Even though small and mid-sized businesses enjoy the online shopping boom, a good majority struggles to keep up with the increased fulfillment demands that come with growth. For this reason, a third party solution such as ShipStation could be the missing ingredient to streamline your shipping process.
After all, shipping is the key element where consumer expectations and the ecommerce experience converge.
We carried out an in-depth assessment of ShipStation’s crucial features as well as the pricing structure and overall suitability. So let’s take a closer look.
ShipStation Review: What is ShipStation?
ShipStation is a leading web-based shipping software that helps ecommerce stores to import and manage their orders. In addition, it integrates with popular ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, 3dcart, and Volusion just to mention a few.
Marketplaces integrations you'll likely find include Amazon, eBay, Jet.com, Walmart, Etsy among others. Apart from this, ShipStation also integrates with email marketing providers, sales channels and multiple mail carriers.
ShipStation Review: Ease of Use
When you log in to the test panel, you're directed to this page.
A brief tutorial video then shows you how to set up an account. From this point, you can connect the account to your preferred marketplaces and shopping carts.
ShipStation’s dashboard has five categories that provide information about insights, orders, shipments, products, and customers.
Similarly, in the top-right of the app, there is an icon tray with five icons. These include tools such as the Rate Calculator, Update All Orders, My Profile and Support. This makes it easy to process manual orders through the dashboard.
ShipStation Review: Key Features
Here are some of the best features that ShipStation has to offer.
This feature comes in handy to tailor the user interface to your liking. This option allows you to pick what you want to see and set it through the Display option. You also have the option to choose from various interface sizes and menus to set your default page.
ShipStation’s automation feature allows you to customize order fulfillment processes to save time and money on shipping. It makes use of automation rules which are actions you would like to apply to a set of orders.
Every rule starts with navigating to Settings and then click on the Automation Rules in your account. Here, go to Create a Rule and set the rules just like in these screenshots. For instance, if you wanted to choose a default international shipping setting, it would look like this.
Manage Multiple Carriers
You spend hours organizing, double-checking payments, printing labels and packing an order. Then, you drive miles to the post office for international shipment mailing.
Well, as your business grows, your order volume increases making the above process tiring.
ShipStation provides integrations with multiple carriers to save you from logistical nightmares. It helps you manage order fulfillment, print labels and track your packages.
You connect to your preferred carrier account and do all the business shipping directly from the app. Moreover, ShipStation supports both domestic and international shipping.
To print the USPS postage online, you need to create a USPS postage account with Stamps.com. ShipStation includes the Stamps.com account in your monthly subscription so you don’t incur extra costs. And the best part, ShipStation has negotiated for lower rates with USPS.
Other notable carriers that ShipStation easily integrates with include:
- Royal Mail
- Canada Post
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
ShipStation lets you import order data from over 40 sales channels. The software applies pre-configured shipping preferences to each order. This is based on specifications, customized packing slips and branded labels.
Therefore, you can import your orders directly from selected sales channels then add a carrier and instantly create shipping labels.
ShipStation then automatically updates each e-store with shipping status and tracking information. The one click Return Management feature automatically prints a return label for every package.
Apart from the carriers, ShipStation also integrates with a large number of marketplaces, shopping carts and ecommerce platforms. In case your platform doesn’t integrate, utilize the Custom Store Integration feature to import orders.
ShipStation’s reporting tools offers analytical features such as data exports, default reports, barcode scans, hotkey, charts and graphs. The report fields you’re likely to find here include:
- Order details
- Shipping costs
- Inventory reports
- Sales trends
- Product highlights
- Postage history
ShipStation Review: Customer Support
ShipStation offers email and community forum support. It also provides live chat support depending on the price package you choose. Besides this, other support avenues include how to videos, webinars, and the product feedback forum.
ShipStation offers 6 different pricing packages as a monthly subscription. All plans allow you to connect unlimited stores across all the shipping channels. It also lets you create branded labels and packing slips.
The 6 pricing plans include the Starter, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Enterprise plans. ShipStation offers a 30-day free trial if you feel like you want to try out the service first before you commit.
Here is the breakdown of what each plan offers.
- The Starter plan costs $9 per month and offers 50 shipments. It allows for shipments across all selling channels and serves only 1 user. The plan offers branded labels and packaging slips. In addition, it provides email and community forum support.
- Secondly, the Bronze plan costs $25 each month for 500 shipments across all selling channels. It serves one user and provides branded labels and packaging slips. Just like the Starter plan, the Bronze package offers email and community forum support.
- Thirdly, the Silver plan costs $45 per month for 1500 shipments across all selling channels. It serves 2 users and comes with customized packing slips as well as branded labels. For support, the Silver plan provides live chat along with email and community forums.
- The fourth plan is the Gold package which costs $65 per month for 3000 shipments. It serves 3 users and offers customized packing slips as well as branded labels. This plan also includes live chat, email and community forum support.
- The Platinum package costs $95 each month for 6000 shipments across all selling channels. It caters for 5 users and provides customized packing slips and branded labels. It also provides live chat, email and community forum support.
- Lastly, the Enterprise plan costs $145 for an unlimited number of shipments every month across various selling channels. This plan caters for 10 users making it an ideal option for large enterprises with a huge order volume.
Just like the other plans, the Enterprise package offers customized packing and branded labels. It also comes with live chat, email and community forums for customer support.
ShipStation Review: Who Should Consider Using ShipStation?
ShipStation proves to be an ideal shipping solution for an online business that just sends out a few orders each month to established brands handling thousands of packages.
It has an easy to use admin panel, it comes in handy when comparing shipping costs and you can also integrate it with many ecommerce platforms.
However, like with every software service, ShipStation has its own fair share of drawbacks. We noticed that the software wasn’t able to tell if a customer was the same person if they made purchases using different sales channels.
ShipStation also only supports shippers in the United States, Australia, Canada and United Kingdom at the time of writing this post.
ShipStation Review: Conclusion
Now that you have understood what ShipStation is all about as well as the good and the bad. It’s time to find the balance,
ShipStation duplicates the accounts of customers due to the lack of identification criteria in its profile. In spite of this, it works great when it comes to automating the shipping needs of a business. This helps you save two valuable business assets-time and money.
Bearing this in mind, I’d argue that e-stores could leverage on ShipStation to speed up processing. At the end of the day, online shoppers are after the shopping experience you provide not just the product. So efficient shipping counts.
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