Australia Post is a government-owned postal and shipping services corporation based in Melbourne. They offer a range of local and international postal services. In the rapidly-growing eCommerce environment, Australia Post plays a leading role in technological and logistical innovations. In the recent years, Australia Post has made their commitment to digital businesses loud and clear by getting into initiatives such as “eServices” and “Future Ready”. The focus of Australia Post is spread into postal services involving ‘letters’, retail merchandise and agency services, and logistics and fulfillment services. The renewed attention to digital businesses is a welcome aspect for the large number of WooCommerce store owners.
This article is exploring some of the popular WooCommerce tools to get it integrated on your store, and the advantages of using Australia Post as your shipping carrier.
This extension developed by WooCommerce offers seamless integration with Australia Post API. You can get shipping rates displayed on your store for both domestic and international shipments. You need to use the Australian dollars as the base currency of your store for this extension to work correctly.
With this extension, you can also enable additional features such as delivery confirmation and extra coverage. There are options to add extra charges to the available Australia Post services, and even the edit the name of the services. Parcel packing options include packing individual items separately and box packing options using the built in tool.
How to get it to work?
Once you make the purchase, you can download the zip file of the extension from your WooCommerce account. Once you activate the plugin, you need to enter the API key, if you wish to use your own. You can leave the field blank to use the API key of WooCommerce. You can add Australia post as a shipping method in your Shipping Zones configuration. In the settings, you can modify and reorganize Australia Post services as per your requirements.
One important aspect that you need to look into while configuring this plugin is the parcel packing option. There are options to set ‘pack items individually’ or ‘weight of all items combined’. However the plugin recommends choosing ‘box packing’ where items will be packed into boxes with pre-defined box dimensions. You need to specify the inner and outer box dimensions, as well as weight of the box and maximum weight of the package. The plugin will find the right box to pack the specified items and pack them by volume.
There is also the flat rate option of Australia Post known as Satchel Rates. Here, you don’t need to define box sizes, instead items will be packed into satchels available in three different sizes. You can enable or prioritize either Satchel packing or box packing on your store, according to your specific requirements.
You can also customize how the available Australia Post services are displayed to your customers. There is an Adjustment field that helps to modify the rate of available Australia Post services. You can also make use of the Extra Cover option that adds an insurance cover your shipping.
This extension is available for purchase at $79 for single site, $99 for 5-site and $199 for 25-site license. WooCommerce guarantees you one year of updates and support along with the license.
This extension, by WPRuby, is a free extension that you can get hold of from the WordPress plugin directory. It will integrate Australia Post services smoothly on your WooCommerce store. You can display real time shipping rates along with the estimated delivery time of the order. The plugin is compatible with WooCommerce shipping zones.
The free version offers the basic features that you need to integrate Australia Post on your store. However, if you are looking for advanced features, you can opt for the pro version which has loads of features including international shipping, domestic satchels, drop shipping support, extra cover and many more.
This is yet another free option that offers a basic integration of Australia Post on your WooCommerce store without hassles. You need to enter the basic details like address details, and product details, and based on that the plugin would get the rates from Australia Post API. Your Cart and Checkout page will display Australia Post services with rates for the customers to choose from.
Setting up the plugin is quite easy and straightforward. You need to install and activate the plugin and navigate to the settings page (WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping > Australia Post Basic).
On the settings page, you need to enable the real time rates and you are set to go.
You can choose to enter a title for the shipping method, origin post code and API key. A choice to select the desired Australia Post service is also available.
Here is a screenshot of the plugin settings page.
Once the settings page is configured and saved according to requirements, you can see the Australia Post rates displayed on the Cart and Checkout pages. Here is a screenshot of the Cart page.
As in the previous case, this plugin mostly helps with the basic Australia Post integration. If you want to make use of all the advanced features provided by the Australia Post API, you should opt for the premium version.
This premium option by XAdapter is one of the most efficient ways to integrate Australia Post shipping services. In addition to displaying shipping rates, the plugin also facilitates shipment tracking, parcel packing, and printing labels. Some of the features of this plugin include:
Display live shipping rates
As seen with the basic version, the premium version of XAdapter plugin too displays Australia Post services and rates on the Cart and Checkout pages. The rates are dependent on product weight and dimensions, as well as shipping destination.
Multiple parcel packing options
Each item can be separately packed. For this, the individual item details will be sent to the API and later all the rates are combined to determine the final cost. In weight based packing, the cart is split into 30 kilogram packages. In this case, only the weight of the items are required, not the dimensions. The recommended option, however, is box packing. Here the items in the cart is packed into pre-defined boxes.
There is a field to restrict display of shipping services to customers from specific countries that you choose.
Get discounted rates
You can get special contracted rates from Australia Post and choose to display that to your customers. There are also options to display only the cheapest rate to the customers. This option is really convenient if you don’t want to show all the available rates to the customers.
