Last updated - May 10, 2018
A lot has been spoken about the importance of seamless shipping on your WooCommerce store. But the bottom line is ensuring customer satisfaction, along with profitability. Here is a list of extensions that provides great control and flexibility to store owners.
Third Party API Integration
Integrating live rates from popular third-party shipping carriers is one of the most popular shipping feature extensions in WooCommerce. As you may have already seen, there are quite a lot of options for you to choose from in this regard. If you look at the favorites, you can see USPS, UPS, FedEx, Australia Post and Canada Post comes always on top in terms of popularity. There are more options depending on your store’s location and the extent to which you want to ship your products to. Here is a sample list of popular and useful WooCommerce shipping plugins that help with third party API integration.
You will be able to automatically show your customers shipping rates of the most popular delivery networks in the United States, UPS.
In addition to providing the live rates for domestic and international shipping, this plugin also helps you in printing labels and enables shipment tracking.
Those of you who are looking out for budget options may find this one especially relevant.
There are quite a lot of similar plugins integrating live rates from other shipping carriers. You can search for the ones that are suitable for your requirements in this list of WooCommerce shipping plugins. Versatile options from a range of shipping carriers such as DHL, UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc are available here too.
Table Rate Shipping
The moment you find the core shipping settings of WooCommerce inadequate to handle your store’s requirements, look no further. Table Rate Shipping is a great option to render flexibility to your shipping features. Fundamentally this extension helps you define multiple shipping rates based on location, price, number of products or weight. Here you have the option to choose the table rate calculation as well – per item, per order, per line, or per shipping class. In addition, you can add rules based on price, quantity or weight. Table Rate Shipping plugin is listed as one of the most popular on the WooCommerce website.
WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping Pro Plugin is another one to look out for. With this one, in addition to the obvious features, you can set shipping cost as a percentage of the cart total or create a bundle rate. The free version is equally effective.
Flat Rate Box Shipping
A popular shipping solution is pre-defining flat rates (according to the destination) for different boxes used for shipping. The products are packed into these boxes, and you can determine rates according to the rate defined for each box. Flat Rate Box Shipping Plugin allows you to set advanced shipping rates for different destinations using box packing. With this plugin, you also get the option to add different box sizes to every shipping zone that you have created. In addition, you can add costs based on varied aspects of box weight or packed product’s cost, or even for ‘un-packable’ stuff.
Once you create all the required shipping zones and define the rates according to the size of the boxes, the plugin automatically does the calculation while the customer checks out. But remember, you have to ensure product dimensions are correctly set while adding a product.
Per Product Shipping
If you are selling only a small number of products, defining a specific shipping rate for each might be a good idea. This works well also when you want to add a separate shipping rate for only certain products in your inventory. Using Per Product Shipping, you can set rates for a product or variation per item or line. Though it can be used as a standalone method, store owners often use it in combination with other shipping methods.
Bundle Rate Shipping
Sometimes you want to encourage the customer to purchase multiple items from your store. Offering special bundle rates might be a good strategy in such cases. You can base these rates on shipping location, category, or shipping class. Furthermore, you can add layers to the bundle rates based on the number of products. For example, you may want to reduce the shipping rate gradually as the number of items in the cart increases. This Bundle Rate Shipping Plugin would do this.
But what if you want to change the fixed shipping rate of a product when purchased with a related product whose shipping costs are higher? You may also want to keep the same fixed shipping rates when the product is bought individually. This add-on might be the answer to that question, but it works only in combination with WooCommerce Shipping Pro.
So you have set a flat rate shipping method for a particular shipping zone. But based on the weight of the product, you want to make modifications to the flat rate. What will you do? WooCommerce Conditional Shipping and Payments Plugin is ideal for such scenarios. It enables you to control the shipping methods, available shipping locations, and payment gateways.
For example, you want to offer two shipping rates in a zone based on order weight. That is, you want to set a rate of $5 for up to 3lbs; and an additional $5 for more than 3lbs, but only up to 6lbs. For this, first, you need to create two flat rate shipping method instances in the zone. Next, simply add the above-mentioned restriction rules to these zones. If you want to know further about this plugin, please read this documentation.
Multiple Address Shipping
When you run an online store, it is especially important to keep the convenience of your customers as a high priority. One such customer-friendly feature on your site could be multiple address shipping on the same order. This may get extra relevance during holiday sales period when your customers want to send gifts to friends and family in different locations. Shipping Multiple Addresses Plugin helps you do this effortlessly with simple installation and setup.
Print Invoices, packing slips and labels
Bulk printing order information to customers has become extremely simple with Print Invoices and Packing lists plugin. In addition, this will help you speed up the order fulfillment process by efficiently sorting your orders. You can print invoices individually or in bulk according to your convenience. Moreover, the plugin provides flexibility in choosing the invoice format too.
You can also check out this plugin as an efficient alternative. This one automatically generates the invoice, packing slip, and delivery note in PDF format at the time of an order completion.
Sending a link for shipment tracking to the customer with ‘order-complete-email’ is a good practice done by most online sellers. This contributes to customer satisfaction considerably. You can use XAdapter Shipment Tracking Pro plugin to help your customers track their shipments from varied shipping services. The tracking information will be available in the order details page as well as order completion email. With the help of this plugin, you can also offer real-time status updates for selected shipping carriers.
WooCommerce Shipment Tracking Plugin too provides an effective solution to flaunt this feature in your store. You have to add the shipment information to an order just before changing the order status to ‘complete’, and the plugin will do the rest. It will display the tracking information in notification emails, the order tracking page, and the order view page in the customer account section. For major shipping carriers, the plugin provides automatic tracking links, but you have to manually enter the details for any custom carrier that you choose.
Local pickup from multiple locations
Local pickup is part of the core shipping methods of WooCommerce. But if you want to enhance this functionality by allowing pickup from multiple locations, look no further. Local Pickup Plus Plugin does the job for you. Once you install this plugin, your customer can select the pickup location. The plugin also supports multiple shipping methods per order. The customer can choose local pickup as the shipping method and then select the pickup location.