Create A Blended Rate

This guide is for those using the New version of Intuitive Shipping. If you’re using the Legacy version of the app, go here.

Not sure which version you’re using? Find out here.

You can use Intuitive Shipping to create multiple shipping rates for several different reasons. You may have rates that are specific to a product type. Or maybe each of your vendors has their own shipping costs. With Intuitive Shipping, you can create Scenarios to separate and distinguish each of your shipping rates.

Scenario is a set of conditions (rules) that determine when shipping rates will be displayed at checkout. Each Scenario must have at least one shipping method which is where your shipping costs are calculated.

But what happens when a customer orders products that activate more than one shipping rate?

Using rate blending, you can easily combine shipping costs from multiple Scenarios and shipping methods into a single blended rate.

Before setting up blending rates, we recommend that you understand how to create a Scenario and either a custom service shipping method with pre-determined rates or a parcel service shipping method with live carrier rates.

Learn about Scenarios.

Learn about custom service shipping methods.

Learn about parcel service shipping methods.

How It Works

Let’s say you have two vendors, each with their own shipping rates. Your East Coast Vendor charges you a $20.00 flat rate. Your West Coast Vendor has a table of rates based on how many items are ordered – like $15.00 for orders between 1 and 14 items. When a customer orders any items from your East Coast Vendor and one item from your West Coast Vendor, you want them to be charged the right amount for shipping.

You’ve set up one Scenario with a custom service shipping method just for your East Coast Vendor and their flat rate, and you’ve set up another Scenario with a custom service shipping method just for your West Coast vendor and their table of rates.

Without a blended rate, the customer will have the option to choose between either $20.00 or $15.00 for shipping at checkout. Either way, you’ll lose money on shipping.

By setting up a blended rate, you’ll ensure that the customer is always charged the correct amount for shipping – in this case, $35.00.

You can also use rate blending to display the ideal rate from the shipping methods being blended. Instead of simply adding all the rates together, you can display the highest cost or fastest delivery.

Blended rates will only work with shipping methods that have rate blending enabled. If the rate blending setting is not enabled in a shipping method, it will not be included in the blended rate, and it may be displayed as a separate shipping option instead, depending on your settings.

Let’s say you have three Scenarios. The first Scenario has a flat-rate shipping method of $30.00. The second Scenario has flat rate shipping method of $20.00. The third Scenario has a flat rate shipping method of $25.00. The first two have rate blending enabled, the third does not.

When a customer order activates all three shipping methods, they’ll be shown two shipping options at checkout:

  • $50.00 (the blended rate from the first two shipping methods)
  • $25.00 (the unblended rate from the third shipping method)

The customer will most likely select the $25.00 option, ultimately costing you $50.00 on shipping.

However, if the third Scenario is configured in such a way that it won’t activate with the other two – for example, you have a condition that requires all products in the cart to a certain type – then it won’t matter if rate blending is enabled on the third Scenario or not.

Simple Blending vs Advanced Blending

Simple blending lets you quickly and easily configure a single blending setup with your preferred blending mode option.

Alternatively, you can create one or more advanced blending rules with greater control, such as customized display settings and blending group tags. This is useful if you want to set up more than one blended rate with multiple groups of shipping methods.

By default, Intuitive Shipping is set to simple blending mode. If you prefer to use the advanced blending mode, you can enable it in your Intuitive Shipping General settings.

If you prefer to use simple blending mode, skip ahead to Create A Simple Blended Rate. Otherwise, continue to Step 1 to enable advanced blending.

1) Click Settings on the sidebar menu, then select General settings from the drop-down list.

2) Scroll down to Rate blending, then select Advanced blending.

3) Click the Save button to save changes to your general settings.

4) Skip ahead to Create An Advanced Blended Rate.

Create A Simple Blended Rate

Simple blending mode is enabled by default. You can switch to advanced blending mode at any time in your Intuitive Shipping General settings.

1) Click Shipping on the sidebar menu, then select Rate blending from the drop-down list.

You will know if simple blending mode is enabled if a blue banner with ‘Simple blending mode active’ is displayed at the top of the page.

If this banner is not displayed, advanced blending mode is enabled. Follow the steps above in Simple Blending vs Advanced Blending – except, select Simple blending in Step 2 – then return here.