Multiple domestic services
There are a range of services available under three main categories. These are Regular or Parcel Post, Express Post and Courier Post. With the help of the plugin, you can also rename and reorganize the services. If you want to add a price adjustment, by adding a discount or a markup, that can also be done with this plugin.
The plugin also offers multiple international services such as Economy, Standard, Express and Courier.
Print Shipping Labels
If you have contracted rates set up for your account with Australia Post, you can use this plugin to print shipping labels as well. One you receive an order, you can go to order details page and generate the shipment. The postage will be paid automatically through your account and labels are generated. The labels will have tracking code included with them and you can print them in multiple formats.
Shipment tracking information is added to the order details page of each individual order. If you want to customize the content of the tracking message, you can do that also using this plugin.
The plugin allows signature-enabled services.
The plugin offers an option to include an extra insurance cover as well, similar to WooCommerce plugin.
How to set up the plugin?
You need to purchase the plugin from XAdapter.com first. You need to install the plugin zip file and activate the plugin. You can configure all the required aspects on the Settings page.
You can see all the available services and rates on the Checkout page based on the shipping destination.
Some advantages of opting for Australia Post
Australia Post has renewed their business strategy into one focusing intensely on eCommerce businesses. This statement by the ex-CEO Ahmed Fahour in early 2017 is proof enough for this: “Today over 70 per cent of our revenue and 100 per cent of our profit is derived from commercial activities in parcels and e-commerce.” Let’s look into some of the clear advantages for WooCommerce store owners with Australia Post.
Dedicated focus on eCommerce
Australia Post offers dedicated and easier options for eCommerce businesses to sell and deliver online. Similarly there is ample scope for customers to receive and return their online shopping orders. This is in fact made possible by the large number of post offices, posting boxes on the street, and parcel lockers. Exclusive digital features like a dedicated mobile app, last mile notifications and virtual storefront help customers to be update with their orders like never before. The extended reach of its delivery network, with over 11 million delivery points make Australia Post a clear leader in logistics and delivery fulfillment.
With Australia Post, there is a steady and increased investment of resources into the eCommerce industry. Furthermore, real time access to information is made available to all customers through a range of mobility services, and as a result, customers have improved choices in selecting their services. This gives more convenience to customers and they feel they are more in control over their shipment or postage. For example, customers will get a choice to select a priority service (faster delivery) over the regular service (relatively slower). New options like evening and weekend delivery, automated parcel sorting technology, etc make it all the more exciting.
Exclusive eCommerce services
In the last five years, Australia Post has done an investment of over 2 billion for the eCommerce industry, and this speaks volumes. The investment has been to build existing resources as well as to develop new services. For example, Australia Post has partnered with StarTrack to develop an end-to-end to eCommerce delivery solution. All this is aimed at a cost effective, high quality business model, that is very much in line with the flavor of WooCommerce. The intent of many small and medium businesses running on similar platforms also would align well with these principles.
Improved parcel delivery services
75% of all parcels delivered by Australia Post is from an online order. This fact proves to be a strong motivator for the increased investment for better services and outcomes in parcel delivery. There is continuous effort to widen the reach beyond Australia with strategic collaborations with international eCommerce businesses. For a business owner, starting out with a WooCommerce store, this is a great aspect for motivation.
Special attention to small and medium business owners
In the recent past, there had been multiple initiatives from Australia Post to encourage and enlighten small and medium business owners to design their business more effectively. This sort of engagement from an established market leader provides inspiring prospects for the enterprising new generation who rely on technological innovations like WooCommerce. A fine example for this commitment would be Farmhouse Direct, a marketplace where local produce is sold to a consumer base across the country. Good Spender is another similar initiative of Australia Post that offers a great platform for small business owners.
International supply chain solutions
One example of increased collaborations with foreign postal agencies is Australia Post’s collaboration with China. There are warehouses in multiple Chinese cities and this has enhanced the scope of business for Australian entrepreneurs who are looking to sell to Chinese consumers. Partnerships with Alibaba and Aramex are similar efforts that bring improved vigor to the whole eCommerce industry.
Technological advancement and trustworthy reputation
As technology revolutionized business and communication, Australia Post updated itself quite rapidly to meet with the increasing customer expectations. The entire set of digital services that they offer come under enhanced security features. Options like MyPost, mobile app and other self service tools are examples where Australia Post has revamped existing models to offer great convenience to its customers. The rock solid reputation and the reliability of the brand thus stays intact even in changing times. The combination of unwavering reputation and updated technology would really help a WooCommerce store owner who is looking to make it big in the business world.
Australia Post is a great shipping option to integrate to your WooCommerce store, if you are running a WooCommerce store based in Australia. You will find some of the best eCommerce friendly features with Australia Post. The special attention and encouragement provided to small and medium business owners is relevant to the large number of WooCommerce store owners who are starting out. The above-mentioned plugins are some of the best options to integrate Australia Post to your WooCommerce store. If you want to add anything to this article, please leave a comment below.