The Ultimate Guide to WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento Shipping

Nov 2021
guide on ecommerce shipping
Nikolay Pasholok
Product Owner, Calcurates
Magento ("Adobe E-Commerce" since April 2021) is a powerful e-commerce platform for bigger companies with lots of flexibility and space for customization available. Shopify can be great for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to grow their online presence. WooCommerce could be a good fit for SMEs looking to scale up.

It is hard to choose the best e-commerce platform for your future online store. When selecting a specific e-commerce platform one should look at the available shipping functionality each one of them offers as at the end of the day shipping at the checkout affects your sales significantly: according to eMarketer more than 86% of cart abandonment is related to high shipping costs and inconvenience. Besides, shipping becomes an essential and sensitive part of the post-checkout shopping experience.

Do you know which e-commerce platform offers the best shipping experience for your customers?

Let's have a look at this ultimate guide on Woocommerce Vs Shopify Vs Magento shipping to see which one fits best your requirements.
WooCommerce logo

What Does WooCommerce Offer for E-commerce Shipping?

Woocommerce Shipping Features
Woocommerce shipping label
WooCommerce shipping functionality
WooCommerce has limited functionality in terms of shipping, but default features are able to solve basic scenarios. The WooCommerce default shipping includes integration with DHL and USPS: it is possible to get live rates, generate shipping labels, and track orders. You will have access to simplified shipping zones and shipping options such as flat rates, free shipping, and local pickup. Table Rates feature is not offered by WooCommerce out of the box.

The good thing is that WooCommerce shipping is free to use for any e-commerce store owner. To solve more complex shipping scenarios, WooCommerce recommends getting additional shipping plugins from its large extensions marketplace.

What Are the Strong Features Of Woocommerce Shipping?

The biggest advantage of WooCommerce shipping is that it is very easy to use and includes all the basic functionality. The interface, in general, takes only a few minutes to understand and start using.

In WooCommerce you can create as many shipping zones as you like. It can be specified right down to zip code or a specific region.

With WooCommerce shipping you can choose to generate shipping labels in bulk or print them as you process the orders individually. This is a great option for e-commerce owners who ship frequently.

In general, it can be said that WooCommerce is suitable for businesses of all sizes and budgets.
Shipping zones
DHL and USPS live rates
DHL and USPS label generation
DHL and USPS order tracking
Flat Rate, Free Shipping, In-Store Pickup

What Are The Limitations Of Default Woocommerce Shipping?

E-commerce owners are limited to simple and basic shipping functionality when it comes to WooCommerce. There is a limited choice of shipping options and shipping carriers, as well as there is a lack of shipping flexibility at the checkout. You might be satisfied with these shipping options if you ship in small and do not have a diverse product portfolio where different shipping rules would be applied. There is no Table Rates shipping option available in the WooCommerce admin panel. Each shipping option can be assigned to different shipping zones, however, they are not flexible enough.

Also, WooCommerce shipping does not support multi-carrier integration. You can get real-time rates and generate labels only from DHL and USPS.

For more advanced shipping features like Multi-Origin Shipping, Delivery Days, Dimensional Shipping, Landed Cost, you will need to visit the WooCommerce Marketplace to find the right plugins.
No integration with other major carriers
Non-flexible shipping zones
No Table Rates
Lack of other advanced features

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Test all the features and check if Calcurates meets your shipping needs
Shopify logo

What Does Shopify Offer for E-Commerce Shipping?

Shopify Shipping Features
Shopify Shipping rates
Shopify shipping functionality
Shopify Shipping is available for e-commerce owners that have fulfilment centers within the USA, Canada, or Australia. Shipping carriers that are supported within the US are USPS, UPS, and DHL, however, only for the continental US. Canada Post operates within Canada, while in Australia you can use Sendle as a supported carrier. You can obtain discounted Shopify shipping rates directly from the admin panel. Carrier rates can be calculated based on cart weight, package size, and the shipping services you would like to offer to your customers.

The only available Shopify shipping options are free shipping and shipping rates from carriers. If you are based within the US, you can schedule pick up as a delivery option for your customers and also generate return shipping labels.

Additionally to the carriers integration, Shopify shipping offers shipping labels generation and order tracking.

What Are The Strong Shipping Features Of Shopify?

The strongest feature that is available for Shopify shipping is that shipping costs are calculated based on the weight of the product and the package dimensions, as well. This feature is very similar to smart packaging that is offered by Calcurates, and it helps retailers to obtain the most accurate dimensional shipping rates.
Dimensional shipping
Discounted shipping rates
Shipping labels, including return
More carriers available

What Are the Limitations of Default Shopify Shipping?

Shipping functionality offered by the default Shopify is limited. For shipping within Australia flat rates will be added to your account by default. For shipping within the US and Canada shipping rates from the corresponding carriers will be added. That is it. If you want to apply some shipping rules or custom shipping calculations and scenarios, you will need to install a 3rd party shipping app to help you manage your Shopify shipping storefront.

Shipping zones are technically offered within Shopify shipping. The user can set a shipping zone based on countries to where the same shipping rate applies. For shipping to specific addresses or zip codes, you will need to find an additional app.
Still limited variety of carriers
Non-flexible shipping zones
No Table Rates
Lack of other advanced features
Calcurates Related Features
Magento 2 logo

What Does Magento (Adobe Commerce) Offer for E-commerce Shipping?

Magento 2 Shipping Features
Magento shipping functionality
Magento 2 shipping functionality
Currently, Magento 2 offers such shipping features as flat rate shipping, table rates shipping, free shipping and in-store pickup. Plus integrations with USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL carriers.

Flat rates shipping is flexible as it can be calculated based on several conditions, per order, or per item. Also, you will be able to assign some basic shipping rules to your flat rates shipping based on the destination.

