Royal Mail

Royal Mail is a premium shipping method that lets you calculate shipping using their rates. This plugin contains the Royal Mail prices and services, as they do not provide an API.

Royal Mail can calculate rates worldwide or UK domestic.

*Our extension reflects current 2019 Royal Mail rates.

The plugin and built-in box-packer require that your non-virtual products have weights and dimensions set. More info at: Adding Dimensions and Weights to Products for Shipping.

Installation ↑ Back to top

  1. Download the .zip file from your WooCommerce account.
  2. Go to: WordPress Admin > Plugins > Add New and Upload Plugin with the file you downloaded with Choose File.
  3. Install Now and Activate the extension.

More information at: Install and Activate Plugins/Extensions.

Setup and Configuration ↑ Back to top

  1. Go to: WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping.
  2. Select the Shipping Zone you wish to add the method to, and select Add shipping method + on the right.
    Add shipping method
  3. Select Royal Mail from the dropdown, and Add shipping method.
    screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-11-09-04-am
  4. Click on the Royal Mail method to configure the settings:
    • Method Title – Name the shipping method. This is visible to customers.
    • Rates and Services – Controls the services and rates you offer customers.
      • Parcel Packing Method – See below.
      • Offer Rates – Choose to return all rates (user gets selection/choice) or return a single rate.
      • Services – Rename and re-order Royal Mail shipping rates.

Debug 

  1. Go to: WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping > Royal Mail.
  2. Debug Mode – Enable debug mode to show debugging information on your cart/checkout.

Parcel Packing Method ↑ Back to top

There are two packing methods with Royal Mail. Each affects the parcels you send to the plugin for a quote.

Pack items individually (Default) ↑ Back to top

Each item in your cart (non-virtual) is sent to the plugin individually. Quotes for all items are combined for the final cost.

Pack items in boxes together (Recommended) ↑ Back to top

Items are packed into pre-defined boxes and sent to the plugin for a quote. We recommend this option. See Box-Packing below for more information.

Box-Packing ↑ Back to top

The box packer included with this shipping method allows you group items into packages for which you define height, width, length, and weight. The packing is mainly volume based, but does also consider item sizes.

The box packer is volume based. In most cases, this provides good results but will never be as accurate as a real person packing a box (see BIN Packing Problem). Therefore, it is important you understand that packing results are as accurate as they can be, and any anomalies should be acceptable.

Setting up box sizes ↑ Back to top

Most methods of Royal Mail have fixed sizes and do not require custom box sizes. However, International Mail does require custom sizes and their package sizes can vary.

Within settings, look for the “International Parcel Sizes” setting. Click ‘add box’ to set up box dimensions:

  • Defined dimensions are used for packing, and items will be fit within these.
  • Box weight is the weight of an empty box.

International Parcel

How the calculation works ↑ Back to top

The packer does the following:

  1. Finds boxes that fit items being packed (uses H x W x D).
  2. Packs all fitting items into boxes (using volume).
  3. Uses the largest box fitting 100% of items *or* uses the highest % packed box, and then passes unpacked items back (and repeats the process)
  4. Packs unpackable items alone, using item dimensions.
  5. Returns all packed boxes.

Customer Usage ↑ Back to top

Customers will get quotes based on address input from two places:

  • Cart page – Using the shipping calculator
  • Checkout page – Filling in shipping and billing forms
Rates can be selected by customers as usual.

Click & Drop ↑ Back to top

Royal Mail offers a Click & Drop service, allowing you to create labels and pay online.  Our Royal Mail plugin doesn’t add support Click & Drop; Royal Mail has shared a document on Connecting your WooCommerce store to Click & Drop using WooCommerce’s built-in API. If you have any questions, please do reach out to Royal Mail.

Compensation Optional ↑ Back to top

There’s a “Compensation Optional” checkbox in the settings of Royal Mail shipping method:

This is described in the Royal Mail price guide.

Packages up to £20 can be shipped using economy rates.
If the declared package value is over £20 – insurance won’t work on Economy and more expensive rates might have to be used instead.
One might choose not to declare value and ship economy without insurance though.

Troubleshooting ↑ Back to top

No rates returned/no rates available ↑ Back to top

  • Enable debug mode to see debugging information on the cart page. This will often reveal the problem.
  • Check your products have sizes and weights set. Without this, the calculation cannot be performed.

Questions and Feedback ↑ Back to top

Have a question before you buy? Please fill out this pre-sales form.

Already purchased and need some assistance? Get in touch with a Happiness Engineer via the Help Desk.

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