How to Setup WooCommerce International Shipping Options?

The world has become one giant marketplace. Your customer base does not need to be restricted to your area, state, or country when you sell products online. 

International shipping means that the entire world is your potential customer base. By offering international shipping, your WooCommerce store can become genuinely global in scope, allowing it to scale more quickly and expose it to a potential customer base that covers the entire world.

However, this may result in additional challenges when setting up international shipping in WooCommerce. But it can help you increase sales and brand awareness

So In today’s article, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of setting up WooCommerce international shipping. Before starting to ship internationally, there are a few other factors that you should be focusing on to get the full benefit of international shipping. 

Things to Consider Shipping Internationally

Customers who have had a great experience with the delivery process are twice as likely to make a second purchase from an online store after the first one. 

Consequently, you first ensure that your website is ready to enter the realm of global shipping, and then you should locate the appropriate partner to make it happen.

1. Support Multiple Languages

You’ll reach a larger audience by supporting the original languages of your target countries. According to studies, 72% of customers like to buy something from their native language site. You should consider translating your site to reach customers in your target areas. 

A language translator plugin like Polylang and MultilingualPress can help you with translating your site. 

You can also display prices in your shoppers’ local currency and take payments in numerous currencies using WooCommerce Payments.

2. Restricted and Prohibited Items

Shipping companies typically have a list of prohibited or restricted items. Courier companies will not ship prohibited items, while restricted products may be shipped under specific scenarios. 

You should know that every courier service has unique guidelines and regulations for handling goods and services. For example, DHL, TNT, and UPS will not ship packages that contain alcohol within the content.

I would suggest double-checking this with the route’s official courier and if you are selling something prohibited or restricted, make sure to read your shipping partner’s guidelines. 

3. Packaging Consideration

Your customers must get the delivery in one piece. If your products are sensitive and easily breakable, you must ensure the packaging is good so it will have fewer chances to break in its way. 

Some logistic companies do not take care of such things and just throw your parcel with others, which may break your item and negatively impact customers. 

Choosing the right shipping partner and ensuring that the packaging is good is very important for growing your brand internationally. 

4. Required Paperwork

The next step is to learn about the paperwork needed for overseas shipping. Possible examples of this are the following:

  • Waybills are shipping labels that list the shipping price in addition to all the relevant info needed for transport and delivery.
  • Invoices are the documentation needed to bring goods into a country, listing each item, category, and value.

Specialty and limited goods often require additional paperwork, such as an EEI, certificate of origin, or unusual proof of ownership.

How to Setup WooCommerce International Shipping Options?

Note: You need to have WooCommerce installed and activated in your store. If you haven’t installed it, navigate to the Plugins » Add New from your WordPress admin dashboard and search for the plugin to install and activate. 

To set up the WooCommerce international shipping, please follow the following steps. 

1. Navigate to the WooCommerce General Settings

Navigate to the WooCommerce » Settings from your WordPress admin dashboard. Once you click it, you’ll be redirected to the settings of WooCommerce. 

2. Select the Countries to Enable the International Shipping

Once in the plugin’s general settings, fill up the store’s information. Afterward, select the countries you want to sell and ship from the ’Selling Locations’  and ‘Shipping Locations’ dropdown.

You can select specific countries, and if you want to sell and ship worldwide, please select the ‘Sell to all Countries’ and ‘Ship to all Countries’ from the dropdowns. These options will automatically enable international shipping on your store.

2. Enable and Setup the Tax Rules

Once you have selected the shipping locations, we need to enable the tax rates, so users will get to know the tax rates during checkout. 

Check the ‘Enable Tax Rates and Calculations’ checkbox to enable the tax rate calculation. 

Once you have enabled it, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the blue ‘Save Changes’ button in the bottom left corner of your screen to save the settings. 

2.1. Click the Tax Tab

Once the settings are saved, we need to set the tax rates and a few other adjustments. 

