ShipStation.com is shipping software for e-commerce retailers. It’s the type of software which makes your life easier, especially when you need to send a lot of parcels.
I ended up using ShipStation to aid my Magento e-commerce store delivers. However, ShipStation works with all types of online commerce platform. Amazon, eBay, and Shopify are popular platforms integrated with the software.
ShipStation prints delivery notes and other delivery labels for FedEx, DHL, UPS and for the United States Postal Service. However, these are just some examples that are most-commonly use. But a friend of mine selling hand-made goods on Etsy also uses the software.
But why would you use ShipStation yourself? There are a few shipping plugins on WordPress, Magento, and Shopify. However, none of them off real-time cost estimates. Practically, this feature allows you to save money and still deliver the parcel in time to your customer’s address.
Top Shipstation Features
There are a few features that retailers feel positive about with the software. However, here’s why I think the software simplifies the daily life of an online seller.
As I said before, I mainly started selling on my Magento store. However, I’ve diversified sales channels considerably since then. In order to reach more customers, I’ve begun selling on Amazon. eBay and Etsy followed soon.
This is the time when I started applying automatic shipping label creation to my orders. At this moment, I wasn’t wasting time logging in to my store and 3 other online platforms just to ship labels. This means that instead of spending 4 minutes with these labels, I was now spending 1 minute with all channels. In time, this leads to considerably better efficiency.
Within order management, there are a few tools that make my life easier. For example, I can combine orders which go out to the same customer. An automated email is sent out to the client when this happens.
Tag filters such as those for certain cities help a lot. For example, I only ship out to Alaska once every 10 days. My website has such a filter which groups these orders for when the shipping days come.
Printing shipping documents is all made with a few clicks. I use shipping options to generate international shipping documents. In most countries, I need to print custom declarations. These declarations attest to the contents of the parcel. This declaration is automatically printed by ShipStation.
All labels can be sent out directly to the printer. The labels are printed in real-time. In the beginning, I was printing these labels on a regular office printer. Since then, I’ve improved this process as well. I now use a label printer that works with ShipStation.
A communication process with customers is also in place here. Customers receive an email link they can access to check delivery status. Whenever the parcel is picked up by the carrier, there’s an automated status update. This link remains life until the parcel is delivered.
In the beginning, I was skeptical about the universal appeal of the ShipStation for branding purposes.
I was thinking customers get the same generic shipping labels and there’s no room for me to do branding such as adding my company logo.
However, I was wrong. If you’re also worried about branding, you need to know ShipStation has a few branding opportunities even beyond the label itself.
You can, of course, print your own logo and company information on the shipping label. But you can also create a custom tracking page that has your brand on it. Additionally, you can also brand your confirmation emails.
My advice is to have a professional approach to these branding options. You need the type of visual identity which is consistent across all platforms. It’s what makes you look more professional.
Managing inventory and stock levels is crucial. I’m a seller on Amazon and the platform always requires me to have certain stock on my products. But managing stock across multiple selling channels used to be very difficult.
I had a large notebook where I added each sale which I then went back to my online store to update. I then had to always pay attention not to sell products that I didn’t actually have on other platforms.
But this process is unified by ShipStation.com. Here, the software combines the stock information from all platforms.
Furthermore, I set stock alerts on most of my products. Items selling on Amazon are set to 100 stock alerts at a minimum for me. Otherwise, stock level alerts can be set to different inventory levels for various products.
There are 6 pricing plans on ShipStation.
Starter Pack at $9 per Month
This is the most affordable pack the software offer. I’d recommend it to someone just starting out. Up to 50 shipments per month are supported by this plan.
This plan is limited to 1 user only.
Bronze Pack at $29 per Month
500 monthly shipments per month are supported in this plan. It’s a considerable step up from the entry-level plan. Only 1 user is supported when you select this plan.
Silver Pack at $49 per Month
1,500 shipments are supported by the Silver plan. It’s the first plan which starts to support 2 users. If you’re working with a friend, you can start with this plan.
Gold Pack at $69 per Month
If you choose this plan, you can ship up to 3,000 parcels per month. At this moment, you already have a serious business on your hands. As a result, ShipStation also offers support for up to 3 users on the plan.
Platinum Pack at $99 per Month
Up to 6,000 monthly shipments are supported by this option. 5 users can access the software when you choose the plan.
Enterprise at $159 per Month
Up to 10,000 monthly shipments are supported in the ultimate plan. 10 users have access to the software. Live chat functions are also enabled in this plan.
My Integration Story
The story of my online business was typical to anyone starting out. In the beginning, writing shipping labels by hand wasn’t complicated. However, once the orders started coming in, it was a clear sign I need to think about automation.
You should also plan how you’re going to scale shipments regardless of your sales platform.
All of the plans above can be updated at any time. If your business starts to get off the ground quickly, you have the option to print more labels as you start to earn more.
The beginning of any online business is often the hardest period in its life. Until you get all processes in place, you’ll encounter struggles, you’ll lose time and even customers when orders are not dispatched on time. You might even lose them whole the parcel is delayed for reasons which are not in your control.
This is where the automated shipping documents printing, as well as the automated email updates, help you save time and even help keep customers happy. Alongside these benefits, ShipStation integrates multiple sales channels.
If you’re at the beginning stages of your online sales efforts, feel free to go to ShipStation.com to check out the software today. You can sign-up for the free 30-day trial to test things out on your own.