Customers’ perceptions of your brand are heavily influenced by the way you ship and their overall experience around it. Customers have the best shipping experience when the entire shipping process falls into place efficiently, from the speed with which they receive a package to the cost of shipping. The majority of all websites and eCommerce stores in the world are powered by WordPress. Its WooCommerce plugin makes it a superb platform for eCommerce as it is the world’s most popular content management system. Over the years, WooCommerce evolved from a simple WordPress plugin to a highly configurable eCommerce system, with more than 160 million downloads and over 5 million active users. Moreover, WooCommerce includes various built-in shipping methods like flat rate shipping, free shipping, and local pickups. It also has expandable features that allow you to generate highly accurate shipping rates and provide your customers with a variety of shipping options. WooCommerce supports extensions and plugins that enhance the WordPress experience for eCommerce business owners. In this article, we will discuss how to integrate ShipEngine API with WordPress so as to enable multi-carrier shipping on your WordPress/WooCommerce store.
WordPress and WooCommerce
We assume you already know what WordPress is if you have clicked on this article, but just to summarize, WordPress is an open-source website-building platform that is free to use. It is a content management system (CMS) developed in PHP that utilizes a MySQL database. It is the most user-friendly and efficient blogging and website-building platform available today. WordPress is a flexible CMS that can handle everything from blogs to e-commerce stores to commercial and personal websites. WordPress is a wonderful choice for both large and small businesses.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that makes it easy to create an eCommerce website. If WordPress acts as the operating system for your website, WooCommerce converts the WordPress operating system into a completely operational eCommerce website. WooCommerce provides business owners with extensions and plugins that increase the capabilities of WordPress. By developing customized online storefronts, WooCommerce enables businesses to sell products globally. WooCommerce has three built-in shipping options for you to choose from – flat rate shipping, free shipping, and local pickup.
- Flat rate shipping – With this option, you charge the same shipping costs for every item your customer purchases. However, you or the customer may end up spending too much on delivery as a result of this.
- Free shipping – This delivery method, as the name implies, enables you to charge customers no shipping fees at all. Although free shipping is a tempting choice, it eats into your profit margins in the long run. WooCommerce offers restrictions to configure free shipping only when certain conditions are met.
- Local pickup – This is the most basic of WooCommerce’s shipping options. All you have to do is enter the price and you’re done. The customer arrives to pick up the package from a physical store, local warehouse, or fulfillment center, eliminating the requirement for a shipment carrier. Local pick-ups are normally free for customers, but they do require your business to have a physical place that exists where those products can be stored and handed over.
WordPress plugins can be used to expand this list of shipping options. If you want to integrate prominent shipping carriers like FedEx, UPS, etc., you can either take the longer route by going to each of their websites to compare costs and create shipments or simply use a plugin. This is where a multi-carrier plugin like ShipEngine comes in handy. It helps you compare shipping rates from multiple carriers on a single screen.
What is ShipEngine, and why should you use it?
ShipEngine is a multi-carrier shipping API provider. By integrating with numerous shipping carriers, their extremely efficient API enables brands, marketplaces, and third-party logistics providers to increase efficiency and save costs. This platform may be used to compare shipping rates from multiple shipping carriers, pay for postage, and provide buyers with shipping and tracking details. The ShipEngine API makes it easier to manage a wide range of different shipment management procedures as well as the entire order fulfillment workflow.
With only a few clicks, this API integrates various shipping carriers into your WordPress/WooCommerce shipping methods, allowing you to easily verify your customers’ shipping locations and acquire delivery cost estimates. Automated connection with prominent shipping companies like FedEx and UPS is included in the API. The API will help you streamline your eCommerce business’s entire shipping management approach.
How to integrate ShipEngine API with WordPress?
The ELEX ShipEngine Multi-Carrier Shipping & Label Printing WooCommerce Plugin allows you to effortlessly integrate the ShipEngine API with WordPress. It enables you to smoothly automate WooCommerce UPS and WooCommerce FedEx deliveries by offering real-time shipping rates on the cart and checkout pages of your WordPress based WooCommerce store. You can pay for shipping and produce shipping labels straight from the backend of your eCommerce website using the ShipEngine APIs. The plugin also informs your customers about the delivery status of their package and how long it will take for their items to arrive at the destination address they provided. The flexibility to select multiple shipping services for each package is the plugin’s strongest feature if an order includes many shipments.
