If you are just selling a few products of a similar type then the basic shipping options in WooCommerce should be more than enough to ensure you are able to add the correct amount in costs to your customer orders to cover the shipping fees. But for more advanced options, WooCommerce shipping plugin is way to go.
If your inventory consists of various products of all shapes and sizes, then you will have to delve deeper into the way you can set up varied shipping options.
For stores that require more features other than basic shopping, product pages and checkout, you’ll need to purchase some premium extensions.
If selling tangible products, WooCommerce shipping plugin with more features and options will probably be required. I have made research and provided three worthy WooCommerce shipping plugins to make additional shipping options.
Below plugins provide shipping based on weight, country, zip code, quantity, price, dimension of products, etc.
1. Table Rate WooCommerce Shipping Plugin
Table Rate Shipping for WooCommerce is a premium WordPress plugin from CodeCanyon that gives you the ability to add multiple shipping rate options to your WooCommerce store. This is a great way to offer consumers multiple shipping options at checkout.
With this plugin you can offer free shipping over a certain amount, a choice between standard or 2-day shipping, special rates based on weight, dimensions and much more.
In addition to being able to add various shipping options at checkout, you can also specify which options are available based on a user’s order or based on the items in their cart. It is good way to run special discounted shipping on featured products, free shipping for big orders and more.
You can also use the Table Rate WooCommerce shipping plugin options to set rules based on weight, quantity, dimensions, destination or price. Price for this plugin is $21 on Codecanyon and it has sold more than 7,000 copies with average rating of 4.70.
Table Rate WooCommerce Shipping Plugin Features
–Multiple Zones – Allows configuration of zones. Each zone can be set to everywhere, one or more countries/states, or a single country/state with a variety of postal codes.
–Customer Options – One or multiple shipping costs for a customer to choose. Offering Standard and Express shipping? Both can be setup with the same rules but different costs.
–Conditions – Set your rates based on per order, per item, or per shipping class method.
–Tax Inclusion – Shipping price costs with or without tax included.
–Volumetric Shipping – Plugin will base its calculations on the volumetric weight or the actual weight listed, whichever is higher.
–Handling Fees – Additional fees can be created per zone basis and include either a fixed price, a percentage of the customer’s subtotal, or a combination of both.
–Rules Based on… – Each rule has its own row in the table that can be based on price, weight, quantity, and overall dimensions.
Only one can be selected for each rule, but they can change from row to row so that one zone may be based on price while another on weight.
–Simple Bundling – Change the cost for customers who purchase multiple items. When bundling is enabled, the cost is applied for each item up to a certain number.
When that number is reached, the second cost will be given to each item past that.
–Different Cost Choices – While flat rate costs are most common, a possible rate can also be determined as a percentage of the price being compared or multiplied (cost applied for each quantity purchased).
–Control the Display – Set the order of shipping options than are given to the customer. You can also select which one will be selected by default on the cart/checkout pages.
2. WooCommerce Advanced Shipping
WooCommerce Advanced Shipping allows you to create multiple shipping methods. It was built to allow users to configure their own shipping methods. Once activated you will have more options under the ‘WooCommerce’ -> ‘Settings’ -> ‘Shipping’ section.
To create your advanced shipping method click on the ‘Add Advanced Shipping Method’ button. This will bring you to a new page where you can set various settings.
When clicking the ‘condition’ drop down you will see a list of conditions to choose from:
In the operator section you will find four options to select from:
- Equal to
- Not Equal to
- Greater or Equal to
- Less or Equal to
When using the ‘Equal to’ , the value should equal to the customers shipping value.
When choosing the ‘Not Equal to’ operator, it will exclude the shipping method from any customer that will have set his shipping value to the selected value.
When clicking the ‘+’ button after a condition, it will automatically add a new condition row. Then you can set extra condition that needs to be met to allow the shipping method.
This way you can combine it to set different shipping rates for e.g. weight, subtotal, quantity…
‘Add Or group’ button adds different condition group to your conditions. When working with conditions groups, all conditions in just one of the condition groups need to be met for shipping method to be displayed.
It makes easier to group shipping rates with the same name/costs without having to create new shipping methods. Below all the conditions there is settings area where you can set the shipping title and different shipping price options.
–Shipping costs: Fill in the shipping costs you want to charge to the customer, empty or 0 is free.
–Handling fee: This is a one-time cost. It can be a number or a percentage.
–Cost per item: Price that will be calculated per item.
–Cost per weight: This fee will be multiplied by the amount of weight the customer has in cart.
–Tax status: Applies taxes if its setup in WC -> Settings -> Tax
Besides WooCommerce Advanced Shipping plugin you will also get the ‘Shipping Zones’ extension, which allows you to create a condition with multiple countries/states/zipcodes.
