As your business grows, shipping often becomes more complex. It’s a great problem to have, because it means orders are pouring in. But as your business grows, it’s critical to streamline your shipping process and make sure you’re getting the best shipping rates.

There’s a wide variety of shipping apps, so how do you choose? We break down what to look for and give you our top five recommendations.

What to look for in a shipping app

Features and Services: What key features and services could your business benefit from? Most shipping apps will offer the basics, like label printing, so look for apps that offer extra features that help your business. For example, do they offer discounts on standard shipping fees? If you ship globally, do they offer extra features for global shipping?

It’s also important to think about what you really need. If you’re just getting started or don’t have a high volume, you won’t need an expensive suite of shipping tools or a mid-tier or enterprise-tier plan.

Compatibility: Does the shipping app integrate with your e-commerce or sales platforms? If your  software is integrated, it streamlines your process and saves you time and aggravation. Some platforms will allow you to do everything in one place, from receiving the purchase order, to printing the shipping label, to end-to-end tracking.

Cost: Which shipping apps have plans within your budget? If the shipping app is integrated with a sales platform, is the shipping app included, or is there an additional charge? If the shipping app is separate, do they offer a free trial?

Also, consider their billing options. If you only ship seasonally, you’ll want to consider a free plan or a plan with the option to pay per package or pay as you go.

Top 5 Shipping Apps

To help get you started, we’ve compiled a list of our five favorite shipping apps.* We’ve categorized them by their unique benefits so you can find the best fit for your business.

*Note: Plan fees do not include the cost of packaging and slips.

Most Streamlined Workflow & Affordable:  flowSHIP

flowSHIP is the best affordable option, as it is a free integration within Brandboom’s wholesale sales and order management platform. With flowSHIP, you can print labels, ship packages, and do end-to-end tracking.

Shipping is done through UPS, with a 30-40% discount on standard rates for UPS ground, next day air, and 2nd day air shipping.

Besides the affordability, the main benefit of flowSHIP is its seamless integration with Brandboom. Brandboom is a leading wholesale platform that provides customizable cloud-based line sheets and lookbooks, order management tools, invoicing, analytics, and now, shipping! You can complete orders, from purchase order to delivery, without ever leaving the platform. 

Brandboom integrates with ApparelMagic, Shopify, 3PLs, and has an open API for an even more streamlined process.

Cost: flowSHIP comes free with any Brandboom plan; there are no additional costs.

Brandboom has three plans based on your needs. The free plan offers line sheet and lookbook creation, order management, inventory tracking, and invoicing.

For $79/month, the Startup plan also includes analytics, barcode scanning, and more.

For $149/month, the Business plan includes more invoicing features, unlimited products, unlimited brands, and access to Brandboom’s open API.

For a limited time, ship with flowSHIP and get our Startup and Business plans, free! Ship 50 parcels for 1 free month on Startup and 100 parcels for 1 free month on Business. Click here for more details.

Best Mid-Range Apps

ShipStation

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 and create branded packing slips and tracking pages.

They have a mobile app to track and manage your shipments. And they have integrations with multiple order sources and shipping carriers, but they do charge separately for their platform.

Cost: ShipStation offers a 30-day free trial. After that, you’ll be billed monthly. The cheapest plan is their Starter tier. For $9/month, you can have one user and 50 shipments per month.

The tiers increase from there, ending with their Enterprise tier. For $159/month, you can have 10 users and 10,000 shipments per month. 

Shippo

Shippo makes it easy connect to your own carrier and compare carrier rates with other providers. Once you choose your carrier, just print the labels, and you’re good to go. Once your packages ship, Shippo sends tracking and delivery notifications to you and your customers. It can also generate return labels. You can also sync your orders from multiple channels including Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and more.

Cost: Shippo offers three plans. The Starter plan has limited features, but is free as long as you use Shippo’s default carriers. If using your own connected carrier account, you’ll pay an additional $0.05 per package. 

For those with higher shipping demands, the Professional tier has plans starting from $10/month for 60 labels all the way up to $200/month for up to 10,000 labels. This plan comes with five user accounts, branded customer experience, and automations.

If you are looking for an enterprise solution, you can contact their sales team.

Most Advanced Shipping Suite: Ordoro

Ordoro is a great option for businesses that are looking for a full-suite of advanced features. Beyond label printing and tracking, Ordoro also offers branded labels, a barcode scanner modal for the pick and pack process, customer notes, automation options, analytics, multi-channel and multi-inventory sync, dropshipping options, and more.

Cost: Ordoro has three plan options. Express, their most affordable option, has a 15-day free trial. After the free trial, prices start at $59/month. This plan includes automation options, barcode scanning, shipping presets, and discounted USPS rates.

The Pro plan starts at $499/month. With this plan, you also gain access to creating return labels, inventory tracking, dropshipping options, and supply management options.

They also offer Enterprise plan options beginning at $999/month.

Best Global Shipping Features: Easyship

Easyship prioritizes global shipping options. They integrate with many international couriers and will even calculate your tax and duty costs and prepare your customs paperwork for you. You also gain access to their global network of 3PL partners.

Other features include the option to show couriers and delivery times at checkout, create branded shipment pages and emails, schedule pickups, monitor finances, and integrate with e-commerce platforms. The list of platforms includes Amazon, BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, and more.

Cost: They have three plans, as well as the option to contact them about an Enterprise plan.

Their free plan allows 100 shipments and one user. However, it has some feature restrictions.

Their Plus plan ($29/month) and Premier plan ($49/month) both offer 30-day free trials and increase the number of shipments and users you can have. Either plan will get you access to branded tracking and auto order sync. The Premier plan also includes multi-box shipments and progenerated return labels.

The Perfect Shipping App

As your small business grows, it’s tempting to continue focusing on sales and neglect the shipping process. But it’s worth investing time to closely compare features, compatibility, and cost. Using a great shipping app, especially one that integrates with your current systems, will make operations much easier while simultaneously increasing customer satisfaction. Interested in learning more about how Brandboom can be your one-stop-shop from lookbook to delivery? Click here to learn more about Brandboom and here to learn more about our free flowSHIP shipping app.