Getting Your Shipping Set Up For Lulu Direct

Getting Your Ship Together In Lulu Direct

We’ve talked about Lulu Direct before. Today we’re going to look at one specific aspect of this tool: Shipping.

What Is Lulu Direct?

Lulu Direct connects popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce for WordPress to your site. Using an App for Shopify integration and a Dashboard in your Lulu account for WooCommerce, Lulu Direct provides print-on-demand for your books. 

Lulu Direct is free and offers numerous benefits, such as:

  • Customize your branding with white-label packing slips
  • Retain customer data to improve your marketing efforts
  • Keep 100% of the profits
  • Save inventory and storage costs with print-on-demand
  • Automate print and fulfillment

Shipping With Lulu Direct

Lulu Direct connects your online store to our print network, but it also connects our shipping options to the ones you create. When you set up your product in your store, you’ll decide how your shoppers can have it shipped and how much they’ll pay you for shipping.

Then you’ll match the shipping options you created to the ones Lulu offers. When you sell a book, you’ll pay Lulu for shipping, so be sure your shipping rates match or are greater than Lulu’s!

Shopify Settings

There are two ways you can set up shipping for your Shopify store: using Lulu’s Live rates or manually defining the shipping cost for all methods.

Lulu’s Live Shipping Rates

This is the easiest and fastest option. When you use our Live Shipping Rates, we’ll match our shipping methods and costs to the options you give your customers. That way you’ll provide the most efficient shipping options without risking a change in shipping cost impacting your profits.

Shipping options screen in Shopify

Manually Create Your Shipping Rates

To set your shipping rates manually, you’ll need to create a Shipping Profile in your Shopify settings and assign that profile to the Lulu Direct app.

Manage your shipping settings in Shopify

Shipping Zones

Shipping zones correspond with each country you set up shipping options for. Create unique zones for your customers’ primary regions (USA, Canada, UK, etc.) You’ll also want to set up a Rest of World zone that will cover all other countries.

Pricing Calculations

Not sure what to price your shipping options? Use the Lulu pricing calculator to find our rates and use those to determine how much you should charge.

Defining Shipping Rates

Each shipping zone can have unique shipping rates. To get started, click Manage rates next to the Lulu Books shipping profile, then select one of your shipping zones. Click the Add rate button and choose set up your own rates. Now you’ll be able to create a shipping cost that matches or exceeds the rate Lulu will charge. 

Rate Conditions

The shipping price will need to increase if your customers decide to add more books to their cart. You can do this with rate conditions. Click on add condition below the rate name and price fields. 

Note: You must be sure to set your Shopify Product weight to 1lb each. We’ll use this to define how much to charge for shipping based on the number of books.

The easiest way to do this is to base your shipping prices on the item’s weight. In the minimum weight field, leave it as 0. In the maximum weight field, put 1 lb. This will tell Shopify to charge your customer the shipping rate you set for a single book order. 

You will repeat this step for all shipping options you would like to offer. In most cases, it is helpful to have at least one other shipping method besides Mail, such as Ground or Express. The process is the same for setting up those options.

Edit your rate conditions

PRO TIP – It can get tedious to add a shipping rate for every single instance. As an example, you can get so granular that you’re setting a rate up for 1 copy, 2 copies, 3 copies, and so on. One way to get around this is to group quantities together. For instance, set up a shipping rate for 1 copy, then a shipping rate for 2-5 copies (charging what Lulu would charge you for 5 copies). Then set up a rate for 6-10 copies, then 11-20, and so on.

Lulu Direct App Settings

The final step is in the Lulu Direct app. You’ll need to verify and update the shipping methods 

Mapping Shipping Rates

Navigate to the app’s settings page and scroll to the bottom. The shipping options you just created will be visible. Lulu automatically maps your shipping option to our shipping methods (selecting from Lulu’s methods based on the nearest cost to the methods you create), but you should assign each one yourself to ensure your shipping costs match our rates.

WooCommerce Settings

For WooCommerce users, there are three commonly used ways to set up shipping rates for your Lulu Direct products. The most common is by Flat Rate, while some users find Quantity or Zone based shipping to be the most beneficial.

WooCommerce Flat Rate Shipping Settings

WooCommerce also uses shipping zones to define the cost to ship your books, but they offer a simpler method called Single Flat Rate shipping.

When you first connect your WooCommerce store to Lulu Direct, we default to using the least expensive available shipping method we offer. Activating the Single Flat Rate shipping will give your customers a single option for shipping when they check out.

Pricing Calculations

Start by using our Pricing Calculator to determine the cost to ship a single copy of your book. If you believe your customers will likely buy multiple copies, check the cost for multiple books as well. 

US Trade Pricing Estimate for WooCommerce Pricing

With shipping rates noted, go to your WordPress dashboard, select WooCommerce from the navigation, and go to Settings. Within the Settings menu, select Shipping. Click the hyperlinked text ‘Locations not covered by your other zones’.

WooCommerce shipping options

This will allow you to create a flat-rate shipping option for any purchase outside of a shipping zone. 

Click the Add shipping method button, and select Flat rate to create a shipping method. Now click Edit to add the rate you’d like to charge for shipping.

Quantity-Based Shipping

This method modifies your Flat Rate shipping by adding a formula to the ‘Cost’ box in your WooCommerce shipping settings.

The formula is: [base cost] + ( [fee] * [qty] )

WooCommerce Flat Rate Quantity based shipping options

The base cost is a minimum for shipping that gets applied to every order. Then the fee is added per item in the cart to increase the cost based on the quantity they order. Sound complicated? Yeah, I don’t love math either. Here’s an example, assuming you want to charge a minimum of $5 for shipping a single book:

  • Shipping for 1 Book:  $4 (base cost) + ( $1(fee) * 1(quantity)) = $5 
  • Shipping for 2 Books: $4 (base cost) + ( $1(fee) * 2(quantity)) = $6
  • Shipping for 3 Books: $4 (base cost) + ( $1(fee) * 3(quantity)) = $7  

And so on, adding an additional $1 per book to the order.

Zone-Based Shipping

If you ship to locations all over the world, the rates may vary enough to warrant Shipping Zones based on your most popular locales. To set up unique shipping zones, select Add shipping zone from the WooCommerce Shipping menu.

WooCommerce Shipping Zones

From there, you’ll create a Zone Name and Zone Region before you click Add Shipping Method to add methods and costs for that region. 

With all the information added, Save Changes, and your new shipping zone will be ready to use!

Lulu Direct And Shipping Your Book

Both WooCommerce and Shopify provide a number of options for shipping your books. It is important to carefully assign shipping costs and to monitor Lulu’s shipping rates to ensure you charge your customers enough to cover shipping. 

Sell Your Book, Your Way

Sell books on your own website with Lulu Direct.

Sell Your Book,
Your Way

Sell books on your own
website with Lulu Direct.

Paul H, Content Marketing Manager
Paul H

Paul is the Content Marketing Manager at Lulu. When he's not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat tolerant.

1 thought on “Getting Your Ship Together In Lulu Direct”

  1. Stephen T. Radentz

    THANK YOU 🙏 very much!!! I was challenged by thus process until I found this post. Thanks for making it so simple.

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