Last updated - September 28, 2018
If you are selling physical products on your WooCommerce store, you may find many hassles with the shipping process. Shipping tends to get quite complicated when you are dealing with products of different size and weight. Similarly, if you are shipping to varied locations, that too can create several challenges. Furthermore, if you deal with perishable and fragile products, you may have to completely change your strategy accordingly. If you are able to handle multiple factors like these with one tool, it might be quite a relief. WooCommerce table rate shipping is one such tool that will help you deal with multiple facets of shipping simultaneously. If you search in the WooCommerce community, you can find quite a few plugins that will help you set up table rate shipping. These plugins help you define shipping rates based on location, price, the weight of the product, etc. This article looks into some of the best table rate shipping plugins that you can find at the moment. You will also find some tips to set up a robust shipping strategy.
The shipping process can become quite complicated when you have customers from different locations and products of different kinds and sizes. You may want to customize your shipping options according to each order, or whenever customers order a particular product. WooCommerce table rate shipping extension provides exactly that. It helps you define highly customized shipping rates based on location, number of items in the cart, weight, or price of the product. With this extension, you can also use wildcards to match multiple regions.
Basically, you can add multiple rate tables for each shipping zone. And calculate the rate tables based on multiple aspects of per item, per line, per order or per shipping class. You can set up rules based on the price or weight of the product. In addition, you can set rules based on the number of items or number of items in a specific shipping class. You can add costs per item, per row, percentage or per weight unit. The extension has an intuitive interface that will help you immensely in setting up complex rules. You can easily add, remove or duplicate rules with relative ease.
The single site subscription would cost you $99. The 5-site subscription is available for $149 and the 25-site one for $299.
This plugin helps you set up a rate table to determine shipping cost based on a variety of conditions. You can add multiple rates based on shipping destination, product weight, cart subtotal, number of items, shipping class, product price, etc. The plugin allows to have multiple rates for each zone, and you can use wildcards to match multiple regions. One unique feature of the plugin is the easy configuration option for international shipping. Options to group ‘Rest of the World’, ‘Rest of the Country’, ‘Any Country’, and ‘Any State’ will make your job easier.
Helps you set up complex calculations
You can define shipping rates based on different weight slabs. Once it goes beyond the defined range, you can define shipping rate per weight unit. You will also be able to define various shipping services such as standard, express, priority, ground, etc based on custom rules. The plugin also helps to import shipment tracking information in bulk from a CSV file, which you can schedule via FTP from a remote location. With the help of this plugin, you can set up bundled shipping rates combining products.
The plugin helps to set up a fixed shipping rate for a product, and a variable cost that progressively rises when more units are purchased. Based on a combination of rules, you can easily set up flat rate and free shipping options. You can even set a per product shipping rate using this plugin. The rates in such a case are determined based on product category, shipping class, shipping destination, etc. There is multilingual support too – you can find English and German translation option out of the box with the plugin.
The plugin costs $69 for a single site license. The 5-site license is available for $99, and 25-site license would cost you $199.
Apparently, this is one of the most popular shipping plugins on CodeCanyon. It helps you set up shipping rates based on a variety of conditions. The configuration options are quite vast and the set up is relatively easy. Options include package grouping based on order, item or class. You can set up conditions based on multiple factors such as category, shipping class, product weight, price, dimensions, etc. The plugin allows volumetric weight calculations and user-based controls. You can get the regular license of the plugin for $25.
This plugin helps you configure a variety of shipping options starting from simple to complex ones according to your business needs. It would help you configure multiple WooCommerce shipping methods simultaneously. You can easily customize a variety of shipping methods on your WooCommerce store, which otherwise would take hours of development efforts. Another notable feature of this plugin is the seamless third-party integration that it provides. Also, you get the control to use multiple shipping methods with this one. For example, you can easily combine some of the popular shipping options like FedEx, UPS, etc.
With tree Table Rate Shipping plugin, you can include or exclude multiple delivery options such as standard, express, local pickup, fragile shipments or insurance. You can define the visibility of these options based on order destination, weight, cart subtotal, etc. This extremely flexible WooCommerce table rate shipping plugin will cost you $39+ taxes.
A few effective shipping strategies
Customers not being happy with your shipping charges might be one of the major reasons for cart abandonment on your site. With great solutions and tools around, it is not such an ardent task to set up a robust shipping strategy. Here are a few effective strategies you can try out for a great shipping strategy. Some of these can be achieved by the plugins mentioned above.
Use Volumetric Weight Calculations
In the world of shipping, the weight of a package is not often the most important criteria to determine the cost. Space it occupies play a major role in how items can be packed in a container or aircraft. So shipping carriers use volumetric weight to determine the shipping cost. Volumetric weight of a package is determined by multiplying the length, height, and width of a package and then dividing it by a volumetric factor. This volumetric factor varies based on the unit that you use calculate the weight. Shipping carriers usually compare the actual weight of the packet with volumetric weight and choose the higher weight to determine shipping costs. All the major shipping carriers such as FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL, etc use volumetric weight for their shipping calculations. This actually helps them calculate shipping rates more accurately for large lightweight products. Check out some WooCommerce plugins that would help you integrate popular shipping carriers.
Utilize the scope of free shipping
Free shipping can be a great strategy to push customers to complete a purchase on your store. However, it is not a financially viable option for you all the time. A common strategy that many store owners try when they offer free shipping, is to set a minimum order value. This way, even when you are taking the shipping costs on your shoulders, the revenue on your store will increase. This might be a great option to try out when you are aggressively marketing. You can also try offering free shipping seasonally, or only for specific user roles, etc. You may find some solutions for this scenario here.
Make things transparent with real-time rates
Shipping rates are often a pain to customers due to the variable options and services available. A great solution for a store owner would be to offer real-time shipping rates to customers. In this case, the customer will see exactly the same amount a particular shipping carrier is charging you. This transparency would definitely add to the customer experience in your store. A great way here is to display shipping rates of multiple shipping carriers that are popular among your customers. This would actually enable the customers to choose a service they actually prefer. Sometimes, customers would prefer a convenient option, even if it is not the cheapest available option. You can find a few similar strategies that help with your shipping process here.
Use flat rate intelligently
Sometimes offering a flat rate might be the best option for your products. However, you may have to do extensive calculations to determine a strategy that works for you. For example, USPS has a range of flat rate boxes and envelopes that you can use. This might prove to be really profitable if your products are generally of small dimension and higher weight. Similarly, you can find a strategy that works best for you by researching all the popular shipping carriers. Once you find a suitable carrier, you can negotiate with them for a favorable rate. Most carriers provide competitive rates based on the volume of shipments. Even if you are a small business with a projected increase in volume in the near future, shipping carriers often offer you discounted rates. However, you may have to reach the projected volume in the stipulated time for this to continue.
Shipping can be a real headache when you are running an eCommerce store that sells physical products. It is a major determinant of customer experience and repeated purchases. The challenge here however is that a flawed shipping strategy can seriously dent your profits. So, it is especially important to set up a shipping strategy that suits your business and customers. WooCommerce table rate shipping is one such strategy that is used by a large number of store owners. It gives a lot of control to customize the shipping strategy on your store. This article attempted to offer some of the best WooCommerce table rate shipping plugins available at the moment. Moreover, you will find some insights to develop a solid shipping strategy. A great shipping strategy and the consequent enhancement of customer satisfaction is dependent on multiple factors. If you want to leave an insight on this, please use the comments section.