How to Set up WooCommerce Shipping: Complete guide

Shipping is an essential part of any online business, as it directly impacts customer satisfaction, conversion rates, and overall profitability. In WooCommerce, you can effortlessly handle shipping zones, rates, methods, and shipping classes, providing you with complete control over the shipping experience you offer to your customers.

It is designed to simplify and streamline the management of your shipping process. It provides a user-friendly interface within your WordPress admin dashboard, making it easy to configure and customize your shipping settings according to your unique business requirements.

Setting-Up WooCommerce Shipping

To begin configuring your shipping settings, please follow the step-by-step guide below:

Go to WooCommerce ➝ Settings ➝ Shipping.

WooCommerce: Shipping Tab
WooCommerce: Shipping Tab

If you are not able to see the Shipping option in WooCommerce Settings Tab. Go to WooCommerce ➝ Settings ➝ General ➝ General Options. From there, navigate to Shipping Location(s) – You have to allow the Shipping settings here.

WooCommerce: Enable Shipping(General Tab)
WooCommerce: Enable Shipping(General Tab)

Shipping Zones

It is a designated geographical area where specific shipping methods and rates are applicable. These zones can range from broad regions like entire countries to more specific areas such as specific zip codes. Each customer’s address is associated with only one shipping zone.

In WooCommerce, you can create multiple shipping zones and assign different shipping methods and rates to each zone. This allows you to customize your shipping strategy based on the location of your customers and ensures accurate and efficient shipping calculations.

Adding a new Shipping Zone

  • Click on “Add Shipping Zone” option at the top.
WooCommerce: Add Shipping Zone Button
WooCommerce: Add Shipping Zone Button
  • Enter a descriptive Zone Name and select the Zone Regions to which it applies. The region can include Countries, States, and Continents.
WooCommerce: Shipping Zone Name & Region Settings
WooCommerce: Shipping Zone Name & Region Settings
  • You have also included specific zip/postcodes where the shipping will be applicable by using the Limit to specific Zip/postcodes option.

For example, You can enter postcodes individually (one per line), define a range of postcodes, or utilize a wildcard approach.

WooCommerce: Shipping Zone Region Postcode Settings
WooCommerce: Shipping Zone Region Postcode Settings

Shipping Methods

WooCommerce provides a range of shipping methods that you can configure to meet the specific needs of your online store. Let’s explore the popular shipping methods available, including Flat Rate, Local Pickup, and Free Shipping, and walk you through the process of setting them up.

Adding shipping method

  • Click on the “Add Shipping Method” button.
WooCommerce: Add Shipping Method Button
WooCommerce: Add Shipping Method Button
  • From the list of available options, choose the shipping method you want to add.
  • After selecting the desired shipping method, click on the “Add Shipping Method” button.
WooCommerce: Shipping Methods
WooCommerce: Shipping Methods

Adding multiple Shipping methods

You have the flexibility to add multiple shipping methods to a single zone. This means that within a specific shipping zone, you can offer multiple options for customers to choose from during the checkout process.

WooCommerce: Add Multiple Shipping Methods
WooCommerce: Add Multiple Shipping Methods

Flat Rate

It is a popular shipping method available in WooCommerce that allows you to set a fixed shipping cost for specific zones or across your entire online store. With Flat Rate Shipping, you can provide a consistent shipping rate regardless of the size, weight, or destination of the order.

This method offers simplicity and predictability for both you and your customers, making it a versatile option for various businesses.

Selecting Flat Rate as your shipping option will open a new window when you click the “Edit” button. This window allows you to modify and customize the settings associated with the Flat Rate shipping method.

WooCommerce: Shipping Method Edit Option
WooCommerce: Shipping Method Edit Option

You can specify the tax status, indicating whether the shipment should be taxable or not. Additionally, you can set a method title that will be displayed to customers during checkout. Furthermore, you can enter the desired shipping charge in the Cost field. For example, if you wish to charge $30, you would enter “30.00” in the field.