This is an extension that author sends to people (without extra charge) if they want to create multiple countries for example. Right now the only way to get the shipping zones extension is by request via author contact form.
Price for the plugin is $16 on Codecanyon with average rating of 4.95 out of 5. Free version is also available from WordPress repository.
3. WooThemes Table Rate Shipping Module
Table Rate Shipping makes possible to create complex rules for shipping products all over the world. You can define multiple rates based on the product’s destination, have multiple rates per zone, add rules based on product weight, number of items, shipping class and price.
When a customer checks out items in their cart, the plugin looks at the destination of items and then uses the table of rates you created to calculate total shipping. Each destination can have its own rules, or multiple sets of rules, based on your shipping requirements.
To calculate shipping correctly, you need to create shipping zones and shipping rules. The plugin will take care of all the calculations for you.
Before getting started you need to do the following:
1. Set up your shipping classes
2. Get shipping rates from your chosen courier
3. Determine your shipping zones
Shipping classes are used to indicate products that are similar for shipping. By setting up shipping classes, you can create tables of rates that apply to different shipping classes.
This gives you considerable flexibility when creating shipping methods. With classes created, you can create Shipping Zones. Shipping Zones are different geographical regions that your products will be shipped to.
These will be different depending on where you are in the world. If you’re based in the UK, for example, you may set up your zones as follows:
- Zone 1: UK and Northern Ireland
- Zone 2: EU Countries
- Zone 3: Rest of the World
Once you have created shipping zones, you can create tables of rates for each. Each zone can have as many shipping methods as you require and each shipping method has its own settings to configure.
You can calculate shipping based on:
- Per order – calculates shipping for the entire cart. If there are varying shipping classes in the customer’s cart, the class with the highest priority will be used.
- Calculated rate (per item) – calculates the rate by checking each item in the customer’s basket against the table of rates.
- Calculated rate (per line) – looks at each line in the basket and checks that against the table. Multiple of the same item are on the same line, so the customer will only be charged once for multiples of the same item.
- Calculated rate (per class) – each shipping class in your basket is totaled and offered at a final rate.
Once you’ve chosen how to calculate rates, it’s time to start adding rates. The plugin will compare items in the customer’s cart against the table of rates to calculate shipping costs.
Choose the shipping class to which rate will apply. You can also choose to apply the rate to items in any shipping class or in no shipping class. Condition column tells the plugin what product information it should use to calculate rates.
Your options are:
- None – you don’t wish to use product information to calculate the total
- Price – the price of the items
- Weight – the weight of the items
- Item Count – the number of an individual item
- Item Count (same class) – the number of items in the shipping class
There are times you may wish to merge shipping of a specific product. To properly merge items for shipping, you need to ensure that the table is set up with the highest rate at the top and the lowest rate at the bottom.
There are as many different possible setups for shipping as there are e-commerce stores. But for every store the following advice applies:
- Get your rates from your courier before starting
- Plan your shipping zones, methods, and rules beforehand
- Test your calculations by checking out items on the front end to ensure you get what you expect
This plugin is little pricey. It is official WooCommerce shipping plugin. Single site license will cost you $199, five sites license $249 and 25 sites license will cost $399.
A license entitles you to 1 year of updates and support. Each installation of the plugin will require a licence key in order for you to receive updates and support.
WooCommerce Shipping Plugin Comparison
- Subtotal based shipping
- Shipping including/excluding tax
- Shipping based on quantity of products in the cart
- Shipping based on the cart weight
- Shipping based on zipcode
- Shipping based on city
- Shipping based on country
- Shipping based on state
- Shipping based on user role
- Shipping based on width
- Shipping based on height
- Shipping based on length
- Shipping based on stock
- Handling fees
- Multiple shipping costs
- Bundling shipping
- Applying multiple rules to the shipping
- WPML compatibility
- Table Rate Shipping for WooCommerce
- WooCommerce Advanced Shipping
- WooThemes Table Rate Shipping
Shipping Plugins For WooCommerce Summary
For those starting out with a small eCommerce store the core shipping features of the WooCommerce plugin should be enough for you to get started.
As your inventory and customer base grows, you may need to turn to one of the premium extensions, or even a WordPress developer who can provide you with a custom solution to match your specific needs.
This can be especially true if your products vary considerably in size and weight, and you have customers from around the world, requiring shipping to many different locations. Then you may consider one of above mentioned WooCommerce shipping plugins to set various shipping options based on different criteria.
For your WooCommerce store to grow you also need quality inventory management plugin, product bundle plugin, good analytics plugin, etc. All this with useful shipping plugin will help your store single out from competition.
Does your WooCommerce shop have any special requirements in terms of shipping and cost calculations? Did you used any of mentioned plugins or have free solution? Let me know in comments below!