Straight to the point, what factors will affect directly to the final decision of customers when they’re shopping at your Woocommerce store?
Information, Price or Product? They are important. However, anything else?
- Have you ever waited for a century to receive a package?
- Waiting for hopelessly as the shop can’t help you in tracking the package.
- Paying additional tax in order to get the package.
As a Woocommerce store owners, if you don’t want your customers to leave you, it’s time to solve all questions above.
What Do Customers Truly Need?
Do you know that more and more customers want fast and free shipping?
According to an Alix Partners report, three-quarters of US consumers say that the choice of free and fast shipping greatly impacts their purchasing decisions when shopping online.
This year’s report indicates that as of late 2017, the maximum delivery time that shoppers will accept in order to receive free shipping is on average is 4.5 days. That’s down a full day from 5.5 in a similar 2012 survey.
The maximum amount of delivery time shoppers are willing to accept in order to receive free shipping, sorted by Amazon Prime membership.
So if you can offer a free shipping in a short of time, you can get the heart of customers.
That’s what they need!
What Are We Facing?
When customers have a wonderful experience shopping at your store, obviously a chance for them to come back is very big.
Every website owners want to improve customers’ experience. However, easier said than done.
Different address, products, carrier will impact the fee. How can you calculate the appropriate price including free and fast shipping?
WooCommerce provides different shipping options and tax settings. An online store owner can comfortably calculate shipping costs by using various shipping methods and shipping classes in WooCommerce.
You don’t read wrong. It’s true!
WooCommerce, itself comes complete with several basic core shipping methods for offering Flat Rates, Local Pickup, and Free Shipping.
Now we will find out how to configure the shipping features available in WooCommerce on your eCommerce store.
WooCommerce Shipping Methods
There are various shipping methods that control the shipping rates offered. They are divided into different categories based on their functionality.
The two main shipping methods are:
- Standard shipping methods
- Premium shipping methods
Standard Shipping MethodsW
Flat rate is a fixed rate that you charge for a particular zone. Certain mathematical calculations are used in arriving at this rate.
For example, you can charge customers based on the number of items in the cart or charge 10% of the total order cost for shipping.
Generally, Free Shipping does not charge customers any fee for shipping the products they have ordered from the eCommerce store.
There are many ways of free shipping. But the most popular tactic to promote sales is using a coupon, a minimum order amount or both.
Let’s say Free shipping on orders over $99.
Another way to allow free shipping is only for those customers purchasing from specific shipping zones.
You may even want to hide other eligible Woocommerce shipping methods when free shipping is available.
This option can be utilized by customers to pick up the items they have ordered online, directly from the local pickup store, if the online store has such a facility.
You can charge an optional cost for this if you feel it is needed.
Premium Shipping Methods
If you demand more flexibility to your shipping, you can opt for one of the premium shipping methods.
Some of the important premium shipping extensions are listed below:
API based shipping method
This shipping method provides real-time or live shipping quotes. Here, rates are obtained from a third party Application Programming Interface (API), for shipping carriers like USPS, DHL, UPS, Canada Post, Australia Post, and FedEx.
Most of these carriers support box packing or providing rate quotes per product. They can be customized to show multiple rates or the cheapest rate.
User-defined shipping methods
These are shipping methods where you can actively control the shipping rates you offer. Therefore, they are the most flexible among all the shipping methods.
The user-defined shipping methods offered by WooCommerce are:
* Table Rate Shipping
This method allows you to create shipping zones for different countries, states or postcodes.
You can then create different tables of rates within each zone. You have the option of calculating the rate on a per-order basis or based on the sum of the rates for the different items in the order.
Rates can be fixed based on the following factors:
- Shipping class
- Item count
You can also adjust a maximum and minimum value for the shipping rates in this method.
Shipping rates can be given on the following standard:
- Per line
- Per item
- As a percentage of the item cost
- Based on weight
* Flat Rate Box Shipping
In this shipping method, you can create different zones for countries, states, and postcodes.
