How to Print Packing Labels, Shipping Labels and More from Woocommerce
So, one of the largest complaints / bewilderments my clients tend to have is, “Where can I print shipping labels?”
That is followed by, “What? I can’t print shipping labels with Woocommerce?”
It’s one of those things that every Woocommerce developer and store manager just can’t fathom. I suppose it’s because there are so many shipping companies out there that it would be next to impossible to include this feature out of the box. Why they don’t include it in the shipping plugins, though, well, more on that later.
How to Print Packing Labels with Woocommerce, for Free
While you can’t even print a simple packing slip / label with Woocommerce right out of the box, there is a free plugin that makes this easy.
It’s called WooCommerce Print Invoice & Delivery Note, and it’s available for free from WordPress.org.
To do this, first login to WordPress and head to Plugins > Add New to install the plugin. It’s pretty simple to install a plugin, but if you need help, here’s how to install a WordPress plugin.
Once you’ve installed and activated it, go to the Orders page under Woocommerce in WP Admin.
Find the order you want to work with, they each look like this:
Note the four icons under the Actions header.
The checkmark will mark an order as complete. The eyeball lets you view details about the order. These are the default actions that come with Woocommerce.
Our plugin added the other two buttons.
Both of them allow you to print out a packing invoice. This isn’t a shipping label, mind you, but it’s one of two main ingredients people typically want when processing an order.
How to Get Shipping Labels Printed with Woocommerce
For this, you’re going to likely need to shell out some money or do some experimentation. For each different shipping provider (ie, USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.) there is a different process. I recommend only using one shipping provider, particularly if you’re a smaller scale business, because it simplifies not only this process, but how you ship things in general.
We’ll use USPS as an example. To ship with USPS, you can pay $79 / year for the official USPS Woocommerce plugin, use the free USPS shipping plugin available on WordPress.org or search the web and give a third party a shot. I always recommend the Woocommerce version, as I know it works from dozens of installs I’ve performed (makes me sound like a doctor, no?)
But those just get you integrated with USPS rates, so you can charge your customers the appropriate amount. I think it’s a bit of a rip off that the official Woocommerce plugin doesn’t also include printing shipping labels, but it doesn’t, so you can integrate with Stamps.com for even more additional costs but via an official Woocommerce route, or use a 3rd party plugin like this one.
I mentioned the free USPS shipping plugin from WordPress.org, too, which has a “Pro” version that is available from Wooforce for $69 / year, too. The pro version does include printing labels, as well as updating tracking info in your Woocommerce install, too. While I tend to think this is the best solution as you get the USPS integration and label printing, plus the cool tracking stuff, all in one, it’s not the right solution for everyone.
Much of this depends on what you do outside of WordPress. How you want to handle actually packing boxes, if the carrier will be coming to you or you to them, and how easy you want it all to be. Have questions? Just ask!
Got a plugin suggestion for Woocommerce? I’m always looking for better solutions, just leave a note in the comments below!
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