The Ultimate Guide to WooCommerce Flat rate Shipping

Flat rate shipping is the easiest shipping method to set up in WooCommerce. In this post, let’s find out how to set up flat rate shipping in WooCommerce and see how it fits to your business model.

What is flat rate shipping?

If you have sent a package via post office before, you should be familiar with flat rate shipping. As the name suggests, flat rate shipping impose an uniform shipping price on your package as long as it doesn’t exceed a certain weight or size.

For example, the shipping cost for packages less than 10 kg and 1 cubic meter is $10 per package.

The same idea applies to WooCommerce flat rate shipping.

How to add flat rate shipping in WooCommerce

By default, WooCommerce has three shipping methods

  • flat rate shipping
  • local pickup
  • free shipping

In order to use one of those method, you need to create a shipping zone first then in the zone, you can add one or more shipping methods, including flat rate.

how to add flat rate shipping to shipping zone in woocommerce

After creating the flat rate shipping method as in the above image, you can configure the rate, tax of that shipping method by clicking on the Edit link under “Flat rate”:

configure flat shipping rate and tax

As you can notice, there is a toggle button right below the Enabled title. You can enable or disable the shipping method by turn that button on or off.

Can I have multiple flat rate shipping setup?

There is no limit on number of shipping method per zone so you definitely can have multiple flat rate shipping setup, in one zone. You may wonder, why do I need multiple flat rate shipping for one zone?

One good example is you provide standard shipping at a lower rate and priority shipping at higher rate. At the cart page, customers can choose which shipping method they want to use. If they need the products to be delivered fast, they will choose the priority shipping method. Otherwise, they can choose the standard shipping method to save money on shipping.

Let’s set that up:

adding multiple flat rate shipping for one zone

Now, on the cart page, the customers will see all the shipping options available:

flat rate shipping options on cart page

 

How to add flat rate shipping per item using shipping classes

At this point, you should be comfortable with adding flat rate that applies to all items. What if you want to set a different shipping rate for some particular items? For example, I have a store selling computer hardware. While keyboards, mice can be shipped without much care, monitor requires special packaging and handling. I would like to charge $50 more for monitors. How can I set that up?

First we need to add a shipping class. Adding shipping class in WooCommerce is simple. Let’s go to WooCommerce->Settings->Shipping->Shipping classes and add one:

add a shipping class in woocommerce

Now, the next step would be to go the monitor and assign it the “monitor” shipping class:

assign shipping class to product

Finally, let’s configure the shipping rate for “monitor” shipping class in our shipping methods.

Let’s go to WooCommerce->Settings->Shipping->Shipping zones and edit our zones. Let edit all the enabled flat rate shipping method in that zone and add the additional fee accordingly:

add shipping cost to shipping class

Now if I go to the cart, I can see that the shipping cost is higher:

shipping cost updated after using shipping classes

If you remember, the standard shipping was $10 and the priority shipping was $30. Since we added $30 for the “monitor” shipping class, the shipping cost updated accordingly.

WooCommerce flat rate shipping by quantity

If you notice that we have 2 items in cart here. The shipping cost for the “monitor” only calculated once. What if you want to charge the additional shipping cost PER ITEM?

That’s easy, let’s go back to our shipping methods and edit each of them then enter this:

using formula to calculate flat rate shipping cost

Now, if I go to the cart page, surely I’ll see the shipping cost is calculated for all items in cart:

cart udpated after using formula

Hide flat rate shipping if free shipping is enabled

You may want to reward the customers by offering free shipping to all order exceeds $300. In this case, you also want to hide other flat rate shipping methods. What can you do to achieve this?

You’ll need to enter some code. Don’t worry, it won’t be hard.

First thing first, you need to create a child theme if you haven’t got one. Why do you need a child theme? How to create one? Find all the answers here

Now you have your child theme ready. Let’s go to its functions.php file and paste the following code:

 

function bc_hide_shipping_when_free_is_available( $rates ) {
  $free = array();
  foreach ( $rates as $rate_id => $rate ) {
    if ( 'free_shipping' === $rate->method_id ) {
      $free[ $rate_id ] = $rate;
      break;
    }
  }
  return ! empty( $free ) ? $free : $rates;
}
add_filter( 'woocommerce_package_rates', 'bc_hide_shipping_when_free_is_available', 100 );

add code to functions.php to hide other shipping methods when free shipping available

Click on update file and let’s go to the cart page, you’ll see that if free shipping is available, all other methods are hidden:

other shipping methods hidden when free shipping available

Conclusion

As you can see, flat rate shipping at first seems to be rigid and hard to customize. However, when combine with shipping classes and free shipping method, you can offer very flexible shipping options for your customers. Using shipping classes enables you to set the max shipping fee for an order, set the shipping fee based on the quantity and the total of the cart.

