WooCommerce is without a doubt, one of the widely used WordPress plugins to create and deploy an online store. Over the years, the total number of WooCommerce downloads summed up to 60 million. The fact that WooCommerce is based on the WordPress platform, it accounts for such huge popularity. Not only does WooCommerce extend the functionality of WordPress but it also encompasses a range of features that turn it the first choice of most of the online store owners.
One such facility rendered by the platform is its ability to customize shipping options. Where most of the online stores stick to a single shipping rate, WooCommerce has a feature that allows it to set flat rate shipping for products.
What is Flat Rate Shipping?
In case you have had the experience of sending items via a post rather say a courier, you would be aware of their pricing norms. If the total weight of a package falls below the threshold, you are expected to a pay fixed rate. In case, if the weight exceeds the value, the price increases by a certain factor.
Imagine it this way.
You visit a courier service say X. They have a policy where packages below 10kg cost $5. For packages exceeding the weight, the price increases by $3 for every 5kg.
Similar is the notion with flat rate shipping. If the product purchase falls within the given criteria, the shipping rate is kept fixed, in some cases free. However, if the total weight, amount or price, surpasses the threshold, the shipping rate would increase – another fixed amount, in all probability.
The amount here is based on the rules set by the owner and is dependent on several factors. We will discuss this later in the article.
For now, it is clear that flat rate shipping charges are fixed rate price, paid by the customer for availing shipping services. The rate fixed for different conditions and slabs may differ.
When Should You Opt For Flat Rate and Why?
When you first started with WooCommerce, you would have been accustomed with the two common shipping forms.
- Free shipping
- Standard shipping
Free shipping as the name says is offering products with zero shipping charge. On the contrary, standard shipping is one where the rate is reliant on the weight and quantities of the product. This creates ambiguity as the prices fluctuate and every time a customer reaches the checkout page, he is surprised.
It might so happen that two buyers living adjacent to each other brought similar products with one paying more than the other. While the answer to this would be pretty easy as one purchased more, it still infuses distrust as users aren’t aware of the prices.
To avoid this, it is best advised that website owners invest in the flat rate shipping method. For one, the flat rate shipping method lowers the average shipping cost and further, adheres to a single cost in a zone. Additionally, the inception of flat shipping rates eliminates all those weight-related disputes and infuses a sense of trust among buyers attracting them to further, engage with the business.
To put it this way, the flat rate shipping method is a win-win both for the buyer and the seller. The former doesn’t have to pay extra whereas the latter receives as much as needed to ship the products. At the same, a single rate shipping fee lures buyers to purchase more which alternatively increases the average revenue earned by the seller.
If you too have an online store and struggling with the sales, odds are the shipping rate is too high. Act before it’s too late. Wondering how?
Get started with a flat rate shipping solution for your business. If you are now sure how let’s uncover the path together.
How to Set Up Flat Rate Shipping For WooCommerce?
Managing and monitoring the shipping rates can very well be done using the WooCommerce settings panel. However, the process is lengthy and requires you to do a lot of things manually. An alternative to this is the advanced flat rate shipping method plugin.
The advanced flat rate shipping method is one of the widely used shipping plugins designed to help website owners customize shipping options of their store.
The plugin is simple and easy to implement. Further, it comes with a dozen conditions that enable you to set different shipping options.
Now, there are different ways rather options that allow you to set shipping options in WooCommerce. Here, we will see how to set shipping options based on the country, state and zip code. Also, we will uncover how to set free shipping options using the plugin.
Before we start with the plugin configuration process, you need to do two things.
- Log in to the WordPress dashboard.
- Hover to the left side of the screen and then click on plugins -> add new.
- In the search bar, enter the keyword advanced flat rate shipping method.
- Download and install the plugin.
- Move to WooCommerce and click down on the settings option.
- Here, you would need to add all of the information related to the store, it’s address, country, zip code, etc
- Next, select the countries where you plan to ship the products
- In case, you want to sell products across all regions, you can simply select on ‘sell to all countries’, if not, you can select, sell to countries except.
- Follow a similar process for the shipping regions.
After you are done with the two, we can now move forward to the customization process.
The process of customizing the shipping method is pretty easy. All that you need to do is create a rule on which the shipping rate would be based and then apply it to get started.
Set Up Shipping Method Based On Country
To begin with, we see how to set up flat rate shipping based on the country –
- The first thing that we need to do is add the shipping method. On the WordPress dashboard, click on the DotStore plugin option on the left and then select an advanced flat rate shipping method.
