Shipping is one of the key aspects of any eCommerce store. Even while setting up your wooCommerce store, it is very important to have the right shipping strategy in place. In our earlier tutorial Getting Started with wooCommerce we learnt how to setup a complete eCommerce store using the wooCommerce plugin. With this tutorial, we will explore the various Shipping options that wooCommerce provides.
wooCommerce Shipping Options
Let’s get started with the basic set of options to set up shipping on your store. This is where you can choose if shipping calculator should be enabled on the cart page, the default shipping destination (i.e. billing vs. shipping addresses), specify a list of countries, and configure different shipping methods. Phew, that’s quite an exhaustive list, isn’t it? But the fields are so intuitive and easy to fill that you only take a few minutes to go through it.
wooCommerce provides you the option of creating shipping classes to group different products together. You can then use these classes to associate different shipping methods and costs to different product groups.
Flat Rate Shipping
The flat rate method covers almost all the regular shipping strategies of an eCommerce store. Using this method you can configure the shipping cost per item, per order, or per shipping class.
Just as in the case of the base shipping options, you can specify the countries for which you’d like to apply the flat rate shipping costs. There is a Cost per order, which is the basic shipping cost for an order. You can include additional rates for priority deliveries. In this example, I have added two additional rates:
Priority Shipping (1-2 days) | 1.00 | order
Guaranteed 24 hours Shipping | 4.00 | order
You can add more or fewer rates in the same format, i.e. Name | Cost | Type, where type can be order, class, or item.
Lastly, you have the additional costs table using which you can add any added cost for a specific shipping class, including handling fee. There is also a provision to enter an overall minimum handling fee at the bottom of the page.
With all these costs keyed in, the cart page will look as follows:
For each shipping type, you have the additional cost included. So for an item worth 175$, priority shipping will cost –
175$ (product price) + 5.99$ (basic shipping cost) + 1$ (priority shipping) + 1.2$ (additional cost) = 183.19$
Per Product Shipping
Most online stores have shipping cost for an entire order. However, some products (heavy or large products) may require special shipping. You may want to have a different shipping fee for a particular product based on the customer location. To handle such cases wooCommerce allows you to enable per product shipping using a premium extension. Apart from including cost per product, you also have the facility of defining costs per variation of the product.
Table Rate Shipping
wooCommerce has another shipping related premium extension known as the Table Rate Shipping. This is suitable for stores that cater to different parts of the world. Using this extension you can create shipping classes, geographic zones, and suitable rates pertaining to these classes and zones. The extension brings a great deal of flexibility by allowing you to configure rates based on a number of items in the order, weight of the products, and lots more.
There are many ways to setup shipping on your store. It is strongly recommended that you are 100% clear about your courier rates and shipping locations before setting this up. That way you can come up with the most cost-effective solution for your store.