How to Set Up Shipping Tests in the App

Intelligems enables your organization to run real-time split tests on your store's shipping rates and thresholds. This article will walk you through how to set up a shipping test with Intelligems, as well as some best practices to keep in mind.

In this article: 

Prerequisites: How shipping tests work.

❗Please read this section before proceeding to the setup instructions.

When you create and save your shipping test, Intelligems will automatically be added as a third party rate carrier in your Shopify admin. With the Intelligems rate carrier installed, once you start your test, Intelligems will provide rate(s) to shoppers at checkout based on their test group, cart value and item weight (if relevant). It will only calculate and display rates for shipping profiles and zones it is added to and will appear at checkout along with any other applicable rates configured in your Shopify admin that are not hidden for the test. You can learn more about Shopify shipping settings here.

This article will take you through how to:

  • Select profiles / zones to add the Intelligems rate to
  • Choose existing rates to hide during the test (those that conflict with the Intelligems rate)
  • Create test groups and configure which rate(s) Intelligems will display for each group
  • Review rates for the combined shipping profiles in your test
  • Configure advanced options for your test

If you are setting up your first shipping test, we recommend reading through the full article before starting setup.

✨ To activate the third-party carrier-calculated shipping, your store needs to be on the Advanced Shopify or Plus plan. If you're on the Shopify plan, you can add this feature for a monthly fee or switch from monthly to yearly billing - please reach out to Shopify Support if this applies to you.

Step 1: Create a new test.

Navigate to the 'A/B Tests' tab in the menu on the left-hand side of the Intelligems app. Once there, click 'Create New Test' above the experiments table. Select 'Shipping Test' and 'Create New Test.'

Step 2: Select shipping profiles and zones to test.

Using the expander for each shipping profile, select the zone(s) where the Intelligems rate will be added. The Intelligems rate will only apply to the profiles and zones selected here and will apply to all orders that meet the criteria for the selected profiles and zones, subject to other cart value and weight criteria which you'll configure in the next step.

❗Consider carefully which profile(s) you add the Intelligems rate to. If your store's products are spread across multiple profiles, adding the Intelligems rate to a subset of profiles may lead to unexpected behavior at checkout. Learn more about how Shopify combines rates here.

Step 3: Select the rates you want to include for this test.

Once you have selected the profiles and zones you want Intelligems rates to apply to, you will select which rates from those zones you want to test. These rates will be hidden during the test and replaced by an Intelligems rate, which will vary by test group.

In the example below, we are looking to test our store's shipping threshold at $50 and $100. We want to select both our Free Standard Shipping and our Standard Shipping because we are changing the condition on both rates.

Step 4: Create your test groups.

Fill in the Test Name and Test Description of the Experiment you wish to create.

✨ Put some detail in the description! Tests can be live for several weeks, and people do sometimes forget how they set things up. Being descriptive in the group names will also make reading analytics easier later on!

Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 2.25.08 PM

Create between two and five groups to include in the test by clicking on the ‘+’ button. Name the groups for the experiment and use the slider to allocate what percentage of traffic will go to each group. 

❗Number of test groups is limited to three for our Basic Shipping Plan, five for our Sapphire and Diamond Plans and is unlimited for our Plus Plan.

✨ The more groups you have, the longer it will take to get statically significant results! You’ll need ~100-200 orders for each group in the test to be confident in the results.

Step 5: Configure the Intelligems rate(s).

In this step, you will configure the calculated carrier rate to be added to the previously selected profiles and zones.

For each group, follow these steps:

1. Choose the rate type that most closely aligns with what you're testing (i.e. what you want to change in each test group). See below for some tips on when to select each rate type and examples of combined rates:



  • Flat Rate: You are testing rate(s) that are not set up with conditions in Shopify ("flat rates")
    Example 1: Testing a single flat rate

    Example 2: Testing multiple flat rates

  • Flat Rate with Threshold: You are testing a flat rate and the threshold for free shipping

  • Threshold Only: You are testing a free shipping threshold but want to keep your existing rates for those that do not reach the threshold (Note: our threshold is based on pre-discount subtotal)
    Example 1: Testing a free threshold with rates under threshold provided by third party app

    Example 2: Testing a free threshold with weight-based rates under threshold configured in Shopify

  • Tiered by Price or Weight:
    Example 1: Testing rates for each weight-based tier

    Example 2: Testing rates and conditions for each weight-based tier
  • Custom*: Have something else you want to test? Let us know and we'll see what we can do!

*Diamond plan or above may be required.

2. Once you have selected your rate type, fill in the required information. This will vary by rate type, but typically includes things like rate name, the rate amount and the threshold the threshold.

3. Once you have filled in all required information, click 'Save' and complete the same steps for the remaining test groups. 

Step 6: Review your rates.

Use the drop-downs to select the shipping profile and zone, and test group to preview.

❗Rates displayed at checkout during the test may differ from preview if order products are included in multiple shipping profiles.

Step 7: Configure advanced settings.

There are two advanced settings steps, both of which are optional to set up. 

The first is Audience Targeting. This tool allows you to include, exclude or assign specific treatment to certain traffic for your test. Check out this article for more information on configuring this option.

The second is Find & Replace. This tool allows you to adjust site copy for site visitors based on their test group. Check out this article for more information on configuring this option.

The third is a Shipping Progress Bar. If you currently show a shipping progress bar on your site or if you would like to include one for your test and you are testing shipping thresholds, it is recommended to use the built-in option from Intelligems so that the bar will update with the test group. Adding the Intelligems progress bar typically requires adding a component to your theme's liquid code and customizing the bar's style in the Intelligems app.

Learn more about adding the Intelligems shipping progress here.

See below for a few examples of a configured shipping progress bar during a live test.

Example 1: Under the Free Shipping Threshold Example 2: Exceeded the Free Shipping Threshold Example 3: Under the Cart Minimum Threshold

Step 8: Save your test.

Once you have completed all the above steps, you will be able to save your test with the button in the bottom right. Once the test is saved, you should be able to see Intelligems as a rate carrier in your Shopify shipping settings for each profile and zone you selected in step 2 - see an example below of what that would look like in Shopify. If you do not see it there automatically, you may need to click 'Add rate' and select it from the carrier options.

❗Don’t worry, this won’t set the test live yet and you can come back and edit if you need to make changes!

What happens next?

Now that you've created your shipping test, here are some things to do next: