Shipping setup is something that is very easy to not think about until the end of the project or underestimate how important it is.

WooCommerce (version used 3.0.8) comes with some basic shipping options which are Flat Rate, Free Shipping and Local Pickup. You can create different Zones so you could setup UK with a flat rate of £3.99 and Europe as £5.99. You would need to specify each country in Europe or the countries that you want to ship to.

Flat Rate Shipping

Here is an example of UK setup with a flat rate of £3.99.

Here is an example of Europe setup with a flat rate of £5.99 which ships to France, Germany, Norway and Spain.

The Problem

The issue with WooCommerce basic shipping is that it might cost more to send to different areas of the UK such as the highlands and island, isle of wight and Scotland which by default you can’t do.

The Solution

To get around the issue with the UK you can install a free WooCommerce Locations Pack which then allows you to split up the UK and apply different flat rate postage costs for each county. Here is an example where mainland UK counties have been selected so if the user tried to shop to any county not listed it will not show a shipping method.

Here is an example of the UK Mainland with some counties added.

Using the above free plugin you can create different zones for different areas or countries for example:

You can see above that Flat rate is being used along with Free Shipping and Standard Next Working Day (which is actually just another Flat Rate which is renamed). You can also see that certain post codes have been specified for certain areas.

Read more about Flat Rate here.

Free Shipping

You can apply Free shipping based on:

  • A valid free shipping coupon
  • A minimum order amount
  • A minimum order amount or a coupon
  • A minimum order amount and a coupon

You can apply these to any zone that you want to with different options set.

Read more about Free Shipping here.

Shipping Classes

Lets assume that you sell drinks and the fixed postage cost is £2.99 to the mainland UK but you have a larger bottle that you need to charge slightly more postage on lets say £4.99. If you create a shipping class you can then assign this to that product and on the Flat Rate shipping method you can apply the different cost.

Read more about Shipping Classes here.

Advanced Shipping Setup

If you have a complex setup for shipping and you want to assign shipping costs based on the weight or size of the product you need to use paid for plugins and you should renew them so you always get updates.

These are some of the best plugins to use if you want to do pricing by weight or size or you are using Royal Mail for shipping or you base the shipping costs on how far they are away from your business location.

Table Rate Shipping

Define multiple shipping rates based on location, price, weight, or item count. Wildcards may be used to match multiple regions too.

  • Add multiple tables of rates per shipping zone
  • Several types of table rate calculation: Per order, Calculated per item, Calculated per line, Calculated per class
  • Add rules based on Weight, Number of items, Number of items by class and Price
  • Add costs per row, per item cost, a percentage and per weight unit

Read more about Table Rate Shipping here.

Royal Mail Shipping

The WooCommerce Royal Mail shipping plugin lets you offer Royal Mail shipping rates to customers without the need for an API. To use this plugin, your store must use GBP currency and have the United Kingdom as the base country, and your products need to be set up with weights and shipping dimensions.

Read more about Royal Mail Shipping here.

Distance Rate Shipping

The WooCommerce Distance Rate Shipping extensions allows you to easily offer shipping rates based on the distance or total travel time to your customer. Rules can be set up to charge based on the distance, total travel time as well as charging extra based on the total cart value, total weight of the products in the cart, and the number of items in the cart.

Read more about Distance Rate Shipping here.

Conclusion

Shipping can be very complex and you need to think about and plan your shipping costs in advance especially if you have different rates for different areas of the UK or different costs for countries such as France, Germany, etc.

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