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

FAQ: Label Labyrinth Unraveled

Navigating the world of WooCommerce shipping labels can feel like a maze, but don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through every twist and turn. Here are some of the most common questions and concerns. That way, you can have all the information you need to streamline your shipping process and avoid potential pitfalls.

Q: How can I automate the creation of shipping labels in WooCommerce?

A: Automating shipping label creation can save you time and reduce errors. Many plugins offer this feature, allowing you to generate labels automatically once an order is placed. There are many suitable options that we have written about. The plugins we mentioned integrate seamlessly with WooCommerce, pulling order details and generating labels with minimal manual input.

For details, check out:

Q: How can I reduce shipping costs using WooCommerce shipping labels?

A: Reducing shipping costs involves several strategies:

  • Compare rates – Use plugins that support multiple carriers to compare rates and choose the most cost-effective option.
  • Negotiate discounts – Leverage your shipping volume to negotiate better rates with carriers.
  • Optimise Packaging – Use appropriately sized packaging to avoid dimensional weight charges.
  • Automate – Automate your shipping process to reduce manual errors and increase efficiency.

Q: What are the best plugins for creating WooCommerce shipping labels?

A: The best plugins for creating WooCommerce shipping labels can be found here:

Each plugin has its own strengths, so choose one that best fits your specific shipping needs.

Q: What should I do if there’s an error on a shipping label?

A: If you notice an error on a shipping label, it’s crucial to correct it before the package is shipped. Most shipping label plugins allow you to void or cancel the label and create a new one. Check the plugin’s documentation or support resources for specific instructions. Address errors promptly to avoid delivery issues and additional costs.

Q: Can I customise my WooCommerce shipping labels?

A: Absolutely! Customising your shipping labels allows you to add a professional touch. Many plugins offer customization options, letting you include your logo, brand colours and custom messages. This not only enhances your brand identity but also improves customer experience by providing clear and personalised shipping information.

We wrote about plugins with these capabilities:

Q: How do I handle international shipping labels in WooCommerce?

A: International shipping can be complex due to customs regulations and additional documentation. There are plugins that simplify this process by ensuring compliance with international shipping regulations and calculating duties and taxes. These features help make the entire process smoother for you and your customers.

Q: Can I print shipping labels in bulk?

A: Yes, many plugins support bulk printing of shipping labels. This feature is particularly useful for high-volume sellers, allowing you to process and print multiple labels simultaneously. There are plugins we have written about before that have robust bulk printing capabilities, helping you save time and streamline your workflow:

Q: What are the advantages of integrating WooCommerce shipping labels with other plugins?

A: Integrating shipping label plugins with other WooCommerce plugins can enhance your overall shipping process. For instance, integrating with inventory management plugins ensures accurate stock levels and order fulfilment. Connecting with CRM tools can improve customer communication and tracking updates. These integrations create a cohesive system that boosts efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Q: How do I track shipments and provide updates to customers?

A: Most shipping label plugins offer tracking capabilities. Once a label is created, a tracking number is generated and can be automatically sent to the customer. There are several plugins that provide tracking updates at various stages of the shipping process. You can also integrate with email marketing tools to send customised tracking emails, keeping your customers informed and reducing inquiries.

For the best WooCommerce shipping plugins that offer this, check out:

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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