Woocommerce Flat Rate Shipping

Woocommerce Flat Rate Shipping

Woocommerce shipping made easy.

Woocommerce shipping is a very important and valuable tool for any online store website. It is however often very misunderstood and underappreciated. It can be extremely daunting trying to setup shipping in woocommerce if you don’t have the knowledge. In this article we will simplify the process for woocommerce flat rate shipping and give you tricks and tips.

There are three main areas to setting up flat rate shipping – classes, zones and rates. These three areas are important for setting shipping prices based on the item or cart.
We always ask clients the following three questions. These questions will help to achieve the desired result for shipping charges almost every time using the standard Woocommerce shipping settings:

  1. Do you want to charge different shipping prices per location that you deliver too? ( Shipping Zones )
  2. Do you want to charge a price per item, per quantity or one price for the entire cart? ( Shipping Methods )
  3. Do you want to charge a different shipping price per product or product category? ( Shipping Classes )

Woocommerce Zones.

This is the easiest part of setting up woocommerce shipping. A zone is basically setting up a shipping rate for each area you deliver too. Shipping Zones can be setup by location or by postcode. For example you could setup a shipping zone for the whole of New South Wales or you could setup a shipping zone for just certain postcodes. You can setup as many shipping zones as you may need for you website. A shipping zone tells the system that whatever shipping costs are associated with that zone are charged to the customer based on their location. If you lived in New South Wales you would be charged the shipping method and price for New South Wales.

Woocommerce shipping zones
Woocommerce shipping zones

WooCommerce Shipping Methods.

WooCommerce comes standard with 3 shipping methods – Flat Rate, Free shipping and Local Pickup. You can add all three shipping methods per zone or just one shipping method per zone. As you can see you are able to assign a cost for the shipping method and a calculation type. There are two types of calculation types:

  • Per Class: Charge shipping for each shipping class individually – this means that each product item will be charged a shipping rate ( not product quantity ). For example if you had three keyboards and one monitor. You would be charged 1 shipping fee for the three keyboards and 1 shipping fee for the monitor. If you wanted the system to charge 3 shipping fees for the keyboards and one shipping fee for the monitor (i.e: charge per quantity item) then in the cost section you would need to insert your price and * [qty] – this is a formula. Example 10 * [qty] – the system will then charge a set amount example “$10.00” shipping for each item ordered.
  • Per Order: Charge shipping for the most expensive shipping class. This is very self-explanatory. There will only be one shipping charge and it will be on the highest products shipping rate. Again you can use the formula rate * [qty] for this type of calculation type.
WooCommerce Shipping Methods
WooCommerce Shipping Methods

WooCommerce Shipping Classes.

A shipping class helps you distinguish a product or group of products shipping prices. For example if you selling keyboards and servers. You would charge far less for shipping keyboards than you would a server. So you would setup a shipping class for each. This will tell the system that there is a difference in terms of shipping prices based on the type or product. Shipping classes are setup under Shipping > Shipping Classes and the rates are added under Shipping > Zone > Shipping Method ( the same area where you would add the normal shipping cost ).

Now the trick that we find when setting up shipping classes is that people always forget that the “Cost” is then added to the “shipping class” upon checkout.

If you have a $10.00 shipping cost and a $5.00 shipping class – upon checkout the user will be charged a total of $15.00 shipping. This is great if you want a standard flat rate for all items and then only wanted to add shipping class to a few selected items. But this can be tricky if your products have a vast price difference.

We recommend leaving the “Cost” field as “0” if you are using shipping classes and only filling in the shipping class costs. It is far less confusing for you, when it comes to managing it overall.

WooCommerce Shipping Classes
WooCommerce Shipping Classes

Once you have setup the shipping classes, remember that you need to go to each product and assign the shipping class to the product. If you don’t assign the shipping class then the system will automatically use the Cost plus “No shipping class cost” field to calculate the shipping charges upon checkout.

Shipping Advanced Cost Formulas.

Woocommerce has setup some placeholders that make it easier for your shipping formulas (the below example has been taken directly from woocommerce)

  • [qty] – Number of products in the cart
  • [fee] – An additional fee. This fee has two optional arguments.
    • percent – A percentage based on total order cost.
    • min_fee – A minimum amount. Useful when using percentages.


  • 10 + ( 2 * [qty] ) – A base shipping cost of $10.00 plus $2.00 for each item in the cart.
  • 20 + [fee percent=”10″ min_fee=”4″] – A base shipping cost of $20 plus 10% of the order total, which is at least $4.00.

Woocommerce Flat Rate Shipping – Conclusion.

Hopefully this has given you a better understanding of how to setup flat rate shipping costs based on quantity, product/s, shipping methods and delivery zone. If you are still unable to achieve your desired results in terms of shipping charges there are a lot of other shipping plugins that give a lot more functionality. We do find however the standard shipping rates that come standard with woocommerce covers at least 90% of client ecommerce website shipping requirements. If you are looking for more assistance with setting up Flat Rate Shipping and shipping zones, visit woocommerce directly Flat Rate Shipping and Setting up Shipping Zones.

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