General Settings

1) Enter a blended rate title. Or, if desired, leave it set to the pre-loaded ‘Standard’ title.

When rate blending is enabled, and products in the cart activate multiple shipping methods, the blended rate title is displayed to customers at checkout.

2) Select a blending mode.

You have seven (7) settings to choose from:

Add shipping method costs together – costs from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be added together, and displayed as a single shipping cost at checkout.

Best value shipping method – the rate with the best value from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed at checkout.

Least expensive shipping method – the rate with the lowest cost from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed at checkout.

Most expensive shipping method – the rate with the lowest cost from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed at checkout.

Average shipping method costs together – the average cost from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed at checkout.

Fastest delivery shipping method – the rate with the fastest delivery method from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed at checkout.

Slowest delivery shipping method – the rate with the slowest delivery method from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed at checkout.

Best value considers both cost and delivery time to determine overall value.

Additional settings are available for cost rounding. If you don’t need to round the blended cost, skip ahead to Add Rate Blending To A Shipping Method. Otherwise, continue to Step 3.

3) Click Show optional settings.

4) Select Round final shipping cost.

5) Choose which direction to round the shipping cost.

You have three (3) settings to choose from:

Up/down – the blended shipping cost will be rounded either up or down by the increment selected in Step 6 – whichever is closer.

Up – the blended shipping cost will be rounded up by the increment selected in Step 6.

Down – the blended shipping cost will be rounded down by the increment selected in Step 6.

6) Choose the increment amount to round the shipping cost.

You have four (4) settings to choose from:

0.50 – the blended shipping cost will be rounded up or down to the nearest 0.50 of your base currency. If the blended shipping cost is $48.80, the rounded cost will be either $48.50 or $49.00, depending on the setting selected in Step 5.

1.00 – the blended shipping cost will be rounded up or down to the nearest 1.00 of your base currency. If the blended shipping cost is $48.80, the rounded cost will be either $48.00 or $49.00, depending on the setting selected in Step 5.

5.00 – the blended shipping cost will be rounded up or down to the nearest 5.00 of your base currency. If the blended shipping cost is $48.80, the rounded cost will be either $45.00 or $50.00, depending on the setting selected in Step 5.

10.00 – the blended shipping cost will be rounded up or down to the nearest 10.00 of your base currency. If the blended shipping cost is $48.80, the rounded cost will be either $40.00 or $50.00, depending on the setting selected in Step 5.

6) Click the Save button to save your simple blended rate.

Add Rate Blending To A Shipping Method

Each shipping method that you want included in the blended rate must have rate blending enabled.

1) Click Shipping on the sidebar menu, then select Scenarios from the drop-down list.

2) Click Edit beside a Scenario with a shipping method you want included in the blended rate.

Learn about Scenarios.

3) Scroll down to the Shipping rates and services section of the Scenario, then click Edit beside the shipping method you want included in the blended rate.

If you haven’t set up a shipping method yet, you will need to create one.

Learn about custom service shipping methods.

Learn about parcel service shipping methods.

4) Scroll down to the bottom of the shipping method, then click Show optional settings.

5) Scroll down to Rate blending, then select Blend with other rates.

6) Click the Save button to save the changes to your shipping method.

7) Repeat Steps 1 to 6 for each additional shipping method you want included in the simple blended rate.

Create An Advanced Blended Rate

Advanced blending mode must be enabled in your Intuitive Shipping General settings.

1) Click Shipping on the sidebar menu, then select Rate blending from the drop-down list.

You will know if advanced blending mode is enabled if you are prompted to create a blending rule.

If a blue banner with ‘Simple blending mode active’ is displayed instead, advanced blending mode is not enabled. Follow the steps above in Simple Blending vs Advanced Blending, then, return to this guide.

General Settings

1) Enter a blended rate title.

When rate blending is enabled, and products in the cart activate multiple shipping methods, the blended rate title is displayed to customers at checkout based on the setting selected in Step 4.

2) Set the status.

You have three (3) settings to choose from:

Off – rate blending will be ignored. Shipping methods with rate blending enabled will not blended, and will be displayed as individual shipping methods at checkout.

