This post was contributed by Callie Hinman, Content Marketer & Writer at ShipStation, a leading provider of shipping software for ecommerce fulfillment.
When an ecommerce merchant invests in a shipping and fulfillment software, they expect it to make their lives easier. And this is certainly a reasonable expectation. Unfortunately, sometimes a shipping solution does the exact opposite.
Maybe the platform has an interface that isn’t user-friendly. Or maybe it’s missing essential features. Either way, the amount of time online retailers spend trying to make the software work for them may actually outweigh any time the software claims to save them.
The good news is that ShipStation isn’t this kind of software. ShipStation is a web-based shipping solution designed to make the lives of ecommerce brands easier, not more difficult. It allows e-tailers to easily import, manage, process, and ship every order. Plus, ShipStation isn’t just easy to use; it’s also super powerful.
Tired of having to make do with shipping software that doesn’t meet all of your needs? Then you need to take a look at ShipStation.
4 Fast Facts About ShipStation
1. ShipStation is a web-based solution, meaning there’s no software to install or hardware to purchase. Unlike on-premise or hosted platforms, your data is automatically backed up in a secure cloud server, which you can access at any time. All upgrades are tested and deployed automatically at no extra cost. And new modules and features are added to the platform remotely.
2. ShipStation integrates with more than 150 shopping cart platforms, online marketplaces, postal carriers, and third-party fulfillment services — including Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). In fact, ShipStation has the most integrations of any web-based ecommerce software.
3. Every ShipStation subscription comes with a free Stamps.com account. This gives ShipStation users exclusive access to discounted USPS rates for both domestic and international shipments. Not only that, with ShipStation’s FedEx Advantage Program, ecommerce merchants can save up to 30% on FedEx shipping fees.
4. ShipStation offers ShipStation Mobile, a free app that can be used on both iOS and Android devices. With ShipStation Mobile, online retailers can view real-time order details and tracking information — right on their smartphone or tablet. They can manage orders, wirelessly print shipping labels and packing slips, and access ShipStation’s powerful reporting and analytics tools.
Let’s dive into the three unique ways ShipStation helps ecommerce brands grow their business.
Scan to Print
Scan to Print is a feature that enables ShipStation users to get total package weights, view postage rates, and print shipping labels — all by just scanning three barcodes. Whether your monthly shipments total 50 or 50,000, Scan to Print can help every e-tailer make their shipping workflow more efficient.
Scan to Print lets you print shipping labels after every other step in your packing process. Because you know which merchandise is and isn’t in stock, you’ll avoid printing labels for orders you can’t ship yet.
This feature also makes it easier to accurately calculate total shipment weight. You don’t have to worry about accounting for any variables or rounding to the nearest ounce. And you don’t need to weigh shipments until you’ve picked and packed the order.
Scan to Print lets you say goodbye to your keyboard and mouse. As long as your workstation computer is open to the Scan to Print module, the only other piece of equipment you need is a barcode scanner. Three quick scans, and you have a shipping label.
Shipping Presets, Service Mapping, and Automation Rules
It’s likely a large percent of your orders have similar, if not identical, characteristics. This includes weights, dimensions, preferred carrier, and package types, to name a few.
Rather than manually selecting the settings for every individual order, ShipStation allows ecommerce merchants to automate many aspects of their shipping and fulfillment. Ecommerce automation enables online retailers to eliminate manual data entry, which reduces the risk of human errors.
ShipStation actually offers three different types of automation features. Users choose the one that best suits their needs based on the level of automation they want to adopt:
● Shipping Presets. Lets ecommerce brands apply the same settings to multiple orders at once. E-tailers specify a set of criteria, select all the appropriate shipments, apply the shipping preset, and all orders are updated simultaneously. With shipping presets, ecommerce merchants don’t have to keep choosing the same settings over and over for every single order.
● Service Mapping. Automates the selection of carrier and service for new orders. When an order is imported into ShipStation from the selling channel, the carrier and service are automatically assigned based on the shopper’s chosen delivery option. Service mappings allow online retailers to provide excellent customer service and choose the most profitable shipping options.
● Automation Rules. The most powerful of ShipStation’s automation features. Automation rules are “If X, then Y” actions that ecommerce brands can use to automatically update several different aspects of an order as it’s imported. The order will show up in ShipStation with all of the chosen settings already selected, enabling e-tailers to move on to the next step in the shipping and fulfillment process.
ShipStation lets ecommerce merchants incorporate their brand into every part of the post-purchase experience. Online retailers can keep their brand front and center with the following capabilities:
● Branded Tracking Page. Rather than sending a shopper to a carrier’s tracking page, ShipStation users can give customers up-to-date order and tracking information on a page branded with their name and logo.
● Branded Returns Portal. The Branded Returns Portal allows shoppers to initiate returns on their own. This, in turn, simplifies the returns process, saves ecommerce brands time, and enables them to continue providing a positive customer experience.
● Branded Order Confirmation and Tracking Emails. With ShipStation's Branded Shipping Emails, e-tailers can keep shoppers up to date on important shipping information. This includes when their package is shipped, the status of the package when it’s in transit, and when it has arrived.
● Branded Shipping Labels. Branded Shipping Labels lets ecommerce merchants add their logo and custom messaging to every label. As a result, online retailers can continue building the brand-customer relationship even after the order has arrived.
● Branded Packing Slip. ShipStation customers who use Branded Packing Slips have control over how every element of the packing slip appears. They can customize everything from the header and footer to individual line items.
If you’ve decided your growing business is in need of shipping software or you’ve realized your existing shipping solution is woefully insufficient, it’s time for ShipStation. Ready to learn more? Check out ShipStation’s Features pages for everything you need to know about the #1 ecommerce shipping software.