WooCommerce Shipping Label Printing and Other Features Explained

WooCommerce shipping label creation plugins and how they differ from other shipping plugins.

As Platinum-certified WooExperts, we notice a lot of people get confused about WooCommerce shipping label plugins. Not all of these plugins let you print shipping labels. Some of them provide other features that are related to shipping.

It can certainly be as confusing as pet rocks are to Gen Z, but not to worry.

WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress that turns your WordPress site into an online store. When you install either free or premium shipping plugins, you can expand the core set of features. One of these features includes the ability to create and print shipping labels for orders. 

Here are more details about WooCommerce shipping label plugins and how they differ from plugins offering other features. I’ll also share which camp each of the top shipping plugins fall under and how you can get the features you need if you don’t find them.

WooCommerce Shipping Label Feature Demystified

As previously touched upon, not all WooCommerce shipping plugins are built the same. Some have different, primary capabilities. One such type is for WooCommerce shipping label creation.

What this means is that the primary purpose of the extension is to let you print customized shipping labels. That way, you can quickly package and ship parcels in the most streamlined way possible.

With this type of plugin, you can include your customer’s shipping address and even your business’ return shipping address. The label also includes everything you need to process the package at the postal service with minimal delay.

The WooCommerce Shipping extension page.
WooCommerce Shipping is an example of an extension that can generate shipping labels.

WooCommerce shipping label plugins mostly help you with the backend processing of orders, rather than shipping rate plugins which are most helpful for your customers on the front end.

Shipping Plugins with Frontend Rates Demystified

Other types of shipping extensions are focused most on displaying live or accurate shipping rates on the front end. That way, when customers check out on your online store, in a few clicks, they can see how much shipping will cost them for a physical item or order.

They can choose an option and the cost is included in the order, which they can then pay for if they finish the checkout process.

After a customer fills out their address after going to their shopping cart, they’re given shipping rates to choose from. Options could be included for expedited or international delivery and can also include added insurance. The options available to your customers depends on the shipping plugins you choose to install.

An example of the Purolator Shipping Method plugin on the front end.
Shipping rate plugins display costs of shipping when the customer checks out.

Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty

WooCommerce shipping rate extensions are designed to offer estimates for a particular postal service whether it’s your country’s national postal service or a third-party shipping company, or courier. You can choose to install multiple shipping rate plugins to offer your customers more choice.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to install all of them. Many won’t be relevant for your business and some features could overlap with capabilities in other plugins.

For example, if you’re a global seller, you could go with the FedEx Shipping Method plugin, but your business would have to be located in either the US or Canada for it to work.

If you install this plugin, you may not need local postal options. But at the same time, if your customer prefers to wait for their package to get a lower shipping rate, then you’ll need to choose another shipping rate plugin. It really depends on your business and its specific requirements.

It may also be important to note that some WooCommerce shipping plugins can handle more than one feature. Some are WooCommerce shipping label plugins that also show frontend rates or other capabilities such as order management.

WooCommerce shipping rate plugins are designed mostly for the customer. They’re not primarily designed for helping you process orders. They’re available to make the checkout process more user-friendly.

Other Types of WooCommerce Shipping Plugins

Other than these two main types of WooCommerce shipping extensions, there are also plugins for:

  • More delivery options as well as enhancements
  • Order and inventory management
  • Adding dropshipping capabilities to your online store
  • Adding order fulfillment features

The types of features that these types of shipping plugins offer include address validation, delivery time slots, notifications, order status management, dropshipping and more.

If you would like to find out more about WooCommerce shipping plugins to help you decide on which ones to use, check these out:

When You Can’t Find the Features You Need

Whatever kind of shipping plugin you need for your WooCommerce store, you can likely find it in the WooCommerce’s shipping extension store or in the WordPress.org plugin repository.

If you’re not finding specific features that your online store needs, feel free to reach out to us for help. We have developed and maintain the official DHL for Germany WooCommerce plugin as well as provide ongoing maintenance and bug fixes for all of Automattic’s shipping plugins.

Plugins for WooCommerce Shipping Label Printing and More

Below are some of the best options for the different types of shipping extensions. As previously touched upon, some of the listed plugins belong in multiple categories. Their additional features are listed in brackets after their name.

Plugins for WooCommerce Shipping Label Creation

To make things a bit simpler for you, here’s a list of the most popular free and premium WooCommerce shipping label creation extensions:

Plugins for Displaying Frontend Rates

Similarly, here are the most popular free and paid WooCommerce extensions that display shipping rates to your customers on your front-facing online store:

WooCommerce Plugins for More Delivery Options

As previously mentioned, there are also WooCommerce extensions that add delivery options and enhancements to your store:

WooCommerce Shipping Plugins for Inventory and Orders

In terms of WooCommerce shipping plugins that can help you with your online store’s inventory and managing orders, these are among the most popular options:

Plugins for Dropshipping and Fulfillment in WooCommerce

Shipping Out: Deciding on the Best Option for You

When it comes to deciding which plugins to use for your online store, keep in mind that the best-suited plugins are the ones that fit your business’ needs.

After that, consider if they’re third-party plugins. Not every one of these options are made alike. Do some research and double check that they’re cleanly-coded, well-maintained and if they have helpful support.

Looking at reviews online can help as well as researching what experts in the industry are suggesting.

Beyond that, you can hire an experienced developer or agency to develop the features you need to save you time and money. It costs more than buying a single plugin, but it saves you money in the long run. Otherwise, you can create a plugin yourself if you’re familiar with WordPress plugin development for WooCommerce.

Are there features you’re hoping to get in a WooCommerce shipping label plugin that you’re just not seeing anywhere? Let us know in the comments below. Our team will see what we can do to match you with the right plugin or solution.

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