In this article, we will be comparing two UPS Shipping plugins and see where these plugins stand against each other based on some of the important factors that will make it easier for online store owners to chose the best option amongst the two.
There are a lot of store owners who prefer a shipping carrier as reliable as UPS. It is one of the most trusted shipping carriers when it comes to shipping. UPS supports domestic as well as international shipping. WooCommerce store owners can integrate UPS Shipping services to their store with the help of UPS Shipping plugins. However, WordPress being such a huge community, choosing the best UPS Shipping plugin for your store can be tiresome. This article will help you to choose between two of the widely used UPS Shipping plugins. In this article, we will compare the following shipping plugins,
- WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin by PluginHive
- UPS Shipping Method by WooCommerce
Factors for Comparison
Different store owners have different shipping needs. Based on those needs we have selected some factors that will help you understand and choose the best plugin for your store. These factors are,
- Cost of the plugin
- Real-time and accurate shipping rates
- Ability to adjust shipping rates
- Freight Shipping
- Packing Methods
- Shipping labels
- Shipment tracking
- Basic Troubleshooting
- Value for Money
Cost of the plugin
One of the best thing about the WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin by PluginHive is the fact that the plugin has a Basic Version. The free-of-cost plugin obviously has limited functionality, however, it surely gives you an idea of some of the features in the paid version. Also, having a basic version serves a great deal of benefit to the store owners as they can have a hands-on experience with the plugin before even spending money on the plugin. The Premium Version, however, is available to the store owners for a price of $69.
UPS Shipping method by WooCommerce, on the other hand, does not support a basic version. It costs $79 for the Premium version. Having no free version is a bit troubling for the store owners since they won’t exactly know what the plugin really offers and whether the plugin can fulfill their shipping requirements unless they pay for it. Besides, some store owners may not take the additional cost of $10 well.
Real-time Shipping Rates
WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin by PluginHive works using official UPS API. That simply means, the plugin will automatically collect the details from your store and will send a request to the UPS servers. Based on the shipment weight and dimensions, UPS will send the shipping rates that will be visible on the cart page. This way the buyers will be able to see the exact shipping rates correct up to the decimal places (approx. 2 decimal places).
Similar to the PluginHive’s UPS Shipping plugin, UPS Shipping Method plugin by WooCommerce is also based on the UPS API. Using this plugin, store owners will get accurate shipping rates for domestic and international addresses based on the weight of the package.
Shipping Rate Adjustment
Online store owners love the concept of personalization. Hence, it is natural for them to request a feature that will allow them to add or subtract some amount from the shipping rates that UPS offers. They may even decide to waive the whole shipping cost on special occasions. WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin by PluginHive allows store owners to add additional shipping cost on top of the UPS shipping rates. Moreover, it is also possible to provide a discount on the shipping cost using this plugin. This way the plugin allows store owners to both add and waive of both the flat rate values and percentage values from the shipping cost.
UPS Shipping Method by WooCommerce also supports shipping rates adjustment. Similar to PluginHive’s shipping plugin, store owners can adjust shipping price based on the shipping services. It supports both the flat rate as well as percentage value to increase or decrease the shipping cost. You can see the shipping rates adjustment in the image below.
When the shipping reaches a weight limit of 150 lbs (68 kgs), then UPS doesn’t ship it under normal shipping. All the shipments having weight 150 lbs or more, come under UPS Freight Shipping. WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin supports the following UPS Freight Shipping services,
- UPS Freight LTL
- Standard LTL
- UPS Freight LTL – Guaranteed
- UPS Freight LTL – Guaranteed A.M.
It is worth noting that, freight shipping is only available if it is enabled in the UPS Account of the store owners. The following image will show all the freight services enabled in the plugin settings.
UPS Shipping Method by WooCommerce doesn’t support UPS Freight Shipping services. The plugin works on both the weight and the dimensions of the products. There is a weight limit of 150 lbs up to which the plugin will work. So if you are dealing with the shipments exceeding the 150 lbs weight limit of UPS Shipping method, this plugin is not for you.
WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin by PluginHive supports the following packing methods,
- Individual Packing
Using this packing method, store owners will be able to pack the products individually. In other words, the number of items in the order will decide the number of packages.
