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  5. 5. Shipping

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers

If your business involves customers shipping things to your office or warehouse regularly, the shipping cost and logistics of the process might confuse and overwhelm them. This Shipping Calculator plugin helps to set up an easy to access platform for your customers to calculate the shipping rates based on product weight and dimensions, as well as source and destination addresses. 

Customers can use the Shipping Calculator to compare costs and select a suitable shipping service to print shipping labels and get the tracking links. Along with the cost of the shipping service, you can charge additional handling fees. At the moment, it works with the popular shipping carriers – FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Canada Post through EasyPost API.

Overview ↑ Back to top

The following are some of the plugin’s main features:

  • Calculates Shipping Rates: You can check available shipping services and their rates by entering the sender’s and receiver’s country and zip codes, as well as the weight and dimensions of the packages.
  • Print Shipping Label: Enter the shipper’s and receiver’s addresses, contact information, and generate packages to print the labels with just one click.
  • Dedicated page for Shipping Calculator: You can create a dedicated webpage and feature the shipping calculator platform on your website.
  • Predefined Packing Options: Based on the weight and dimensions of the objects, choose the most appropriate packaging option from the available predefined packages.
  • Create Custom Packages: If you do not want to use the default packages available or if none of the predefined packing options suits your need, you can opt for custom packaging. With this option, the packages are generated based on the weight and dimensions you would feed to the plugin.
  • Print Shipping Labels for Multiple Packages: You can generate multiple packages together by feeding the weights and dimensions of the packages into a CSV file and uploading it for generating multiple labels together. Or, you can create custom packages one by one manually.
  • Handling Fee: You can charge a handling fee from customers, which will be added to the total shipping cost. 
  • Send an Email with the Label and Tracking Link: You can configure to send the created label and tracking link either to the sender or the receiver, or to both using a custom email body and subject.
  • Allow access to the Shipping Calculator: You can grant access to the Shipping Calculator page to specific user roles in your store. Also, you can control the access of this tool to guest users.

All of the above (and many more!) features are bundled together to help you calculate shipping charges and print labels easily.

Configuration ↑ Back to top

Create a page on your website to display the Shipping Calculator

You can create a new page on your site to feature the shipping calculator on that page using a shortcode.

To create a new page, on the WordPress Dashboard, go to Pages > Add New.

Add a custom title (for example, ‘Shipping Calculator’)

For adding a shortcode, click the “+” button and search for the shortcode.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Choose shortcode

Then add the shortcode – [multilabel].

Click the Publish button.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Adding shortcode

After publishing the page, the Shipping Calculator will appear on the assigned page.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Shipping Calculator front end

To get started with the plugin, go to the WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Installed Plugins > ELEX WooCommerce Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers > Settings.

Add EasyPost Credentials

Enter your EasyPost API-Key and set the corresponding API Mode to Live or Test. The plugin currently supports FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Canada Post via EasyPost.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | enter EasyPost Credentials
  • API Mode: The recommended mode is the live mode. For development purposes, you can activate the Test mode.
  • Enter your EasyPost API-Key: To use the EasyPost APIs, you must first register with EasyPost. Upon successful registration, you will receive a test key and a live key.

Shipping Calculator Homepage

  • URL: Provide a link to the shipping calculator’s home page so that customers can edit their shipping information before completing an order on the Checkout page.
  • Click the Save Changes button.

General settings ↑ Back to top

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Shipping Calculator General settings

Shipping Locations

  • Shipping From: You have the option to provide the services for the shipments from all countries or from specific countries only. Customers can generate labels for shipment from any country in the world if you set it to the first option. If you pick the latter, you can specify the countries for which customers can produce labels when they enter the source address.
Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Shipping from specific countries
  • Shipping to: You can also pick between shipping to all countries or shipping to specific countries. If you choose the latter, you can specify in which countries the clients can produce labels when they enter the destination address.

User role access

  • Access to Shipping Calculation: You can specify which user roles can have access to the Shipping Calculator. You can select the user roles from the drop-down menu. It will be available to all users if you do not specify any user roles.
Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | User roles access settings
  • Exclude Guest User: Enable this option if you don’t want guest/unregistered users to access the Shipping Calculator.

Advanced Tracking

  • Debug Mode: Tick the Debug mode checkbox to check the WooCommerce logs for tracking the error(s) you might encounter with the plugin. The WooCommerce log contains information regarding debugging. To access the logs, go to WooCommerce > Status > Logs. Check the issues by selecting the log from the drop-down menu. On live sites, turning on the debug mode is not recommended.
Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Debug mode logs

Disable

  • Powered By ELEXtensions: Remove the Powered By ELEXtensions tag from the front end by enabling this option.

Click the Save changes button after configuring the fields.

Rates & Services settings ↑ Back to top

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Rates and Services settings
  • Print Label Type: This section allows you to choose the file format for printing the shipping labels. The available options are PNG, PDF, ZPL, and EPL2. 
  • Handling Fee (USD): Enter the amount here if you want to add a handling fee to the subtotal. On the Checkout page, the sum gets automatically added to the subtotal. The Handling Fee will be credited to the business owner or site owner’s account if a third party uses the Shipping Calculator and prints the label.

Configure Order Status

  • Status for Successful Label Creation: You can choose a WooCommerce order status from the drop-down menu. Once the label generation is successful, the order status will switch to the status chosen here.
  • Status for Failed Label Creation: You can choose a WooCommerce order status from the drop-down list to which the order status must switch to when the label generation is failed. 

