WooCommerce Shipping Classes: Everything You Need To Know

WooCommerce Shipping Classes: Everything You Need To Know

If your WooCommerce store has a variety of products of different weights and sizes, resulting in higher shipping rates for bulkier products, then you’ll benefit from WooCommerce Shipping Classes. Providing different shipping options will satisfy your customers and reduce abandoned cart rates.

The shipping options features of WooCommerce are plentiful, however premium extensions offer more satisfying solutions for customer service.

If a customer wants to buy a $5 product, they are unlikely to want to pay $10 for shipping.

So the best way to fix this issue is by implementing WooCommerce Shipping Classes. This article created by our team at wpDataTables provides all the information you need to establish shipping classes in your WooCommerce shop.

What Are WooCommerce Shipping Classes?

WooCommerce shipping class is a method in which you group similar products, thus bulkier products go together, and lighter ones have their class, etc.

The key benefit of shipping classes is that the owner can group products depending on how they’ll be shipped out. So, if you sell furniture, you’ll have to create a different class for chairs and a different one for couches.

In addition to shipping classes, you could also implement Flat Rate Shipping, where you create flat rates for different products.

So you could have a unique flat rate for larger items and a different one for smaller items.

Shipping classes aren’t always mandatory, so you do not need to apply them to every product. It is advisable to use shipping classes on any products with extra shipping fees.

The Difference Between Shipping Rates And Shipping Classes

A WooCommerce shipping class is a method to categorize similar products, for example, the bulky shipping class, which contains only large items.

A shipping rate is an extra cost that the customer must pay, depending on the shipping class. So, any bulky items might have an extra $50 charge. This extra fee is called a shipping rate.

Why WooCommerce Shipping Classes Are Important?

eCommerce businesses rely on shipping, and efficient shipping will make the business more competitive.

WooCommerce’s flexibility enables you to use nearly any shipping strategy.

Shipping costs can be difficult to calculate. You need to think about the distance that the product will travel, as well as the weight and size.

If your products are the same weight, then shipping rates are easy, but this is rare so, you’ll need to categorize your products in their respective class with their distinct cost.

Some key examples of WooCommerce shipping classes include:

  • Bulky Items

If you are selling tools or furniture, the heavier and larger products belong in the Bulky Items, for example, couches, heavy machinery, etc.

  • Lightweight Items

If your products are lightweight, possibly fit into an envelope, they will not attract a high shipping fee.

  • Fragile Items

Fragile items require extra care, by using a larger box and bubble wrap.

  • Specifically Packaged Items

If you sell posters or artwork, these need to be placed in tubes and might cost extra to ship out.

Adding WooCommerce Shipping Classes In Your Shop

To set up a simple WooCommerce shipping plan, follow these  steps:

  • Set up Shipping Zones
  • Add Shipping Methods and Rates
  • Assign a Shipping Class (Optional)

Shipping Zones

These are geographic areas where you can ship your items to. Their size can range from a continent to a specific zip code. These areas enable you to select unique places all over the world where you can sell your products. You’ll also be able to choose specific methods and rates.

You’ll also have a default option named “Locations”, which covers all other zones not covered by the previous choices.

The ‘locations’ option allows the customer to have their item shipped to any location that doesn’t belong to any of the shipping zones.

You must have at least one option in this default zone. Otherwise, your customers will get a message saying that no shipping methods are offered for their area, so they won’t be able to checkout.

Shipping Methods

WooCommerce provides access to some in-house shipping methods, including Flat Rate Shipping, Local Pickup, and Free Shipping. You’ll also have the option to add some of your own shipping methods if required.

If you choose the flat rate option, your customers will be charged a fixed fee on every shipping class. Thus, bulkier items have a higher fee, and lightweight ones a lower one.

The Local Pickup option is straightforward. Your customers will be able to collect their products from a local pickup point.

You can offer the Free Shipping method for your entire catalog. However, customers must meet some requirements before they qualify for free shipping. These can be either a coupon code or a minimum total cart value.

Assigning Shipping Classes

You won’t need to set up shipping classes if all your products have the same shipping cost. If you use any other premium extensions, the shipping classes are redundant.

However, if your product shipping costs vary, you should implement one shipping class for each product type. This way, you can alter the shipping costs when the customer reaches the checkout process. It’s important to know that you cannot add more than one shipping class for each product.

How to Add Shipping Classes

On your Admin Dashboard, look for the “Settings” option, and click that.

Then go to Shipping -> Shipping Class, where you’ll find three different fields.

Shipping Class – Here, you can choose the name of the shipping class. You can put anything you want here. If you’re setting up weight classes, add some measurements. So, for example, you could add a “1Kg” class or a “100g” class. You could also choose product names, such as “Couches” or “Chairs”.

Slug – This is a distinct identifier of a shipping class. You do not need to fill this one out, as it will generate if you leave it blank.

Description – You should input specific details about the shipping class in this field. It could be something simple like, “This class includes any products above 10Kg” if the shipping class is “10Kg”.

Then you’ll find the “Product Count”. Once you’ve added some products to the shipping class, the total number of products will appear here.

Adding Multiple Classes:

The process is simple for adding more shipping classes. Just repeat the process above, starting with “Add Shipping Class”.

Shipping Cost

You set the rates for shipping items to specific shipping zones. You could use Flat Rate Shipping so that when you ship an item to a certain area, the shipping fees remain the same.

To customize the Flat Shipping Rate, add the Shipping Class cost and calculate the different shipping fees for different types of products. This way, the shipping fees will be calculated on the products in the customer’s cart.

This benefits the customers, as they pay no more than what is required, and you won’t have to pay extra money to ship out larger items.

Configuring Shipping Class Cost for the Flat Rate Shipping Method

Find the Flat Rate Shipping method on the settings, by clicking on “Edit” for your shipping zone, then click on “Edit” again on the flat rate shipping method.

You should have reached the settings page, and the required option will be found under the Shipping Class Cost section.

You’ll need to ensure that your calculation type is set to “Per Class: Charge shipping for each class individually”.

Now, simply calculate the cost for each individual shipping class, based on the product quantity and cost.

Important Applications Of WooCommerce Shipping Classes

WooCommerce Shipping Classes are used to categorize different types of items, to provide different shipping methods depending on the products. The customer will also have an idea of the shipping cost, depending on the purchased product.

You need to establish certain shipping rules for different products, and possibly provide unique shipping methods for certain types of products. For example, when a customer adds a product to their cart, WooCommerce will determine the shipping fees, by gathering information about the shipping class, and the size and weight of the products.

Finally, when the customer enters the delivery process, they’ll need to input their address. Then WooCommerce calculates the exact cost of shipping the item, depending on the location and the method used by the customer. The customer can view all of this information on the cart page.

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