Afterward, you can create multiple tables of rates, within each zone. Within each zone, you can define shipping package boxes with length x breadth x height dimensions and weight limits.
You can have a fixed rate, percentage rates and rates based on the weight of the contents of the order. Items to be shipped are then packed in boxes, based on their volume.
* Per Product Shipping
This shipping method allows you to define shipping rates at product and variation level.
Rates can be defined as fixed or a percentage of costs based on the following standards:
- Per line
- Per item
- Based on country codes or post/zip codes
The rates can be offered as a standalone shipping rate (in case of per product shipping) or added to other shipping method rates.
There is a list of products with a fixed shipping cost while for the remaining it varies depending on the product.
* Local Pickup Plus
In this shipping method, you can define locations where you will offer local pickup at optional costs.
Custom Shipping Method
Developers can create their own shipping methods using extensions for WooCommerce shipping method API.
Individual store owners can use such customized shipping methods depending on the requirements of their online store.
Let us discuss an example of a customized shipping method.
A customized shipping method can be developed which will calculate the shipping cost and where the product is to be shipped.
The cost will be calculated based on the weight of the order and the zone it is to be shipped.
To set the WooCommerce setting, you can process to it.
If you require more flexibility for your Woocommerce shipping, you may choose from many free or premium shipping plugins available.
Top 10 WooCommerce Shipping Plugins for a Robust eCommerce Store
Let’s quickly check out this list of the top 10 WooCommerce Shipping plugins.
FedEx Shipping Plugin with Print Label
If you are looking for a complete end-to-end shipping plugin that is for FedEx shipments, then you should go for this plugin.
It has every feature that you would need to manage your orders. To name a few, you get to offer live shipping rates to your customers, you can automatically print the shipping labels in various formats and configure the parcel packing methods.
You can even send the tracking info to your customers via email and choose the services that you would want to offer. In addition, you can manually adjust the shipping rates based on your business strategies.
There are two versions of this plugin:
You should check out the Premium version of the plugin which has the complete set of features.
WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping Pro
The idea of Table Rates Shipping Pro’s flexibility can be taken from its vast functionality.
The plugin can easily achieve some of the most difficult business scenarios.
You can configure the shipping rates based on the weight of the shipment. In some cases, every additional item needs to be charged with a fixed amount.
For example, charging $5 for rice up to 2lbs. After that, an additional $1 is charged for items per lbs. You can calculate the total items in Cart and Per Unit Item in the Cart. This way, shop-owner can price his items like $2000 for 5 phones. For every additional phone, a fixed $300 is charged.
If your business deals with both domestic and international customers, then plugin will allow you to set that as well.
For example, John runs a toy shop and charges normal rates as per item quantity for domestic shipments.
However, for international shipments, he would like to charge an additional $30 for every shipment. Shipping prices can also be configured based on the total pricing of goods instead of factors like weight and item quantity.
These are complex cases where a shop owner wants to define a specific rate for some group of products and other rates for other groups of products.
WooCommerce UPS Shipping Plugin
This plugin helps you to get shipping rates from UPS APIs based on product weight, postcode, and other relevant details.
Based on the postal codes and other parameters, all available shipping services along with the rates are listed for the customers to choose from. You can also generate and print the shipping labels along with postage.
This plugin has the shipment tracking capability which automatically works right after generating the label.
The shop owner has the option to enable Daily rates which will give the same rates as the official UPS calculator.
Just like the WooCommerce FedEx Shipping plugin, you can define the parcel packing methods as well.
Moreover, you can even enable/disable, edit the names of UPS services and add handling costs to each one of them.
WooCommerce DHL Express / eCommerce / Paket Shipping Plugin with Print Label
This WooCommerce shipping plugin can integrate your store with DHL Express, eCommerce and Paket.
You can choose to use either all of the three services or anyone among them. Once you install, activate and configure the plugin, your entire shipping process would be figured out.
