Automation Rule Examples

Provides several example automation rules to help you get started automating your workflow.

Automation rules can seem a bit abstract until you actually create a few.

Here are several common automation rules you can use to help you get started.

Example #1 - Apply Service by Order Weight

One of the most popular uses for automation rules is to apply a specific service based on the weight of the order.

German language image. Automation rule example to set weight.

IF the Total Weight is less than 450 g THEN set Shipping Service / Package to FedEx Economy / Package.

Here is a step-by-step example of how to create this rule:

Create a Copy

If you need to make a series of similar Automation Rules, you can create a copy after saving an Automation Rule. Click Copy in the Action menu to create the new copy, then click Edit in the Action Menu of the new Rule to make adjustments.

  1. Enter a descriptive name for the Rule.

    For example: Economy 450g.

  2. Select Only apply these actions to orders that match specific criteria. Click +Add Criteria.

  3. Select Total Weight , Is Less Than..., then enter the weight in ounces into the empty field.

    This criteria will limit the rule to only orders with total weights under 450 g.

  4. Click Add an Action.

    Select Set Carrier/Services/Package.. from the drop-down menu. Drop-down menus for Service and Package will then display.

    For this example, select FedEx Economy from the Service drop-down menu. Select Package from the Package drop-down. The rule set up should look similar to the example image above.

  5. Click Save Rule.

Example #2 - Apply Service by Residential or Commercial Address Type

Some shipping carriers, like FedEx, offer different rates and services based on whether an address is residential or commercial, so you may find it helpful to automatically switch to a service based on address classification.

For example, any FedEx orders shipping to a residential address should use FedEx Home Delivery for the service.

2 Criteria: 1. Residential/Commercial = Residential. 2. Carrier = FedEx.

IFthe address is verified as Residential ANDthe Carrier is FedEx THEN set Shipping Service / Package to FedEx Home Delivery® / Package

Here is a step by step example of this type of rule:

  1. Enter a name for the rule. For example: Fedex Residential

  2. Select Only apply these actions to orders that match specific criteria. Click +Add Criteria.

  3. Select Residential/Commercial, Equals and Residential from the first set of drop-down menus.

  4. Click +Add Criteria add Criteria. From the drop-down menus, select Carrier, Equals..., FedEx.

  5. Set the action to Set Carrier/Service/Package.

  6. Select the appropriate service and package type from the drop-down menus. In this example we used FedEx Home Delivery® and Package.

  7. Click Save Rule.

Example #3 - Apply Service based on Order Tags

If you added tags to products or customers, ShipStationadds the tags to orders automatically before automation rules run, which means you can use tags as rule criteria.

For example, you are selling clothing and want to upgrade shipping to USPS Priority Mail for any order of a shirt or slacks where the buyer also purchased a hat, but not if they ordered shoes since orders with shoes are heavy and must be shipped via a different service.

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

The logic of the rule is IF the Order Tags INCLUDE slacks OR shirt AND the Order Tags INCLUDE hat AND the Order Tags DO NOT INCLUDE shoes THEN set Shipping Service / Package to USPS Priority Mail / Package.

Assuming you tagged the products already (based on the type of product - shirt, pants, hat, shoes) here is how to make this type of rule:

  1. Enter a descriptive name for the rule.

    For this example, we called the rule: Hat Shipping Upgrade.

  2. Select Only apply these actions to orders that match specific criteria. Then, click +Add Criteria.

  3. Select Order Tags, Include..., then select the appropriate order tags. In this case, pants and shirt.

  4. Click +Add Criteria to add the next condition. For the next set of drop-down menus, select Order Tags, Includes..., and select the appropriate tag. The tag hat is appropriate in this example.

  5. Click +Add Criteria again to add the final condition. This set of drop-downs should be Order Tags, Do Not Include..., and the appropriate order tag. In this example, shoes is the appropriate tag.

    All of these criteria means that the rule will only apply to orders with shirts or pants that include a hat but do not include shoes.

  6. Set an action from the drop-down menu. Select Set Carrier/Services/Package.. In our example we select USPS Priority Mail and Package.

  7. Click Save Rule.

Example #4 - Multiple Different Criteria & Actions

In this example, the merchant is located in Pflugerville, TX and wants to send a special gift to nearby customers who buy from their Magento or Shopify stores and have spent over $50 on the order.

