When you're an eCommerce business, how you handle shipping is one of the biggest determiners of your success as a platform. This is doubly true for Australia, which is a massive landmass with substantial delivery costs from one end of the country to the other.
If you're using WooCommerce, there are a variety of plugins you can use to improve on and upgrade the way your eCommerce website handles shipping. In this article, we'll go over the ten most prominent ones.
#1 WooCommerce Weight-Based Shipping
Calculating shipping costs by weight is one of the most popular ways eCommerce companies automatically calculate shipping costs for their users on the fly. It is simple, effective, and easily understood by both webmasters and users.
The WooCommerce Weight-based Shipping plugin is one of the most popular plugins that allows you to add automatic shipping cost calculations based on weight to your eCommerce website. It has more than 50 thousand active users, and it is only growing due to its many advantages over its competitors.
Pros of WooCommerce Weight Based Shipping
Plug and play: the plugin works out of the box. You don't need lengthy configurations to get the plugin to work. You install it, enter some basic parameters, and it is ready to go.
Highly customisable: the plugin allows you a lot of control over how you set shipping prices: you can set weight tiers, you can offer free shipping when the customer reaches a specific basket size, and much more. The plugin allows you to set weight-based shipping cost rules that truly make sense for your company.
Excellent customer support: despite the plugin being free, the developers are really passionate about its development, and they are quick to respond to any technical issues you might encounter using the plugin. A lack of support is one of the biggest issues with a lot of WordPress plugins, and we're happy to report this one is an exception.
Cons of WooCommerce Weight Based Shipping
poor documentation: sadly, due to the rather straightforward nature of the plugin, the author(s) never bothered to create thorough, proper documentation for the plugin. This might cause you some issues if you desire to do more complex calculations with the plugin.
missing features: due to the design philosophy of the plugin being 'plug and play' and 'simple', it has never aimed to implement complex features that might be needed in some circumstances. These missing features won't mean much for most users, but they might make the plugin impossible to use for others.
#2 WooCommerce ShipStation Integration
ShipStation is a leading SaaS shipping solution. It helps add, organize, and control shipping for eCommerce retailers. If you're looking for a way to manage and organize large volumes of shipments across Australia, ShipStation is an excellent way to do it.
A feature-rich integration: when you hear 'integration', it can mean some basic communication or a fully-fledged interface, and we're happy to report the WooCommerce ShipStation Integration plugin is much closer to the latter. It allows you to create orders, enter labels, and much more through WooCommerce.
It is an official plugin provided by WooCommerce: the plugin is developed and maintained by WooCommerce themselves, and not some third party. This means that you can expect a certain threshold of quality, regular updates, and proper security.
Cons of WooCommerce ShipStation Integration
Poor support and documentation: sadly, this shipping plugin is renowned for its lack of proper documentation, and what's worse, the team doesn't provide proper support for those facing issues. Although the plugin shouldn't be hard to use in most use cases, this, rightfully, might be a dealbreaker for a lot of people.
Ultimately, this is a plugin that allows for WooCommerce-ShipStation integration. All the strengths and weaknesses of ShipStation carry over when you use this shipping plugin in your own projects.
#3 Table Rate Shipping Method For WooCommerce by Flexible Shipping
One of the most popular shipping plugins for WooCommerce, the Flexible Shipping plugin allows its users to set prices based on both weight and cart total.
With hundreds of thousands of active installs and constant updates, Flexible Shipping is a plugin you need to try out if you're interested in improving shipping management in your WooCommerce platform. This is because of the many advances of this plugin.
Pros of Table Rate Shipping Method For WooCommerce by Flexible Shipping
Reliable and easy to use: most users report a very reliable experience with this plugin. You won't experience unexpected results, you won't experience constant bugs, and you won't have to rack your brain over how to set up basic shipping rules. On top of all this, you get excellent support from the devs of the plugin. You can expect all your questions to be answered in three days if you buy the pro version.
Can set prices by region: Australia is a large country, and you want to be able to set shipping prices regionally. This allows you to serve all of Australia without charging extra or incurring losses on shipping. This makes you more competitive.
Customisable: not only does the plugin allow you to create custom rules, import custom orders, etc. etc., it also has a range of add-ons that expand on the functionality of the plugin. This makes the plugin one of the most feature-rich shipping plugins out there for WooCommerce.
Cons of Table Rate Shipping Method For WooCommerce by Flexible Shipping
A lot of features are locked behind a 'PRO' version: sadly, although the plugin is extremely rich in features, a lot of it is locked behind a paywall. Coming in at 90 euros a year for the basic pro version, it isn't a lot. But costs can quickly compound on eCommerce retail stores, and you might not be able to afford it. If you can't, just know that you'll be missing out on a lot of features.
