If you’re starting an ecommerce store of your own, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of work associated with shipping and fulfillment.
You need to develop relationships with brands like FedEx and USPS, figure out how to manage orders from both Amazon and your Shopify store, and deliver excellent customer support too. On top of all that, there are shipping labels and packaging to consider.
Shippo and ShipStation are two well-renowned solutions for shipping management, based on the cloud. These tools go beyond the basics of standard shipping services, to give you everything you need for a successful business.
Overall Review: Your Guide to Shippo
Shippo is a convenient software as a service (SaaS) platform that simplifies how people handle the order fulfillment process in business.
Founded in 2013, the service has driven excellent results for more than 35,000 ecommerce merchants, all of which continue to leverage it’s shipping management features. Shippo focuses exclusively on ecommerce retailers, and the products they sell in the digital marketplace. A flexible API means that you can embed the Shippo experience into your online store.
Shippo helps companies with shipping rates, inventory management, and even developing relationships with companies like DHL. By forming a solid connection between your company and your shipping processes, Shippo streamlines fulfillment. Shippo keeps track of your inventory and customer orders once you connected it to your site.
When you’re finished, Shippo relays all of your order information to your ecommerce database. This ensures your small business can keep track of customer requests.
Unlike some of the other shipping software solutions on the market, Shippo covers a lot more than just the US. The company extends globally, shipping conveniently to virtually every country worldwide. Major features of Shippo include:
- White-label or branded shipping
- 99.9% uptime SLA
- Complete maintained documentation
- Pay to ship and free to use
- API calls to sync to your dashboard in real-time
- Access to carrier accounts or Shippo accounts
- Popular code libraries
- International shipping support
Shippo is missing a few features in certain places that might make it less compelling to some small business owners. However, it’s much easier to manage your shipping and handling processes with Shippo than it is to do everything your own. Additionally, many people agree that Shippo is one of the cheaper options on the market, supporting more than 35,000 users.
The Pros and Cons of Using Shippo Order Fulfillment
Shippo is a pretty impressive tool for order fulfillment and inventory management. Like most leading fulfillment solutions, this service comes with a host of excellent feature for any small business. You can use Shippo to enhance and automate various parts of your fulfillment process. Additionally, alongside low shipping costs, Shippo makes shipping easier with a convenient and easy-to-use backend.
- Free trial available for beginners
- Flexible pricing in a range of packages
- Discounted carrier rates
- Excellent back-end environment
- Easy to use components
- Lots of flexibility and integrations
- Convenient best-in-class technology
- Limited customer service support
- Basic security features
- Issues with billing
- Discounts could be lower
Shippo Order Fulfillment: Pros
When it comes to serving your business needs, Shippo makes it quick and easy to automate various aspects of your company. You can handle everything from eBay and Etsy orders, to Magento conversions in the same place. Shippo has a lot of benefits to consider.
With various pricing models to choose from, it’s easier to find a solution hat works for you. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Shippo interface is very straightforward, making it a good choice for beginners who don’t know much about coding and websites.
Let’s explore some of the major benefits of Shippo in more depth.
1. It’s easy to use
Shippo is suitable for people shipping between 50 and 5,000 orders per month, making it great for smaller companies and beginners. In terms of ease of use, there are various ways to test what Shippo can do. You can add the PAYG plan to your ecommerce software, or experiment with the free trial. You’ll discover that Shippo is very easy to use, with basic features and a streamlined layout that doesn’t require much of a learning curve.
2. Flexible integrations
Integrations with Shippo are available on an unlimited basis. The company integrates with more than 50 shipping carriers, ERPs, inventory management software solutions, ecommerce platforms, and marketplaces. You can easily connect Shippo with your Etsy, Amazon, BigCommerce, Weebly, Shopify, or Squarespace store.
3. Convenient pricing model
One of the best things about Shippo is that it provides users with various pricing models to choose from. The right choice for you will depend on the number of shipments you mage each month. Aside from various premium packages, Shippo also offers a pay-as-you-go plan at $0.05 per shipping label. Integrating with the technology you already use makes updating your day-to-day operations easier.
4. Best-in-class tech
Shippo is fantastic because it doesn’t limit itself to offering a single store for each user. If you’re a seller with an omnichannel presence, you’ll have the added benefit of being able to coordinate your order fulfillment strategy across every store from the same platform. You can integrate your marketplace accounts here too.
Shippo even tracks all of the essential order information and data from each transaction. This means that you can calculate an expected time of arrival for a package.
