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Finding the right shipping method for your WooCommerce store can be a confusing task. This article presents a comparison between ELEX USPS Shipping Plugin & WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method so that you can choose the most efficient one for your WooCommerce store.
Open source plugins or free plugins (for shipping) often don’t fulfill most of your requirements. Few don’t allow you to print labels, others don’t track your shipment. Some don’t provide various packing options, while others require you to install additionally paid plugins to function properly. Free plugins are usually just an introduction to their premium versions. And there is no need to mention that their respective premium plugins do fulfill most of your shipping needs. In addition, premium plugins assure pre and post-sale services. By the end of this article, you will figure out the right premium plugin for your WooCommerce store.
We have prepared a list of factors that will help you choose among these plugins.
- Ease of use: How easily can a store owner use all the features available?
- Label & Tracking: How label generation and tracking services work?
- Cost Effectiveness: Which one fits the best to my business needs and financial estimate?
- Rates & Services: What are the options available for shipping rates?
- Packaging: Does it have ample options for packaging and are they done efficiently?
- Customization: Can I add additional features to my plugin?
WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method is a premium method and sources shipping rates from the USPS API. This works best when integrated with their Stamps.com extension to create shipping labels. You may need to buy the Stamps.com Integration separately.
ELEX USPS Shipping Plugin helps you automate USPS shipping by displaying shipping rates in cart/checkout page, print labels from within WooCommerce, pack items automatically into boxes and enables tracking.
Now, we’ll compare the two plugins based on the factors listed earlier.
Ease of Use
ELEX USPS Shipping Plugin has a very easy to use interface. The settings are available on the same page. With settings at one place, it becomes less of a concern setting up the plugin. Within few uses, you get used to the options available. XAdapter provides you a live demo, which you can find here (Username: demo; Password: demo).
WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method leaves you wondering for some time with 4 different tabs with diverse settings. A lot of hidden drill downs confuses you at times of hurry. Video tutorials by WooCommerce do try to make it easy for users. But what could’ve been a simpler interface becomes somewhat cumbersome here? Further, several reviewers claim their websites slowed down due to the addition of unwanted extensions by WooCommerce. Lack of a demo or free version makes it tough for a new user to test WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method. You actually need to buy the plugin. If you’re unhappy with your purchase, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ELEX USPS Shipping Plugin gives you all the features at $69.00. There are no monthly charges or hidden costs. This covers free support and updates for a complete year. The plugin stays functional once bought. You can renew it after the first premium year at 20% discount. This renewal gives you future updates and continuous support.
There is also a 30 days refund policy, in case the product doesn’t meet your business requirements.
Apart from that you print USPS certified labels and pay discounted rates to USPS for commercial use. Payment for postage can be done in the post office or online at usps.com.
On the other hand with WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method, firstly you pay for an annual subscription of WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method of $79.00. Secondly to print postage you need to buy their Stamps.com API integration for $79.00 annually. Finally to get going with postage printing you need to buy another subscription from Stamps.com billed at $15.99 per month.
As we can see, with 3 paid subscriptions WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method can become a way to drain your profits. Let’s take an example.
Real Life Scenario…
Let’s do the math for 600 postage bought from these two service providers in the table below. The scenario is that you buy 600 postage in a year. Let the average discounted cost of one postage sold by USPS is $3. And the discounted rate of postage provided by Stamps.com/other vendors (at 13% off on Priority Mail Express) is $2.61.
We can see that if you have just started with your store, using WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method is not a smart choice. And even if you take Stamps.com API Integration for $79.00 per year, you’ll surely compensate for the extra expenses by increasing the price of your products. Then you may end up losing probable buyers due to the higher cost per item. And most importantly, the discount by online vendors is not as high as 39 cents per postage in every situation.
Label & Tracking
ELEX USPS shipping Plugin prints label certified by USPS. USPS personnel pick these packages with no questions asked from your store. Printing of label is available for both Domestic and International shipping. You also get an option to show rates to buyers in countries which don’t have a ZIP code. You can select “Show rate whenever available” to show rates based only on the address.
Tracking is automatic with this plugin. Yes, this means you don’t have to separately email the tracking id to each buyer. They get notifications through USPS servers automatically. Both parties can also track the shipments using the Tracking Id. You also get an option to disable this service totally or disable for the buyer.
WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method doesn’t generate labels without their Stamps.com API Integration plugin. You need a different service provider to print the label. Tracking is not automatic in this plugin without this integration. You’ve got to send the tracking id manually to all your customers.
Rates and Services
Both the plugins offer similar rates and services. A few common features that you can find in both the plugins are:
- Changing the name of the shipping method visible to the buyer
- Choosing to show specific shipping options on single clicks
- Setting a fallback price for situations when USPS does not return matching rates
- Enabling/ Disabling live API rates
- Automatic tax inclusion
However, one special feature that separates the XAdapter plugin is that you can request to customize the plugin according to your needs. For instance, if you wish to skip products offering free shipping on the shipping package, you can add a filter to your plugin theme’s functions.php. A lot of updates in ELEX products are a result of customization requests from users.
On the contrary, while using WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method, to skip a shipping class from the shipping package, you need to install a different plugin developed by WooCommerce, especially for that purpose.
Packing of items
Both the plugins offer all the packing features available with USPS. USPS flat rate boxes and customization of boxes and different algorithms of packing are available in both of the plugins. Thus, picking one based on this criterion can’t be justified.
But again, in the case of WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method, unless you subscribe to Stamps.com API Integration by WooCommerce you won’t get this packing service as it has everything to do with the service provider.
Features available with USPS packing are: Domestic, International, Flat Boxes Rates
You also get to add custom boxes to fit your products for efficient packing. Efficient packing lets you save enough bucks to leave you smiling.
ELEX USPS shipping Plugin and its wonderful technical support will customize your plugin. This happens with no extra charge and delay.
WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method support team also offers an add-on for a few specific problems, but generally, you need to install separate plugins developed by WooCommerce. Reviews point out that installation of additional plugins slows down your servers.
Without Stamps.com, WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method is not worth having in the arsenal of your online store. Read more about WooCommerce USPS Shipping Method here. And with no hidden charges and multiple accounts, ELEX USPS Shipping Plugin clearly emerges as the favorable one.
And if you wish to take the services of Stamps.com you’ve got a better option in ELEX’s Stamps.com Shipping Plugin with USPS Postage for WooCommerce (Premium), which allows you to print postage and pay online at stamps.com. You get special packing guidelines exclusively from stamp.com people. Lastly, you get automatic tracking messages with the plugin. Demo of this plugin can be checked here. (Username: demo; Password: demo)
I hope this article leaves you with a clear choice for shipping plugin your online store. For more interesting features and premium plugins login here or leave a comment below. You can also post your pre-sales queries at our online support. We’ll be more than happy to respond immediately. Happy Selling!
You can explore other WooCommerce and WordPress plugins in ELEX.