Online orders grow by the day. Customers have adapted to online shopping and enjoy the ease of purchasing. With just a few clicks, products appear at your doorstep. But what stands behind the eCommerce website? Online merchants need to proceed bunch of information, ensure products are in-stock, and deliver items fast enough to compete with others.
Keeping up with the eCommerce giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Costco is a daunting task. That’s why everything should perform at its best. One of the examples is the release of Magento 2, being now the only version with official support. Merchants on M1 take Magento migration steps to ensure the store meets the recent requirements of a seamless shopping experience.
After purchasing the goods, clients expect the orders arrive as soon as possible. That’s where eCommerce shipping solutions can relieve the merchant’s stress of managing orders, shipments, and inventory. In this article, you’ll find a compilation of these software options and their comparison.
eCommerce Shipping Solution Overview
Shipping software is a tool to streamline shipping and order management. It synchronizes with your eCommerce platform and third parties like FedEx, DHL, etc., to replace manual tasks. The shipping software lets you perform the following functions:
- picking shipping providers;
- order tracking;
- addressing challenges during shipping;
- choosing different payment options and rates;
- to name a few.
Below is a visual representation of shipping software working principles, according to Canada Post, a postal service provider.
Suppose you want to give customers several shipping options:
- regular shipping to deliver an item within 5-7 business days;
- same-day, 2-day, overnight shipping for extra pay.
The software should display these variants on the website. When users insert the address, it should calculate the cost on the cart or checkout page. The price may also change depending on the weight or distance. As a plus, a solution may support international shipping providers and freight transportation by sea, air, or land.
You can also choose delivery options, such as:
- flat rate shipping with a fixed cost for similar items;
- free delivery upon reaching a preset amount to decrease cart abandonment.
Seven eCommerce Shipping Solutions for Faster Management
ShipStation is an eCommerce shipping platform for growing businesses. It caters to companies that aren’t ready for third-party logistics partners but need a solution to manage their self-fulfillment operations. Small companies usually don’t need warehousing. They send orders from their homes, garages, or rental units. ShipStation provides software to assist them in this process.
The solution has an intuitive interface and integrates with major eCommerce platforms. So if you operate a BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace, Wix, Magento, or other stores, you can count on ShipStation. The mobile app lets you plug in from a smartphone and handles shipping from anywhere.
ShipStation also has partnerships with carriers like USPS, UPS, and FedEx. They support delivery at a different rate and speed and provide discounts for ShipStation users. Check the UPS® Digital Access Program. You can save up to 86% off Daily Rates, 55% off UPS® Ground shipments, and 69% for UPS 2nd Day Air® and UPS Next Day Air® services on eligible packages.
The software can adapt to your branding. It can include your logo on shipping labels, direct customers to a branded page, send branded SMS notifications, and a returns portal. It also offers printing labels in bulk.
Pricing plans depend on the following factors:
- the number of monthly shipments;
- support channels;
- the number of users.
The price starts from $9.99 for 50 shipments and one user. The maximum price is $159.99 for 10,000 shipments and ten users. Unfortunately, there are no free plans. But you can test the software with a 30-day free trial.
Another eCommerce shipping solution under discussion is ShippingEasy. It’s a tool with a free starter plan. Startups roll out on the market and try to make a name among well-established competitors. It involves many upfront costs and obstacles to achieving success. So it’s very beneficial to get the software to streamline operations, reduce costs, and integrate with major platforms without the need to pay.
Apart from discounted rates and monthly shipments, it has critical integrations, carrier support, and tracking tools. A case in point is the marketing module. It assists in email marketing, feedback collection, and tracking key metrics.
As for shipping features, the tool automates shipping workflow by printing your labels, packing slips, and pick lists. You can find Amazon Seller Suite with unique offerings to enroll in the marketplace and the Fulfilled By Amazon program. Additionally, it provides Alexa for Shipping and Amazon Feedback Management to integrate with the store.
ShippingEasy is efficient in real-time tracking. It automatically sends information via branded emails to customers and your dashboard without waiting for your approval. The same applies to a returns process. The software facilitates creating a Return Center page on your website and delivers the terms of the returns to consumers.