 

 

The Ultimate Guide To Adding Products To Cart Using Ajax In WooCommerce

Working with WooCommerce brings me a lot of joy. If you are a developer, I hope the experience I’m sharing below will be helpful to you.

How to add a simple product to cart using ajax

Adding a simple product via ajax is very simple. From any page, you send the following request, via POST or GET:

{
add-to-cart: product_id,
quantity: x
}

So, for example, I have my product here which has ID 30:

woocommerce-simple-product

Now, if I want to add this product to cart, I simply append the following data to any URL of my website:

?add-to-cart=30&quantity=2

In this example, I’m going to add two products to cart.

For example, I append the string above to the cart url, which makes the full URL like so:

http://localhost/wordpress/cart/?add-to-cart=30&quantity=2

If I open that URL in my browser, I will be redirected to cart page and the product will be in cart.

Cool, isn’t it 🙂

Now, simple product is simple. How about variable products? I requires a bit more work.

 

How to add a variable product to cart using ajax

With variable product, you need to find the variation ID to add the exact product you need to cart. If you use the parent product ID, you may see an error, which is not surprised at all. Let me show you.

I have this product:

woocommerce variable product

As you can tell from the product page, it’s a variable product (select boxes to select the variations, price in range).

Now, the product id is 31. If I execute the following URL:

http://localhost/wordpress/cart/?add-to-cart=31&quantity=2

You’ll see this error:

It is not hard to understand, right? Since the product is a variable product, you will need to find the variation ID.

Where to find the variation ID? Let’s do an inspection, shall we?

If you right click on one of the select boxes (to select variation) and click on inspect (on Chrome), you’ll see this:

As you can see, our select box is inside a form. That form has an attribute called data-product_variations . This attribute contains the JSON data of all variations of our product. Let’s extract the data using jQuery.

extract variable product data in woocommerce

as you can see that, I select the form with the selector .variations_form.cartif you know jQuery or CSS selector, this part shouldn’t be strange to you.

I was able to extract the JSON string from the attribute data-product_variations and turned that into javascript object using JSON.parse.

Now, you can see that the data is an array contains 4 elements. Since my product has two attributes “Color” and “Size”, it’s not surprising that there are 4 variations.

Let’s expand one of the 4 variations and see what we have:

There are a tons of data and surely you’ll see the variation_id is 150.

That’s all we need to add this product to cart.

Now, let’s navigate to this URL:

http://localhost/wordpress/cart/?add-to-cart=150&quantity=2

Sure enough, the product is added to cart.

successfully add variable product to cart using custom URL

Interesting, right?

Now, you are able to add simple and variation products to cart, which is great. However, if you notice the cart at the navigation bar. It’s not updating if you send the requests via ajax. How can you fix that?

How to add products to cart and update the cart widget(at the navigation bar)

To add the products to cart and then update the cart widget, you’ll need a different approach. At least, you need a different URL to send the request to.

Are you ready?

You still can send the request to any URL of your site, however, this time, you need a new parameter:

?wc-ajax=add_to_cart

Let’s open the browser’s console and enter the following data:

jQuery.post('http://localhost/wordpress/cart/?wc-ajax=add_to_cart', {product_id: 150, quantity: 10}, function(response){ console.log(response); })

We are going to print out the response from the server. It contains some very useful data that let us update the cart.

Now, hit enter then wait a second and this is what we got back:

The most important piece of data is the fragments. It is an array of objects. The key of each object is the css selector of cart-related element and the value of that key is the HTML content of that element.

Updating the cart now should be trivial. Consider it’s your homework 😉

Conclusion

As you can see, adding WooCommerce products via ajax is quite simple. With the knowledge you gain from this post (hopefully), I hope you can use it and make some awesome applications.