You have already gone through the default shipping methods available with your basic WooCommerce setup. But if you are looking for more flexibility in terms of your shipping options, you can always opt for premium extensions that offer added functionalities. There are numerous plugins available in the WooCommerce marketplace integrating the services of the major players in the shipping industry.
Where to find top quality shipping plugins for WooCommerce?
A good place to get acquainted with premium shipping options is probably WooCommerce’s list of top plugins. Seamless shipping solutions are offered by several third-party developers as well.
The background essentials of WooCommerce shipping plugins
The premium shipping extensions that offer added functionalities to your Woocommerce store works in different ways in the background. It might prove useful to know how these extensions work, as you can choose the best ones according to your business needs.
Third party API rates
There are a set of extensions that get the rates from third party APIs from top shipping service providers from around the world. These extensions often provide you with features like quotes per product and box packing. In addition, you can customize them to show the cheapest rate only, or a set of rates to choose from; depending on your customer expectation.
Some of the examples for premium shipping extensions that uses third party API rates are:
- Canada Post: If you are shipping products in Canada, Canada Post is a premium shipping method which you will find quite handy. The extension integrates Canada Post’s API which handles both domestic and international parcels. Understandably, you should be using Canadian dollars as currency on your store.
- FedEx: FedEx is one of the most preferred shipping service provider across the globe. A premium plugin using the FedEx API would be definitely a value addition to the store.
- UPS: If you are shipping all around the world, a UPS extension would prove quite useful for you. The clear winning point here is that the Rates-API will return rates in the currency of the country in which the API was registered. You need to make sure this matches your store.
- USPS: USPS is the largest shipping network in the United States and if your store uses US dollars, this will be a natural choice for you.
In terms of flexibility, these methods offer the best scope for store owners. The shipping rates will be completely under the control of store owners in these cases.
Some of the good examples for premium shipping extensions that allows user-defined rates are given below:
- Flat Rate Box Shipping – You can set fixed costs for boxes as per the shipping destination. The products will be then packed into these boxes considering the product dimensions and volume.
- Local Pickup Plus – Local pickup can be set in multiple location with this extension. The basic functionality of WooCommerce allows only pickup from shop base location.
- Per Product Shipping – You can set shipping costs at product level. These shipping costs can be standalone or combined with other shipping methods.
- Table Rate Shipping – This work in accordance with shipping zones. In each shipping zone, you will be to create more than one tables of rates. This way you can define shipping rules based on customer location, item number or price of the product, or even based on shipping class.
Custom rates based on WooCommerce Shipping API
You can also use the WooCommerce shipping method API to add your own rates. Store owners can use the help of developers who can create custom plugins interacting with the API.