Do you find order fulfillment as the most twisted and wearisome part of your online business? You're not alone. I seem to find it quite sticky as well. Well, Shippo might help you bypass all the future pitfalls.
No matter how weighty the shipping demands are, a merchant needs a pristine solution to work with. More precisely, one which automates nearly each fulfillment process.
And to gain traction over your competitors, it takes more than just making your online store go live. You need an easy, fast, and reliable shipping software you can trust.
The logistics part of your online business ought to be at the forefront. That being said, you acquaint yourself with all the requisite strategies. This guide puts you on the radar as regards to Shippo's functionalities. It puts more scrutiny on Shippo’s pricing, integrations, package, tracking, and much more.
So let's get started.
Shippo Review: Brief Overview
To all intents and purposes, Shippo is a cloud-based shipping solution that is, of course, more inclined to e-commerce businesses. To put it into context, that's to say, you only need to have active internet and your computer to utilize its features. It markets itself as a multi-carrier solution that has the potential to fulfill orders globally.
This means that a merchant can easily compare the rates from each carrier solution. Just so you know, Shippo doesn't integrate with carrier companies that are below the usual standard. To enhance the value of service delivery and customer satisfaction, Shippo works with big carrier partners such as:
That's just a list of the preeminent ones.
Shippo makes premium shipping quite viable since it offers ‘next day delivery‘ services to all its users.
This logistics service is pretty compatible with your online store's fulfillment needs. As far as integrations are concerned, Shippo swings into action in such a prolific way.
For the most part, Shippo maintains a high standard of functionality by faultlessly syncing with your shopping cart. This is just a sketch, or rather, a blueprint of how Shippo operates.
Let's move on to what matters most.
Shippo Review: Basic Features
Integrations & Add-ons
This is the most exciting part. I must say. Just like other exceptional fulfillment companies, Shippo integrates with almost all shopping cart solutions.
To be precise, it connects to these 3rd party sales channels:
And if you’re using feature-rich website builders, such as Weebly or GoDaddy, you can easily use Shippo right out of the box as it natively integrates with them.
Besides the earlier mentioned carriers, Shippo connects to DHL Express, Canada Post, and more than 55 other carriers. As you know, these are pretty fast shipping solutions to place reliance on. This order fulfillment service gives you access to its stunning features if you have a seller account on one of these marketplaces:
Practically speaking, if Amazon's FBA services are a bit too pricey, Shippo steps in with cost-effective plans. Speaking of which, we'll give an in-depth analysis of Shippo's pricing formula in just a moment.
Curious how order fulfillment works inside Shippo? Read on.
Step #1 Integrate your sales channels
Whether you sell on e-commerce platforms or marketplaces (see above), you can easily connect them to Shippo. Once you do that, all existing, unfulfilled online orders will move to Shippo and new orders start going into Shippo automatically.
If, for some reason, you don’t have an online store, you don’t see your shopping cart as an integration option, you generate orders from your brick-and-mortar shop, or any other way, simply create a CSV file with your orders. Before you upload that file, you’d need to make sure your columns match the fields Shippo is importing. What’s great about it, Shippo remembers the column names and next time, you won’t need to go through column creation process again.
Step #2 Connect carriers
Connect to carriers that you want your orders to be fulfilled with. Depending on what you are shipping, where you are shipping to, and where you are located, you have 55+ global carriers at your fingertips to choose from. And if you want, you can connect to multiple carriers.
Step #3 Shipping a package
- Before shipping a package, you need to print a label. For that, you need to have the address you’re shipping from and shipping to, enter package dimensions (height and length) and weight, and choose the printer you use to print labels from and the format.
- Choose your delivery option by looking at the carrier's rates. If you connected multiple carriers, you can see different price points from all your connected carriers in real time. From there, you can choose a carrier you want to ship your orders with.
- Print your labels and manifest.
And this is how it works in a nutshell. The whole process seems easy and fast. Of course, there are many more features you can take advantage of. For example, if you’re shipping with USPS or DHL Express, you can easily choose a pick up date so you don’t have to go to the Post Office. How cool is that?
Inventory Management Integrations
As part of its partnership program, Shippo works closely with a couple of inventory management companies. They offer a multichannel solution that allows a merchant to manage their sales orders, stock levels, and process shipping. You can carry out all these tasks under one roof. Therefore, Shippo integrates with the following inventory management platforms:
- Freestyle Solutions
- Orange Manager
But that's not all.
Ever heard of partial fulfillment?
Well, this is an amazing feature you really want to try out with your prospective transactions. A practical scenario to put this functionality to good use is when you have some backorders. If that phrase sounds strange to you, let me put it in basic English words.
More often than not, customers might place orders for products that are probably out of stock. Does that sound familiar now? I'll presume so. So this is where partial fulfillment, technically comes in.
