Just over a year ago I wrote a post which shows how to disable free shipping on a per product basis. That’s really useful for stores that like offering free shipping on just about everything everything and want to disable it one or two items. But what about people in the opposite situation? You might have one or two really tiny items like bookmarks don’t want to charge people $5 for flat rate shipping.
I figured it was time to revisit this and write a snippet that helps these people out. We can use the shipping classes built into WooCommerce combined with just a couple lines of code to make it really easy to mark any number of products eligible for free shipping.
About four years ago I was really into this game called Warhammer 40k. You collect miniature soldiers which you build, paint, and eventually assemble on the battle field for a battle against a friend. There’s a company in that space that creates incredible detailed and customized miniatures. They’re very prestigious and also incredibly expensive. It’s hard to explain to someone not in the hobby but basically this company, Forge World, they’re not a Ford Focus; they’re the Lamborghini.
The miniatures by themselves are already cost prohibitive not even including the fact that the store is based in the UK and it’s a pretty penny to get something shipping from the UK to Wisconsin. So how did they do it? They had an excellent marketing plan combined with a good incentive (free shipping).
Shipping is one of the most complex aspects of e-commerce. You have to worry about shipping provider regulations, large products that have awkward dimensions & box sizes, small products that the shipping calculators incorrectly estimate and you over charge, or you could have a mix match of product sizes and it’s hard to come up with a fair flat rate shipping fee.
One of the approaches many store owners take is to mark up their products a little more and then offer free shipping. I think this is brilliant idea, but what happens if you have many small items and one large item that throws off the flat rate fee? If you’re using WooCommerce there’s a filter you can use to disable free shipping when a specific product is in the cart.