WooCommerce 2.6 included big changes to the shipping settings. WooCommerce now has shipping zones instead of just shipping methods. You can learn more in this post about shipping zones. Shipping zones give you the ability to customize shipping for different regions. On top of highly customized pricing through zones, you can set delivery date expectations for customers for each method using the free WooCommerce Shipping Estimates extension.
Delivery estimates provide customers with additional information about their shipping choice upfront. This can help them make a more informed decision as delivery times can differ vastly between different stores.
This sets an expectation amongst customers, and they are less likely to ask you questions about their order before the range. Ultimately, this additional information creates a better customer experience.
You can also help influence customers to select premium shipping options (flat rate vs. free shipping) by displaying the delivery estimate difference. Customers are more likely to go for free shipping based solely on the price. By displaying the delivery estimate, customers can see the time-value of premium shipping.
The extension is easy to set up. Go to the extension page to download the .zip file. In your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New and upload the .zip file to add the extension.
Once you activate the plugin, it adds the Shipping Estimates section under “Shipping Options” within WooCommerce Shipping settings.
Here, you can choose to display the estimates as number of days, or a date range to customers. For each shipping method within each zone, you can set the “From” and “To” days to assign an estimated range.
Alternatively, you can set open-ended estimates by filling either of the “From” and “To” fields for each method. This puts a minimum or maximum time on the delivery estimate.
The estimates are also shown on the cart page of your store.
This is a free plugin by SkyVerge, and there are a couple of commonly asked concerns to keep in mind. First, any additional shipping settings by other extensions or plugins that are not part of the Shipping tab will not be supported by this extension. The extension is meant to be a simple way for store owners to manually assign estimates for different methods they use for shipping.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the plugin does not support business/weekday vs. weekend distinction. The range includes every single day in the week. However, different couriers may or may not deliver over weekends. The best workaround would be to account for weekends when you set the range for different methods.
You can provide the estimated time to delivery for each shipping method in each shipping zone. This makes it convenient for customers to get an idea for when to expect their packages from your store. Delivery times can also help steer more people towards premium shipping methods.
The WooCommerce Shipping Estimates is a free plugin that can be used to add delivery estimates. You can set the minimum time, maximum time, or both to set a range. The plugin also gives you the choice to display the range as number of days or as dates.
Do you display shipping estimates on your store? Why or why not? Please tell us in the comments below.