Test – rate blending will only be displayed at checkout when you use the word ‘Intuitive’ as either the customer’s first or last name. Shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed as individual shipping methods to customers at checkout. This is the default setting.

On rate blending will be displayed at checkout when shipping methods have rate blending enabled.

While in Setup & Testing Mode, ‘On’ will function the same as ‘Test’ until you have activated a billing plan to begin your free trial.

Additional display settings are available for blending titles, descriptions, delivery times and service codes when rate blending is enabled.

3) Click Show additional display settings.

4) If desired, select a title blending setting.

Your have three (3) settings to choose from:

Use blended rate title – when rate blending is enabled and multiple shipping methods are activated, the title entered in Step 1 will be displayed to the customer at checkout.

Combine shipping method titles – when rate blending is enabled and multiple shipping methods are activated, the shipping method titles will be combined.

For example, if you have a shipping method called ‘Fragile Shipping’ and another shipping method called ‘Standard Shipping’, the shipping method title will be displayed as ‘Fragile Shipping + Standard Shipping’ at checkout.

Combine shipping method titles and display costs – when rate blending is enabled and multiple shipping methods are activated, the shipping method titles, along with their costs, will be combined.

For example, if ‘Fragile Shipping’ has a flat rate cost of $30.00 and ‘Standard Shipping’ has a flat rate cost of $15.00, the shipping method title will be displayed as ‘Fragile Shipping (30) + Standard Shipping (15)’. The actual shipping cost will still be displayed as the blended rate of $45.00.

5) If desired, select a description blending setting.

Your have two (2) options to choose from:

Combine descriptions – when rate blending is enabled and multiple shipping methods are activated, the shipping method descriptions will be combined.

For example, if your ‘Fragile Shipping’ shipping method has the description ‘Fragile items ship by ground’ and your ‘Standard Shipping’ method has the description ‘Standard items ship by air’, the shipping method description will be displayed as ‘Fragile items ship by ground + Standard items ship by air’ at checkout.

If you choose this option, skip ahead to Step 7.

Custom description – when rate blending is enabled and multiple shipping methods are activated, the shipping method description entered in Step 6 will be displayed.

6) If you selected Custom description in Step 5, enter a custom description. We recommend limiting your description to 90 characters or less to ensure it displays properly on the checkout page.

7) If desired, select a delivery blending time setting.

You have three (3) options to choose from:

Use the slowest delivery time – when rate blending is enabled, the slowest delivery time in the blended rate will be displayed at checkout.

For example, if Fragile products have a delivery time of 5-7 days, and Standard products have a delivery time of 2-3 days, the delivery time for the blended rate will be displayed as ‘5 to 7 business days’.

Use the fastest delivery time – when rate blending is enabled, the fastest delivery time in the blended rate will be displayed at checkout.

Using the same example, the delivery time for the blended rate will be displayed as ‘2 to 3 business days’.

If you choose either ‘slowest’ or ‘fastest’, skip ahead to Step 9.

Custom delivery time – when rate blending is enabled and multiple shipping methods are activated, the delivery time entered in Step 8 is displayed.

8) If you selected Custom delivery time in Step 7, enter a custom delivery time in days.

Min delivery time – enter the lower limit of your delivery time range. 

Max delivery time – enter the upper limit of your delivery time range. When combined with the min setting, delivery times will be displayed like ‘3 to 5 business days’ at checkout.

To display a single, fixed number of days, leave either Min or Max blank.

For example, if you prefer to have delivery time displayed as ‘3 business days’ instead of ‘3 to 5 business days’, enter ‘3’ in either minimum or maximum and leave the other field blank.

9) If desired, select a service code blending setting. Service codes are sent to your fulfillment service (if applicable) when a customer successfully completes their checkout.

Service codes are not visible to customers.

You have two (2) options to choose from:

Combine service codes – when rate blending is enabled and multiple shipping methods are activated, the shipping method service codes will be combined and sent to your fulfillment service.

For example, if Fragile products have a service code of ‘GRD’, and Standard products have a service code of ‘AIR’, the service code will be sent to your fulfillment services as ‘GRD + AIR’.

If you choose this option, skip ahead to Step 11.