Order Completion Message

  • Label Generation Success Message: Enter a custom message which is to be displayed on the Order completion page if the label generation is successful.
  • Label Generation Error Message: Enter a custom message to appear on the Order completion page when the label generation is not successful.

Carriers and Services

  • Shipping Carrier(s): You can choose which shipping carriers you would like to include in the Shipping Calculator.  When you choose a shipping carrier, all available services of the particular carrier will be listed in a tab. From this list, you can check the boxes for the services you want to make available on the Shipping Calculator and enter a fixed or percentage price adjustment for the services if required.
  • After you’ve finished configuring, click the Save changes button.

Email Settings ↑ Back to top

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Email Settings

When a label is generated successfully in the Shipping Calculator, you can use this option to send a custom email to the entered shipping and billing email addresses that will contain the shipping label and tracking link.

  • Email Subject: Add a custom subject for your email.
  • Email Recipients: Select the people to whom you want to send the emails. The available options are – Both (To send an email to both the sender’s and the receiver’s email addresses), Shipping From Email ID (To send an email to the sender’s email address), and Shipping To Email ID (To send an email to the receiver’s email address)
Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Email Recipient settings

You can create custom email content in either text (using HTML tags) or visual format. You can add the shortcodes for the shipping label and tracking links to the email drafts and decide where they should appear in the email body.

The shortcodes are as follows:

For shipping label – [SHIPPING_LABEL]

For tracking link – [TRACKING_LINK]

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Drafting email content
  • Click the Save Changes button.

Customize ↑ Back to top

Customize the text and colors of the Shipping Calculator template in this tab.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Customize shipping calculator template settings

Customize Template Text

  • Heading: Enter the Heading that you want to display on the front end of the Shipping Calculator. You have the option of adding it as HTML or plain text.
  • Description: Enter the description that will appear on the front end of the Shipping Calculator. HTML and plain text are the supported formats.
  • Checkout Button Text: Enter the text that needs to appear on the Checkout button.
  • Configuring Help Icon: Enter the URL of the article, or documentation of the page where the instructions for using the shipping calculator are published. Customers will be redirected to this page when they click the help icon from the front end.

Customize Template Color

  • Background: Choose the background color.
  • Selected Tab: Choose a color for the tab.
  • Buttons: Choose a color for the buttons.
Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Front end of shipping calculator template

Adding a Shipping Calculator to your website makes the entire process of shipping so much easier for you and your customers. Your customers can calculate their shipping costs in a few clicks. They can easily complete the entire process within minutes without having to visit any third-party shipping carrier website.

Demonstration ↑ Back to top

Say you have a product that you want to ship from New York to Los Angeles, you need to choose a packaging option based on the weight and dimensions of the product. Select the most cost-effective shipping service by comparing rates and estimated delivery dates and then, print the shipping label and get the tracking link.

To do so, go to the page we have already created for the Shipping Calculator. A new window will be opened with a tab called SHIPPING.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Example of entering details in shipping calculator

Enter the Shipping From and Shipping To Details – like the sender and receiver’s zip code, country, name, address, city, state, email, and contact number.

Click the Next button.

You will be redirected to the next tab – PACKAGES.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Packages tab

In this section, you can either select an available carrier packaging option or create custom packaging for individual or multiple products by entering their weight and dimensions for printing shipping labels.

Choose the weight and dimension units.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Weight and dimensions
Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Custom packaging options

If you need to add more items, click +ADD ANOTHER PARCEL and enter the information for the additional products.

Choose Carrier Packaging from the drop-down pick-up list and select the appropriate packaging if you want to use EasyPost services carrier packaging.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | All available carrier packaging options

After selecting a suitable package, you can enter the weight of the items according to the specifications.

If you want to generate multiple labels at once, enter the weight and dimensions of each product individually in a CSV file.

By clicking the ‘sample template’ button, you can download the template. Fill in the details on the template, save it, then upload it from your device.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Add multiple packages
Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Sample CSV template for multiple packages
Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Choosing CSV file with multiple products

Click the NEXT button

You will be redirected to the next tab – SERVICES

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Available services

This tab allows you to select a shipping service for the package(s) you’ve created.

Then, click PROCEED TO CHECKOUT

You’ll be redirected to the Checkout page after that. You may now place an order for the label(s) to be printed and post which, the tracking links to be sent to you.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Shipping Calculator checkout page

The handling fee will be added to the subtotal if you have added it under Rates & Services settings.

After entering the details for generating the label, click the Proceed to Generate Label button(s).

If the label was successfully generated, a new page with the custom text you specified for successful label generation will be opened. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find links to download labels and check tracking details.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Label generation successful

When you click the link to download the label, you will be redirected to a new page where you can download the shipping label.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Sample generated label

You will be redirected to EasyPost’s tracking page on clicking the tracking link.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | EasyPost Tracking

If the label generation fails, it will display the Label Generation Error Message.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Label generation failed messege

The link to download the label will be emailed to the sender’s and receiver’s mail IDs with the tracking number once the label has been generated. Check the Email Settings section of this document to configure the mail with the links.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | Shipping label received in email

Customers can go to My account > Orders to check the generated shipping label and tracking link whenever they need it.

Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers | All orders page

This is how you can calculate shipping rates and generate labels using ELEX WooCommerce Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers plugin.

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