#4 Australia Post WooCommerce Extension
Australia Post is the government-run postal service in Australia. It is the most prevalent method of shipping in the country. The corporation employees more than 30,000 people just to handle all the requests coming their way.
If you want your eCommerce retail outlet to be successful, you need to integrate Australia Post into your services, and there are a few reasons why you should choose the Australia Post WooCommerce extension.
Pros of Australia Post WooCommerce Extension
Supports Integration with Australia Post: Australia Post WooCommerce Extension allows you to integrate your WooCommerce platform with WooCommerce Australia Post. The plugin also allows you to set prices based on specific regions or provide additional customizations and options to your users. It is a powerful feature that you don't want to miss out on.
Seamless integration: the importance of seamless integration with WooCommerce Australia Post can't be overstated. This Australia Post shipping plugin will allow you to easily serve customers all around the country with minimal effort. If you want a plug-and-play shipping plugin for an Australian-based eCommerce website, this is the way to go.
Cons of Australia Post WooCommerce Extension
A lot of features are locked behind a pro version: sadly, the free version of the plugin is extremely barebones, much more so than the Flexible Shipping plugin. The free version doesn't support international shipping, it doesn't support specific domestic shipping options, and it doesn't support debug mode. This is just to name a few. If you're going to rely on this WooCommerce Australia Post shipping plugin exclusively, you're likely going to need to buy the pro version.
small userbase: sadly, this Australia Post WooCommerce plugin has a really small active userbase, which is less than 5 thousand at the time of writing this article. This is understandable as this WordPress plugin is exclusively created for the Australian market. Nevertheless, this means that you should expect fewer updates and less community support when using this plugin compared to some of the others on our list.
#5 WooCommerce Advanced Shipping Packages
Are you unsatisfied with the out-of-the-box shipping features of WooCommerce? Are you looking for a WordPress plugin that can allow you and your users to set up advanced shipping configurations? Do you want to give your users control over the type of shipping they prefer for individual and specific groups of items?
Set shipping methods of each item in the basket separately: giving control to your users is really important when you operate an eCommerce website. You don't ever want your clients to feel limited and constrained, frustrated with your website lacking specific features. Being able to individually set the shipping method of each item in a basket with fine control is one of the features that you can't do without. And the Advanced Shipping Packages plugin providing it makes it stand among other WooCommerce shipping plugins.
Carefully log whichever shipping methods are used: being able to properly log shipping details in the back-end is really important, and it is the job of a competent shipping plugin to make the job as easy as possible. Thankfully, this applies to Advanced Shipping Packages, as it automatically logs the users' shipping decisions.
Organize and ship items from multiple origins: complex supply chains are extremely commonplace nowadays, and sadly, a lot of WooCommerce shipping plugins don't take this into account. Advanced Shipping Packages is different, however. It is one of the only shipping plugins that allow you to optimize your inventories and ship from multiple origins depending on cost and convenience.
Cons of WooCommerce Advanced Shipping Packages
Lack of reviews: due to the niche and paid nature of this plugin, there are not a lot of genuine user reviews out there. That's why you might be taking a gamble by using it in your project without properly vetting and testing the plugin first.
#6 WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Method
Do you want to directly communicate with Australia Post's Shipping API? Do you want to send fine-tuned requests to the shipping company? Are you annoyed by how limited other options/plugins feel?
Pros of WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Method Plugin
Allows all kinds of shipping: are you looking to offer your clients international shipping? What about giving them the choice between parcel, courier, and express post? Air mail and sea mail? This plugin is the only Woocommerce shipping plugin that gives you complete control over the kind of Australia Post shipping you request.
You have the ability to enable additional Australia Post services: do you want to use Australia Post's supplementary services? Do you want delivery confirmation? How about extra coverage? Not all WooCommerce shipping plugins offer this, but Shipping Method does.
Cons of WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Method Plugin
It is JUST an Australia Post shipping plugin: the plugin is excellent at what it does, but it has a very specific job: allowing you to interact with the Australia Post Shipping API. It doesn't allow you to organize orders, log shipping details, etc. etc. That's why you would probably need to pair it with other plugins if you want to take advantage of it.
I provide cost effective websites and marketing solutions that will help your business achieve its objectives within the working time frame. Have a look at my website design portfolio below to get a feel for the quality of my work.If you would like to engage me as a freelance web designer call me anytime on 02 8317 3526, Send me an email [email protected]