Native Magento shortcomings in shipping

Native Magento features don’t offer enough to make shipping efficient. The key problems are:

  • Strict dependency on shipping carrier prices. In native Magento, you can modify carrier tarifs via Cart Price Rules, but the scope of options is not that rich. Besides, if you offer a shipping discount, it applies to all shipping options simultaneously.
  • Applying a discount to a particular method is not supported. What’s more if shipping is cheaper or even free for a customer, a vendor still has to pay for it in full. So this limitation works as a double-edge sword that induces losses to the vendor.
  • Lack of support to customized shipping methods. Out-of-the-box Magento doesn’t really welcome customized shipping methods. So you either use the available ones, or set up some 2 custom methods with a very rigid price calculation scheme.

Luckily, Magento extension providers and website developers come to rescue. At Amasty, we’ve developed a whole range of Magento shipping extensions that are reviewed and updated regularly. Other reputable vendors don’t stand still either. We’ve selected 10 Magento extensions that can address different shipping  questions. Check them out and choose some to ensure efficient shipping and positive relationships with your customers.

Magento shipping extensions

#1 Shipping Rules

Edition

Compatibility

Set off in

Last updates

User rating

Price

CE & EE

CE 1.4.x – 1.9.x, EE 1.8.x – 1.14.x

2012

Feb. 2019

4.9

CE – $89, EE – $289 (extra services included)

Key features

With Magento Shipping Rules by Amasty, you’ll manage to:

  • adjust shipping price according to the weight of the parcel;
  • modify the shipping price using coupons;
  • set the visibility of shipping rules according to store views and customer groups;
  • apply advanced conditions to set the shipping price based on customer or product attributes, as well as order information.

In-depth review

With this extension, you’ll be able to set up highly customized shipping rules. When creating a rule, you select not only a carrier, a shipping method, a type of carrier’s price modification, but also days of the week, time of the day, and the product to which the rule should be applied. You can combine several rules to achieve the most suitable results. What’s more, you can use a set of algorithms to count extra cost of shipping, apply discounts and change shipping costs set by carriers. You can stretch customization even further and set up advanced conditions to rely on complex non-numeric postal codes for price calculation.

#2 Shipping Restrictions

Edition

Compatibility

Set off in

Last updates

User rating

Price

CE & EE

CE 1.4.x – 1.9.x, EE 1.8.x – 1.14.x

2012

Feb. 2019

4.8

CE – $99, EE – $299 (extra services included)

Key features

With Magento Shipping Restrictions, you’ll manage to:

  • show different shipping methods depending on the geographic location (for international stores);
  • prevent free shipping for low-profit orders;
  • apply advanced conditions to set the shipping price based on customer or product attributes and order information;
  •  limit shipping for certain countries or regions for legal or other reasons;
  • immediately send error messages in a custom language.

In-depth review

Say, you’ve created flexible shipping rules to deliver products to your customers. But what if the product a customer ordered is prohibited for shipping either in your country or in theirs? This is what Shipping Restrictions resolves. Besides, you can not only restrict but also block a method and even the whole carrier altogether. This module allows you to restrict the use of certain shipping methods relying on a wide range of parameters: a country, product size, weight, and more. With this module, you’ll always stay in the black. For example, if your customer collected 2 coupons reducing the price of shipment, you can limit the use of any of them.

What’s more, you can also limit shipping methods on the basis of customer groups. Considering the scope of spending of your wholesale clients, you can ship the goods for free. On the other hand, if you work with individuals, free shipping makes a good option very rarely. If the customer can’t set the product delivery, they will be informed about the reason for this. Besides, you can inform shoppers in their preferred language by adding the translation in the module CSV file.

#3 Shipping On Per Product by Webkul SoftWare Private Limited

Edition

Compatibility

Set off in

Last updates

User rating

Price

CE & EE

CE 1.4.x – 1.9.x, EE the same

2015

Jul. 2017

5.0

CE – $199, EE – $398

Key features

With this module, you’ll manage to:

  • set up a weight- and dimension-based price for each product;
  • update the existing prices;
  • add an invoice, bill of lading, info on taxation to the order;
  • show available shipping methods and total shipping cost on the checkout.

In-depth review

Practically, with this module you will add a new shipping method – shipping per product. With this method, you’ll manage to set shipping price individually for each product in the order without loading a CSV file. You can also provide a default shipping price. It will be used if you forgot to estimate shipping for some products.

