Searching for some tips to learn how to set up WooCommerce shipping at your store?
Shipping plays a huge role in how customers view your brand. From the speed at which they receive a product to the price they have to pay for shipping, it all comes together to provide a high-quality shipping experience for customers.
Luckily, WooCommerce offers several built-in shipping methods and extendable features to provide more accurate shipping rates and give your customers plenty of options to choose from. You can also set up shipping as a discounting strategy, like offering free shipping for orders over a certain amount.
Keep reading to learn all about WooCommerce shipping and the options you have for bettering your entire shipment operation.
- 1 Shipping rate strategies and methods in WooCommerce
- 2 How to set a shipping zone
- 3 Advanced WooCommerce shipping options with extensions
- 4 Final thoughts on WooCommerce shipping
Shipping rate strategies and methods in WooCommerce
WooCommerce comes with a myriad of features for building an online store. Yet, the built-in features are usually considered rather simple compared to the options you can incorporate with extensions or plugins.
By default, the primary shipping rate and method from WooCommerce enables a shipping calculator on the cart page. After that, you select a shipping location and link a shipping method to that location.
A fresh WooCommerce installation has the following shipping rate options:
- Flat rate – you can charge one rate for all shipments going out of your store, making for a simple, predictable price for both customers and your company. However, this could mean you or the customer ends up paying too much for shipping.
- Free shipping – The free shipping option is exactly what it says: the customer doesn’t have to pay anything to receive the product. In WooCommerce this is typically triggered through coupons or when a customer spends a minimum amount.
- Local pickup – The customer comes to pick up the product without any need for a shipment service like USPS or UPS. Local pick-ups are usually free for the customer but require your store to have a physical location for storing and handing over those products.
And that’s all you have to choose from in WooCommerce. Having said that, one of the primary benefits of WooCommerce is its extendability. Therefore, plugins and extensions provide various other shipping methods, including the following:
- Table rate shipping – This is where you start to see shipment pricing based on conditions, especially for conditions like length, volume, product, or even date range. For example, you could charge one price for shipments under 5 lbs, another for shipments between 5 lbs and 10 lbs, and another for shipments over 10 lbs. Or, you could use any other combination of conditions for your rules (called a “table of shipping rates”).
- Real-time carrier rates – Link to carrier systems like USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL to receive the most accurate rates possible. This ensures 100% accurate values, but it can be frustrating because shoppers need to wait until checkout to see the shipping price.
- Local delivery – Give customers an option for you to bring the product directly to them. This is a decent shipment method for physical retail stores with a truck or van.
How to set a shipping zone
First off, let’s look at the default WooCommerce shipping features.
WooCommerce handles shipping by asking you to configure a shipping zone, set a method of shipping for that zone, and state how much each shipping method costs the customer.
There are also additional settings to configure, like whether or not you’d like to include special shipping classes or conditions for receiving free shipping.
It all begins with the shipping zones, though.
In the WordPress dashboard, go to WooCommerce > Settings.
Select the Shipping tab.
This is where you’ll find all of the built-in WooCommerce shipping settings.
Under the Shipping Zones tab, click on the Add Shipping Zone button.
A shipping zone is a geographic region you set for your store. This allows you to link specific shipping methods and costs for each region. For instance, you may consider having a cheaper shipping rate to all United States customers but raise the price for Canadian customers.
Choose a Zone Name for your own reference. Select a Zone Region as well. You can search for possible regions or use the dropdown feature to scroll through the list of locations.
As an example, we’ve chosen Canada and the United States.
More specific shipping zones are available as well, like with the individual states through the USA.
Once you define the shipping zone, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Add Shipping Method button.
Each zone needs a shipping method for specifying how you’ll charge customers in those geographical regions. For instance, you may decide to implement flat rate shipping for most customers but also local pickups for the surrounding community.
The three default shipping methods include:
- Flat Rate
- Free Shipping
- Local Pickup
If you have any questions about the meanings of these methods, please refer to the descriptions covered earlier in the article.
