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How to Offer a Shipping Discount in WooCommerce? with Steps

Be it Good Friday or Christmas, customers want discounts and as a business, it is our duty to fulfill these wishes. That’s why coupons have become an inseparable part of online businesses’ marketing strategy. Not only do these coupons increase sales, but also bring more and more customers to your WooCommerce store.

The problem with coupons is that it is tough to make them work in synchronization with shipping rates or shipping discounts.

In this article, we will talk about why these coupons are important for your WooCommerce Store, what is the problems associated with them, and how to calculate the shipping charge before or after applying the coupons.

How do Coupons Help in Boosting Business?

If you think from the buyers’ perspective, you will get to know that customers love freebies and discounts. Giving rewards on their purchases keeps them engaged in making more purchases. So in the end, rewarding proves a perfect strategy to increase sales and buyers.

One very successful method of rewarding customers is coupons.

Coupons Help in Boosting Business 1

Coupons are more successful as they are easy to use and more importantly, these are optional. So if a customer forgets to apply the coupon, it will be his fault that he’s paying the full amount of the product. Both ways, the coupon is bringing more customers to your online store and increasing revenue.

Looks good, right?

Yes, it is. But there is a problem with coupons. If your store supports coupons and has a shipping facility, there is something to worry about.
Read the next sections to understand what these troubles are and how to overcome the situation.

The Trouble with Coupons While Shipping

Consider this example:

You offer free shipping over the purchase of $500 and a customer has applied a coupon of a 5% discount after shopping worth $500. It resulted in a reduced amount and customers didn’t get free shipping. This may result in dissatisfaction, especially if you have mentioned that the free shipping is on the purchases and the coupon discount doesn’t matter.

The Trouble with Shipping While Coupons

Let’s say that your customer has purchased a book worth $30 and there is a shipping charge of $5 on it. As per the available coupons, this buyer is able to get a 10% discount on his/her shopping. So, as the cart total was $35, the customer got a discount of $3.5.

Notice the error?

The buyer was getting a 10% discount on the book, which should have been $3. But as he/she applied the coupon when there is a shipping cost too, you faced a loss of $0.5.

This is a very small example. But what if this happens to multiple purchases of hundreds of dollars and in the cases, where shipping cases are relatively high?

Huge losses for you.

In another scenario, if your plugin is applying the coupon on the cart subtotal and not on the shipping charge while you want to give a coupon-based discount on the final amount, the trouble isn’t less either.

To avoid such a blunder, you must be allowed to specify whether the coupon’s discount is applicable to the shipping charge too, or not. All-in-all, a WooCommerce shop owner must be able to define the method of calculation of shipping charges when a coupon is there.

The Solution!

Unlike the common shipping plugins that drag you into trouble, we have a plugin that lets you handle this situation — the Advanced Flat Rate Shipping Plugin for WooCommerce.

It can be used to apply a coupon before or after calculating the shipping charges.

Also, you can deploy it to charge different shipping rates as per your coupon i.e. you can choose to apply or not to apply the coupon on shipping charges. In the next sections, we have detailed methods for all such situations.

How to Calculate the Shipping Charge Before Applying a Coupon?

The location of the buyer, currently available offers, the product bought by the person, the cart’s subtotal, and many other factors decide the shipping charges. Moreover, it is calculated according to the rules you have set for your online store.

The calculation of the flat rate shipping charges before applying the coupon can be done through the Advanced Flat Rate Shipping Plugin. Here are the two scenarios when you may need this plugin:

1. Applying Shipping Charges Before application of the Coupon

Open the plugin dashboard and go to the existing shipping method, for which, you want the value of shipping to be calculated before the application of the coupon. Now choose the ‘Cart Subtotal (Before Discount) ($)’ option and create the condition as desired.

Cart Subtotal (Before Discount) ($)

Save these settings and check your store now. The shipping rules must be working according to the cart subtotal (before applying the coupon).

2. Applying Coupon-based Discounts on Shipping Costs too

Once you have downloaded this plugin, you just have to create another method similar to the existing shipping method. This method will have some additional data apart from the old values, which are to be kept as is.

See this –

Coupon-based Discount on Shipping Cost

We have selected a coupon Code 150438.

