policy should include concise information about what your customer can expect after placing an order which you’ll be able to realistically fulfill.
It can be made up of text, grids, or images that cover details on shipping zones, shipping costs, order processing times, procedures and outcomes for various circumstances, and much more.
If you’d like to learn more about creating your Shopify shipping policy, you’ll find the details in our guide above.
How do I create a shipping policy on Shopify?
In your Shopify admin click Settings > Legal. Copy and paste your shipping policy, click Create from template and amend, or create a shipping policy from scratch. Click Save to add the policy onto your Shopify store.
Also on the blog
- The A2X Shopify Accounting Hub
- Guide to Shopify Fulfilment Network
- How to Remove ‘Powered by Shopify’ from Your Store
- The Definitive Guide to Shopify Accounting
- Buyers’ Guide to Shopify Automation
- How to Drive Traffic to Your Shopify Store
Ready to get started?
Save time, work smarter and get reliable Amazon and Shopify financials you can trust, in a matter of minutes.