Right from fetching the live shipping rates from API to generating return labels. F
or DHL Express, this plugin is Verified by DHL International (UK) Ltd. This plugin has also been Approved by DHL Paket Quality Control who has even allocated an official App Id for this integration.
There are certain distinctions in regards to the features of the three services. A peak at the product page would tell you that.
The free version of the plugin has only DHL Express integration.
Woocommerce Delivery Time Picker for Shipping
The Woocommerce Delivery Time Picker is a nifty plugin that does the right things easy.
This plugin, when enabled, will allow your customers to choose both date and time of delivery.
This is one of the very interesting and user-friendly features that would keep your customers engaged.
The plugin gives additional control to the store owner by allowing them to restrict dates and date range for the deliveries.
This plugin takes a step further and shows the delivery date and time to the site administrators when they view the order on the Orders page. And if you are not around to check out your admin page, then this plugin will also inform you via emails.
You should definitely check out this plugin as it comes with a decent price tag of $49.
Shipment Tracking Pro
This is probably one of the most user-friendly shipment tracking plugin made for WooCommerce.
This plugin integrates with your WooCommerce store without any hassles and does the job efficiently.
This plugin gives you the power to add, modify and send the tracking info to your customers incorporating a huge number of shipping services.
When it comes to cool features, this plugin will show the tracking info in the order completion emails, order view page in the My Account section, and on the order details page in admin.
Moreover, it updates the status of the orders real-time for selected shipping companies.
Another very useful feature is that you can add your own custom tracking message.
If you have a huge set of tracking info that needs to be attached to their respective orders, then you can create a CSV file and do that in just a few clicks.
Weight Based Shipping
The WooCommerce Weight Based Shipping plugin is a renowned plugin that is known for its flexible shipping method, which is mainly focused on order weight in order to calculate the shipping cost.
It has a predefined section that allows you to add multiple shipping rules that can be configured based on various conditions.
You can configure the shipping cost and define the conditions based on shipment destination, subtotal ranges and the weight of the entire package.
Other necessary features include things like offering free shipping based on the subtotal cost, configure a progressive price based on cart weight or price or both.
Multi-Carrier Shipping Plugin
It is needless to say that everyone likes to buy things that has it all. Well, the WooCommerce Multi-Carrier Shipping plugin is the one for you as it helps you offer multiple shipping services to the customers.
You can add the shipping services like FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL Express and Stamp.com(USPS) as well.
This plugin efficiently combines the table rate shipping along with the real-time rates from the above-mentioned shipping companies.
It allows you to configure and set rules using various parameters like the shipping class, product category, prices based on weight, item quantity and price.
WooCommerce — APG Weight and Postcode/State/Country Shipping
This WooCommerce plugin is small but has some decent functionalities to offer.
It allows users to show the shipping rates based on the destination given by the customers.
You can set up different rates for different shipping classes, which is a pretty good deal for any business.
Furthermore, you can even set fixed rates and add some predefined handling cost for the products on your store.
This plugin, in addition, allows you to ship your products via APG Shipping and you can configure the necessary details on the settings page of this plugin.
WooCommerce Canada Post Shipping Plugin with Print Label
When it comes to shipping parcels economically, the Canada Post Shipping plugin proves to be quite a treat.
The plugin is feature-packed and is very simple to use. It offers real-time shipping rates and you can also choose the service that you would want to offer.
You also get three parcel packing methods — Per-item, Weight-based and Pack into Boxes.
Also, the tracking number returned from Canada Post would be automatically sent as part of the order completion email.
If you are looking to print the shipping label, then you can do that from the WooCommerce admin side.
Coming down to the other important features, the plugin also allows you to print the manifest/invoice.
This invoice is the hard-copy of payment required for all shipments for pickup or drop-off to Canada Post. You can check out the plugin by following this link.
I hope that this article helps you find out what customers require when shopping online and our difficulties to satisfy the customers.
An introduce of top 10 best WooCommerce shipping plugins which would be one of excellent assistance in persuading customers to shop at your store.