When it comes to selling products online, an important consideration while developing your online store is the SHIPPING. And since we are using WooCommerce to build our e-commerce store, it is a must for us to explore the shipping options available to us.
So, let’s get started.
WooCommerce provides lot of shipping options and advantages, including at-home label printing, real-time cost calculations, and more.
In this tutorial, we will understand the various shipping options we get with WooCommerce and how to configure each of them. With this, you can make a decision so as to which one suits you the best as per your store needs.
WooCommerce Shipping Options
Before jumping onto the configuration process right away, let us first know what are the different default WooCommerce Options:
- Flat Rate Shipping: This option allows you to define standard Flat rate per order or per item or shipping class. We will learn to configure this option later in our tutorial.
- Free Shipping: This option allows you to grant a free shipping service based on certain criteria to your customers. For example, “free shipping on orders above $100”.
- Local Pickup: With this option, you allow customers to pick up their products from your local store at no cost.
Setting Up Shipping Zones in WooCommerce
Not all products are available for delivery at all locations. By setting Shipping Zones, you can set different shipping methods specific to these regions. How will this help? When a customer from a specific shipping region orders a product, they will be offered the shipping methods specific to their shipping zone.
Let us learn to add shipping zones to our WC online store.
- Go to dashboard > Settings > Shipping Tab. You will be redirected to the “Shipping Zones” window. See the image below:
- Click on the “Add Shipping Zone” button. A new window with several options will be displayed on your screen.
- Fill in the information as:
- Zone Name: Give a name to the zone you want to add for your reference. Say, you keep it the Northern USA.
- Zone Regions: Select the regions you want to include in the zone you just named in the previous step. Your customers will choose shopping methods based on their addresses in these regions. Regions can consist of: a) Countries, b) States, c) Continents.
- Shipping Methods: Here, you can add different shipping methods you want to offer against each shipping zone. Click on the button “Add Shipping Method”.
- Choose the preferred shipping method from the drop-down list. You can add one, two or all of the three shipping methods.
Sorting Shipping Zones
Shipping zones match customer address from top to bottom. If there’s no custom zones match, then the “Locations Not Covered by Your other Zones” is used. Hence, to sort or reorder Shipping Zones, follow the steps as given:
- Click on the tab Shipping Zones.
- Hover on the far-left handles. You will see a four-point icon on the screen.
- Now, drag and drop.
II. Adding Shipping Methods in WooCommerce
Configuring the Flat Rate Shipping Method
- When you hover on the text “Flat Rate”, you will see two buttons – Edit and Delete. Click on “EDIT” option. See the image.
- A new “Flat Rate Settings” window will open.
- Add “Method Title”, which will be a text that your customer will see. You may use the same or change it to a new title.
- Select “Taxable” if you want to make flat rate method taxable. If not, select “None”.
- Next, set the flat cost (per order) at no tax.
- Click on “Save Changes”.
Configuring the Free Shipping Method
- Under “Free Shipping”, click on “Edit”.
- A “Free Shipping Settings” will open on your screen.
- Enter a “Title” that displays to your customers during the checkout process.
- In the “Free Shipping Requires…”, click on the drop-down list with the options as follows:
- N/A – Not available, which offers Free Shipping to all customers.
- A valid free shipping coupon – You can create coupons to enable free shipping.
- A minimum order amount – Customers can access “Free shipping” option only if they spent a minimum amount. Set the minimum amount in the “Minimum Order Amount Field” which will appear on selecting this option.
- A minimum order amount OR a coupon – Customers can avail “Free shipping” option if a customer spent a minimum amount or has a coupon that offers free shipping.
- A minimum order amount AND a coupon – Free shipping is offered when a minimum amount is spent and the customer has a free shipping coupon.
- If you choose any option with a minimum order amount, next you will be asked to enter a “Minimum Order Amount”.
- Lastly, if you select any of the options that include a minimum amount, you can select this rule before or after coupon discounts have been applied.
- Save changes.
Configuring Local Pickup
- Click on “Edit” option.
- On the modal window, enter a “Title” that you want your customers to see.
- Set the “Tax Status” to Taxable or None as per your requirement.
- Add “Cost” as an optional charge for customers to avail local pickup.
- Save changes.
III Set Up Shipping Options in WooCommerce
“Shipping Options” helps you define various aspects of shipping you want to offer to your customers.
- Go To “Shipping” and click on the “Shipping Options” Tab.
- Select the checkbox next to “Calculations” based on how & when do you want to offer calculation options to your customers.
- Next, set a default “Shipping Destination” from the given options. You can either choose to offer shipping address or billing address as the shipping destination. You can even force the shipping to the customer’s billing address if you don’t want to provide the option to ship somewhere else.
- Save all the changes.
Set Up Shipping Classes in WooCommerce
The Shipping Classes help you to group products by type. In other words, you can group similar products for shipping by creating “shipping classes”. These classes can be then used by the shipping methods to apply different rates to them. Creating shipping methods are particularly helpful when the products you sell are expensive, fragile, too light or too small to make much difference.
Let us learn to create Shipping classes for your online store:
- Click on the “Shipping Classes” tab.
- Click the button, “Add Shipping Class”. You will be redirected to a new model. See image below.
- Add a suitable “Name” of the class in the textbox. This name will be displayed on your customer’s screen during the checkout process.
- Add a “Slug”, which is a URL-friendly version of the class name.
- Add a short “Description” of the class you are creating to help customers understand what is it about.
- Click “Save Shipping Classes”.
- You can create as many shipping classes as you want.
The best thing about WooCommerce platform is that it offers everything beyond your usual expectations. Besides the default options it offers under each section, you also get a number of “Extensions” to add advanced functionality to your online store.
Likewise, WooCommerce also offers numerous “Shipping Extensions” to help you add real-time shipping functionalities like cost calculations, order delivery, multiple addresses shipping, etc. to your WC e-store.
- On your WC dashboard, click on “Extensions”. Refer to the image.
- A new window with numerous shipping extensions will be displayed on your screen.
These extensions help you connect with carriers around the world such as FedEx, Australian Post, and the Royal Mail. Besides, you can use these shipping extensions to integrate with fulfilment services, inventory management or to offer specialty shipping, like buy one get one or free gifts. Choose the extension that fits to your needs the best.