Shipping Rules Criteria Weightings offer you the opportunity to tailor how StoreFeeder determines which of your Shipping Rules to use when more than one rule could apply to an order.Criteria Weighting is an advanced feature of our Shipping Rule system and is optional to use. If you decide not to use it then your experience with the Shipping Rule system will remain unchanged.
A Primer on the Shipping Rule System
For in-depth details of how the Shipping Rule system operates in StoreFeeder you can view this article.
A Shipping Rule in StoreFeeder is made up of a number of criteria, which helps to determine if that rule can apply to a given Order. The criteria describes different features of an Order, such as the Channel the Order came from, the value of the Order Total, Shipping Costs, Weight, etc.
When the rules are processed against an Order, StoreFeeder will discard any rules where one or more criteria does not match against the Order. In the event that more than one valid rule remains which could apply to an Order, StoreFeeder needs to make a decision about which rule is preferable.
This works based on how specific a rule (or it's 'Specificity'). Specificity is a measure of the number of criteria in the rule where you have explicitly set a value rather than leaving it as 'All'.
For example, let's say you created a rule where you had said that it applies to Orders from your Amazon channel, where the weight is less than 1KG and the Order Total is greater than £15. In this case you have explicitly set values for 3 of the criteria in the rule and so it has a specificity of 3.
Weighting your Criteria
By default, the Shipping Rule system treats each criteria in a rule equally, each explicitly set value contributes 1 towards the specificity of that rule.
Criteria Weighting allows you to prioritise some criteria over others by applying a weighting to them.
Let's say, for instance that the main criteria that you care about is Channel Shipping Method, so you would like there to be a bias towards rules where you have set a Channel Shipping Method. In that case you could increase the Criteria Weighting to 3 (for example), and leave the Criteria Weighting for all other criteria as 1.
Now when StoreFeeder calculates the specificity of a rule it will add a value of 1 to any explicitly set criteria, with the exception of Channel Shipping Method, which will add a value of 3 to specificity.Bear in mind that you are setting Criteria Weightings globally for your account. This will mean that it will change the way Specificity is calculated for all of your rules.
Setting Up Weighting Criteria
To set up Criteria Weighting, navigate to Settings > Shipping Configuration > Shipping Rules > Shipping Rules.
At the top-right of the page you should see a button labelled 'Advanced Options' (at the time of writing Criteria weighting is the only Advanced Option, but as we add more they'll be added here also). This will open a pop-up window displaying the Criteria Weighting for each criteria.
By default your account will have a weighting of 1 applied to each criteria. If you have 1 set for each criteria then StoreFeeder will detect that you aren't using Criteria Weighting. In this event some of the features discussed below will not be visible on your account.
To modify the Criteria Weightings simply enter a value against the appropriate criteria. The value you enter must be a number between 0 (Setting the value to 0 cause a criteria to not contribute to specificity) and 99.999 (decimal places are permitted - to a maximum of 3 - to give you a finer degree of control over your Criteria Weightings). Once you are happy with the Criteria Weightings you have entered click the 'Save' button.
Criteria Weighting - Additional Features
When using Criteria Weightings, the Specificity column in the Shipping Rules grid can now be hovered over to display more information about how that Specificity value has been calculated.
The pop up shows each criteria that has had a value explicitly set for it, along with how much that criteria is contributing towards Specificity (i.e. the weighting of that criteria).
Specificity Information When Creating/Editing Rules
When Editing or Creating a Shipping Rule the Specificity of the rule you are working on will now be displayed in real-time as you edit the values in the criteria. This is displayed in the title bar of the edit window and will update as you enter/delete values from the various fields.
If you are using Criteria Weightings then the amount that each criteria is contributing towards Specificity will be displayed next to that field, if a value has been explicitly set for that criteria. E.g. sp: 2.5 next to a field indicates that the criteria will be contributing a value of 2.5 towards Specificity. This can help you see, while you are editing, how the total Specificity has been reached.