What is shipping management software?
Let's start with the basics. What exactly is shipping management software? At its core, shipping management software streamlines processing, fulfilling, and shipping ecommerce orders. Shipping management software not only involves printing postage and tracking orders, but it also sends shipment reminder emails, handles inventory management, and much more.
Perhaps the most crucial aspect of modern shipping applications is user data. The right shipping software both helps sellers understand their customer lifecycle as well as manage the internal operations of their ecommerce store.
How to evaluate and choose your shipping app
Many of the top ecommerce platforms work with several shipping apps. In the case of Shopify apps, starting your research process within the Shopify app store is the best place to start. There you can look at app reviews, determine functionality, and compare costs.
Pay attention to user reviews
Like with most app marketplaces, you can find reviews on many of the shipping apps in the Shopify app store. By carefully reading user reviews, you can determine the best shipping app for your business, whether it be a small or large enterprise. To gain a holistic picture of how other sellers are using shipping management software, read at least a dozen reviews. Understanding what features you don't need is equally important.
Read the app descriptions
It may seem obvious, but it's important to carefully read through and compare app features. When looking for ecommerce shipping apps to calculate monthly shipping rates, understand metrics, print easy postage and beyond, you’ll need to find one that’s suited for your specific needs. You want to make sure you aren't paying for features you don't need.
Compare app costs
Selecting the best shipping app from a cost perspective for your business is another equally important factor Shopify merchants must consider. Finding a balance between the functionality you need and the pricing that makes sense for your business budget is essential. Luckily, like most contemporary SaaS apps today, shipping apps are often priced at a monthly fee. This flexible subscription fee structure means you won't get locked into a contract, so switching apps will be easy if necessary.
What are the top-rated shipping software platforms?
Now that we've gone over tips on how to research and evaluate shipping software, let's dig into some of the most popular ecommerce shipping software on the market today and which features appeal the most to Shopify store owners.
With its straightforward pricing options and easy-to-use UI, ShipStation is loved by sellers globally and is a leader in ecommerce fulfillment. The consistent aggregate five-star rating is due to ShipStation's comprehensive suite of functionality, which includes thorough social media channel tracking, easy carrier rate comparisons, inventory management, and detailed analytics presented on an easy-to-read dashboard for actionable data-driven business insights.
ShipStation's features truly manage the entire customer shipping lifecycle end-to-end from the checkout process to return label printing. ShipStation also has several integration capabilities with the top ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, so platform integration will be hassle-free. Additionally, ShipStation claims to have the only fully functional mobile app for easy access and management.
EasyShip prides itself on transparency and being a good fit for streamlining logistics for ecommerce organizations of all sizes. Although its feature set may not be as comprehensive as ShipStation's, its top aggregate rating on software review sites and its commitment to simplicity make it an attractive choice. EasyShip also boasts out-of-the-box integrations with several ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Amazon, and eBay.
Another and popular shipping software is Shippo. Shippo is a no-frills shipping management software that provides shipping label and packing slip management, shipping tracking, customer email notifications, and return label printing. Shippo's key differentiator is its partnerships with over 50 global carriers.
Shippo also claims to provide the best possible discounts from USPS, UPS, DHL, and other top shipping carriers. Shippo may be a good choice if your Shopify if your business ships to Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands, or other destinations that have more restrictive shipping and tariff processes.
Shipworks is a shipping management software that is best for already established high-volume shippers that are looking to streamline their current processes to save on Capex and Opex expenditures. Shipworks' unique hybrid architecture that blends a desktop-based interface with the flexibility of a cloud-based SaaS app allows for infinite custom workflows to suit even the most complicated large-scale shipping infrastructures.
Spocket is unique in that it caters to dropshipping businesses. Spocket provides automatic order fulfillment and branded invoicing to help you build your dropshipping empire. Easily sync your orders and ship items from your customers' online shopping carts to their homes without ever having to stock the goods yourself. A dedicated Shopify integration makes connecting to Shopify easy and hassle-free.
For serious Shopify users, Shipping Easy provides a suite of dedicated seller tools. Customer retention features like cart abandonment tracking help Shopify sellers reclaim lost business by providing professional email templates without the need for HTML coding. When engaged shoppers become cart abandoners, Shipping Easy helps you segment track these drop-offs to help you optimize your purchase conversion rate as time goes by.
Other shipping software to consider
When it comes to shipping software, the options are numerous and varied. Take a look at a few more great options for your shipping needs:
- Salsify BigCommerce
- ShipperHQ BigCommerce
Don't forget basic freight and courier services
If you own a small home business, basic freight and courier services like USPS and FedEx might be your best route. However, it's important to note that there are other ways to send packages—especially if they are very large or require special treatment or delivery to remote locations. Keep reading to learn more about these simple but effective options.
Large items such as furniture require freight shipping transportation by truck, plane, train, or boat. Take a look at a few top-notch freight shipping companies:
uShip aims to connect carriers with shippers and can often be a more economical freight shipping service. The competitive uShip bidding structure often means shippers can get the best deals from carriers who compete to bid on shipping loads. Due to the nature of these more freelance carriers, reading reviews on each carrier is essential.
Uber Freight is a shipping app like the popular ride-sharing app Uber, where it connects individual carriers with shippers just like it connects riders with drivers on the regular Uber app. In order to ensure integrity, Uber Freight vets carriers for eligibility beforehand. Carriers can quickly log in through the Uber Freight carrier login page, then they can see all of their upcoming and past shipments. In addition, Uber Freight just rolled out Uber Freight Plus, which rewards drivers for great work.
On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes packages are very small, valuable, perishable or require special care during delivery. That’s when couriers are used. Apps like GoShare and CitizenShipper are common options that many sellers use to send packages.
Should you offer free shipping?
It's become more and more commonplace for consumers to expect free shipping, but whether or not this option is viable for your business requires careful consideration. On the one hand, free shipping may give your business a competitive edge; however, the burden of covering shipping expenses may be too much for smaller businesses that operate at lower profit margins.
May increase sales
With the advent of services like Amazon Prime, free shipping has become more ubiquitous to the online consumer experience. Thus, businesses that don't offer free shipping may deter business. However, several businesses cater to customers who expect instantaneous delivery and who are willing to pay more to receive items faster. If your goods are perishable, for example, the decision to offer free shipping is almost moot. Deciding whether your ecommerce business can support free shipping must be determined on an individual basis.
Free shipping as a marketing tool
When you think of marketing, you probably think about sale prices and coupons. But have you ever thought about offering free shipping as a promotion? This is a great way to boost your sales and incentivize your customers to purchase. Running free shipping offers as part of a promotional campaign could be a good option to boost sales for a limited period of time as part of a campaign budget.
Free shipping based on a purchase threshold
Ecommerce tools such as WooCommerce can help you offer free shipping once your customer reaches or exceeds a defined purchase minimum threshold. This practice incentivizes consumers to purchase more to meet the threshold and can be an effective way to raise sales.
Researching, selecting and implementing a shipping management app with Shopify can be a daunting task with all of the options available. It's clear from the wide array of Shopify shipping apps that the shipping landscape is as competitive as the wider ecommerce field. However, with careful attention to feature comparisons, price analysis, and trusted user reviews, you will be able to select the best shipping management software that is the right balance between price and feature sophistication for the growth and health of your ecommerce endeavors.
Malomo gives your customers beautiful tracking experiences that turn your shipping strategy into a marketing strategy. Malomo allows you to generate custom touch points that delight your customers at every step—no custom coding necessary.