Select a shipping method out of the three. In general, a flat rate is a good place to start with maybe a free shipping option for those who reach a certain price point.
Click the Add Shipping Method button to save and continue.
Each shipping method gets saved under a list for that particular shipping zone. You have the option to include multiple shipping methods per geographical zone depending on the type of shipping options you’d like to offer.
To add another method, click on the Add Shipping Method again.
An example of this scenario involves having both a flat rate for everyone in the United States but also providing free shipping for minimum spends.
As you create each shipping method, you must go back to that list of shipping methods and click the Edit button for each one.
This is how you set specific details for the WooCommerce shipping methods.
You may, for instance, have a $10 flat rate and indicate that it’s taxable.
WooCommerce also includes options for creating quantity and percentage-based shipping fees – follow the guidelines under the question mark icons.
Each shipping method has its own settings to configure. If you click the Edit button for Free Shipping, it asks when to activate the free shipping for customers.
One method is to set a minimum order amount, where shoppers can access free shipping when they reach a certain dollar amount in their cart.
You need to configure a few other options to complete the process. Go to Shipping > Shipping Options.
These are all optional, but you can decide whether or not to activate settings for shipping calculators, shipping destinations, and more.
Be sure to save the changes once you’ve made your choices.
Creating shipping classes
Shipping classes are used to group similar types of products and offer the same shipping methods and rates for those groups. T-shirts, for example, might warrant a lower shipping rate than something heavier or larger in size.
Shipping classes function alongside zones and shipping methods, so you can go to the Shipping Classes link and click Add Shipping Class.
Add a name and URL slug for each shipping class, as well as a description. For this tutorial, we’ll call it a “Shirts” shipping class and assume that they allow for smaller, lightweight packaging, as opposed to other items in the store.
After saving the shipping class, click the Edit button under that item in the shipping class list.
If you’ve already turned on some shipping methods, all you have to do is select a method for that class.
Lastly, a special Shipping Class Costs area appears in the shipping method settings box. Choose the shipping cost for the class and consider the other setting for the calculation type.
Save the settings.
And that’s pretty much it for the built-in WooCommerce shipping features. Now, let’s quickly go over some of the ways that you can enhance shipping at your store using official or third-party WooCommerce extensions.
Advanced WooCommerce shipping options with extensions
Although the default WooCommerce shipping methods allow for many businesses to run an efficient delivery system, you may find that your store requires a more advanced solution.
To set up more complicated WooCommerce shipping rates, you’ll need the help of a plugin.
Here are a few extensions to get you started and what you can achieve with each one:
- WooCommerce Advanced Shipping – A popular option for table rate shipping. Activate shipping conditions such as stock and subtotal. Utilize conditional logic to calculate your rates and methods.
- Flexible Shipping – Use an advanced table to identify shipping rates based on elements like weight and cart total.
- WooCommerce Cart Based Shipping – A plugin that sticks to simplicity with flat rate and percentage-based shipping rates that pull from weight and quantity or the cart price.
- WooCommerce Shipping Tracking – Activate shipment tracking for customers by linking to multiple carriers and seeing shipment timelines.
- USPS Shipping Method – An official extension that lets you calculate real-time shipping rates from the USPS.
- FedEx Shipping Method – The same as above except for FedEx.
- ShipStation Integration – Integrate your WooCommerce store with ShipStation, a paid eCommerce shipment/fulfillment solution.
Final thoughts on WooCommerce shipping
As you configure the WooCommerce shipping settings, take a moment to understand the built-in methods, while also learning about what zones and classes mean for your store.
Test out settings for things like flat rates and free shipping, and consider looking into advanced plugins and extensions for carrier-based pricing and advanced table rates.
For some other ways to enhance your WooCommerce store, you can also check out the following guides:
And if you have further thoughts or questions about WooCommerce shipping, let us know in the comments.