- Box Packing with custom Weight and Dimensions
This packing method allows store owners to create shipping boxes with custom dimensions and weight limits. This is a very useful option for the store owners who prefer custom shipping boxes over the standard UPS shipping boxes.
- Weight-Based Packing
This packing method is one of the widely used packing methods. It allows store owners to set a Max Weight in the plugin settings. Store owners can pack all the products with a combined weight less than the Max Weight, together in the same box.
All these packing methods make this plugin very easy and desirable irrespective of the scale of the store. The image below shows all the packing methods that are available in the plugin settings.
UPS Shipping Method plugin by WooCommerce also supports the packing methods discussed above. However, it misses out on one of the most important packing methods. Store owners cannot enjoy the Weight-based packing using this plugin. While the other two packing methods may or may not be sufficient for your business case, but even a reason like that cannot justify missing such an important option.
One of the features that WooCommerce store owners prefer a lot is the ability to print shipping labels from the back-office. Shipping label basically contains all the details such as package weight, source address, destination address, etc. All these details are necessary for shipping a product. Using WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin by PluginHive, store owners can easily print the shipping label once they confirm the shipment. They don’t need to visit the UPS website to get their shipping label. Similarly, the plugin also allows store owners to print the return shipping label. In fact, you can also send the return shipping label to the buyer via Email.
UPS Shipping Method plugin by WooCommerce doesn’t allow store owners to print the shipping labels. It only provides integration between the WooCommerce store and UPS. Hence, if you use the plugin to successfully get the shipping rates, you will have to visit the official UPS website to get the shipping labels.
Product packing and shipping is just one part of the job. The real challenge starts once the package is shipped. After shipping it is very important to be able to track where the package is going. It gives the feeling of security as well as satisfaction to both the store owner as well as the buyers. WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin by PluginHive supports shipment tracking. Moreover, it allows store owners to choose whether they want to enable it for themselves, for the buyer or for both of them. The plugin goes to yet another level by providing automatic email functionality. This way the buyer will receive all the shipment tracking details attached to the order confirmation email.
UPS Shipping Method, on the other hand, doesn’t support shipment tracking. With features like real-time shipping rates, domestic and international delivery options, etc. it is really disappointing to see the plugin missing out on such an important feature.
Being an online store owner, there are chances when you may come across some difficulties with the plugin. It may be due to some settings that you have enabled or some important information that you may have skipped. In such cases, there has to be a mechanism for the store owners to be able to identify the issue. WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin by PluginHive has a dedicated debug mode which helps store owners to identify and in case of minor issues, it even helps resolve the issue. This way it not only helps the store owners by providing them with an option for self-service, but it also helps in making store owners aware of the common mistakes they might be committing.
UPS Shipping Method plugin by WooCommerce also support a similar debug mechanism. You can also enable the debug mode by enabling wp_debug. You can get more details about this by following the link here. This also serves a similar purpose like the one we discussed above, but for some store owners, it may be a bit too technical.
Value For Money
The cost of the plugin may be of less importance for some store owners who value the functionality more than the cost. Store owners can compromise on the cost if they know that the plugin is flexible enough to handle changes in shipping requirements. For $69, WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin not only is a cheaper option but also provides more flexible features that the later plugin lacks.
The UPS Shipping Method by WooCommerce, on the other hand, is already priced more, comparatively. Then it is bound to perform well. However, not only the plugin is priced more, it has some limitations when it comes to the value of that additional cost. With some of the most important features like shipping label, shipment tracking, etc gone, there are not a lot of features to justify the price tag.
The ultimate UPS Shipping plugin..?
So this was it..!
We have listed almost all the important factors that a store owner considers while buying a shipping plugin. Be it a small business owner or a medium to a large store owner, there are a lot of essential features that are missing from the UPS Shipping Method plugin by WooCommerce. On the other hand, the WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin provides all the bells and whistles in a price tag cheaper than the former. Given that most of the features are present in the plugin and it clearly justifies the cost, WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin by PluginHive clearly has the upper hand when it comes to being the ultimate shipping plugin.
The above article is based on the features of the plugins. It may be possible that either plugin may support your business case. However, in our evaluation on the basis of the above parameters we have made this comparison. If you have any query or suggestion about the article, feel free to share your views in the comment section below. You can purchase/download and install the plugin that suits your shipping needs well.