What Are the Strong Shipping Features of Magento 2?

The advantage of Magento is that it offers a Table Rates feature, flexible flat rate calculations, in-store pickup and basic shipping rules unlike its competitors Shopify and WooCommerce.

Additionally, you can connect FedEx to your Magento which is an additional carrier to USP, USPS, and DHL.

The current 2.4 version of Magento supports a renewed feature called Multi-source Inventory Management. This is a huge leap for any Magento 2 user.
Multi-source Inventory Management allows users to manage and control their inventory for single or multiple sources. A source is a place where the product is physically located, this can be a store or warehouse. The algorithm links the separate sources to one store and selects the best shipping method to ship the products.
More carriers available, own account connection
Table Rates, In-Store Pickup, flexible Flat Rate
Basic shipping rules
Multi-source Inventory Management

What Are the Limitations of Default Magento 2 Shipping?

There are some limitations when it comes to shipping with Magento. First, Magento does not offer any advanced shipping features such as volumetric (dimensional) shipping or delivery dates. There are more carriers offered by default Magento 2 than by WooCommerce or Shopify but it is still missing major and local European, Canadian, and Australian carriers.

As for other e-commerce platforms, also for Magento 2, you will need a 3rd party shipping extension in order to achieve shipping flexibility.
Still limited variety of carriers
No shipping zones
No Dimensional Shipping and Delivery Dates
Lack of other advanced features

Shipping with Calcurates Shipping Software for WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento

Calcurates is multi-carrier shipping software that helps you to set up custom shipping scenarios and cost-effective shipping at checkout on WooCommerce, Magento 2, and Shopify. It seamlessly integrates with major carriers worldwide and provides with many advanced shipping features that can help you calculate and display the right shipping methods and rates to your customers.
You may target your shipping methods and rates to specific geo-locations and make them available for certain countries, states, regions, postal codes, and addresses. Shipping Zones allow you to achieve geo-flexibility by creating location-based rules.
You may reach the highest accuracy of shipping rates from carriers by using a set of custom packages and product dimensions. Smart Packaging virtually prepacks the order and requests live rates from carriers in real time.
By enabling and calculating dimensional weight you increase the accuracy of real-time shipping rates instead of setting up rates based on regular weight.
In no time you may set up advanced Flat Rates, In-store pickup, or Free Shipping, power them with additional features like Shipping Rules or Estimated Delivery Dates and display them at checkout.
This shipping option enables the highest level of shipping flexibility by setting specific rates for multiple shipping methods based on various attributes and conditions. Use mixed cart calculation algorithms to apply rates to different types of products.
Estimated delivery dates take the stress out and make your shipping more predictable for the customers. With this feature, you can get delivery days from the carrier, manage your own delivery days for every shipping method you have and schedule available time slots.
This shipping option helps you configure multiple pickup locations and allow orders to be received at stores or drop-off points. You will be able to set curbside pickup as well if your e-commerce has the capacity for it.
Shipping rules add flexibility enabling conditional shipping and bringing to live custom shipping scenarios. You may restrict, surcharge, discount, and replace your shipping rates and methods according to your unique condition sets.
You may connect your own carriers’ accounts (UPS, FedEx, USPS, DHL, and more) in order to get real-time rates, shipping labels, and tracking status.
Rate shopping compares real-time rates from multiple carriers in real-time, picks the cheapest or the fastest one, and displays the best option at checkout. This is a smart and automatic way that helps you offer the best shipping rates to your customers.
Your origins (warehouses) might be served by different shipping methods. With this feature, you may set up your multi-origin shipping algorithms and make your warehouses work as a single system. Additionally, this feature will allow you to bake multiple shipping rates into one unified single shipping rate that can be displayed at the checkout for your customers. It is also possible to split checkout displaying individual shipping methods per origin.
Displaying shipping estimates directly on the product page can dramatically increase your conversion rates.

What Is the Best Shipping E-Commerce Platform for My Business?

While researching default shipping features provided by Woocommerce, Shopify and Magento, we see that they are all limited to some extent. Mainly, they are all missing enough carrier integrations. There is also a lack of flexibility as shipping options are very basic and without any applicable use of shipping rules and restrictions. Being able to restrict shipping based on geographical location, product attributes or customer segment should helps you to achieve cost-effective shipping: not to loose money on it or, vice versa, not to offer overpriced shipping options to your customers. Unfortunately, it is offered neither by WooCommerce, Shopify nor Magento. Look at how shipping rules and restrictions can make your shipping so much flexible with these exemplary case studies.

If you need to add flexibility to your shipping then you should consider a 3rd party shipping extension, plugin, or app for any of those 3 e-commerce platforms.

WooCommerce vs Shopify vs Magento

 Which One Is the Best for Shipping?
Shipping Zones
Basic Shipping Options: Free Shipping, Flat Rate
Table Rates
Shipping Rules and Restrictions
Dimensional Weight Shipping
Estimated Delivery Dates
Integration with Multiple Carriers
Multi-Origin or Multi-Vendor Shipping
In-Store Pickup
Shipping on Product Pages
Rate Shopping
Landed Cost
Shipping Labels
Order Tracking


How Does Woocommerce Shipping Work?
WooCommerce shipping works very easily, you can obtain real-time shipping rates from only two carriers, DHL and USPS. Flat rates shipping is based on basic condition and that is the order size. 
After your order is ready you print and generate labels directly from the WooCommerce backend. To add more flexibility to your WooCommerce shipping have a look here.
How to Set up Shopify Shipping?
  1. Choose which shipping options and carriers you want to display at the checkout for your customers
  2. Customers then select preferred delivery and shipping options
  3. Receive the payment from the customer
  4. Fulfill the order, generate labels and send the order information to your customers
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