This incredible shipping software allows you to split such orders into several shipments. The same transaction will definitely reflect in your inventory. As a result, you can source the same orders from different warehouses without any hurdles.
Most importantly, Shippo supports multiple staff accounts. As the administrator, you can delegate some tasks whenever you feel overburdened. A shared Shippo account allows you to work with your team in the most phenomenal way.
A lot of online retailers like to keep tabs on how much they spend on shipping, how many labels they print, and what is their average price per package. If you’re one of those merchants, you’re in luck. All of this info is available inside Shippo.
Strikingly, Shippo goes an extra mile to let the user make adjustments on the tracking page. For instance, you can include your store's logo to make the entire logistics process look a little more professional.
The same goes for all the email notifications. You can attach your brand on each subject line.
Moreover, it saves time by creating a template for specific orders, that makes the merchant’s job a whole lot easier to fulfill the same type of orders in the future. Package Templates, for example, eliminate the need to type package dimensions every time the order comes in.
Without a doubt, this is a thoughtful strategy to build customers' confidence in your brand by a significant margin. Going by what Shippo has in store, it's only fair to give credit to its instructive customer relationship management process.
So what's the perk here?
In a staggering and all-embracing way, Shippo facilitates your online store's capacity to have a global outreach. In the presence of stringent guidelines which regulate international shipping, this solution does all the customs procedures on your behalf. So you don't need to panic about any possible compliance mishaps whatsoever.
The cloud-based technology allows you to have paperless transactions in almost every process you might need to carry out. For instance, you don't necessarily need to print out commercial invoices anymore.
Build Customer Loyalty
How else would you maintain a fruitful, returning customer base?
Shippo might have the solution you need to bank on more shoppers. One of the things they do is allowing you to create return labels for each package. For those who are unfamiliar with this process, a return label is a label that allows the customer to return bought goods to the merchant in a convenient manner in case of any prevalent issues. Some carriers offer prepaid return labels and Shippo allows merchants to take advantage of them too.
Here are a few predominant returns options:
- scan-based returns – This allows you to include return labels in each shipment. The pleasing part is, you only get charged if the labels are used. This boosts the customer experience by far.
- Batch label printing – Assuming that you might have to deal with multiple orders at once, this is a pretty action-packed alternative to use. This shipping software allows you to print up to 100 labels simultaneously. All you have to do, before printing labels in batch, is to put dimensions for each package and destination addresses.
- Standalone returns – Shippo offers this option for all packages that aren't processed using its own platform.
Bearing in mind the obvious fact that you might have to deal with international orders, it's sensible to be appraised of the respective customs procedures. Shippo is built to help you print all the necessary customs forms for international shipments.
Last but not least, you can change the shipping service on the return trip.
Shippo Review: Pricing
Money matters! Oh, isn't that what they say?
As an online merchant, you want to, not only work with a cost-effective solution but one that gives you a run for your money. Shippo‘s pricing structure works perfectly for all businesses, no matter the scale.
So let's start off with the most basic plan.
Pay As You Go Plan
As the name suggests, there are absolutely no commitments attached to this package. Just in case you're a little hesitant, Shippo promises not to add any monthly costs. It's a one-off payment and you're good to go. For only 5 ¢ + postage fees, you can sort out a single shipment.
With Pay As You Go plan, you get unlimited customer support service via email. If you are using USPS as your most appropriate carrier service, you get to cling on very generous discounts – up to 90% off. There are also other global carrier discounts that come with this plan, such as DHL Express and UPS that give you up to 55% off. (By the way, no matter what plan you choose, shipping discounts stay the same)
This plan gives you an unlimited number of integrations with shopping cart platforms and other distinctive tools which come in handy while managing your shipping priorities. The downside part of this particular plan is that it limits you to only one user account and doesn’t offer customizable options (see Professional Plan below).
To even out the odds, Shippo provides additional insurance through 3rd party services – Shipsurance – which cover all sorts of uncertainties. This insurance option only charges 1% of the entire package value. To verify global addresses, you only need to part with $0.09 per address and you don’t pay for U.S. Address Validation.
If you need more features, I'd highly recommend that you go for the ‘Professional’ plan. It has all the features from Pay As You Go plan, plus some extras which are somewhat gainful. The monthly price starts from $10 and it doesn't charge $0.05 cents per label fee.
So here comes the add-ons.
This plan allows you to manage up to 5 staff accounts. Aside from this constructive benefit, users can also:
- Put custom branding for
- packing slips
- email notifications
- tracking pages
- Create custom text for email notifications
- Besides the email support, the ‘Professional Plan’ users get access to live chat support
- A 30-day free trial account
This plan only charges $0.08 cents to verify a global address for shipment purposes and again, you don’t pay for U.S. Address Validation.
