How do I create Automation Rules for Multi-product Orders?

While single product orders are easy to automate in ShipStation, multi-product orders are a bit more complicated.

For single product orders, Product Automation and Automation Rules can use criteria like Item Name, Item SKU, or Warehouse Location, which will work for orders containing a single product that matches this criteria.

For multi-product orders, however, the only Product Automations that will apply are Weight, Order Tags, and Customs Declarations. Additionally, automation rules that use Item Sku, Item Name, or Warehouse Location as criteria will ignore orders that include more than one product.

In most cases, you can work around this by creating automation rules based on more general criteria, such as Total Weight or the State of the Ship To address. However, there may be times when you need to automate actions based on the presence or absence of a product in an order. In those cases, Order Tags make the best criteria, but do require some additional set up.

SCENARIO

You run a clothing store that sells various shirts, pants, hats, and shoes. The designs and styles of the specific products vary, but ultimately each product will fit into one of those four categories. While you could decide shipping services based on weight alone, you want to control your shipping method based on the combination of product types included in the order.

Using the above scenario, here are some examples of automation rules that would take action based on the types of products in the order:

Example Rules and Descriptions

Automation Rules. Tags for Include criteria line

What does it do?

If any shoes are included in the order, use UPS Ground to ship the order.

Example Use:

If you know that any order with shoes is cheaper to ship using UPS Ground, this rule would automatically set that service if any shoes are included in the order (regardless of other products).

Automation Rules. Tags for Do Not Include criteria line

What does it do?

If only hats are included in the order, use USPS First Class Mail and a Thick Envelope to ship the order.

Example Use:

If you know that orders containing only hats can be shipped using First Class Mail and a Thick Envelope, this rule would automatically set that service and package type when only hats are included in the order. Any additional product types would add the other tags, so the criteria would be invalid if there are anything but hats.

Note

You can't see it in the above image, but shoes, slacks, and shirt are all selected for the Do Not Include criteria line.

Automation Rules. Tags for AND criteria line

What does it do?

If an order includes both slacks and shirts, upgrade shipping to USPS Priority Mail.

Example Use:

To increase sales, you may offer a promotion of free shipping whenever a customer orders both pants and shirts together, or you may know that this combination will result in a weight that is more than the maximum for a certain service. This rule would automatically update the shipping service if both product types are included in the order.

Automation Rules example. Has conditions of pants or shirts, and hats = shipping upgrade.

What does it do?

If an order includes either slacks or shirts and hats, upgrade shipping to USPS Priority Mail.

Example Use:

To increase sales, you may offer a promotion of free upgraded shipping whenever a customer orders a hat alongside either pants or shirts, or you may know that this combination will result in a weight that is more than the maximum for a certain service. This rule would automatically update the shipping service if both product types are included in the order.

Note

You can't see it in the above image, but slacks, and shirt are all selected for the first Include criteria line.

Three criteria of different rules, and action of Set Carrier/Service/Package to USPS Priority Mail Package

What does it do?

If an order includes either slacks or shirts and hats and does not include shoes, upgrade shipping to USPS Priority Mail.

Example Use:

To increase sales, you may offer a promotion of free upgraded shipping whenever a customer orders a hat alongside either pants or shirts, or you may know that this combination will result in a weight that is more than can be handled by a certain service, but also want to make sure the rule does not effect orders that include shoes. This rule would automatically update the shipping service if both product types are included in the order, but not if shoes are also included.

Note

You can't see it in the above image, but slacks, and shirt are all selected for the first Include criteria line.