Note that this add-on also has shipping restrictions functionality: you can either allow shipping to all countries or enable shipping to a particular country only. As a vendor, you can also set a tracking number and send it to the customer to enable them to track the parcel. What’s more, you can add an invoice, VAT, and information on other taxes to the shipping bill. Customers will be able to choose suitable shipping methods, Per Product won’t be the only one available. Besides, you’ll easily set a customized error message to keep your customer informed about failures.

#4 Shipping Restrictions by CreativeMinds

Edition

Compatibility

Set off in

Last updates

User rating

Price

CE & EE

CE CE 1.6 – 1.9, EE 1.13 – 1.14

2016

Nov. 2018

NA

CE – $79, EE – $199 (extra services included)

Key features

With Magento Shipping Restrictions, you will:

  • manage shipping rules and restrictions from a single point;
  • create restrictions based on the location or the type of goods;
  • limit or ban shipping to particular countries due to legal, economic or other reasons;
  • use 2-step notifications to inform the shoppers about restrictions.

In-depth review

This extension combines two important shipping functions. It helps customize shipping (like Amasty Shipping Rules) and restrict shipping to a particular state, country or other geographic entity (like Magento Shipping Restrictions above). Creating restrictions, the module relies on zip codes. You can even make a list of zip codes (countries, states) that are prohibited for shipping. Besides, a geographic location is not the only basis for restrictions. With this extension, a vendor can limit shipping for any product in their store. Good news is that you don’t need to fill in all three fields. Just one will be enough. Shoppers will be informed about the restrictions in due time. To prevent misunderstandings, the module offers 2 notifications – one right in the shopping cart, and the other one on the checkout.

Here’s how it works: in-cart notification. A customer receives the restriction notification upon filling Estimate shipping and tax. The notification will appear in the estimated results and the list of goods in the cart. Checkout notification: a customer won’t be able to add a particular shipping method and will see the notification about restrictions.

#5 Shipping Suite by MageWorx

Edition

Compatibility

Set off in

Last updates

User rating

Price

CE & EE

CE 1.4.1 – 1.9, EE 1 .6 – 1.14

2013

Oct. 2017

5

CE – $99, EE – $198

Key features

With this module you will:

  • set customized shipping rules and restrictions;
  • auto-locate your customers;
  • provide shipping options based on customers’ location or goods in their shopping cart;
  • customize shipping rates with regard to each customer and your own needs;
  • inform customers about shipping price.

In-depth review

This extension is a 3-in-1 solution that covers major issues associated with shipping. You’ll manage to set shipping rules and restrictions, as well as customize shipping rates with no losses for you or your customers. You’ll customize shipping options available for shoppers on the basis of their location and the nature of purchases to be shipped. The same criteria can be applied to setting shipping rules and restrictions. Note that you can also set, define and limit the duration of rules and restrictions.

The module also provides for establishing specific shopping zones based on the customer’s country or region. So you can choose products, categories and shipping methods to be available in a particular geographic location. As for the location, the module can detect it automatically by the customer’s IP address.

In terms of price calculation, the extension helps to strike the balance between the interests of the shoppers and vendors. For customers, it has an in-built price calculator to easily estimate the shipping price before the checkout. For vendors, it provides highly flexible settings that can be adapted to the chosen business model. The price calculator (above) helps prevent cart abandonment. What’s more, with the relevant shipping rules and restrictions you’ll manage to customize the shipping prices established by carriers (e.g. DHL, UPS and more).

#6 Shipping Price by Aheadworks

Edition

Compatibility

Set off in

Last updates

User rating

Price

CE & EE

CE  1.4.x.x. – 1.9.3.10, EE 1.12.x.x. – 1.14.3.10

2013

Sept. 2017

5

Free

Key features

With this module, you will:

  • set shipping price per product;
  • inform customers on shipping prices on the category and/or product pages;
  • set a default shipping method in one click.

In-depth review

The module is fairly simple – setting it up is a matter of three clicks from dropdown menus:

  • click #1 – enable the module;
  • click #2 – choose where to display on the frontend (category page, product page or both)
  • click #3 – choose the shipping method (free, flat rate, a certain carrier).

On the frontend, the extension has a very handy feature – AJAX recalculation right in the cart. If a customer decides to add/delete a good that is already in the cart, the shipping and total prices will be updated accordingly.

#7 UPS & USPS Address Validation by IWD Agency

Edition

Compatibility

Set off in

Last updates

User rating

Price

CE & EE

CE  1.4+, EE  1.7+

2013

Jul. 2017

4.5

CE – $99, EE – $599 

Key features

With this extension, you will:

  • validate the shipping address with UPS and USPS;
  • correct typos and misprints in the address and offer a valid variant;
  • prevent shipping to invalid addresses;
  • reduce the related costs;
  • add additional services for address validation.

