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AST vs Woo: A WooCommerce Shipment Tracking Plugin Comparison (2022)

  Introduction
In our hands-on WooCommerce shipment tracking plugin comparison, we're going to see how Advanced Shipment Tracking (AST) and the official Shipment Tracking plugin compare.
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AST vs Woo: A WooCommerce Shipment Tracking Plugin Comparison

Searching for the best WooCommerce shipment tracking plugin?

If you want to manage and provide tracking info to customers, Advanced Shipment Tracking (AST) and WooCommerce’s Shipment Tracking plugin are two of the most popular options.

AST is the most popular WooCommerce shipment tracking plugin, with a free version and 60,000+ active installs at WordPress.org. While the free version already stacks up favorably, there’s also a premium version that adds even more features if you need them. You can learn more about it in our in-depth AST review.

On the other hand, Shipment Tracking comes directly from the WooCommerce team. However, it’s not quite as popular (20,000+ active installs) and it only comes in a premium version.

In this hands-on WooCommerce shipment tracking plugin comparison, we’re going to compare these two plugins to help you choose the right one for your store.

Comparing AST vs Shipment Tracking

Here’s a quick comparison table to get you started – keep reading below for all of the details.

Advanced Shipment Tracking (AST)WooCommerce Shipment Tracking
Free version
Starting price (premium)$129$49
Supported carriers (built-in)300+50+
Add custom carriers
Automatic carrier detection
Bulk add tracking details (CSV)
Fulfillment service integration (ShipStation, etc.)
API support
Tracking info on customer order page
Tracking info in customer emails
Real-time updates✅ (with TrackShip)
Tracking per item
Fulfillment dashboard

Supported Shipping Carriers

To kick things off, let’s take a look at how many shipping carriers each plugin supports.

Advanced Shipment Tracking (AST)

Advanced Shipment Tracking offers built-in support for 300+ shipping providers and carriers, which is a lot more than Shipment Tracking.

AST supported carriers

If you’re somehow using a carrier that isn’t already built-in, you can also add custom carriers, including using variables in the tracking link to save time.

WooCommerce Shipment Tracking

WooCommerce Shipment Tracking offers built-in support for around 50+ carriers, which is a lot less than Advanced Shipment Tracking.

However, you can add custom carriers if needed. While this adds a bit of work, it does let you expand the supported carriers if needed.

How to Add Tracking Details

Next, let’s compare your options for adding tracking details to orders.

Advanced Shipment Tracking (AST)

With AST, you have a few different options for adding tracking details to orders.

First, you can add tracking information directly via the order management screen:

Add tracking AST

If you have a lot of orders, you can also bulk upload tracking information using a CSV file:

To save time, AST also offers direct integrations with a number of popular fulfillment services, including WooCommerce Shipping, ShipStation, and many others.

With these integrations, AST can automatically add the tracking information to WooCommerce when you fulfill the order via your service, which saves you time and avoids duplicated effort.

WooCommerce Shipment Tracking

With Shipment Tracking, you’ll need to add the tracking info directly via the order management screen.

You’ll first need to choose the carrier. Then, you can paste in the tracking code. This is a bit of an extra step as it can’t automatically detect the carrier like AST does:

Add tracking Shipment Tracking

Shipment Tracking also offers API support so that you can add tracking details via the API. However, you’ll need to be a developer (or hire a developer) to set this up as it doesn’t offer built-in integrations.

One unique feature, though, is that Shipment Tracking works with the official WooCommerce Mobile app so that you can add tracking details from the app. While this is a bit of a niche feature, it might come in handy sometimes if you need to add tracking details on the go.

How Customers Access Tracking Details

Next, let’s look at how your customers can access those tracking details.

Advanced Shipment Tracking (AST)

AST itself gives you two main options to offer tracking details to customers:

  1. Emails
  2. A widget that you can add to the order dashboard on your site

AST lets you customize both types of notifications via the real-time WordPress Customizer, which helps you easily match them to your site.

AST widget customization

If you want to offer even more options, you can integrate AST with the TrackShip service (from the same developer) to provide real-time updates to customers via text or email.

For example, you could send them a text when the tracking information updates to “Out for Delivery”.

WooCommerce Shipment Tracking

Shipment Tracking gives you the same two options for providing tracking details:

  1. Emails
  2. In the dashboard

However, you don’t get options to customize those designs and they look pretty basic by default.

For example, while the interface looks fine on my test site because of Kadence, you won’t get as many options for customizing it:

Shipment Tracking button

Additionally, the Shipment Tracking plugin doesn’t have the dedicated TrackShip integration, which means that you don’t have the option of providing real-time shipping updates to customers.

Tracking Management and Order Statuses

In addition to providing tracking details to customers, you also might want a centralized fulfillment dashboard, which helps you keep track of where your shipments are.

You’ll also want to manage order statuses based on tracking details.

Advanced Shipment Tracking (AST)

With AST, you can access a centralized dashboard to see all of your orders based on their fulfillment statuses, along with their tracking details.

You can also integrate tracking details with the native WooCommerce order status system. For example, you can automatically mark an order as “Shipped” when you add a tracking number to it.

You even get options to customize this workflow according to your preferences:

AST fulfillment management

WooCommerce Shipment Tracking

With the Shipment Tracking plugin, you don’t get a centralized fulfillment dashboard like AST offers.

It also won’t automatically change orders’ statuses when you add the tracking detail. Instead, you’ll need to do that manually.

Pricing

Finally, let’s compare Advanced Shipment Tracking vs Shipment Tracking when it comes to pricing.

Advanced Shipment Tracking (AST)WooCommerce Shipment Tracking
Free version
Starting price Pro$129$49

In terms of pricing, AST generally offers a lot more value.

First off, AST has a free version at WordPress.org, while the official Shipment Tracking plugin only comes in a premium version.

This is a big difference because the free version of AST is already more functional than the Shipment Tracking plugin.

For example, the free version of AST already offers more carrier support, direct shipment tracking API integrations, bulk tracking info import via CSV, and more.

At $129, the premium version of AST is more expensive than the Shipment Tracking plugin ($49). However, you’re getting even more features that the Shipment Tracking plugin doesn’t offer, such as the following:

  • Attaching tracking numbers to individual items.
  • Integrations with WooCommerce Shipping, ShipStation, and others.
  • A centralized fulfillment dashboard.

Basically:

  • The free version of AST already compares favorably to the paid Shipment Tracking plugin when it comes to features.
  • While the paid version of AST is more expensive, it’s giving you a lot of features that Shipment Tracking doesn’t offer.

Final Thoughts on our WooCommerce Shipment Tracking Plugin Comparison

Overall, I think that Advanced Shipment Tracking (AST) is the better option for most people and there’s a reason that it’s more popular than the Shipment Tracking plugin.

With just the free version of AST, you’re already getting features that rival or surpass the paid Shipment Tracking plugin.

While the paid version of AST is more expensive than Shipment Tracking, it’s giving you access to features that Shipment Tracking doesn’t offer. Additionally, many stores will be fine with the free version, so this might not even be a consideration for you.

AST also gives you the option of using the TrackShip service (from the same developer), which helps you automate shipment tracking and management even further, including real-time alerts.

If you want to get started with either plugin, you can use the buttons below.

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Colin Newcomer
Colin Newcomer
Colin has been using WordPress for over a decade and is on a quest to test all 60,000+ plugins at WordPress.org. He has been a Writer and Product Review Expert for WP Mayor since 2017, testing well over 150 products and services throughout that time.
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