To identify those orders, the merchant has decided to apply a tag to the orders so they're easy to locate in ShipStation, and then print a special packing slip so their staff knows to include the gift in the package.

Example of multi-criteria and multi-action automation rule

The logic of the rule is IF the Order Total IS GREATER THAN 50 AND the Marketplace EQUALS Magento OR Shopify AND the State EQUALS Texas (TX) AND the City EQUALS Austin OR Pflugerville OR Round Rock THEN add the GIFT tag AND use the Gift Packing Slip template.

Rule Criteria: Comma vs Semi-Colon

When you manually type in values for rule criteria, semi-colons mean OR and commas mean AND.

Here's how to set up a rule to apply a tag and specified packing slip to very specific orders:

  1. Enter a descriptive name for the Rule. For example: Local Gift Orders

  2. Select Only apply these actions to orders that match specific criteria. Click +Add Criteria. This rule will have a total of four criteria.

  3. Select Order Total, Is Greater Than..., 50 on the first set of criteria drop-downs.

    The first set of criteria will look for orders over 50 USD.

  4. Click +Add Criteria to add the next set of criteria. This criteria will look for orders from Magento or Shopify.

    Select Marketplace, Equals..., Magento and Shopify. Click +Add Criteria again.

  5. Select State, Equals..., Texas. This criteria will limit the rule to orders shipping to the state of Texas.

  6. Click +Add Criteria to add the final criteria. Select City, Equals..., Pflugerville, Austin and Round Rock.

    This will apply the rule to orders that include one of these cities in the shipping address.

  7. Add two actions. For the first action select Add a Tag... then select the appropriate tag to apply. In this case, the tag is GIFT. For the second action, select Use a specific Packing Slip... then select the name of the packing slip template from the drop-down. In this example, it is called Gift Packing Slip.

  8. Click Save Rule.


For this example, if the additional gift means you must use a different package type or shipping service, just add that as another action in this rule. Alternately, a subsequent rule could use the GIFT tag as the criteria to set the new service and package type.

Example #5 - Add Package Weight to Shipment

To help protect against rate adjustments, automatically apply a little extra weight to your shipment to accommodate for packaging.

There are a few ways to go about this. You can apply a flat increase on all incoming orders or specify with criteria which orders get a weight increase.

To add weight to every order, select Apply these actions to EVERY order that is Imported. Then add the Action Adjust the Order weight. Enter in an appropriate weight amount for your typical packaging.

Automation Rules. Example for adding weight in Metric

This will apply additional weight to every order that imports into ShipStation. If you ship one kind of product, this rule works well. However, if you sell a variety of products, you may want to use Criteria to apply extra weight only to specific orders.

Some suggested criteria to apply to this rule include:

  • Order Tags - this would work well for orders that need extra padding or products that need specialized packaging.

  • Item Name/Item SKU - You can add weight if the order contains a specific product. Works best for single product orders.

  • Package - Apply the additional weight based on the package type applied to the order. (Note: You will need to create another automation rule, Service Mapping, or Product Default to apply the Package type before this rule runs.)

  • Requested Service - This criteria works along with Service Mapping to apply weight based on the service your customer selects during checkout.

Example #6 - Add Tax ID Number to an Order

Several destinations in the European Union require some form of tax payment when shipping. You must include your tax identifier number (TIN) with your customs forms. This rule will apply the appropriate TIN to orders as they import into or are created in ShipStation.

This rule will apply a TIN based on destination. Before creating this rule, you must add your TIN to your International Settings.

  1. Enter a descriptive name for the rule.

  2. Select Only apply these actions to orders that match specific criteria. Then, click +Add Criteria.

  3. Select Country from the first drop-down, then Equals. Then select the appropriate countries from the drop-down menu.

    Rule with the criteria set to country = Belgium, France, Germany and action set to Set Tax Identifier.

    Add More Criteria

    You can add other criteria to the rule as needed, like Marketplace, Order Tags, and Order Total.

  4. Click + Add an Action and select Set Tax Identifier from the first drop-down. Then select the appropriate TIN from the second drop-down.

    If you do not see any Tax Identifiers listed in the second drop-down, check your International Settings and make sure you have added your Tax Identifiers to ShipStation.

  5. Click Save Rule to save your changes.