In-depth review

When a buyer inputs their shipping address on the checkout, the extension immediately checks it with UPS & USPS bases. In case the address is invalid, the extension fetches the most suitable address from the base. The customer is offered to replace the address with the variant from the base; keep their own variant.

You can allow or disable the second option. This helps to avoid sending goods to invalid addresses and prevent extra costs. The extension is highly customizable, so you can add integrations with FedEx or Google Maps to validate addresses.

#8 Extended Table Rate Shipping by Neklo

Edition

Compatibility

Set off in

Last updates

User rating

Price

CE & EE

CE 1.7.x – 1.9.x, EE 1.12.x – 1.14.x

2015

May 2018

5

CE – $69, EE – $169 

Key features

With this extension, you will:

  • create numerous shipping options via a range of shipping carriers;
  • offer your customers multiple shipping options;
  • customize shipping methods via CSV files;
  • prevent cart abandonment due to high shipping costs;
  • auto-calculate the cost of delivery.

In-depth review

With this extension, you will meet the key Magento shipping challenge. Here, you can add an unlimited number of carriers offering diverse shipping methods. You can add a CSV file listing the selected shipping methods. Then you can customize the basic features adding the list of countries and the corresponding fees. It’s also possible to customize the error message appearing in case a method isn’t available. On the frontend, your customers will be able to choose the method that fits them best. This is stated to reduce the cart abandonment rate.

#9 Advanced Shipping by Owebia

Edition

Compatibility

Set off in

Last updates

User rating

Price

CE

CE 1.x

2009

Dec. 2017

5

Free

Key features

With this extension, you will:

  • apply flexible settings to configure shipping costs;
  • set shipping fees based on location, weight, order price and quantity of products;
  • offer shipping cost based on product category and attributes;
  • combine several factors to offer your customers the most suitable shipping price;
  • use zip codes to enable / restrict shipping to particular countries.

In-depth review

This extension offers numerous opportunities for customizing shipping costs. You can base the cost on classic parameters (location, weight, the price of goods). It’s also possible to put the product or customer as the central price-defining element. Here’s how it works: customer-centric price – you assign prices relying on customer group or attributes; product-centric price – you assign prices relying on product categories, attributes or item options. You can combine the two approaches as well.

You can also add shipping options with 3 carriers of your choice. The number of carriers is unlimited in the Pro version. The module enables you to set rules and restrictions that allow or prohibit shipping to certain countries using zip codes. You can motivate your customers to complete the order by applying coupons and discounts to shipping costs.

#10 Shipping Deadline Count by Nublue Ltd

Edition

Compatibility

Set off in

Last updates

User rating

Price

CE

1.6.x – 1.9.3

Apr 2017

Apr 2018

5

$89

Key features

With this module you will:

  • enable a countdown timer to inform your customers about the nearest delivery date in case of immediate purchase;
  • motivate your customers to order asap;
  • set delivery days and restrictions on public holidays;
  • improve conversion and show your customers you care about them.

In-depth review

The module has simple backend settings. When configuring, you’ll see the instruction field and short explanations below each feature. You will be able to set available delivery dates and last hour after which shipping moves to the following business day. You can easily customize the frontend block with HTML tags. Note that the module can work with only one shipping method. So the vendor recommends to use it with the fastest one to ensure a better conversion.

Magento shipping extensions roundup

Though native Magento is not very flexible when it comes to the shipping process, extension providers have a bagful of add-ons and solutions to resolve the platform shortcomings in one way or another.

For example, apart from the extensions included in the list, we have a whole set of Magento shipping extensions:

  • Shipping Table Rates that helps create shipping methods with a variety of cost calculation schemes, from table rates to volumetric ones.
  • Shipping & Payment by Customer Groups that will enable you to set shipping methods according to your customer groups.
  • Shipping per Product that will solve the problem with incorrect automatic calculations of shipping cost by letting you calculate these costs for each product separately.
  • Delivery Date that allows you and your customers to schedule the deliveries to a most suitable date and time of the day.
  • Extra Fee that will help you promote extra services and motivate your customers to purchase more.
  • Free Shipping After Discount, a calculation tool that will enable you to offer free shipping based on subtotal and reduce the relevant losses.

Please note that our list is not a “from-first-to-worst” type. Each of the extensions listed has its own pros, and it’s for the owner to decide which one is the best fit for their store.

Special thanks to Amasty Support Manager Alexander Kosarev for the assistance provided.