Configure your shipping calculator appropriately because the shipping cost is one of the top reasons why customers abandon the cart.
Among the benefits of using WordPress to create an e-commerce website are the variety of themes to enhance the aesthetics of your online store and the plugins that make customer’s shopping experience more enjoyable — like WooCommerce. The easier it is for customers to shop, check out and ship their purchases, the more often they will return to your store and suggest it to their friends.
Freight costs can make or break you as an online merchant. It can significantly affect the overall value of the product, a shopper’s decision to purchase, and your potential sales. So it should be one of the priorities when setting up an online store unless you offer your customers free shipping anywhere in the world, which is financially impossible for most, if not all retailers.
You can increase your customer base and prevent shopping cart abandonment by providing them with an easy way to figure out the shipping costs and the total charges. To save you some time, here is a rundown of the top shipping calculators for your WooCommerce-powered WordPress online store in Australia.
First, let’s talk about WooCommerce as your multi-functional WordPress e-commerce toolkit. With humble beginnings in 2008, trends indicate that WooCommerce powers over 30% of all online stores, boasting millions of active installs. As a plugin, it has become so popular with owners of e-commerce websites because it is simple, easy to implement and fully customisable.
You can quickly and efficiently build your e-store and put some add-on tools to extend its features, such as shipping calculators.
Popular shipping plugins
These are the top shipping plugins that we think can scale up your Australian WooCommerce store and improve your shoppers’ experience:
When you are shipping products in and around Australia, you can check availability and shipping costs through Australia Post Shipping API. They also handle international parcels and uses Australian Dollar (AUD) as the default currency. Other features include:
- Primarily works with cm and kg
- Enable additional services such as extra coverage and delivery confirmation.
- Enable/disable, edit the names of, and add costs to services
- Pack items individually or using the built-in box packer
However, Australia Post does not support “Prepaid Parcel Post satchels” and bulk discounts.
Customise the check out process in your Australian-based WooCommerce store by using TNT Express Australia’s External RTT service. To authenticate successfully to the system, you must have a valid TNT Express Australia account. This shipping plugin includes freight cost estimate, single website license, 1 year of updates and support, and more. It uses AUD for its currency.
Please note that TNT Express Australia’s External RTT service is for domestic quotes only, so if you are outside Australia, you can use their TNT ExpressConnect plugin.
Aside from giving you access to Australia’s largest courier and freight companies, Transdirect Shipping plugin is simple to configure and allows you to enjoy a seamless checkout process. Did we mention that it’s a FREE plugin? Other features include:
- Great shipping rates from Toll Ipec, Fastway, Couriers Please, Toll Priority, Northline and more.
- Multiple quote options.
- Insurance options available.
Calculate shipping quotes through StarTrack Express eServices, one of the most popular WooCommerce shipping plugins in Australia. Just register with StarTrack Express and obtain your username, password, account number, and API key. It has a number of great features and uses AUD as currency. However, your store’s base country must be Australia in order to use this plugin.
Couriers Please offers nationwide coverage across Australia. To integrate its services to your Australian e-store and use it to calculate shipping charges, you need to obtain the CouriersPlease API. Complete the registration process, request for the WooCommerce plugin and that you require an API key.
The Table Rate Shipping Pro plugin will help you implement rules to effortlessly calculate the shipping rates for a combination of different and specific delivery conditions. When a customer’s selected products match the requirements of the rule you created, the shipping costs for that rule are then applied to their purchases. It allows you to develop universal guidelines to calculate shipping rates.
The shipping plugin supports Table Rate and Flat-Rate shipping based on:
- Product / Order total weight
- Product Quantity in the cart
- The total price of all the products in the cart
- Different product categories
- WooCommerce shipping classes
- WooCommerce shipping zones
- Destination country
- Destination address fields such as city and state
- Different zip codes
- Bulk import/export shipping rules using CSV
- Per product shipping using a free add-on
- Bundled rate shipping using a free add-on
- WPML support
The Bundle Rate Shipping plugin makes it possible for you to provide your customers bundled shipping rates when they purchase multiple items. It’s designed to be customizable enough so you can define the bundled shipping rates to be charged based on the delivery destination, the categories of the products sold, or even their shipping class.
You also have the option of adding different subcategories which makes targeted charges easier, such as you may choose to charge a flat rate for the first item, then provide shipping discounts for each additional item, reducing the shipping charges as your customer makes more purchases. For example, you can charge $5 shipping for item #1, $2 for item #2, $1 for item #3 and then free shipping for item #4.
You can also choose to:
- Charge for the first item and then provide free shipping for each additional item.
- Charge different shipping classes for different items.
- Offer free shipping if a customer’s total purchases go over a specific amount like free shipping on purchases over $100.
There are several other rules you can add to the WooCommerce Bundle Rate Shipping plugin to make buying and selling more manageable for your store and your customers.
WooCommerce Weight Based Shipping plugin is a flexible and easy to use shipping tool that is focused on, but not limited to, the weight of the purchased items that calculates their shipping costs. The plugin also offers the ability to create preferred conditions. Some of the helpful features include:
- The ability to create as many different shipping rules you need for various destinations, weight, and subtotal ranges.
- Every rule can be designed to show a specific flat-rate, one based on weight, or both.
- Free shipping based on a specific condition such as total spent or the number of items.
- The ability to provide shipping charges based on shipping class.
The WooCommerce Shipping Gateway per Product makes it possible to select the available shipping gateways for each product which can be used by your customers when they check out.
However, if there is no selection made at the time of checkout, a default gateway, chosen by you, will be displayed. If, for example, you select only local deliveries then that will be the only delivery option available to your customers for that specific product.
The drawbacks to this plugin, although only a couple, include:
- With the initial version, you are limited to just being able to select different gateways for ten products.
- You need to use the premium version for unlimited use. Select gateways for as many products as you choose.
This plugin can be placed on any page of your e-commerce website, and it provides your customers with the ability to choose the shipping method they prefer and provides them with a quote for shipping to their destination. It offers several helpful benefits to your customers including:
- Intelligent packaging for multiple items
- Separate configuration for the weight of packing materials
- The automatic determination of dimensional weight
- The ability to determine the cost of insurance based on the value of the item
In conclusion, WooCommerce is the preferred platform for e-commerce websites because they offer so many possibilities for customisation and it’s a high-quality and reliable platform for any size and type of retail outlet. Adding a feature-rich shipping calculator builds up your online store’s UX design, hugely impacting your conversion rates, including sales, traffic and repeat customers.