To set up the tax rates and calculations, click the ‘Tax’ tab from the top bar in the settings of WooCommerce. You can add tax rates from the tax tab and determine when to display the prices, including tax. 

2.2. Display Prices During Cart and Checkout

From the ‘Display prices during cart and checkout’ dropdown, select ‘Including tax.’ This will display the product prices, including the tax on cart and checkout pages. 

After that, click the blue ‘Save Changes’ button to save the settings. 

2.3. Add Standard Tax Rates

After that, click the ‘Standard Rates’ tab to add tax rates for different countries. 

Click the ‘Insert Row’ button to add a tax rate for a country. Once you click it, a row with different columns like country name, state code, rate, tax name, etc will add. 

You can leave the rows as they are if you want to add tax for all the countries. Just make sure to enter the tax rate in the ‘Rate %’ column and its name in the ‘Tax Name’ column.

Don’t forget to click the ‘Save Changes’ button. 

Note: If you want to exclude your country from the list, then you can click the ‘Zero Rate Rates’ and add your country so the buyers from this country won’t be charged tax. 

3.  Add Shiping Zones

After making the tax adjustments, we need to add shipping zones. 

A shipping zone is a geographic region where specific shipping methods are offered. WooCommerce will match a customer to a single zone using their shipping address and present the shipping methods within that zone to them.

To add a shipping zone, click the ‘Shipping’ tab from the top bar in WooCommerce’s settings and click the ‘Add Shipping Zone’ button. You can add as many zones as you want. 

After clicking the button, you can add a new zone. In the ‘Zone Name’ field, enter the name of the zone, and in the ‘Zone Region’ field, select the region from the dropdown. You can also select multiple regions. 

4. Add a Shipping Method

Click the ‘Add Shipping Method’ to add a shipping method. 

4.1. Select the Shipping Method

Once you click it, a popup will appear. It will have three shipping options. 

  • Flat Rate
  • Free Shipping
  • Local Shipping  

There are the default shipping methods available in WooCommerce. Still, if you want to use other shipping methods like DHL, FedEx, etc., you first need to install that shipping method’s extension, and after installation, you’ll get the option in this dropdown. 

For this tutorial, I am keeping it as ‘Flat Rate’ and then clicking the ‘Add Shipping Method’ button to add it. You can add zone-specific shipping methods too. 

4.2. Configure the Shipping Method

Once the shipping method is added, hover your mouse over it and click the ‘Edit’ button to configure its settings. 

A popup will appear from where you can change the title of the method and add the cost and the tax status. 

In the ‘Cost’ field, you can enter a fixed cost for the total cart, and if you want to add a price based on per product in the cart, then you can use this formula [cost]*[qty], e.g., 10*[qty].

Don’t forget to save the changes. 

5. Setup International Payment Methods

Next, you need to set up international payment methods. You must install and activate the payment gateway plugin to add a payment method. 

You should accept payments in the local currency of the country you are selling. But WooCommerce doesn’t allow you to make the payment gateways dynamic. 

It means a user will see all the payment gateways you have added to your store, which might mislead some customers. 

To help you with these kinds of payment and shipping issues, Woosuite has developed the Conditional Shipping & Payments plugin. 

This plugin will help you to display specific payment and shipping methods if a user is from a particular country. Users outside of that country will not see those options. Instead, they may see different options based on the country you set in the plugin’s settings. 

Learn more about Country Based Payments in WooCommerce.

Wrapping Up

That’s it for today’s article. 

Now you know how to set up the WooCommerce international shipping options. 

WooCommerce is a very dynamic and robust plugin. It helps you start your online store in a few simple steps. And by offering international shipping to your customers, you can get a significant audience from around the globe. 

It will automatically help you grow sales, brand awareness, and revenue. 

But it is only possible if you focus on delivering parcels on time, good packaging, and customer support. 

Download the Conditional Shipping & Payments plugin and build something great at your store!


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