Lively Living

Case Study

Whitepaper: Custom Shipping Plugin for WordPress, Gold Coast Digital Marketing Agency



In this article, we will demonstrate how off the shelf plugins for your projects are maybe not the right solutions 100% of the time.  Although off the shelf plugins are great for general requirements in your WordPress based website – the more specific your requirements and third-party Vendors become – the harder it is to find the right solution. In some cases, the right solution is custom software. Read on to find out how iOnline development a custom WordPress plugin to not only fulfill all of the requirements set out by Lively Living but also save them time and money.



Website Design, Website Development, eCommerce, Wholesale, Custom Packing Slips & Invoices, Complex Shipping Rules, Abandoned Carts, Third Party Integration



About Lively Living

Lively Living is one of Australia’s largest online retailers of Aroma Diffusers and Essential Oils.  They have a long history of providing high-end products to customers around the world with a high level of service and quality of product. Lively Living was founded in 2012 and offers the most advanced diffuser technology with only the purest essential oils available on the market. The diffusers and essential oil combinations allow for aroma therapies that assist wellbeing, reducing stress and anxiety, helping customers feel refreshed and generally help with any ailments that people might be experiencing.

In terms of product sold to the market, Lively Living offers over 200 products including Aroma Diffusers for different situations and requirements and essential oils that provide aroma therapies.  Lively Living sells to the public through their webstore which is available at and sells wholesale to approved vendors.

Whitepaper: Custom Shipping Plugin for WordPress, Gold Coast Digital Marketing Agency


Lively Living's Requirements

Lively Living approached iOnline to assist with the development of a new webstore. The requirements of the project were as follows:

  • New fresh design responsive design.
  • Ability to add, edit, remove products and product categories.
  • Ability to take payments online with multiple payment gateways including PayPal, Credit Card and Direct Deposit.
  • Ability to use multiple courier vendors depending on cart contents and destination of order.
  • Ability to determine shipping rates based on customer specifics including customer type, and complex rules around cart contents.
  • Ability to print customised packing slips and invoices.
  • Ability to moderate and manage wholesale customers seamlessly and offer wholesale pricing options.
  • Ability to hide and display products depending on the type of customer.
  • Full integration with third party email marketing campaign tools.
  • Ability to reconnect with list sales through an Abandon Cart.
  • Ability to promote stockists around Australia through an interactive map.
  • Provide an update to date glossary of ingredients and display associated products.


The Webstore Solution

A lot of the requirements for the project set out can be accommodated using WordPress and WooCoomerce along with a series of associated premium plugins.  A big requirement of the project was to be able to customize the shipping costs associated to retailers and wholesalers and have those use a specific set of courier providers including Fastways and Couriers Please. Although individual shipping plugins for these Courier Vendors exist, they are not granular enough for the requirements of this project. This meant rather than having the exact pricing structure Lily Living wanted during the product checkout process – the Vendor plugins were simply displaying a generic price from their API.

The requirements stipulate that pricing for the shipping needs to:

  • Work out the price depending on the destination of the order by State in Australia
  • Work out the price of the shipping depending on the types of products added to the cart – for instance, if the cart contains 2 oil products and 1 diffuser product and it is going to NSW then it needs to attract a specific price.
  • If the order total is a certain amount, then provide a discount on shipping rates
  • If the order is under a total amount, then provide a maximum shipping cost
  • If the order is made by a wholesaler or retailer, then discounts on shipping pricing are applied
  • The plugin needs to communicate seamlessly with Fastway (Aramex) and Couriers Please at a time of choosing by the warehouse staff at Lively Living
  • The plugin needs to generate orders with the Courier Vendors and generate Labels/Packing Slips.
  • The backend of WooCommerce should be customised to allow for easy printing of multiple labels and invoices by warehouse staff.
  • The backend of WooCommerce should be customised to allow for easy Order updates by warehouse staff.
  • The plugin needs to be to calculate the optimum number of parcels, satchels and envelopes for any given order provided by their cheapest courier quote in real time thus saving Lively Living significant fees for shipping.

The requirements for advanced shipping in combination of available Courier Vendors meant that no off the shelf solution would be suitable.


Custom Solution Presented and What That Meant for Lively Living

The development team at iOnline, scoped the project requirements and provided an accurate quotation for the development task to create a customised shipping plugin. The shipping plugin considered all the requirements laid out above and the development team got to work. Hours of testing the plugin was done during development of the plugin and iOnline developed associated testing tools to ensure that all orders are picked, packed, and correctly priced each time. The shipping plugin is 100% compatible with WordPress and other WordPress plugins which means the site can be maintained and updated without

In turn this has meant that the team at Lively Living can produce hundreds of orders per day. Admin time has been all but eliminated leaving the warehouse team available to pick, pack and push out orders. All orders are accounted for with and Lively Living also has the benefit of getting the cheapest price available from all her Courier Vendors every time saving even more money.

Want Something Like This?

If your business has a complex requirement and just cannot find the right solution – talk to us.

We can make educated recommendations about how to solve your problem. Each business is unique, and often the solution to their problems are unique too.

If you are struggling doing the same thing over and over again, then talk to us – it’s likely we can develop a custom solution for you that will not only save you and your admin team hours a day of manual data entry but we can also build systems that will save you money.

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