Valen Wines already had a website, but it lacked the e-commerce functionality they needed to sell their products online. While we began building a new website for Valen using WooCommerce (the most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress), we encountered a couple challenges. First, each state in the U.S. has their own rules and regulations when it comes to shipping alcohol which meant we would need to address the shipping options on a state by state basis. Second, the client wanted to use a specialized west coast shipper to save on costs, but there was no existing plugin that could integrate with that shipper's API.
The first challenge (different shipping laws by state) was addressed fairly easily. As Valen Wines is a California based winery and does most of their business in the state, they decided to focus all of their shipping efforts at home for the time being. As for the second challenge (using a shipper with no WooCommerce addon), we opted to create two shipping classes; one for bottles and another for cases. We then assigned a flat rate to each class that would take into account the costs of the west coast shipper. Cases had a simple flat rate per case while the bottle flat rate used a tiered shipping cost that would increase by a flat amount per each six bottle increment.