Running a store based in UK, selling there and having some difficulties with setting up the shipping? Wondering how to configure UK shipping zones in your WooCommerce shop the right way? Just keep on reading and learn how to do that step by step!
Since United Kingdom's administrative geography is complex and multi-layered, the proper UK shipping zones configuration might turn out to be quite challenging. Shipping the products to Highlands or the Channel Islands is most often much more expensive than to UK mainland. To make it even more tangled the availability of the UK carriers' services usually varies depending on the delivery's destination. So, the tricky part here is how find a way to combine these two. The answer you might be looking for is...
UK shipping zones configuration based on postcodes
Limiting the shipping zones to specific postcodes, which has been a default WooCommerce feature since 2.6.1 release, is still a little bit underestimated and overlooked. However, if used properly it might become a real game changer. Setting up the shipping zones using the area-specific postcodes will allow you not only to target the shipping destination precisely, but also to manage them exactly the way you need. This is why furthermore I will show you how to put this feature into practice. By following these instructions you will learn how to configure the most common UK shipping zones' setup compatible with various shipping plugins, including our...
Setting up UK shipping zones
Let's begin from the scratch and assume you haven't started the UK shipping zones configuration yet.
This most popular UK shipping zones setup I'm about to introduce you to, divides the whole UK teritory into 4 separate areas :
- Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly
- Scottish Highlands and Islands
- Channel Islands
- UK Mainland
We will move on to creating them in a minute, however, let's stop here for a second. As you probably noticed the list above is not ordered sequentially. Zone 3 is on the first place, Zone 1 is the last one, etc. On the first glimpse it may seem like some sort of a random order, however, it's not. It is intended and the zones were arranged this way for purpose. It is related to the WooCommerce zone matching mechanism and the fact that it checks the shipping zones starting from top to the bottom. So, the proper order does matter in this case to make sure the shipping zones using the narrower postcodes are considered first.
The second thing worth mentioning at this point is that we are going to use the wildcards while listing the postcodes for specific shipping zones. You can recognize them by an asterisk sign (*) at the end of the postcode, e.g. BT15*. If used in this case, it will cover all the postcodes starting with 'BT15' phrase, e.g. BT15 1AA, BT15 1AB, BT15 1AE, etc.
Knowing the basics let's move on to WooCommerce → Settings → Shipping → Shipping Zones:
Hit thebutton here and create a new shipping zone called...
Zone 3 - Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly
Fill in the Zone name, pick the United Kingdom as the Zone region and click the Limit to specific ZIP/postcodes link below:
A new text-area field should appear. Copy the postcodes below:
and paste them there:
Confirm the whole adding the shipping zone process withbutton.
Follow the same steps for...
Zone 2 - Scottish Highlands and Islands
using the postcodes:
as well as for...
Zone 4 - Channel Islands
and finally the...
Zone 1 - UK Mainland
You should end up with 4 separate shipping zones configured this way:
The only thing left here is to add and configure the shipping methods within these shipping zones the way which fits your needs best. You can either use the WooCommerce defaults or give a try to our Flexible Shipping plugin with DPD UK integration mentioned at the beginning. The setup described here should be fully compatible and go on well with the availability of particular DPD UK services in the entire United Kingdom.
If you want to learn more about the shipping zones you can also check our guide - WooCommerce shipping zones explained or simply leave your question in the comments section below. We'll reply to all of them as usual!