The price you set for the Flat Rate shipping method will be applied to the entire shopping cart. If you need more information about advanced cost options, you can click on the question mark next to the field title to learn more which will be discussed later.

After configuring the pricing and any advanced options, click “Save changes” to save your settings.

WooCommerce: Flat Rate Method Settings
WooCommerce: Flat Rate Method Settings

Local Pickup

It allows customers to collect their orders directly from a designated location, such as a physical store or a specified pickup point. This shipping option provides a convenient and cost-effective solution for customers who prefer to pick up their purchased items in person, eliminating the need for traditional shipping services.

By implementing Local Pickup shipping in your WooCommerce store, you not only enhance customer satisfaction but also reduce shipping costs and improve operational efficiency.

Similar to Flat Rate, after selecting Local Pickup as the shipping method, clicking on the “Edit” button will open a new window where you can modify the settings specific to the Local Pickup method.

WooCommerce: Local Pickup Method Settings
WooCommerce: Local Pickup Method Settings

You generally don’t need to enter a delivery cost since the customer will be collecting the item themselves, usually from your physical store. However, it’s important to note that by default, the taxes for local pickup in WooCommerce are calculated based on the location of your store rather than the customer’s address.

Free Shipping

It will allow you to offer your customers shipping without any additional cost. This means you can provide a seamless shipping experience by not charging any fees based on specific conditions, defined in the Free Shipping method settings.

Implementing Free Shipping can have a significant impact on your sales and customer acquisition. It serves as an effective promotional tool that entices customers to make purchases, improves your overall sales performance, and helps expand your customer base.

By selecting the Free Shipping method in WooCommerce, you can access the settings through the “Edit” button, which opens a new window. Within this window, you have the flexibility to customize and define the criteria for offering free shipping to your customers.

WooCommerce: Free Shipping Method Settings
WooCommerce: Free Shipping Method Settings

Within the Free Shipping method settings, you have the option to input a method title and select a prerequisite for offering free shipping.

This section provides you with four different options to define the criteria that must be met to qualify for free shipping, as shown in the screenshot above. Alternatively, if you prefer not to set any specific criteria, you can simply select “N/A.”

To utilize the coupon criteria, it is essential to have a coupon created within your WooCommerce setup. For detailed instructions on How to create coupons in WooCommerce, please refer to our article.

  • Locations not covered by your other zones feature is designed for customers who do not match any of the custom zones you have created. It serves as a fallback option for handling orders from locations that are not specifically covered by your defined shipping zones. Adding shipping methods to this zone is optional and can be based on your individual business requirements.
WooCommerce: Other Location Settings
WooCommerce: Other Location Settings

Calculating Shipping Rates & fees

When it comes to calculating shipping fees, the options available within the Flat Rate shipping method can initially appear overwhelming. However, with a little practice and experimentation, this section will become a valuable resource for managing your fees effectively.

Let’s explore some of the advanced options you have within the Flat Rate shipping method:

  • *[qty]: Utilize this option to calculate shipping costs based on the number of items customers have in their shopping carts.
  • *[fee]: This feature allows you to incorporate shipping costs based on the total value of the order.

When utilizing the [fee] setting, you have access to additional considerations, including:

  • *percent: This enables you to calculate the shipping costs as a percentage of the order total.
  • *min_fee: You can set a minimum threshold for the additional fees, ensuring a minimum amount is charged for shipping.
  • *max_fee: This option allows you to define a maximum limit for the additional fees, ensuring that shipping costs do not exceed a certain amount.

Suppose you opt for Flat Rate shipping as your chosen shipping method. In the Cost column, you can input one of the options mentioned above. By using the [qty] placeholder, you can add a fee for each item added to a customer’s shopping cart. For example, if you enter “3 + (6 * [qty])” in the Cost field, it means you have set a$3 flat shipping fee, and an additional $6.00 will be charged for each item added to the cart. That means, if the quantity is 5, the total charge will amount to $33.

