Shipping improvements in Commerce 0.11

Commerce 0.11 is an immense release that brings a lot of improvements and new features. In this article, we'd like to highlight some of the new shipping-related improvements.

Automatic shipping method selection

The arguably biggest and most noticeable improvement in Commerce 0.11, is that it will automatically select a shipping method as soon as customers add products to their cart. This means that the customer immediately sees how much shipping is expected to cost, leading to improved conversions and less abandoned carts from customers that enter their address information just to see the shipping costs. This works by evaluating your shipping methods and choosing the first applicable shipping method, so make sure you've set the sortorder on your shipping methods appropriately.

v0.11 also takes it a step further, by completely removing the Shipping step from the checkout if only one shipping method is available. This shortens the checkout flow. It's also possible, by configuring your delivery type, to make sure the shipping step is either never or always shown, to best suit your needs.

To make sure the shipping estimate is accurate, Commerce uses the expected address provided by modules like Default Address or Autofill GeoIP.

Order Shipments now in the dashboard

We've added order shipments into the dashboard. While initially implemented in v0.8, you can now see (and manage) shipments from the order view to help with your fulfillments.

This also enables new extensions like Packing Slip, to print details of an order shipment for use in collecting and shipping out the products.

Restrict payment methods to specific shipping methods

New in 0.11.0-rc2 is also the ability to restrict payment methods to specific shipping methods. This makes it possible to have, for example, a "pay in store" payment method that is offered only when the customer chooses the "pickup in store" shipping method.

Extendable Order Shipments

It's now also possible to build custom order shipment types. This makes it possible to automate even more of your fulfillment, especially when selling digital products or when you're looking for a deep integration with a fulfillment partner. Custom order shipment types can add additional fields to products, delivery types, and can also add actions to the order shipments grid, making them incredibly useful and tightly integrated.

We've already released a UserGroupShipment extension that uses this system to automatically give the customer that buys a product access to a usergroup on payment, allowing you to sell access to parts of your MODX site. In the future we'll no doubt see shipment types for email-delivery of digital products like ebooks, or systems to help with selling and managing licenses.

Now in pre-release

Commerce 0.11 is currently available as a pre-release. Check out the FAQ to learn how to get access to it.

If you're upgrading from 0.10 or an older version, see the upgrade notes here for any manual (template) changes that you may need to make.

About the author

Mark Hamstra is the CEA at modmore where he helps people doing more with MODX. He accomplishes this by providing premium extras with great support and documentation, and other initiatives meant to help MODXers around, like MODX.today.