Custom service code – when rate blending is enabled and multiple shipping methods are activated, the service code entered in Step 10 is sent to your fulfillment service.

10) If you selected Custom service code in Step 9, enter a custom service code.

The order in which combined shipping method titles, descriptions and service codes are displayed is determined by the alphabetical order of the Scenarios they are assigned to.

For example, if the ‘Fragile Shipping’ shipping method is in a Scenario called ‘Fragile Products’ and the ‘Standard Shipping’ shipping method is in a Scenario called ‘Standard Products’, the combined title will be displayed as ‘Fragile Shipping + Standard Shipping’.

However, if the ‘Standard Products’ Scenario is renamed ‘All Other Products’, the combined title will be displayed as ‘Standard Shipping + Fragile Shipping’ because the Scenario ‘All Other Products’ comes ahead of ‘Fragile Products’ alphabetically.

11) Select a blending mode.

You have seven (7) options to choose from:

Add shipping method costs together – costs from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be added together, and displayed as a single shipping cost at checkout.

Best value shipping method – the rate with the best value from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed at checkout.

Least expensive shipping method – the rate with the lowest cost from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed at checkout.

Most expensive shipping method – the rate with the lowest cost from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed at checkout.

Average shipping method costs together – the average cost from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed at checkout.

Fastest delivery shipping method – the rate with the fastest delivery method from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed at checkout.

Slowest delivery shipping method – the rate with the slowest delivery method from all of the shipping methods with rate blending enabled will be displayed at checkout.

Best value considers both cost and delivery time to determine overall value.

12) Enter a blending group tag (or tags).

Intuitive Shipping uses a tagging system to identify shipping methods that are being blended together. Shipping tags can be just about anything you want, though we recommend using something simple and easy to remember, like the letter ‘A’.

The tag ‘A’ is pre-loaded by default.

For simplicity, we recommend that shipping methods being blended together have the same tag. Learn more about assigning tags to shipping methods later in Add Rate Blending To A Shipping Method.

However, if you have shipping methods with different shipping tags, you can include them in the same blended rate by entering multiple blending group tags separated by comma.

Blending group tags cannot include symbols or spaces.

Additional settings are available for advanced blending conditions.

13) Click Show advanced blending settings.

14) Select which condition should be applied to the blending groups.

You have two (2) settings to choose from:

All blending groups must receive a cost – all shipping methods with rate blending enabled must have the blending group tag (or one of the tags) entered in Step 12.

For example, if you entered the blending group tag ‘A’ in Step 12, that tag must be present in all of the shipping methods being activated at checkout. If not, the blended rate will fail and no cost will be displayed.

If you entered multiple blending group tags ‘A, B, C’ in Step 12, all three of those tags must be present in the shipping methods being activated at checkout. That means, if four shipping methods are activated, two can have ‘A’, one can have ‘B’ and one can have ‘C’. If, for example, two have ‘A’, two have ‘B’ and none have ‘C’, the blended rate will fail.

Any blending group must receive a cost – all shipping methods with rate blending enabled must have at least one blending group tag entered in Step 12.

Using the same example, if you entered multiple blending group tags ‘A, B, C’ in Step 12, any one of those tags must be presented in the shipping methods activated at checkout. That means, if four shipping methods are activated, they can have any mix of tags. All four can have ‘A’, two can have ‘B and two can have ‘C’, etc.

However, if one or more of them contains a tag not entered in Step 12 – for example, if one has the tag ‘F’ – the blended rate will fail and no cost will be displayed.

Additional settings are available for cost limits, discounts, mark ups and rounding. If you don’t need to adjust the blended cost, skip ahead to Save Your Settings. Otherwise, continue to Step 15.

15) Click Show optional settings.

Cost Adjustments

Take full control of how blended shipping costs will be presented at checkout by applying adjustments to the blended rate calculation.

Cost adjustments are applied in the order they are listed in the app: cost limits first, then discounts, then mark ups, then rounding.

1) If desired add cost limits.

You have two (2) settings to choose from:

Min shipping cost – if the blended shipping cost is less than this value, it will be adjusted up to the minimum cost.