This tool covers international shipping, although there are some limitations. The orders should come from the US. So if you’re a non-US company or the products aren’t stored there, you may need to switch to another service. ShippingEasy is for products starting the journey from the US. And if they cross the borders of this country, the tool generates customs forms and information to avoid any delays.
The bottom line is that ShippingEasy doesn’t provide fulfillment. It serves to track orders, print shipping documents, and find discounted courier rates. It will suit self-fulfillers, dropshippers, and those seeking direct integration with the FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) service.
Some features are available for free (for 25 shipments per month). More shipments and capabilities will cost you $29 to $159 monthly.
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Another efficient solution to automate shipping is Shippo. This software offers a free plan for starters so that you can manage orders without the pain of extra costs. Shippo works with 55+ courier services, including FedEx, UPS, DHL, USPS, etc. And their partnerships are marked with steep shipping discounts. It ensures shipping not just in your country but internationally.
You can connect the store to sales channels or platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, etc. And if your solution isn’t mentioned, you can contact the support service to specify its compatibility with Shippo.
Then, you can manage the orders, configure notifications, and print labels for shipping and returns. Everything will work without your intervention and for free. A free version is sufficient for most operations for one user, namely:
- working in a web app and connecting through APIs;
- picking from the best delivery rates and unlimited carrier accounts;
- accessing the email and live chat customer support.
But you’ll need to pay $0.05 per label, provided you don’t exceed 5,000 shipments a month. The professional plan with extended options begins at $10/month for 0-60 labels. It has a 30-day free trial, opens up automation and custom branding opportunities, and doesn’t require label fees.
4. Shopify Shipping
This software is available for Shopify users and offers the most lucrative discounts from carriers. To get this tool, you need a premium Shopify account. And here comes the major drawback of the software. It doesn’t integrate with other eCommerce platforms. On a positive note, the shipping solution comes for free, except for postage and label fees.
The interface is similar to the Shopify dashboard. It includes options for faster shipping management, such as:
- estimating shipping costs;
- obtaining the cheapest carrier rates
- bulk label printing.
These features are available for a Basic Shopify store.
The tool advantages are the discounts reaching 64% for USPS, UPS, and DHL. As a result, you can offer free or low-cost shipping to your clients without the fear of losing money. A more expensive Shopify package can bring you even better shipping charges (72-90% discounts). An Advanced Shopify plan can integrate with your shipping accounts. Here are the prices for Shopify:
- Basic plan: $29 monthly;
- Shopify plan: $79 monthly;
- Advanced plan: $299 monthly.
Ordoro is a powerful eCommerce shipping solution with advanced features. It provides more detailed reporting and analytics to unify eCommerce operations across sales channels. This tool aims at fast-growing businesses with the experience of being on the market. That’s why it costs more than other solutions.
Due to the complexity of analytics, the tool requires onboarding and training. Once you understand it, you can integrate it with the most popular eCommerce platforms. The software collaborates with multiple carriers, ensuring discounts to merchants.
Here is the list of other Ordoro benefits and features:
- automation rules;
- barcode scanning;
- shipping presets;
- customized workflows and integrations;
- supplier management;
- vendor portals;
- dedicated customer service specialists;
As for shipping options, you can choose one from USPS, Canada Post, FedEx, UPS, DHL, and Amazon SFP. The tool has these built-in methods:
- flat-rate shipping;
- quick shipping;
- light-weight shipping;
- international shipping.
Fulfillment isn’t on the list of Ordoro services. Nevertheless, it’s a popular option for dropshippers, integrating with fulfillment services, suppliers, and marketplaces.
The best part is that you can get some features for free. A free version supports 1,000 orders a month and is available for one user. Paid versions cost from $20/mo to $999/mo.
Another eCommerce shipping solution for large enterprises is ShipWorks. It comes as a cloud and hybrid on-premise solution. This tool enables you to handle high inventory volume, thousands of shipments every month, and warehouses. ShipWorks helps eCommerce retailers and warehouses manage expenses, increase productivity, ship intelligently, and automate procedures.
ShipWorks can connect with Magento, Prestashop, Shopify, and other platforms. There are around 100 integrations to process orders wherever you sell.
