Are you looking for shipping software to help get your products to your customers? You might be overwhelmed by the options or unsure which features are worth the cost. This article will help you cut through the information overload and choose the shipping software that is right for your business.
So, what is shipping software?
Shipping software helps e-commerce businesses streamline the shipping process by calculating shipping costs, printing labels, and paying for shipping – all in one platform.
- Shipping Software Extra Features
- 8 of the Most Popular Shipping Companies
- ShippingEasy: Automatic Tracking and Bulk Shipping
- Shippo: Carrier Pickups and Address Validation
- Sellbrite: Multi-Channel and Highly Integratable
- ShipStation: Courier Integration and Automated Fulfillment
- Ordoro: Custom API Integration and Discounted Shipping Rates
- Shopify Shipping: Discounted Shipping and Scheduled Pickups
- ShipMonk: All-In-One Fulfillment Platform
- Orderhive: Fully-Automated Inventory Management
Shipping Software Extra Features
At their core, shipping software platforms help businesses ship products to their customers by calculating shipping and printing labels, but many programs offer extra features to set their platforms apart.
When choosing the best shipping software, make sure to consider if you need these extra features before you spring for the most expensive platform.
Common extra features often found in shipping software include:
- Inventory Management: Keep track of what items you have sold and what is still left.
- Mobile Apps: Makes it easier to manage your e-commerce business right from your phone.
- Reporting Tools: Track sales, return, and other data points to keep your business profitable.
- Marketing Features: These vary by platform, but may include sharing features, email tools, etc..
- Packaging Slips: Allows you to print and include a packaging slip that details each item included.
- Return Management Features: Simplifies the return process by making return shipping labels available.
- Automation: Some platforms make it easier to run your business by automating tasks like email reminders and inventory control.
- Dropshipping: An increasingly popular retail fulfillment method where you don’t handle your products directly.
8 of the Most Popular Shipping Companies
Now, let’s explore the most popular shipping companies so you can determine which is right for your online business.
|Dropshipping||Free Plan||Starting Price|
|ShippingEasy||Yes||Yes (50 packages shipping limit/month)||$29.00/mo|
|Shippo||No||No||Pay-as-you-ship ($0.05 per shipment fee)|
|Shopify Shipping||via Oberlo||No||$29.00/mo|
|ShipMonk||Yes||No||Custom pricing (depends on volume of shipments)|
As one of the most beginner-friendly shipping platforms, ShippingEasy lives up to its name. The platform allows you to calculate shipping for a variety of services and classes. It also lets you sync and track orders automatically through an intuitive dashboard.
- Offers international support
- Supports most major carriers
- Bulk shipping feature
- The free plan only allows you to link to USPS
- No way to reinstate orders if accidentally cleared
- Lacks lead capture tools
Shippo is a full-serviced shipping platform with a flexible pricing model, which means you only pay for the features that you use. Its automation features are less abundant, but overall it is a solid solution with plenty of features.
Shippo includes integration with the most popular e-commerce platforms, built-in analytics, and the ability to automate email notifications.
- Integrates with online marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy
- Batch label printing
- Easy-to-create return shipping labels (you are only charged if the item is returned)
- Discounted shipping rates are still quite high
- No phone support
Sellbrite is an inventory management platform that also offers shipping features. As such, it tends to be more full-featured than platforms that are primarily for shipping. Customizable reporting and easy-to-use dashboards make it easy to stay on top of your e-commerce business’ administration.
Many requested features are reported to be in production, including integration with Xero, Quickbooks, as well as eBay product duplication, so it seems like Sellbrite really listens to their customer base.
- Syncs inventory between different channels
- Allows creation of bulk listings
- Ideal for multi-channel sellers
- No support for dropshipping
- More expensive than other solutions
Looking to streamline and automate the shipping process? ShipStation might be the right choice for you. They offer dozens of integrations, including QuickBooks, ZenDesk, Paypal, MailChimp, Salesforce, Stripe, Zapier, and Createjoy.
Overall, the platform is extremely powerful and has a user-friendly dashboard. They also offer a wide range of plans based on the features you need and the number of shipments you send.
- Free trial, so you can try before you commit
- Plenty of useful integrations
- Intuitive dashboard
- Lower-end plans don’t have phone support
- Shipstation does not offer discounts for volume sellers (though some partners do)
Ordoro is a web-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) program that is designed to grow with your e-commerce business. They offer an affordable basic plan with features like automation and barcode scanning. You also have access to far more advanced features like dropshipping, kitting (pre-assembly of items ready to ship), and even supply management through the higher plans.
Ordoro also offers a free trial so you can try out the software before you buy it.
- Heavily discounted USPS shipping rates for all plans
- Advanced features, like kitting (exclusive feature out of all competitors on this list)
- Uncluttered, user-friendly interface
- A steep learning curve for newcomers
Shopify shipping is a simple tool integrated into Shopify stores. While this software’s capabilities are limited, it is very easy to use and saves Shopify store owners from paying for an additional tool.
Features include discounted shipping rates, return label printing, bulk editing, and the ability to schedule package pickups. Note, you must have a Shopify store to use this program.
- Integrated within Shopify, so no additional fees
- Discounted shipping
- Very simple to use, with detailed documentation
- Only available for orders shipped from fulfillment locations in the US or Canada
- No advanced features
- Limited to shipping through DHL Express, USPS, and UPS
ShipMonk is more than a shipping service; they offer complete fulfillment services.
Ship your product to them, and they take care of every step of the packing and shipping process when customers place an order. Other features include inventory management, multi-channel integration, the ability to use custom packing, email notifications, and discounted shipping rates.
- A to Z solution for shipping; near-full automation
- Heavily discounted shipping rates
- Supports e-commerce, subscription boxes, crowdfunding, and Amazon selling
- No mobile access
- Steep learning curve
Orderhive is a shipping and inventory management tool for e-commerce businesses. Using Orderhive, you can automate inventory updates across channels, print labels, track packages, and manage returns and your dropshipping, all in one user-friendly dashboard.
- Powerful automation tools
- Tons of integrations, including Quickbooks, Xero, and Magento
- Easily scales
- To access the automation tools, you need to pay for a higher tier plan
- Starter plan does not have access to phone support
The right shipping software needs to consider both the current needs of your business and the needs you may have in the future. You might not need advanced features like dropshipping or marketing automation now, but those tools may be invaluable as your business expands.
Keep in mind that the cheapest shipping software might not be the best fit; instead, look for a shipping company that will help you increase efficiency, profits and provide your customers with a reliable shipping experience.
Have you tried one of these shipping software programs? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.