WooCommerce Shipping

Table of Contents

Get the latest e-commerce industry news, best practices, and product updates!

Introduction to WooCommerce Shipping 

A convenient and safe way to ensure the best customer service and reduce abandoned cart rates is by offering multiple shipping options. WooCommerce is a fairly new e-commerce plug-in that provides an easy solution with flexibility and power.

WooCommerce helps provide an easy solution with more straightforward management of online stores. It provides flexibility and essential features like order tracking, inventory management, revenue, secure payments, customer engagement, and shipping integration. With its lower degree of difficulty, WooCommerce is an easy solution for beginners.

Let us learn more about WooCommerce shipping and how it impacts your entire shipment operation. 

WooCommerce Shipping Options

WooCommerce offers numerous ways to turn a WordPress website into an efficient e-commerce store. With 92% of the global market share, WooCommerce pays great attention to business-related technical specifications, including shipping.

With many elements to consider while setting up a proper shipping platform, let’s look into the default WooCommerce shipping offerings. 

Default WooCommerce shipping options include 

  • Flat rate shipping – Flat rate shipping implies shipping items to buyers at a standard or flat rate per item, shipping, or order. Flat rate shipping allows buyers to predict shipping costs, irrespective of their cart value. 
  • Free shipping – Free shipping, as the name suggests, provides shipping to the customers free of cost. Free shipping is ideal in cases like coupon activation, minimum spend amount, or products with inclusive shipping. 
  • Local pickup – Local pickup allows customers to pick up their orders physically without paying extra for shipping. Local pickup saves a lot of time and effort. 

Before Setting up WooCommerce Shipping

Setting up the website constitutes the first stage in setting up a WooCommerce shipping platform. As a primary prerequisite, a business substantially needs a functional WordPress website with the WooCommerce plug-in automated. 

In the case of an already functional store, the business can consider using a staging website to duplicate the primary site to test out various shipping options without creating a user experience. 

Website staging 

A staging site offers several signing advantages over traditional web testing methods. A website needs a plethora of planning and testing methods before going live. Website staging allows a business to conduct experiments to choose the best element for the live site. 

However, one downside of website staging is the intervention of multiple servers to run in different environments. Therefore, there is a high chance that some features in the staged website might create errors in the live platform. 

Website staging allows a business to experiment and expand various test effects and make required changes to reflect their purpose to the audience. 

Getting Started with WooCommerce Shipping

A business must possess a basic WooCommerce shop and significant payment gateways to start with a customized WooCommerce shipping platform.

The following steps help with setting up a WooCommerce shipping option.

  • Step 1 – Setting up a shipping zone

The first step in configuring the shipping option is selecting the WooCommerce shipping zones. Shipping zone refers to the geographical locations where the products are and will be delivered.

After selecting the shipping zone, the business needs to provide a shipping method to apply different shipping rates depending upon each zone. 

To create the first WooCommerce shipping zone, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping and click ‘Add shipping zone’.

  • Step 2 – Choose the right shipping method

After selecting and adding the necessary shipping locations to the zone, one can apply the various shipping methods that might serve the purpose of the specified zones.

To add the shipping method, one must navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping > Shipping methods. After clicking on the shipping method tab, one can add the three basic shipping methods to a zone. 

  • Step 3 – Setting up shipping rates, fees, and address

After configuring the shipping method, navigate to Shipping > Shipping options to enable the shipping calculator after the cart page. This specific setting will allow visitors and shoppers to see the exact shipping fees and the cart products. This ensures transparency and increases customer loyalty. 

After setting up the cart page with shipping details, one needs to put in options to set the default shipping destination like :

  1. Ship to the customer shipping address,
  2. Ship to the customer billing address,
  3. Force shipping to the billing address.
  • Step 4 – Setting up shipping classes

In addition to shipping zones, a business can determine their WooCommerce shipping rates based on ‘predetermined’ groups with similar products called shipping classes. 

To classify products under the same shipping classes, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping > Shipping Classes and click on the ‘Add shipping class’ button. Once the details are filled in, simply click on the save button to save the same. Select at least one shipping method to complete the process. 

The shipping cost within shipping class would vary depending upon:

  1. Per Class – Where the shipping class determines the shipping cost. 
  2. Per Order – Where a specific product in the order with the highest price influences the shipping cost.
  • Step 5 – Configuring order fulfillment operations

After successfully completing the previous steps, one is mostly finished configuring the customized website. However, one last step, order fulfillment, must be taken care of.

Order fulfillment refers to storing and organizing the inventory and packing and shipping the orders. WooCommerce offers a range of order fulfillment strategies for optimal management and efficiency of the inventory. 

To connect with it, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Products > Inventory.

A business can choose from a handful of inventory management options and how to manage stock. WooCommerce also helps in automating inventory management for accurate inventory transactions. 

Setting Up WooCommerce Shipping Rates

After defining the shipping zones, the business must decide certain rates for customers to pay. Customers need not pay a single penny for the free shipping method. For a local pickup, it is up to the business whether or not they will make it free. With WooCommerce shipping services, the business can add real-time shipping and tracking options along with shipping labels within the business.

Let us look at how exactly to set up WooCommerce shipping rates.