- After this click on Add a new shipping method. This will take you to a second page.
- Here, enter the title by which you wish to designate the rule or the method and also the shipping price (say $5).
- Just below, you will see select rules. Here you need to select the country. To add countries in the shipping method, you need to select equal to and to exclude them, select not equal to.
- Do not forget to click on save the settings.
The changes made can be viewed on the checkout page. For countries that fall within the list, the shipping charges would be $5. For others, no rate would be displayed.
Set Up Shipping Method Based On State
The method for this is similar to the one we just executed in the process above. You can try it by simply changing the rule from country to state.
A quick run-through at the process:
- Log in to the WordPress dashboard and more down the panel to click on DotStore plugin option. Here, select the plugin that says advanced flat rate shipping method.
- Once you click on it, a new page opens up which is nothing but the setup page.
- Enter the rule title, here that would be shipping based on state. Also, enter a price that you wish to charge when orders are placed from a particular state. (say $45).
- In the next page, enter the rules. To do so, you need to select the states and add equal to or not equal to based on which states you want to add in the rule.
- Once you are done click on save to reflect the changes.
You can verify the changes by visiting the checkout page to see if the shipping charges have been changed based on the state. In case, a buyer enters a state that does not fall in the list, no shipping charges would be shown.
In fact, the user would be given a message which reads: ‘No such shipping method is available in the store for now. Please verify the entered shipping address & other details. Contact us for further resolution of the issue.’
Under such a situation, what the buyer can do is select the link that says: calculate shipping rates.
Upon doing this, the user would be given a list of available states. He can choose one from the list and then head out to the payment.
Set Up Shipping Method Based On Zone
Extending the discussion, we now see how to add shipping methods based on different zones.
- Assuming that you are already in the dotstore page, click on manage shipping zones, adjacent to the ‘add a new shipping method’ tab.
- Now there are three types of zones that you can create.
- Based on the country: this allows you to create shipping zones based on the country
- Based on country and state: this allows you to create shipping zones based on the county and state
- Based on postal area: this allows you to create shipping zones based on the postal code.
- We here focus on creating the same using postal zones. Add the cities and finally click on save.
Note: there are three different ways to create a zone using advanced flat rate shipping method.
- Set up countable codes and separate them by comma.
- Set up codes using a series.
- Use the first three prefix of the code for a certain region.
Now that we have created the shipping zone, we will add the rule for it.
- Move to the ‘add new shipping method’ tab.
- Here, select shipping by zone
- Click on save to update the settings.
With this, we come to an end of the geographical shipping rates. You can follow a similar process to set up shipping rates based on the quantity of the items, the weight of the package, or the cart subtotal.
In case, you want to set a free shipping option for a certain set of users, you would need to follow a much similar process.
- Log in to the dotstore page.
- Here, click on add a new shipping method.
- Since we are to add free shipping, name the rule as free shipping.
- Next, select the categories for which you want to set free shipping and while you are doing so, make sure you set the shipping price as zero.
- The above suggests that users falling under a certain category are charged as less as zero dollars for the shipping. In a way, their shipping is free of cost
- You can add multiple rules to make sure that the free shipping option isn’t limited to a single rule.
Multiple Shipping Methods
One thing worth noting here is how to manage shipping methods. What we mean to say is that there could be a possibility where a single purchase has multiple rules.
For instance, suppose that Alex is from Norway and has made a purchase of $25000 from the store. Now, there are two rules that stand functional:
- Customers of Norway are eligible for free shipping
- For every cart value exceeding $15000, a, flat shipping rate of $20 is applicable.
Under such a situation, how would you expect the plugin to behave? Of course, there is clash that rises between the rules.
Advanced flat rate shipping method has a solution for this too.
The page that you were using to add a new shipping method has an option that says manage shipping method. There are four different options available:
- Apply Highest – This allows the system to go with the highest shipping rates.
- Force All Shipping Methods – This embodies a situation where the plugin is forced to apply all the rules.
- Apply Smallest – Something that would please your buyers as it seeks the least fee
- Allow Customer Choose –Another one in the court of buyers and this time, it gives users the choice to select which rule they wish to go ahead with.
You can set one of these, save the changes. Once done, you are now with a flat rate shipping method for your WooCommerce store.
FLAT RATE SHIPPING USERS RECOMMENDATION
Using flat rate shipping for WooCommerce plugin brings the next-level of flexibility to shipping costs, enabling you to easily create and customize multiple flat rate shipping costs. You can calculate costs based on product, weight, quantity, country, category and a whole lot more.