Handling Shipping Methods

The hardest part of CSV configuration tends to be how it will work when there are multiple shipping groups in the cart. With ProductMatrix it matches rates based on the Shipping Method field. So if you have more than one shipping group in the cart and are offering 2 shipping options it will attempt to push the rates together using the Shipping Method.

Handling Multiple Shipping Methods using Same Names

The simplest way of handling multiple delivery types is to ensure that each shipping group has at least one shipping type in common.

Let’s take a simple example to show this:

  1. BOOKS and CDs in the cart
  2. Offering Ground and Express Shipping to US
  3. International will be via International Standard

We ensure that rates can be obtained by making the shipping methods the same for both shipping groups.

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 17.49.38

Handling Multiple Shipping Methods using Alternative Namings

There are ways to change what is displayed depending on what is in the cart. For example we might want to say display Ground when BIKES are in the cart, 2nd Day Air when ACCESSORIES are in the cart, but display just Ground when BIKES & ACCESSORIES are in the cart. Productmatrix supports this configuration.

Previous to release Productmatrix version 17.x this was handled using priorities. If you are still on this release then see the screencast here for setup. If you are only 17.x or above then a new simpler mechanism has been created that uses the algorithm field to specify the alternative delivery types for a particular rate.

Taking the above example let’s take a look at how this is configured. We have cut down the columns in the csv file for clarity.

Country Shipping Group Algorithm Shipping Price Shipping Method
USA BIKES * 50 Ground
USA ACCESSORIES alt=Ground 15 Next Day

Here we are saying:

  • BIKES to USA shipping for $50 Ground
  • ACCESSORIES ship for $15 via Next Day
  • Iff both BIKES and ACCESSORIES are in the cart the customer would see ‘Ground’ as the shipping method, with the price either being $65 or $50 (depending on if we choose the totalling algorithm as highest or sum of totals).

You can specify multiple alternatives using comma as the separator e.g. alt=Ground,Pickup Only.

Further Examples

The website sells Large and Standard items. Large items go via Courier, standard items go via First Class or Second Class Mail.

When using Product Matrix and they have both products in the cart no rates are shown. How do they resolve this?


In Product Matrix you have to define how shipping works when there are multiple Delivery Types being used. Otherwise it won’t know how to combine the rates together.

There are 2 questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. What needs to be displayed when both shipping groups are in the cart?
  2. Can I just use the same delivery type for the shipping groups?

If you can run with the same delivery type this is by far the simplest solution, just change to show Courier instead of 1st Class.

But in this scenario the customer has specified that if only Standard then show 1st, 2nd Class, if both then the Large Delivery Type takes precedence, so we want to display Courier.

This is achieved by using the ALT= logic. Here is the configuration:



ALT= will come into play if the Delivery Type cannot be matched across Shipping Groups. It will look at the alternate delivery type (in order of sequence of entry) and determine if it can match on them.

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