intuitive shipping or smart boxing: choosing the right app for you

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Since launching on the Shopify app store in 2017, the Intuitive Shipping app has become one of the most in-demand shipping calculators on the e-commerce platform. With a plethora of features and functionality, Intuitive Shipping lets you take complete control of how your shipping costs are calculated at checkout.

Among the most utilized features of Intuitive Shipping is our SmartBoxing™ system, a proprietary feature that accurately calculates dimensional shipping. The SmartBoxing™ system determines the most efficient packaging method available by comparing the dimensions of the items in the cart with various box sizes saved in the app. If you are using live carrier rates for your shipping costs and you are shipping products with different shapes and sizes, the SmartBoxing™ system ensures that your live rates are as accurate as possible.

Why Accuracy Matters

Unexpected shipping costs are one of the most common reasons for abandoned carts. If you operate a small or start-up business, you probably don’t have the revenue stream to offer free or flat-rate shipping on a regular basis. And no business, regardless of size, wants to lose money, nor do they want to lose a sale at the end of the customer’s journey. Accurate live rates at checkout mean customers are paying the right price for shipping, keeping both your customer and your accountant happy!

Unlike other calculation methods that generally only consider one factor, such as weight, volume, or quantity, the SmartBoxing™ packaging system uses both volume and weight to select the most appropriate packaging option.

Why is this important? Dimensional shipping. Virtually every major carrier calculates rates using dimensional weight – a theoretical calculation used to estimate package density because you can ship a large box that isn’t heavy and a small box that is. When dimensional weight is more accurate, so are your shipping rates.

We recognize that a lot of merchants see the SmartBoxing™ system as a game-changer for their dimensional shipping requirements. But for some, their overall shipping needs aren’t complex enough to require the full suite of features offered by Intuitive Shipping. So, we decided to launch a new app centered around the SmartBoxing™ system. We called it… Smart Boxing!

Introducing Smart Boxing – The App

The Smart Boxing app equips your store with accurate dimensional shipping. With a slick user interface , you can easily set up shipping methods linked to your preferred carriers, add package sizes, and assign dimensions to all your products.

Like the Intuitive Shipping app, Smart Boxing is integrated with some of the most frequently used delivery services. If you have an account with one of our integrated carriers, you can connect Smart Boxing to your account. If not, you can still access the standard retail rates that each carrier provides.

How They Compare

The SmartBoxing™ system works the same in both apps. You’ll need to ensure that all of your products are assigned weights and dimensions. If you have a lot of products, don’t worry – both apps let you assign dimensions in bulk with a CSV file compatible with common spreadsheet applications like Excel. To take full advantage of our boxing system, you’ll also want to add all of your common package sizes. The more packages there are to choose from, the more accurate your live rates will be.

Additionally, both Intuitive Shipping and Smart Boxing let you adjust the final cost of shipping. Whether it’s adding a markup, applying a percentage-based surcharge or recovering packaging costs with a handling fee, you have the last word on what the actual final shipping cost will look like when the customer checks out.

Each app has its own dedicated self-serve Help Center with detailed setup guides, how-to articles, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). If you do get stuck, our knowledgeable and dedicated Customer Success team is ready to help you get set up on either Smart Boxing or Intuitive Shipping.

How They’re Different

Intuitive Shipping gives you full control of your shipping costs. Using conditions (rules), you determine when shipping rates are presented to customers. You may have rates that are product-based, or you may want to offer different rates depending on whether the buyer is a retail customer or a wholesale customer.

Intuitive Shipping also lets you calculate shipping using different criteria such as the total weight or total number of items in the cart. For example, if you are selling stackable items like bins or baseball caps, the quantity of stacked products in a package – not their size or weight – likely determine how your packages are split.

Do you have rates that are local or regional? You can use the Intuitive Shipping app to limit rates to a city or you can create regional sub-zones within your main shipping zones. You can even offer a store pickup option to customers within a certain radius of your store.

While the Smart Boxing app doesn’t include a condition system like Intuitive Shipping, it does perform its primary function really well – it optimizes your dimensional shipping and keeps your live rates as accurate as possible. That saves your customers – and you – money.

Smart Boxing also gives you the option to add both rigid and soft packages. Unlike rigid boxes that have fixed dimensions, soft packages, like poly mailers, have a fixed length and width but have a variable height. With Smart Boxing, you can enter a maximum height for your soft packages, and the system will automatically determine the actual height based on the dimensions of the products being shipped.

Which App Should You Choose?

Smart Boxing is a perfect solution if you have a variety of products and package sizes and need to ensure your live rates are accurate. It’s easy to set up, simple to maintain, intuitive to navigate and gives you access to rates from some of the most commonly used delivery services.

If your shipping needs are more complex – if you need to separate rates based on products, customers, regions, days of the week, if you need to blend multiple rates together, if you need to limit how you ship controlled or perishable items – Intuitive Shipping can manage all of these situations and more. And, if you need accurate dimensional shipping on top of that, Intuitive Shipping has the SmartBoxing™ system too!

Both the Smart Boxing and Intuitive Shipping apps can be installed for free, so you can test them both to see which is the better fit. After you have completed set-up and testing, each app has a 14-day free trial so you can try them in a live setting. And we’re currently offering a demo of each app, giving you an overview of their respective features along with an opportunity to discuss your specific shipping needs with one of our amazing team members. Book your demo appointment today!

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