If you’d like to learn how to set role-based shipping methods in WooCommerce, read on. In this article we’ll look at the simplest way to restrict and enable different shipping methods for different user roles. And all without any coding.

What are WooCommerce shipping methods?

In WooCommerce, there are three core shipping methods:

  • Local Pickup – allows the user to collect the order themselves from your premises
  • Flat Rate Shipping – allows you to define a standard cost per despatched item
  • Free Shipping – allows you to offer free shipping to your customers

You can add one or more of these methods to each shipping zone that you create. For more information on this, check out the WooCommerce shipping documentation.

Why would we want to restrict shipping methods by user role?

Depending on the type of WooCommerce store you’re running, you might only want to offer certain shipping methods to certain roles.

For instance, if you have a wholesale store, you might want to offer only your wholesale customers the local pickup option. (See this article for guidance on how to create a WooCommerce wholesale store.)

Or, if you’re running a membership site, you might want to incentivise users to join up by offering free delivery to members. (See this article for guidance on how to create a WooCommerce membership site.)

How to set WooCommerce role-based shipping methods

Using the WooCommerce Members Only plugin, we can easily create role-based shipping methods.

WooCommerce Members Only

Let’s look at two possible methods: restricting a shipping method so that certain user roles can’t use it; and enabling a shipping method so that only certain roles can use it.

Although these two methods might sound like they achieve the same thing, remember that some users (for example, users who aren’t logged in) won’t have a user role. So you need to decide whether it’s best to restrict or enable shipping methods.

By the way, take a look at this article for information on how to automatically set user roles in WooCommerce.

Or read this article for information about WooCommerce user roles in general.

How to restrict a shipping method by user role in WooCommerce

Let’s have a look first at how to prevent certain user roles from using a specific shipping method.

Perhaps our store has a couple of user roles – the ‘Customer’ user role and a new role that we created, ‘Wholesale Customer’. We’ve decided that we will restrict users with the ‘Customer’ role from using the Local Pickup shipping method.

  • Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Members Only > Shipping Methods
  • You’ll see all your shipping methods listed, each with ‘Restricted Roles’ and ‘Permitted Roles’ field
  • In the ‘Restricted Roles’ field of the ‘Local Pickup’ method, enter ‘Customer’ (or the role that you want to restrict)
  • Click ‘Save changes’ and that’s it. Users with the role of customer will not have the Local Pickup shipping method presented to them in the cart or the checkout
WooCommerce restricted role-based shipping methods

How to enable WooCommerce shipping methods for specific user roles

Now let’s look at how to enable certain user roles to use a specific shipping method.

In this example, let’s imagine that our store has several user roles which define users’ membership levels. So there’s ‘Gold Member’, ‘Silver Member’ etc. And perhaps we only want to enable Free Shipping for our ‘Gold Member’ users.

To do this:

  • Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Members Only > Shipping Methods
  • As above, you’ll see all your shipping methods listed, each with ‘Restricted Roles’ and ‘Permitted Roles’ field
  • In the ‘Permitted Roles’ field of the ‘Free Shipping’ method, enter ‘Gold Member’ (or the role that you want to restrict)
WooCommerce enable user role for free shipping
  • Click ‘Save changes’ and that’s it. Now, only users with the ‘Gold Member’ user role will get Free Shipping

Saying thank you to your users, whatever their role

What happens after every single user checks out using their chosen shipping method? They hit the Thank You page with a summary of their order.

The Thank You page is the most under-utilised page on your site – take a look at the WooCommerce Thank You Pages plugin to start marketing repeat sales to your customers from the moment they hit the ‘Place Order’ button.

Recap

This was a quick article explaining how to restrict or enable shipping methods by user role.

All you need is the Members Only plugin to enable role-based shipping.

WooCommerce Members Only

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