Max shipping cost – if the blended shipping cost is more than this value, it will be adjusted down to the maximum cost.

You can apply both a min and max cost to the same blended rate.

2) If desired add a discount.

You have two (2) settings to choose from:

Flat – this amount will be subtracted from the blended shipping cost after any cost limit adjustments.

Percentage – this percentage of the blended shipping cost, after any cost limit adjustments, will be subtracted from the blended cost.

You can apply both a flat discount and percentage discount to the same blended rate. The flat amount is subtracted first. The percentage is calculated after the flat amount is subtracted.

3) If desired add a mark up.

You have two (2) settings to choose from:

Flat – this amount will be added to the blended shipping cost after any cost limit adjustments.

Percentage – this percentage of the blended shipping cost, after any cost limit adjustments, will be added to the blended cost.

You can apply both a flat mark up and percentage mark up to the same blended rate. The flat amount is added first. The percentage is calculated after the flat amount is added.

4) If desired apply rounding.

You have two (2) settings to choose from:

Do not apply rounding – the final shipping cost, after all other cost adjustments, will be displayed exactly as calculated.

Round final shipping cost – the final shipping cost, after all other cost adjustments, will be rounded up or down, depending on the settings selected in Steps 5 and 6.

5) If you selected ‘Round final shipping cost’, choose which direction to round the shipping cost.

You have three (3) settings to choose from:

Up/down – the blended shipping cost will be rounded either up or down by the increment selected in Step 6 – whichever is closer.

Up – the blended shipping cost will be rounded up by the increment selected in Step 6.

Down – the blended shipping cost will be rounded down by the increment selected in Step 6.

6) Choose the increment amount to round the blended shipping cost.

You have four (4) settings to choose from:

0.50 – the blended shipping cost will be rounded up or down to the nearest 0.50 of your base currency. If the blended shipping cost is $48.80, the rounded cost will be either $48.50 or $49.00, depending on the setting selected in Step 5.

1.00 – the blended shipping cost will be rounded up or down to the nearest 1.00 of your base currency. If the blended shipping cost is $48.80, the rounded cost will be either $48.00 or $49.00, depending on the setting selected in Step 5.

5.00 – the blended shipping cost will be rounded up or down to the nearest 5.00 of your base currency. If the blended shipping cost is $48.80, the rounded cost will be either $45.00 or $50.00, depending on the setting selected in Step 5.

10.00 – the blended shipping cost will be rounded up or down to the nearest 10.00 of your base currency. If the blended shipping cost is $48.80, the rounded cost will be either $40.00 or $50.00, depending on the setting selected in Step 5.

Save Your Settings

6) Click the Save button to save your advanced blended rate.

7) If desired, repeat all the steps for Create An Advanced Blended Rate to add additional rate blending rules for other shipping methods not included in the rule you just created.

Add Rate Blending To A Shipping Method

Each shipping method that you want included in the advanced blended rate rule must have rate blending enabled.

1) Click Shipping on the sidebar menu, then select Scenarios from the drop-down list.

2) Click Edit beside a Scenario with a shipping method you want included in the blended rate.

Learn about Scenarios.

3) Scroll down to the Shipping rates and services section of the Scenario, then click Edit beside the shipping method you want included in the blended rate.

If you haven’t set up a shipping method yet, you will need to create one.

Learn about custom service shipping methods.

Learn about parcel service shipping methods.

4) Scroll down to the Rate blending section of the shipping method, then click Show optional settings.

5) Scroll down to Rate blending, then select Blend with other rates.

6) Enter the blending group tag (or tags) for the blending group entered in General Settings Step 12.

Blending group tags can be any letter, number or word of your choosing.

We recommend using something simple, like ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’, to help you stay organized. Tags are not visible to your customers.

For simplicity, we recommend entering a single tag. However, depending on how many advanced blending rate rules you created and how they are configured, you can enter multiple tags separated by comma.

Blending group tags cannot include symbols or spaces.

7) Click the Save button to save the changes to your shipping method.

8) Repeat Steps 1 to 7 for each additional shipping method you want included in the blended rate.

Awesome!
You just created a blended rate.

What’s Next:

Check out our common setups and additional setups sections for setup ideas.

Updated on October 21, 2021

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