On the other hand, if you utilize the [fee] placeholder, you have the option to add an additional shipping price calculated as a percentage of the total purchase amount. For instance, by inputting “1 + [fee percent=”4″ max fee=”26″],” the shipping cost would consist of a base fee of $1.00 plus 4% of the total purchase price, which will not exceed a maximum of $25.

Let’s consider a scenario where the total purchase price is $700. In this case, despite 4% of $700 amounting to $28, the customer would only be charged an additional $26. Thus, the customer’s total payment in this scenario would be $27.

Shipping Options

This configuration enables you to customize your shipping settings.

  • Calculation
    • To display the shipping calculator on the cart page, simply select the “Enable the shipping calculator on the cart page” option.
    • To hide the shipping cost until the user enters the address, simply enable the “Hide shipping costs until an address is entered” option.
  • Shipping Destination: It determines the default shipping address that is used during the checkout process.
    • To configure the customer’s shipping address as the default option, simply enable the “Default to customer shipping address” option.
    • To configure the customer’s billing address as the default option, simply enable the “Default to customer billing address” option.
    • By enabling the “Force shipping to customer billing address” option, you can ensure that the customer’s shipping address is automatically set to be the same as the billing address. In this scenario, no additional options will be displayed for customers to add a separate shipping address.
  • Debug Mode: To debug the proper functioning of your shipping zones, you can check the “Enable Debug Mode” option.

After configuring all the settings, click on “Save Changes” button to save the settings.

WooCommerce: Shipping Options Settings
WooCommerce: Shipping Options Settings

Shipping Class

Shipping classes in WooCommerce allow you to group similar products together, especially those that are large or require extra care during delivery. Each product can be assigned a specific shipping class, enabling you to differentiate their shipping requirements and costs.

For example, if you offer both t-shirts and fragile home decor items made of glass, their shipping costs will differ. The delicate glass items will require special packaging and handling, resulting in additional shipping expenses.

When adding new products to your store, you can assign them a unique shipping class or group them under an existing class.

Creating Shipping Class

  • To create a new shipping class, navigate to the Shipping tab, then click on Shipping Classes option. From there, simply click on the “Add shipping class” button.
WooCommerce: Add Shipping Class Button
WooCommerce: Add Shipping Class Button
  • Next, provide the Name, Slug, and Description for the shipping class you are creating. Once you have entered the necessary details, click on the “Save Shipping Class” button to save the newly created class.

Save your time by utilizing the Frontend Product Editor Plugin to effortlessly assign your created WooCommerce classes to products directly from the frontend.

WooCommerce: Save Shipping Class Button
WooCommerce: Save Shipping Class Button
  • Navigate to the “Shipping Zones” section and choose a specific zone that you want to configure. Once you have selected the desired zone, locate the “Flat Rate” shipping method and click on the “Edit” button next to it.
WooCommerce: Shipping Method Edit Option
WooCommerce: Shipping Method Edit Option
  • After clicking on the button, it will appear with an additional Shipping Class Cost Section.
  • In this section, you can determine the calculation type and set the shipping costs for the selected shipping class. Once you set all the details, click on “Save Changes” button.
  • Calculation types come with two options:
    1. Per Order: This option selects the highest shipping cost from all the items in the cart. It applies the shipping cost based on the most expensive option among the items.
    2. Per Class: With this option, shipping costs are calculated for each shipping class individually. It charges shipping fees separately for each class, regardless of the other items in the cart.
  • No Shipping Class Cost – Useful when you are selecting the “Per Class” option below. Otherwise, you can input the shipping costs directly in the “Cost” field.
WooCommerce: Shipping Class Cost Option
WooCommerce: Shipping Class Cost Option

Please check our detailed article to learn about How to assign WooCommerce Shipping Classes to Products.


In conclusion, setting up WooCommerce shipping doesn’t have to be a challenging task. By following the step-by-step guide provided, you can easily configure your shipping options and ensure a smooth and efficient process for delivering your products to customers. Remember to consider your business needs, choose the right shipping methods, set appropriate shipping rates, and test the entire process to make sure everything works seamlessly.

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