- The plugin uses ShipEngine APIs to get real-time UPS and FedEx shipping costs for regional and international shipping.
- UPS and FedEx shipping labels may be purchased, generated, and printed directly from your website’s admin section.
- On the shopping cart and checkout page, the user can view expected delivery dates.
- The ability to trace shipments.
- Price adjustments and handling fees options are available if needed.
- For each package, you can choose from a variety of shipping services.
We assume you already have a WordPress based website with the WooCommerce plugin installed. If you want to know how to install WooCommerce, read this article.
Once WooCommerce is up and running, just click here to download the ELEX ShipEngine Multi-Carrier Shipping & Label Printing plugin and upload it to your WordPress admin area. When you’re finished, click Activate. Read this article to learn how to buy, download, and install the plugin.
This article will go over the basics of integrating the ShipEngine API with WordPress. Check out this article for more information on the plugin and how to install it from the ground up: How to set up ELEX ShipEngine Multi-Carrier Shipping & Label Printing Plugin for WooCommerce?
To set up the ELEX ShipEngine plugin, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping > ShipEngine > General.
When you enable Realtime Rates, your Cart and Checkout pages will display FedEx and UPS shipping rates.
You can utilize the Debug Mode and Status Log options to analyze and rectify the issues if the shipping rates aren’t showing up due to technical difficulties.
You may use Test Mode to check your WooCommerce store and ensure it is fully operational when it comes to the generic API settings. Switch the API Mode to Live Mode whenever you’re ready to use the ShipEngine plugin on your live website. To get the API keys, sign up and log in to ShipEngine.com, then go to the API Keys section. For the Live and Test modes, separate API Keys are provided. ShipEngine charges apply.
Rates and Services
You can add a custom Method Title, which will be displayed on the Cart and Checkout pages of your store. In the Method Available to drop-down menu, you may pick All Countries or Specific Countries where you want to apply the delivery method. Fill in the Sender Zip Code, Sender State Code, and Sender Country fields with the sender’s information.
Activate the Estimated Delivery Date in the estimated delivery date settings to show the expected delivery date for each shipping method in the Cart and Checkout pages. You can also specify regular Working Days and a Cut-off Time. Orders placed after the cut-off time will be dispatched the following working day, and the estimated delivery date will be calculated using the working days you define.
Next, scroll all the way down to the carrier and rates settings. If ShipEngine is unable to compute and show real-time shipping costs due to technical issues, you can enter a constant shipping rate in the Fallback box to ensure that sales do not slip away. Rate Types can be shown on your online marketplace in three ways: commercial, residential, or retail. Rates will be calculated based on your choices. Please note that this function will only be available if the shipping provider allows it. By providing the value in the box, you can charge your buyers a Handling Fee. You can leave it empty if you don’t want to add any more fees. To enable FedEx and UPS, select them from the ShipEngine carriers drop-down menu. All of the shipping services provided by FedEx and UPS will be listed in the Services box. You can change the title of each service or the price of their services.
After that, click Save Changes. Take a look at how this plugin displays FedEx and UPS shipping rates on the Checkout page of your WooCommerce store.
As the customer goes to the checkout page and enters their delivery details, the plugin will display real-time shipping costs for FedEx and UPS. Customers can choose from a wide variety of shipping options when placing their orders. The ELEX ShipEngine plugin also enables you to purchase postage and print shipping labels right from the backend of your WordPress website. The tracking information from UPS/FedEx will be added to the order details and included in the order fulfillment email from ShipEngine. This plugin helps both customers and shop owners track shipments.
To Sum Up
Integrating a multi-carrier API like ShipEngine will help optimize your shipping process by leaps and bounds. We hope you can easily integrate ShipEngine API with WordPress using the ELEX ShipEngine Multi-Carrier Shipping & Label Printing Plugin for WooCommerce. If you have any questions regarding the ShipEngine APIs, please let us know in the comments section below.