Shippo Order Fulfillment: The Cons
There are a lot of areas where Shippo performs relatively well. This software seems to eb an ideal option for people shipping between 50 and 5,000 orders every month. However, if you’re selling fewer products, you may consider taking advantage of some of the free plans offered by external companies like ShippingEasy.
While Shippo is a good choice for integrations, ease of use, and general flexibility in functionality and pricing, it can struggle in other areas. Here are some of the biggest issues we had with Shippo.
1. Limited customer support
If you need help with things like shopping carts, shipment tracking, or packing slips, you need to know where you can turn for guidance. Unfortunately, Shippo doesn’t have the best support center available. The company has a resource centre where you can access information like informative articles and FAQs or tutorials. Unfortunately, Shippo agents aren’t available to answer your questions as often as you might like.
2. Billing issues
A lot of order management and fulfillment companies can struggle with the occasional technical issue, this is particularly common with billing issues and shipping labels. Some users with Shippo say that they have encountered unexpected changes on their shipping labels, and difficulties getting returns when post and packages are cancelled.
3. Basic security features
Shippo does offer the basics when it comes to security and privacy for your business, but that’s as far as the company will grow. You’re not going to have any advanced options, like the ability to set user permissions for different accounts. This means that anyone accessing Shippo will have the same permissions. There’s also not a lot of information on the Shippo website about the privacy strategies in play.
4. Not the best discounts
Shippo does have a relatively good pricing structure, particularly if you’re a fan of the Pay as You Go option for buying only what you need. However, the discounts from Shippo could be lower. Some users report that the discounted rates are fine – but they’re not as low as the ones available from some competitors. It may be worth shopping around before you sign up.
Shippo: The Verdict
If you want a shipping and order fulfillment solution that’s convenient, easy to use, and great for small to mid-sized businesses, then Shippo could be a good choice. The state of the art technology provided by this company, combined with its flexible approach to pricing, makes it a great solution for companies that want to grow as rapidly as possible.
Shippo’s simple user interface and excellent usability result in software that’s perfect for merchants that don’t have a lot of technical experience. Unfortunately, this product won’t be right for everyone. As mentioned above, the security features are only basic, which could be a problem for a company that’s working in a highly regulated industry.
While the discounts are good and the pricing structure is flexible, there are still opportunities where you could potentially save more money with other providers. It’s also worth noting that Shippo customers do occasionally report issues with billing statements and mistakes.
The biggest problem that customers have with Shippo, however, is it’s limited approach to customer support. While you can find a lot of the answers to your questions using the FAQ and documentation available, you’re going to need actual human support at times. Unfortunately, Shippo isn’t always around to assist you with your concerns.
Overall Review: Your Guide to ShipStation
ShipStation is a shipping and order fulfillment service that’s very similar to Shippo. The web-based platform integrates perfectly with shopping carts, ecommerce platforms, shipping carriers, and a host of other valuable sales channels too.
Founded by Bryon Wier and Jason Hodges in 2011, ShipStation has grown to be one of the most valuable shipping software solutions around. The multi-carrier web-based service streamlines the fulfillment process, with various features that assist in automating and processing orders from the most popular shopping carts and sales channels.
One of the things that makes ShipStation so compelling is the fact that you can import data from numerous sources on the web at the same time. That means that you can sync your order fulfillment strategies if you’re selling on Amazon, Facebook, and your own website.
ShipStation is an all-in-one service for order fulfillment, it helps with embedding a variety of digital selling platforms, comparing company shipping rates, and facilitating self-service for customers too. You can also access various advanced features like geo-tracking for your deliveries.
Some of the key features of ShipStation include:
- Order management
- Integrations with over 70 platforms
- CSV uploading and APIs
- Delivery management
- Label creation
- Inventory management
- Inventory alerts
- Custom reports
Like Shippo, ShipStation takes a flexible approach to order fulfillment solutions with multiple pricing plans to choose from. Your price is based on the number of shipments you send per month, and the appropriate number of user accounts required by the business.
The Pros and Cons of Using ShipStation
ShipStation is one of the most attractive leading tools for fulfillment on the marketplace today. The web-based shipping solution helps companies of all sizes to streamline and simplify their shipping strategy. This software also benefits from a wide selection of powerful integrations that make it easier to keep track of your entire business.
Of course, there are downsides to using ShipStation too. For instance, the company seems to struggle significantly with customer support. If you’re on a cheaper plan, your options for customer service are immediately limited. Even if you’re paying a little more, it’s hard to get a quick response to questions.
- Great range of customization options
- International shipping available
- Lots of marketplace integrations
- Easy to use and intuitive back-end with automated features
- Not the best customer service
- Some integrations don’t work as well as others
- Technical issues are common
ShipStation Review: The Pros
Just as we explore the pros and cons of Shippo in greater detail, it’s a good idea to check out the ups and downs of ShipStation too. The first thing you need to know is that ShipStation is excellent at things like customization and integrations, making it a great choice for companies that want to make the most of their software.