Now for this coupon, we want a discount of 5% on the current value. So we will have to change the value of shipping to $9.5 from $10.

Set shipping charge value

Just by saving this data as a new method, you will be able to provide a coupon-based discounted rate to your customers on shipping too.

How to Calculate the Shipping Charge After Applying the Coupon?

What if you want to charge shipping rates as per the overall cart total or do not want any of the coupons to work on shipping cost? Here’s how:

1. Applying Shipping Charges after Application of the Coupon

If you are willing to calculate the shipping charge once the coupon is applied, just add a shipping rule like this to your online store –

Cart Subtotal (After Discount) ($)

2. Not applying Coupon-based Discounts on Shipping Costs Too

It’s easy and straightforward. You actually need not to do anything for this scenario. Just create the right coupon and it will work the way you want, by default.

Need the plugin?

You can download this plugin for free or get the pro version. If facing issues after installing it, contact us or send us your concerns. We’ll definitely help you out.

Final Words!

Offering discounts and free shipping coupons effectively are vital strategies for any successful e-commerce store. In particular, synchronizing these with shipping rates can bring about significant growth in your customer base and, ultimately, your sales. 

However, without careful planning and precision, these can pose certain complexities. Issues can arise in cases where discounts affect pre-determined free shipping thresholds or when shipping charges inadvertently get discounted by percentage-based coupons. 

The Advanced Flat Rate Shipping Plugin for WooCommerce by DotStore presents an elegant solution to handle these situations, offering the flexibility to apply discounted shipping charges before or after coupons, and even the ability to adjust shipping rates based on the coupon applied. 

In essence, being able to accurately control the impact of coupons on your shipping rates ensures a fair deal for both you and your customers, strengthening your relationship while keeping your financials in check. 

Take your WooCommerce store to the next level by using shipping discount coupon strategically, increasing customer satisfaction, and driving sales.


How do I offer a shipping discount in WooCommerce?

You can offer a shipping discount WooCommerce by using plugins like the Advanced Flat Rate Shipping Plugin. By setting up a shipping method and rate, you can apply the discount amount that would be subtracted from the total shipping cost.

How do I add 20% discount in WooCommerce?

To add a 20% discount, go to WooCommerce > Coupons in your WordPress admin. Click on ‘Add Coupon’, enter a code and a description, choose ‘Percentage discount’ in the dropdown, and then enter the amount (20 in your case).

How do I set shipping rates in WooCommerce?

Shipping rates can be set through WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping. Here, you can set up ‘Shipping Zones’ and add ‘Shipping Methods’ like Flat Rate, Free Shipping, or Local Pickup with their respective rates.

How do I add a discount percentage in WooCommerce?

You would add a coupon code as usual, then in the ‘Coupon amount’ field, you’d put in your desired discount percentage (without the percent sign), and choose ‘Percentage discount’ from the dropdown menu.

How do coupons work in WooCommerce?

Coupons in WooCommerce apply to the cart total, and they can be fixed amount or percentage-based. You can restrict them to specific products or categories, set an expiration date, and define usage per coupon or per user such as valid free shipping coupon or shipping discount coupons.

How do I discount shipping in WooCommerce?

The Advanced Flat Rate Shipping Plugin for WooCommerce can be used to apply discounts on shipping. You can set specific conditions and rules to determine when the discount is applied and how much it should be.

Does WooCommerce allow discount codes?

Yes, WooCommerce has a built-in system for handling discount codes or coupons. You can manage them through WooCommerce > Coupons.

What are the shipping methods for WooCommerce?

WooCommerce supports a variety of shipping options including Free Shipping method, Flat Rate Shipping, and Local Pickup. These can be set per shipping zone. Additionally, shipping methods such as Table Rate Shipping or Local Delivery can be enabled with plugins.

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Category: Flat Rate Shipping, table rate shipping, WooCommerce Shipping, WooCommerce Tutorials
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About Nimesh Patel

I am a Product Marketer and Growth hacker with expertise in the areas of Digital marketing; Search engine optimization (SEO), Email Marketing, Paid Campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, Content development strategies, Competitive Research & Analysis. Nimesh is Product Manager at