The software supports international shipping thanks to partnerships with many providers. They provide discounts to decrease your costs. Other capabilities to streamline shipping include:
- batch processing to print labels for multiple packages;
- scan to ship;
- intelligent order routing based on warehouse location, inventory, marketplace rules, and SKUs;
- customized automation to create shipping profiles, set preferences like package size and weight, and minimize errors.
Pricing plans justify why software aims at larger businesses rather than small companies. The costs vary from $349 per month to $799 for the same period. It’s quite a high price if you’re getting started. However, big corporations may find this solution perfect for their high-volume shipping.
ShipBob is a third-party logistics (3PL) solution for growing companies. It works in the US and more than 220 countries and territories, allowing customers to receive orders within two days. It operates international fulfillment centers in the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, and Europe.
How does ShipBob handle the difficulties of logistics? It determines the most cost-effective carrier and the closest fulfillment center, applies labels, and monitors inventory across multiple locations. The service partners (DHL, UPS, USPS, and FedEx) provide discounts for bulk shipments.
The software itself comes at no cost. You can connect it to your eCommerce store and manage orders, shipments, inventory, etc. The interface is user-friendly and won’t cause any problems for inexperienced users. ShipBob provides a straightforward onboarding procedure to introduce you to the system. It integrates with the most well-known eCommerce systems, including Shopify, Amazon, BigCommerce, Magento, etc.
Once you start using their fulfillment services, you need to pay. Shipping costs are tied to order parameters, i.e., width, height, length, and weight. You can pre-estimate the rates on their website:
The company also charges monthly for storing items:
- $5 per bin;
- $10 per shelf;
- $40 per pallet.
ShipBob offers free plain boxes. If you value personalization, you can create custom-branded packages. Note that it requires an extra payment. As you may notice, you can count on continuous customer support. ShipBob is an expert as a logistics provider and an excellent solution for fast-growing companies.
Shipping is the final box to tick in the eCommerce journey. It requires operating hundred of packages, checking the correct order goes to the right customer, and the item doesn’t disappear on its way. If something goes wrong, it may spoil the customer’s impression of the store. And this implies negative feedback, no repeated sales, and so on.
Don’t worry. eCommerce shipping solutions come to your aid. They organize the shipping process, reducing the fuss about delivery and return operations, especially during holidays. I’ve collected some popular eCommerce shipping software. Each varies by the pricing plans, the level of support, and available features.
FAQ | 7 Best eCommerce Shipping Solutions
What is an eCommerce shipping software?
It’s a solution for automating several processes, such as: real-time order tracking; packing; inventory management; discovering shipping-related issues; etc. It uses the recent technologies and APIs to integrate with eCommerce platforms, marketplaces, and delivery services. An online merchant doesn’t have to input everything manually. Instead, eCommerce shipping solutions perform these duties. They simplify daily operations and avoid customer frustration with erroneous orders, complex returns, and slow delivery.
Why does an online store need a shipping solution?
It will be harder for an online store to handle the growing number of orders without a shipping solution. This service also assists in storing, packing, picking, and postage. The company can quickly scale up, save money on hiring more employees, and deal with order spikes during holiday seasons.
What are the most popular shipping solutions?
The list of eCommerce shipping solutions may seem endless. We’ve covered only the tip of the iceberg, with the most widespread tools being: ShipBob; ShipStation; ShippingEasy; Shippo; Shopify; Ordoro; ShipWorks.
What features should an eCommerce shipping solution include?
When choosing the best shipping option, you need to compare its features. The most widespread features are as follows: support of major shipping carriers; real-time order tracking and email notifications; automated returns; the wide range of shipping options, including regular, same-day, overnight, and 2-day delivery; the ability to create shipping labels in bulk and customize them for your branding; various shipping rates to suit every pocket; compatibility with popular eCommerce platforms.
Kate Parish, chief marketing officer at Onilab, with 8+ years in Digital Marketing and eCommerce web development promotion. Kate constantly upgrades her knowledge and skillset to stay fit in the progressing online world. She always does exhaustive research in such spheres as SEO, branding, SMM, PPC, and Magento PWA development, before sharing her expertise with a wide audience.
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