South African Shipping Extension for WooCommerce: South African Post Office

South African Post Office Shipping Gateway

In this post we be look at The South African Post Office – SAPO shipping extension for WooCommerce.
There are two options available from SAPO – Domestic and International Parcel services:

SAPO Domestic Parcel Service

The Domestic Parcel Service extension makes use of SAPO’s parcel plus service and calculates shipping rates based on cart quantity and weight. You also have the option to add handling fees, calculate the rate per order or per item and include shipping insurance.
In order to make use of this extension your stores currency will need to be in ZAR and your location set to South Africa. At checkout only users whose shipping country is set to SA will be able to select this option.
Once you’ve downloaded and activated the plugin you can configure the following options:

  • Enable/Disable – A simple checkbox that turns the module on
  • Method Title – Enter the method title as you would like it displayed to customers
  • Calculation Type – Here you can decide to calculate  shipping Per Order (cart contents calculated together) or Per Item (each item calculated separately)
  • Handling Fee – Enter an amount or the percentage of the cart value that needs to be added for packaging costs
  • Enable/Disable Parcel Insurance – Check this box if you want 2% of the cart value added to shipping for insurance
  • Enable/Disable Econoparcel – Check this box if you want to offer the discounted Econoparcel service, but only cart’s that weigh less than 1kg will use the Econoparcel fee
  • Enable/Disable Currency Conversion – This function will convert SAPO shipping fees to the base currency that WooCommerce is configured for. Check this box if your store is not using the Rand as it’s base currency. Many South African vendors sell to a global customer base and use the ubiquitous PayPal as their payment gateway, but PayPal does not support the Rand, vendors are then forced to use a PayPal supported currency. Know that you can still use SAPO Domestic in the case.

Please note : You need to set weight values for all your products that you want to ship, so check your product settings and make sure all products that can be shipped have a weight value set

  • Set the weight unit to grams
  • Enter product weights in grams
  • If your product weighs 1.8kg, enter 1800 into the weight field

SAPO International Parcel Service

The following settings are available to configure the International Parcel Service extension

  • Enable/Disable – Turns the module on
  • Method Title – Enter the method title as you would like it displayed to customers
  • Calculation Type – Here you can decide to calculate  shipping Per Order (cart contents calculated together) or Per Item (each item calculated separately)
  • Handling Fee – Enter an amount or the percentage of the cart value that needs to be added for packaging costs
  • Insurance – Check this box if you want 2% of the cart value added to shipping for insurance

SAPO International Configuration Requirements

There are some limitations as far as base country/region or currency. You need to configure this to South Africa and the Rand in WooCommerce Settings » General. This means that shipping will be displayed in Rand and you have to use a payment gateway that supports the rand to ensure your shipping cost are covered in the payment.
As with SAPO Domestic, you have to set weight values for all your products, so check your product settings and make sure that the weight unit is set to grams and that your products have their weight values set in grams.
Calculation Type should be set to Per Order when the contents of the cart can be shipped together, if they have to be shipped separately, use Per Item.
When using SAPO Domestic and International in tandem, the two will stay out of each other’s way, each will display independently depending on the shipping destination.
The SAPO WooCommerce extensions for domestic and international shipping are essential additions to your South African ecommerce store. Many store owners will may also want to include a door to door courier option, but the SAPO offerings are a convenient and established method of enabling the shipping of your products.
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