I'd describe this plan as the top tier package for merchants looking for a customized shipping solution. Besides all functionalities which come with the Professional plan, it has some additional perks to bank on. The global address verification charge is slightly lower. It's $0.06 per address, to be precise (and you don’t pay for U.S. Address Validations).
With the Premier plan, a dedicated technical assistance team is only one call away. I love the fact that this enterprise-focused solution allows you to create up to 15 staff accounts.
Here's what makes it a notch higher than the lower-priced plans.
- Bulk order processing via the Batch Endpoint API
- Multi-piece shipments
- Dedicated assistance from Shippo's Integrations experts
- A la carte package tracking and address verification
For package tracking services, Shippo charges $0.01 per shipment. The overall pricing depends on the merchant's needs. In other words, you need to contact Shippo team so as to get a custom quote.
As your business transcends to newer heights, Shippo allows you to upgrade to a more convenient plan. So if your ordinary shipping solution restrain you to the bare minimum, it's definitely time to migrate.
Shippo Review: Customer Support
I decided to put Shippo to the test in regards to its customer support system, and here were my findings. As I did some digging, I managed to find these salient options:
- Help Center– Users have access to meaningful and expedient support information. Plus, Shippo has a comprehensive blog section which is regularly updated with fresh and revealing content.
- Resource Center- How-to guides, tutorials, and more to help you ship smarter.
- Email Support– A merchant can submit any queries via e-mail at their own convenient time.
- API support– Shippo has proficient developers you can trust with your extra coding demands. There's a directory of API information to use for such needs.
Shippo Review: Pros
Returns made simple
On the face of it, this might seem unrealistic, more precisely for small- and mid-sized businesses. But that's not the case with Shippo. This solution makes handling returns quite indefectible and seamless while at the same time, maintaining a high-yielding customer experience. This shipping software allows you to automate the return labels printing process. This saves you from the manual efforts of having to do the labels separately.
An immense carrier & marketplaces integrations network
I don't need to put much emphasis on this. I'll let the numbers talk. With over 55 carriers and about 25 shopping carts on its integrations list, Shippo proves to be an effective multi-carrier channel. It surpasses so many shipping solutions. Whichever sales channel you're into, Shippo allows you to manage your shipping needs from a single entry point.
Ease of Use
Shippo has a smooth learning curve. For SMBs (Small and Mid-sized Businesses), this solution connects to nearly all dominant sales channels. You don't need any expert skills to integrate this shipping software to your online store. Its dashboard's functionality is straightforward. The company offers an onboard engagement service for new users who need to make all the necessary configurations.
As things stand, Shippo seems like one of the rarest solutions that link SMB merchants to discounted shipping deals from almost all the weighty carrier companies across the globe. You can get some deep discounts from companies like DHL, USPS, FedEx, and UPS.
Shippo, in its own volition, goes the extra extra mile to allow direct discounts of up to 55% from UPS and it takes only 30 seconds to apply to get advantage of these deep discounts right after you sign up with Shippo. The same goes with FedEx. You can get a discount of about 29% if you use the Shippo-FedEx advantage program to get on board.
A Flexible Pricing Model
The Pay As You Go pricing model has a fairly good reception from merchants, I must say. Shippo doesn't frustrate its users with any form of monthly commitment. It's equally a sufficiently structured platform for merchants with a large chunk of orders per month.
Shippo Review: Cons
Not perfect for CRM
There are other tools in the market that can do far much better. The likes of HubSpot and Mailchimp are here to fill the gap. Well, that's just a minor flaw about Shippo's email notifications functionality. Despite the fact that its professional plan can, for instance, customize your tracking pages, it's still not as perfect as the CRM oriented tools.
User interface not ideal for big merchants
If you're a retailer who handles 10,000+ orders each month, you can’t take advantage of the web app, unfortunately. Your solution is to use Shipo’s API. You’d need to leverage Shippo’s API to set everything up which could take up to a few months.
This negative comment follows a number of complaints from users. Merchants have reported issues to do with failed refunds from canceled shipments. I'm confident that Shippo's team will look into this issue as soon as they can.
Shippo Review: Bottomline
From top to bottom, it seems like Shippo leaves nothing to chance. It's a shipping solution that cuts across all the major shopping carts and marketplaces. From Shopify to WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Volusion, you name it. It doesn't matter whether your business is a startup, or a scaled-up one, Shippo has a flexible and forward-looking pricing structure.
And if you aren't looking for a shipping software with some sort of futuristic automation, Shippo could bring your online store to the limelight in a distinctive manner. All things considered, this is a far better option than your ordinary store's shipping service.
Having said that, you can try Shippo out to see whether it's a perfect fit for your e-commerce business.