How to Setup WooCommerce Shipping Methods
A few years ago I worked as an account manager for an eCommerce solutions provider. The company’s main product was a custom eCommerce platform for small to mid-sized websites. As an account manager, one of my duties was to train new clients on the eCommerce web-based software. Most of the training was very straightforward and easy for the them to grasp. However, the one area that almost always gave them fits was shipping setup.
Setting up your shipping methods is often very confusing. With so many options to choose from it can be overwhelming and time consuming. Every business has unique shipping challenges to overcome which only adds to the confusion. Hopefully this WooCommerce Shipping Methods setup tutorial will make it a little easier for you so lets get started…
WooCommerce Shipping Methods Setup – The 2 Most Important Things
My experience with eCommerce sites has taught me there are 2 main things to keep in mind when it comes to shipping setup…
- Define your shipping methods and shipping options first. Take time to think them through and write them down on paper before you setup anything in the WordPress admin.
- In the beginning, keep it simple. Don’t make shipping any more difficult than it needs to be. To start, I recommend going with a Flat Rate shipping method and just a few flat rate options. You can always go back and tweak your shipping methods at a later date, you just need to start with something.
Now let’s take a detailed look at how we setup the Flat Rate shipping method for our demo website WorldCupTees.com…
Example of WooCommerce Shipping Methods Setup
Before we setup our shipping methods and shipping options in the WordPress admin, we need to define them on paper. For our demo site WorldCupTees.com, we decided the following shipping method and shipping options:
WorldCupTees.com Shipping Methods:
Shipping Method: Flat Rate – per-order with a Free shipping Coupon
Flat Rate Shipping Options:
Ground Shipping (5 – 7 days) – $2.99
Priority Mail (3 – 5 days) – 4.99
Express Shipping (2 – 4 days) – 6.99
Next Day (get it tomorrow) – 9.99
In the tutorial video below, we created 1 shipping method (Flat Rate per order) and 4 flat rate shipping options (Ground Shipping, Priority Mail, Express Shipping, Next Day). You have the option of applying shipping cost to each item in the order or for the order as a whole. We choose to charge a flat rate for the entire order. In addition, we created a Free Shipping Coupon which which will be used as an incentive for opting in to our email list and on the post cards that go out with each order. Below are the exact steps that we took to setup the shipping methods for WorldCupTees.com…
Shipping > Shipping Options
In the WordPress admin go to WooCommerce > Settings > click on the Shipping tab > on the Shipping Options page check the following boxes; Enable shipping, Enable the shipping calculator on the cart page > Ship to billing address by default > Collect shipping address even when not required > click Save Changes
Shipping > Flat Rate
In the WordPress admin go to WooCommerce > Settings > click on the Shipping tab > click Flat Rate > on the Flat Rates page check the “Enable this shipping method” box > select “Specific Countries” from the Method availability drop down > in the Specific Countries box enter United States (and any other countries you ship to) > for Calculation Type select “Per Order – charge shipping for the entire order as a whole” > enter your flat rate shipping options in the Shipping Options text box (make sure to follow the format) > click Save Changes
Example of WorldCupTees.com Flat Rate shipping options:
Ground Shipping (5 – 7 days)|2.99|yes
Priority Mail (3 – 5 days)|4.99|yes
Express Shipping (2 – 4 days)|6.99|yes
Next Day (get it tomorrow)|9.99|yes
How to Setup the Free Shipping Coupon
The last step is to setup our free shipping coupon. To do that go to WooCommerce > Coupons > Add Coupon > check the “Enable free shipping” box > give the Coupon a title (this is your coupon code) > click Publish and the coupon will be active
Important Notes on setting up WooCommerce Shipping Methods:
- The pipe symbol “|” is used to separate Shipping Option Name, Cost and whether is is Per-Order or Per-Item. To make the Pipe symbol hold down the Shift key and the Backslash key.
- Shipping methods can be difficult to setup when starting a new eCommerce site. Therefore, it’s best to keep it simple in the beginning. Start with a Flat Rate shipping method that has just a few options. You can always tweak your shipping methods down the road but start simple.
- Advance shipping functionality and options are available via WooCommerce official extensions. You’ll see a link for the WooCommerce extensions in the WordPress admin.