If you are getting frustrated in calculating the exact shipping cost, you are not alone. Yes, like many others, you must have got confused with the multiple shipping carrier options. Since it directly impacts the total cost of purchasing the product, it requires prime attention.
Do not worry, I am going to share some best WooCommerce shipping calculator plugins with you today. You will get to know their features as well as their pricing. In this way, selecting the best plugin will become easier.
- 1 Which Factors can affect the Shipping Rates?
- 2 How to set an Ideal Shipping Strategy?
- 3 Conclusion
Which Factors can affect the Shipping Rates?
Unfortunately, some retailers have set the trend of free shipping. However, shipping can never be free. Shipping companies charge some amount for transferring the goods. Retailers, who are offering free shipping, bear the cost from their profits. But, it is not mandatory for everyone.
Companies should find an ideal shipping strategy that is beneficial for both- the customers and the business owner. Furthermore, you can offer shipping rates in three different ways. These include free shipping, variable shipping, and fixed shipping. However, many factors can affect the shipping rate. Let us learn about these factors first:
Size and Weight
If you are dealing in products of the same size and weight, setting a fixed shipping strategy is easier. However, if your products are of variable sizes and weight, a variable shipping cost will incur. Products having a heavyweight but similar size may not cost more in comparison to those with bigger size and smaller weight.
Packaging depends on the nature of your product. For instance, perishable goods and sensitive items require separate packaging materials. Therefore, the shipping cost is fairly high.
You cannot send products to the carrier without labeling and assembling. Someone needs to put the product in the right way, set each box, label each section, and get the package ready. This requires time, effort, and cost.
How to set an Ideal Shipping Strategy?
Different companies adopt different strategies for shipping. A few useful strategies to delight your customers are listed below:
One fair strategy is using the live rates. Here, the shipping company gets synchronized with the site and the customers get the direct rates from the company. Since the company is not involved, customers develop trust. Besides this, customers can get various shipping options like FedEx, USP, USPS, etc. In this way, they select the one that suits them.
If you deal in products of variable weight and sizes, table rates are the best option. This rate is set according to a set of rules. These rules include weight, size, location, total amount, etc. Here are a few scenarios of table rates:
- Free shipping on orders above $500
- $5 shipping charges for weight less than nine pounds
- Additional $10 shipping charges if the weight exceeds 15 pounds
If you deal in a similar kind of product, flat rates can be the best strategy for you. It means charging the same amount irrespective of the weight and size of the product.
This strategy is not ideal for everyone. However, if your profit margin is high, you can deduct a small portion of it and develop goodwill by offering free shipping. Some companies even increase their prices by offering free shipping. For this, you need to analyze your target market. If they are ready to pay a high price, you can go for it.
Before taking more time, let me start introducing the best WooCommerce shipping calculator plugins:
As the name suggests, this plugin helps you set up the table rates for shipping. It means you can set multiple rules for shipping calculations. These rules are based on factors like weight, size, shipping address, item numbers, product category, etc. Besides this, it lets you calculate the per-unit cost. The interface is user-friendly and the plugin is helpful for companies dealing with multiple products. However, it will not display the shipping calculator.
- It calculates shipping rates based on different factors.
- It lets you define rules for shipping calculations.
- It lets you add extra charges based on per unit value, weight, etc.
- An annual single site license costs $99
This plugin allows you to bring a lot of flexibility to shipping rates. You can easily set variables for calculating the shipping cost. Besides this, you can also put a fixed shipping cost based on certain factors like location, product category, item numbers, etc. The plugin also allows you to disable this flat rate option for a specified payment method.
- It lets you set rules for applying a fixed shipping cost.
- It provides multiple options for enabling or disabling the flat shipping rate.
- It lets you set fixed shipping methods based on selected zones.
- It can also be used for giving a free shipping option.
- It is compatible with WPML.
- It offers shipping calculations based on user roles, location, order value.
- A yearly single site subscription costs $119
Just like other plugins, the Flexible Shipping Pro offers multiple ways of calculating shipping costs. You can offer free shipping and even exclude certain shipping methods for specific user roles. Besides this, it lets you create shipping rules related to the product weight, location, total price, number of items, etc.
- It enables you to set unlimited rules for a particular shipping zone.
- It lets you select various parameters for rules such as weight, size, location, etc.
- It supports translation as well currency switching.
- It can exclude the shipping method as per the rule.
- The cost for the single site plugin is $89
If you are happy with the default WooCommerce shipping calculator and want to do a few tweaks to it, try out this plugin. It allows you to customize the existing fields and add more fields of your choice. You can add or delete the city, location, postcode fields, etc. Besides this, you can also add and customize the “total” button.
- It lets you customize the shipping calculator.
- It enables you to change the button labels.
- It allows you to add more fields.
- A yearly single site license costs $99.99
If you do not want to go for the real-time shipping strategy and use distance as a base for calculating the shipping, this can be the right plugin. All you need is to set a fixed rate. The plugin will multiply the distance with the rate and calculate the total shipping cost. Furthermore, consumers can add multiple addresses. This will help the plugin in picking up the nearest location and finding the total cost.
- It calculates the shipping cost based on the distance between the warehouse and the shipping address.
- It can create shipping profiles with multiple addresses.
- It can also define the shipping method for every profile.
- It can be used in every country.
- It calculates the distance in kilometers and miles.
- It gives a free trial.
- Monthly pricing plans start from $5
So, these are all the details related to shipping calculator plugins. I have listed the plugins that look best to me. Your opinion can differ from mine, and you may find more plugins.
However, I believe that all of us should know our shipping strategy before selecting the shipping calculator. People who are planning to offer flat rates can try out the Flat rate shipping method WooCommerce. Similarly, those who are planning to give variable shipping prices can check out Flexible shipping pro or Table rate shipping.
If you want to customize the existing shipping calculator on WooCommerce, have a look at Booster for WooCommerce. Lastly, a Distance-based shipping calculator is for those who want to calculate shipping based on distance.
So, your strategy should be clear and you will successfully find an ideal plugin to fulfill your needs.