Why is shipping difficult?
Shipping becomes more difficult the more your business grows. A good problem to have? Of course! It means that the orders are pouring in and business is booming. But eventually you’ll need a hand with tracking orders, printing shipping and return labels, and making sure you get the best shipping rates. Luckily there are a variety of online apps available to help you manage the process.
What to look for when considering a shipping app
When you’re thinking about what app is best for your business, consider your current process and ask yourself, what’s missing or what can be improved? If you don’t have a shipping process yet, then finding a shipping app will definately help you lock down the process. Here are the 3 main things to consider when evaluating a shipping app:
Features and Services – What key features and services do they offer? Since there are a few shipping apps that offer the same basic features (postage and label printing), watch out for that standout feature that your business can benefit from.
Compatibility – Are there other platforms you already use for e-commerce, inventory or accounting? If so, there might be a shipping app that integrates with it! What is the volume of your shipping? If you are just getting started, you probably won’t need a service that caters to enterprise-tiered shipping.
Cost – Most apps offer a free trial, and this is a great way to try out the service and see if it’s the right fit. Consider the way you are billed – if you know you ship seasonally, then you might want to consider a plan where you can pay as you go or pay per package, instead of using a service with a monthly charge.
Top 5 Shipping Apps
You might find that at the very least, most apps will print labels and track shipping. Here’s a quick summary of the top 5 apps we have chosen and their features to help you choose one that works for your business.
If you are located in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York or Chicago, Shyp will actually pick up your items and do the packaging for you — in addition to printing labels and tracking packages. It’s a great service if you don’t have packing materials yourself. Shyp offers scalable solutions, from individual to business and enterprise rates. You can manage orders with their online dashboard and they are integrated with Shopify and eBay, and offer shipping options from major carriers.
Cost: Shyp has no monthly fee and the cost is based on services and volume of your shipments. Discounts are offered the more packages you ship. Pay-as-you-go is a great feature if your business is seasonal and you don’t expect to be shipping throughout the year. You can use the estimator on their site to get an idea of shipping costs with Shyp.
ShipStation is a well-rounded shipping app that lets you import your orders, manage inventory and print shipping labels in bulk. You can also automatically print return labels, generate picking and packing slips that you can customize with your branding and send your buyers a branded tracking page. ShipStation is integrated with multipe channels and you can mix and match major shipping carriers. They have a mobile app so you can track and manage shipments on the go and have a community forum for support and continued learning.
Cost: ShipStation offers a 30-day free trial. After that the Starter tier is $9/month and goes all the way to Enterprise at $145/month (with four more tiers in between).
Shippo is a great “no strings attached” app if you are just looking for shipping features. You can sync your orders from multiple channels and manage orders on the online dashboard. Choose your carriers, print labels and you’re good to go! They offer shipping from a wide selection of carriers, both domestic and global and integrate with e-commerce platforms like Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce, GoDaddy and Weebly.
Cost: Signing up with Shippo is free, and you pay the cost of shipping + $0.05 per package. If you are looking into an enterprise solution, you can contact their sales.
In addition to shipping functions, ShippingEasy offers a customer management feature which allows you to collect data from your customers in order to segment and send them targeted marketing emails. It also has tools to better provide customer service across channels so you can answer questions and resolve issues. ShippingEasy’s Inventory management also lets you update stock numbers across multiple sales channels.
Cost: ShippingEasy has a freemium starter account and offer a free trial. After that you can choose a tier from Basic $29/month all the way to Enterprise at $149/month.
Not just a shipping app, Ordoro offers several advanced features, Ordoro offers multi-channel inventory management if you want to integrate all your sales channels, kitting or bundling capabilities if want to group items on one shipment from one or more warehouses, drop shipping, automation and advanced analytics to understand efficiency and overall performance.
Cost: Ordoro has a Starter freemium account, but they also offers a free trial of all their price tiers so you can try out all the features. The Basic price tiers run from $25/month to $129/month and the Pro tiers run from $199/month to $499/month, with custom Enterprise rates available.
Bonus: Quick and Simple
Stamps.com – Are you using USPS? You can can get discounted rates and print your own postage and shipping labels at home.
Aftership – Got the shipping process down, but just want to let your customers know where their packages are? Aftership sends customers automatic delivery status updates.
Buyers Love Shipping Updates
Providing a good buying experience is a must (you want them to come back after all), and part of that experience is sending your buyers updates about their order status. By using an online platform like Brandboom and handling your orders online, it’s easy to email your buyer a notification every time there’s progress on their order, including when it’s shipped!
Not only that, collecting your orders on Brandboom helps you keep track of inventory, whether you’re taking orders for available stock or pre-orders. Once your orders are ready to go you can export your orders and go straight into the shipping process.