The intuitive back-end and focus on ease-of-use is another positive bonus. Let’s take a closer look at what you can do with ShipStation.
1. Very customizable
Similar to Shippo, ShipStation is excellent for customization, as it can import information for your orders from a huge variety of sales channels – more than 40, in fact. According to user reviews, ShipStation is great for lifting data from package labels, and giving you the freedom to adjust your shipping strategy however you choose.
There’s also plenty of integrations with leading shipping solutions, such as the Canada post and beyond, so you can get a great ecommerce shipping experience for your audience.
2. International presence
Some fulfillment services make it harder for larger businesses to get started, because they only focus on one area. However, this isn’t a problem for ShipStation. You have the freedom to Ship with everyone from FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) to the Royal mail, in countries around the world.
As your business starts to grow and you want to branch out to new locations, you’ll have a ton of domestic choices, and international options to consider.
3. Lots of marketplace integrations
Customers love ShipStation for more than just flat rate shipping and custom return labels. You can also integrate this tool with a host of extra solutions. Integrations are available for ecommerce platforms, customer relationship management, and inventory management tools, among other things.
Just some of the integrations available include Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, Walmart, Weebly, and OpenCart.
4. Ease of use with automation
ShipStation can even do a lot of the hard work of order fulfillment for you, by allowing you to automate various processes. You can ask your system to automatically analyze customer preferences to boost your chances of future sales. Or you can set filters that determine how the system will act when a certain action takes place.
You can send automatic alerts to your email, or to the email addresses of your team. Plus, to keep fulfillment costs low, you can compare the real-time rates of your carriers too.
ShipStation Review: The Cons
Unfortunately, there are some limitations to ShipStation that are worth considering too. When you’re comparing ShipStation and Shippo, you’ll need to consider all of the elements of these tools carefully, from the customer service you can access, to the integrations with tools for webinars and even stamps.com.
Here are some downsides of using ShipStation.
1. Poor customer service
None of the channels available for customer service from ShipStation are 24/7. Instead, the company offers agents in different countries for a specific period of time, between 8am and 6pm. Unfortunately, you can only access phone support if you’re on a higher-paid plan.
Many customers also find that the technical support is difficult to use, and that they don’t always get the best answers to their questions.
2. Integration issues
When you have a solution with a lot of integration options like ShipStation, there’s always a risk that some integrations won’t work as well as they should. Some companies haven’t made their integrations as immersive as they should be, and there can sometimes be errors in the information transferred to the ShipStation system too.
If you do have a problem with an integration, then getting support from customer service is a problem.
3. Technical issues can happen regularly
Although all companies can struggle with technical issues at times, ShipStation seems to have a significant problem with this. There are a lot of negative reviews out there indicating that technical difficulties with things like slow software, bugs, and downtime are common.
Technical difficulties are a huge issue when you can’t rely on customer service to get things up and running again as fast as possible.
ShipStation Reviews: The Verdict
ShipStation is a service that works well, with lots of solid features. It seems like the software goes through a lot of rigorous testing – although it still suffers from bugs from time to time. However, if you run a small or mid-sized business, and you want a solution with multi-carrier access, then ShipStation could be a great choice for you.
ShipStation has a lot of excellent features to offer. There are more integrations to offer here than you get with Shippo, and you get a wider selection of advanced features.
However, this also means that it takes a little longer to get to know ShipStation and figure out how everything works. However, once you get over the learning curve, you can take advantage of a lot of powerful tools for sensational order fulfillment.
Shippo vs ShipStation: The Best Value for Money
Overall, we’d recommend Shippo as the more user-friendly product for customers that need a little help getting started with order fulfillment. It’s an excellent tool that’s easy to use and packed with great features. There’s also a free trial available, and a flexible pricing model that makes it easier to keep track of your budget.
Shippo earns extra points with pricing too. Shippo pricing might not be as diverse as the options you get with ShipStation. However, the pay as you go plan makes it much easier for smaller companies to access shipping methods that don’t break the bank.
On the other hand, ShipStation might be a better choice for larger companies. When it comes to serving shippers with an international presence, ShipStation has you covered. There are a lot of advanced features to discover, and powerful integrations to make your life a lot easier.
ShipStation can automate some of the operations in your service based on custom automation rules too. In our opinion. Shippo is likely to be the produce you choose when you’re first getting started. ShipStation is where you’ll go when it’s time to upgrade.