  • Choose a shipping zone – Before setting up a shipping rate, choose a shipping zone for a flat rate shipping. 
  • Curate flat rate shipping rates – After choosing the shipping zone and primary shipping methods, a business can set specific shipping fees in different ways like:
    • Flat shipping fee per order,
    • Flat shipping cost per item,
    • A particular percentage of the total order is a shipping fee.

Some advanced methods for flat rate shipping include:

  • [qty]: This can be used to charge customers based on how many items they have in their carts.
  • [fee]: Shipping charges are calculated based on the order’s total cost.

Setting up Shipping Classes for Product-specific Charges with WooCommerce

With all the other elements like shipping zones, methods, or shipping rates set up, one can optimize the shipping classes for specific products. The steps to add a shipping class looks like this:

  • Shipping > Shipping Classes – Add the shipping class under the shipping tab on the WooCommerce website. 
  • Put in shipping class information – Fill in the elements like shipping class names or shipping descriptions. After completing, click on the save option.  
  • Adding shipping costs to respective zones – Assigning specific shipping costs to specific zones lets WooCommerce know the shipping options and costs to display during checkout. 
  • Assign shipping class – Once the shipping classes are defined, they are ready to be associated with specific products. The steps to carry out this process include:
    • WooCommerce shipping > Products
    • Select the products that need assignment and click on the edit button,
    • Opt out for shipping,
    • Add shipping class and save the changes. 

Best WooCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Options

The WooCommerce fulfillment process varies depending upon the business size, location, order volume, and other relevant factors.

However, the basic order fulfillment methods in WooCommerce shipping include:

  • In-house fulfillment – Also known as merchant fulfillment, in-house fulfillment or self-fulfillment requires a business to complete the entire order fulfillment for its WooCommerce store without any third-party intervention. In-house fulfillment is the first choice for several businesses. WooCommerce settings allow them to manage the entire order fulfillment process starting from inventory storing to packing orders from their store. 
  • Retail fulfillment – Retail fulfillment is a part of in-house fulfillment, which is often expensive and time-consuming. However, you can use retail fulfillment for custom-made products and customized packages. It usually allows the business to control the fulfillment process for each order placed on the WooCommerce platform. 
  • Dropshipping – Dropshipping is more like an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach to a certain order fulfillment process. Dropshipping requires several places and manual intervention to complete an order. When an order is placed at the WooCommerce store, the details are directly sent to the manufacturers for them to ship the product directly from the warehouse.

Dropshipping removes the extra work of in-house inventory management and offers little control over the supply chain.  

  • Third-party logistics (3PL) – 3PL refers to the overall outsourcing of WooCommerce logistics. Basic supply chain components, like warehousing, inventory management, picking, packing, shipping, etc., are carried out by third-party service providers with full control over the supply chain process.

Third-party logistics providers possess the infrastructure and expertise to carry out hefty orders. 3PLs are invaluable for businesses that need to grow quickly in a short time. 

Extended WooCommerce Shipping Features 

With the growing demand for order fulfillment, businesses need flexible shipping options to serve their customers better. In ideal circumstances, the customers also have the freedom to choose carriers, view dynamic shipping strategies and track their orders. 

Some additional shipping features include

  • Table rate shipping – Table rate shipping offers shipping options concerning basic components like package dimensions, weight, volume, etc. A business can ship orders under various categories at various rates through table rate shipping. 
  • 3PL carriers – As the name suggests, WooCommerce allows an enterprise to connect to various shipping parties outside their internal infrastructure. Third-party service providers or 3PLs like DHL provide flexible shipping options with flexible shipping rates. 
  • Label printing – WooCommerce shipping also provides essential features like printing shipping labels for a better and customized user experience. 


Online stores require careful planning when it comes to shipping. Getting your shipping strategy right is extremely important since an erratic shipping strategy can easily upset customers. WooCommerce shipping allows a business to use all the tools required for global shipping at an affordable rate with complete efficiency and productivity.


 Is WooCommerce shipping tax-free?

Primarily, WooCommerce shipping includes WooCommerce tax in the final price calculation. A user can set the tax percentage based on location and other specifications.

Does WooCommerce print shipping labels?

Yes, WooCommerce shipping provides features like printing shipping labels. A user can use this feature directly from the website dashboard.

How do I figure out shipping costs?

The best way to calculate basic shipping costs is by using a shipping calculator. You can customize shipping calculators based on four shipping elements – 

  • Shipping point and origin,
  • Package weight, 
  • Package dimensions,
  • Expected delivery.

What are the best WooCommerce shipping fulfillment options?

The best WooCommerce shipping fulfillment includes –

  • Retail Fulfillment
  • In-house Fulfillment
  • Third-Party Logistics
  • Dropshipping

How do I get a shipping class in WooCommerce?

Follow the steps listed below to add ‘shipping class’ to your WooCommerce website –

  • Enter – WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping > Shipping Classes,
  • Select ‘Add Shipping Class’,
  • Enter a Shipping Class Name and description,
  • Save Shipping Classes.

More Shipping Content


Sign up, and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss what services would be best for your business needs. Or speak with us now and tell us what you need.

Whoa! Hold on a second…

Effortlessly manage your inventory, automate order fulfillment, and scale your e-commerce business like never before. Ready to leap? Join the Locad family now! 

Exclusive benefits to ace your e-commerce game this 2023 with Locad’s desk calendar!