If you want to test the rates before you enable them for all customers, you can use the Better Shipping Test Mode. You can use test mode by adding the app name as the first and last name at checkout, while the main shipping rates switch is disabled (off).
First name: Better
Last name: Shipping
You can use any other details on the checkout, as long as the first and last name are like that.
Using those details, you can test that your rates are working the way you expect before enabling them for your customers. All the shipping prices and rules will be live for that first name/last name combination only. For examples of testing your rates, please see the Testing the app heading below.
Enabling Better Shipping
When you first install Better Shipping, the app is switched off. This means that it won't affect your current shipping settings until you switch the app on. This allows you to setup your Better Shipping prices, without having them 'live' on your store until you are ready for them. You can always see the status of the better shipping app on the main shipping rate page.
When you are ready to turn on the app and have the prices generated at checkout, you can click on the Settings link on the left hand menu.
Then, once the settings page has loaded, click on the "On" button at the top of the page.
The page will reload, and you will see that the switch is now on, and on the main shipping rate page, the app status also shows the app to be "on". Shipping rates will now be generated at checkout.
Real-time carrier shipping
When you tried to enable the app, you may have seen an error saying that your store does not have the "real-time carrier shipping" feature installed in your Shopify plan.
Real-time carrier shipping is a Shopify feature that is required for Better Shipping to work, even though we do not directly need the real-time capabilities to generate a rate. This feature is included on the $299 Shopify plan. However, if you email/chat to shopify directly, and ask them to install the feature on your shop to use Better Shipping, they will add it to any plan (including the $29 plan) for a small fee.
Once you have the real-time carrier shipping feature installed, you can go back to the app and hit the "On" button again on the Settings page. The Better Shipping app should now be activated.
Testing the app
To test Better Shipping you need to make sure your app is turn on as described above, and you have at least one shipping rate installed (see the Shipping Rate Help page).
We have setup our products to ship for $5 per product and called the shipping rate "Shipping". To make sure that we are getting what we expect from our shipping rate, it is always a good idea to make some test orders in our store.
A test order is just a normal order in your shop. We are just pretending to be a customer to make sure everything is working the way we expect it to. So to create a test order in our t-shirt shop, we just head to our store's customer facing front page, choose a product and add it to the cart.
We have added a t-shirt to our cart. So we expect to see a shipping cost of $5 at checkout. Please note, you must go to the last page of the checkout, after you have entered the customer address to see the shipping rate. This is because Shopify does not request a shipping rate until the customer address has been entered.
You will see that the shipping rate is now $5 for "Standard Shipping."
If you then go back to our cart by clicking on the cart button from the checkout page
And change the quantity of our t-shirts to 2, then checkout again, we can see the shipping has updated to $10 ($5 + $5) as expected.
We can also change the shipping price in Better Shipping and see the changes instantly. Go back to the Better Shipping app, and on the products rates page of the shipping app, let's change the shipping on that t-shirt to $7. To do so, head back to the Better Shipping app and onto the main "Shipping Rates" page by using the left-hand menu inside the app.
Then, find the shipping rate that you are using for testing, for our example is it called "Standard Shipping" and click on the "Edit product rates" link to go straight to the product rates page of the Standard Shipping shipping rate.
Now on the product rates page, change one of your products to $7 shipping and click the "Update and Save" button to save the change.
Now we go back to our store page, go to the checkout and click "Checkout" again. We can see that the shipping price has instantly changed for 2 items and is now $14, which is $7 + $7 and what we expected!
If you went to the checkout and the price did not change, a couple of things could have happened. The first and easiest is you forgot to click the "Update and Save" inside the Better Shipping app. The update and save button must be clicked in order for the shipping price to be updated, and the change made 'live'.
The second is that your shopping cart has been cached by Shopify. What this means is that Shopify has 'saved' your address and cart into their database, so when you are checking out, instead of requesting a new shipping rate from us, they just spit out the 'saved' (cached) shipping rate instead. This is a step that Shopify uses to save on how much data they need to send, and won't affect your customers, however, as you are testing your shipping rates, it can affect how often they are updated.
There is an easy workaround for this. Shopify will request a new shipping rate from us if the cart weight has changed or the customer address has changed. The easiest thing for us to change is the customer address. To do so, from the checkout page, we can click on "Customer Information", then change the zip code (I usually just increment it by 1. So if the zip code is 10000, just change it to 10001 and so on). Then click "Continue to shipping method". You should see the updated price now.
If you had problems with getting your rates to generate, please don't hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to help.