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How to Set Up WooCommerce Shipping Classes (2024 Tutorial)

A quick and simple guide on setting up shipping classes in WooCommerce and assigning classes in bulk to the products.

WooCommerce shipping classes

Last updated on January 4, 2024

WooCommerce shipping classes allow you to group similar products and allocate the same shipping methods and rates to each group.

For example, a bag seller needs to charge more for bulkier items like luggage bags / trolley bags compared to lightweight items like college bags.

In this article, we’ll see how you can set up shipping classes in WooCommerce and also, how to bulk assign shipping classes to products at once.

Why use shipping classes in WooCommerce?

A customer buying a $10 product is unlikely to pay $5 or more for shipping. So the best way to fix this is by implementing shipping classes. Here are the key benefits of WooCommerce shipping classes:

  • Increased flexibility in shipping options – Allows setting different shipping rates based on product characteristics.
  • Improved customer experience – Accurate shipping rates at checkout improve the customer’s shopping experience.
  • Better shipping management – Shipping classes simplify the shipping process and make it easier to manage shipping costs for different products.
  • Enhanced order processing – This makes it easier to process orders, reducing the chances of shipping errors.

In addition to shipping classes, you could also implement Flat rate shipping, where you create flat rates for different products.

This means you can have a unique flat rate for larger items and a different flat rate for smaller items.

Note – Shipping classes aren’t always mandatory, so you do not need to apply them to every product. However, use shipping classes on any product that has extra shipping fees.

How to set up WooCommerce shipping classes?

The entire process of WooCommerce shipping starts with setting up a zone.

Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping on your WordPress Admin dashboard.

Here, you’ll get the WooCommerce shipping configurations and settings:

  • Shipping zones
  • Shipping options
  • Shipping classes
  • Free shipping

Refer to this blog on setting up shipping zones and shipping rates.

Before setting up shipping classes, let’s clear the differences between the shipping configuration options:

WooCommerce shipping zones vs shipping classes
A shipping zone is a geographical area to which you ship items. Shipping classes are defined as something that groups similar items that will be shipped to the respective zones.

Difference between shipping rates and shipping classes
A shipping class categorizes similar products, for example, the lightweight shipping class contains only small items. A shipping rate is an extra cost that the customer must pay, depending on the shipping class.

We now see the steps to create a shipping class in WooCommerce:

  • Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping on your WordPress Admin dashboard.
  • Click on the Shipping classes > Add Shipping class.
  • Provide a name and URL slug for the shipping class, as well as a short description. For example, Poster Pack is the class name.
  • Save the shipping class.
WooCommerce shipping classes

Adding shipping cost to the class:

  • Click the Edit button under that item in the shipping class list. If some shipping methods are turned on, select a method for that class – flat rate, free shipping or local pickup.
  • A special Shipping Class Costs area appears in the shipping method settings box. Choose the shipping cost for your class and consider other settings for the calculation type.
  • Click on Save changes.

That’s it.

How to assign shipping class per product?

To apply these rates to a specific class of products (e.g., bulky or heavy items), you need to assign them.

  • Go to WordPress Admin panel > Products.
  • Select the product and Edit.
  • Go to Shipping and select the Shipping Class from the dropdown.
  • Update the Product to save your changes.

Note – Each product can have only one shipping class.

How to bulk add WooCommerce shipping classes to thousands of products?

If you have a WooCommerce store with hundreds and thousands of products, adding shipping class to each product will be very time-consuming.

We recommend using the Smart Manager plugin. It provides an Excel-like spreadsheet to manage and bulk edit all your products from one place.

Using the Bulk Edit feature, you can assign the shipping class to all products at once. You can also apply search filters and assign specific shipping classes to specific products at once.

bulk assign shipping class to products

Try Smart Manager live demo

Final words

Over to you. I hope this clears the basic information you require to set up shipping classes in WooCommerce. And also, how you can take the smart way of assigning shipping classes to multiple products with Smart Manager.

Any feedback or questions, share them below.

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