So you’ve done all the hard work—spent endless hours building a solid brand reputation, generating leads, carefully nurturing them through a sophisticated sales funnel, and landing an impressive number of sales to satisfied customers. Congratulations!
But don’t pat yourself on the back too soon. The process of getting your product into the customers’ hands is one of the most crucial, yet under-valued aspects of ecommerce. Did you know that for the majority of customers, 63% to be precise, shipping being too expensive is the primary reason why they abandon their carts?
Shipping needs to strike the right balance of affordability, speed, and reliability while offering the ability to track the product in transit, provide updates over channels such as SMS, and give flexibility over returns, delivery times and locations.
Luckily, there are plenty of excellent services out there that deliver (no pun intended) exactly that. But which one is the best fit for your business needs? This article looks at 7 of the best Shopify apps for shipping, looking at their various features, pros and cons so you can make a fully-informed decision on which one to go for.
ShipStation integrates with all kinds of ecommerce platforms, marketplaces, and shopping carts to make the crucial stage of order fulfillment a less time-consuming and more accurate process. It claims to be the ideal solution for ecommerce businesses of all kinds and sizes, from a small Etsy store to a huge enterprise shipping thousands of packages a day.
It works by automatically importing order info from your ecommerce website, organizing your orders by priority. After choosing the shipping carrier and service and calculating postage rates, you get a shipping label and the customer gets a confirmation. ShipStation also provides tools to track shipments and manage returns.
What we like most about ShipStation are its excellent automation capabilities. After all, the main reason we use shipping apps is to save time! You are able to set specific rules for different order types, so all you need to do is print out the shipping label. Rather than manually attending to each order, all the necessary information is pre-filled for things like product lists, auto-routing, and specific packing slips. You are also able to create custom shipping labels and confirmation emails so you can add your logo, thank-you messages, FAQs, return info, and more.
ShipStation currently only services shippers in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. They offer a variety of plans, from the Starter Plan for $9 per month which allows up to 50 shipments a month with prices increasing by the number of shipments all the way up to the Enterprise Plan at $159 per month, which offers unlimited shipments, customized shipping and packing, labels live chat, phone support, email, and community forum support.
Stamps.com is ideal for small businesses that ship between 50-500 orders per month, and best for those that ship mostly with USPS.
While lacking the advanced features of certain other shipping apps, it has a no-frills, easy-to-use interface that integrates well with most ecommerce marketplaces, importing orders automatically and seamlessly.
After importing, your orders list is easy to navigate, allowing you to select your shipping service, schedule USPS pickups, print shipping labels, return slips, and more. Stamps.com comes complete with every feature you’ll need to ship efficiently with USPS, but integrations with other carriers are also possible with additional shipping software—you also have the option to ship with the likes of FedEx, UPS, and DHL.
Stamps.com has three pricing levels: Pro, Premier, and Enterprise, with prices based on the number of user accounts and locations you can access. The popular Pro plan is an affordable $17.99/mo and is worth considering if you are a small business shipping almost exclusively with USPS. Stamps.com also offers a four-week trial.
As the name suggests, ShippingEasy aims to make the shipping process as simple and speedy as possible.
This is achieved through the combination of an automated shipping system (offering multiple discount opportunities) and deep integrations with a wide array of ecommerce platforms. While offering a plethora of features and innovations, the interface is very easily navigated, with helpful walkthroughs and pop-ups to guide you on your shipping journey.
Start by importing your orders into the ShippingEasy admin. If you are using Shopify, it is as easy as using your Shopify URL! Choose which orders you wish to ship, and select your service from a list of options and real-time prices. You are then given the option to print a pick list, a shipping label, or a packing slip. Print out your label, which can be customized with your logo, and you’re ready to go. The entire process is complete in just a few minutes, and you can easily do multiple orders at the same time.
To make things even easier, you can set up shipping rules to automate the process. Simply create your desired rules, based on a variety of parameters, then shortcut via “Buy & Print” to buy and print shipping labels in an instant.
Similar to many of its competitors, ShippingEasy bases its pricing on the number of shipments sent per month. For small businesses and those just starting out, they offer a fantastic Starter plan for free, giving access to many advanced features and up to 50 shipments a month. Upgrading is easy and affordable, with various tiers each offering more shipments, and greater access to customer service and training. The most comprehensive package, Enterprise, offers unlimited shipping and costs $149/mo.
Shippo is a streamlined, easy-to-use shipping app that isn’t overburdened with fancy features but does the basics really well. It also offers a pay-as-you-go option for more flexibility.
Best for smaller sellers, Shippo offers integrations with a range of carriers, ecommerce marketplaces, and inventory management platforms. Connecting to marketplaces like Shopify is a quick and easy process, just a couple of clicks and your orders are imported into the system.
The interface is attractive and intuitive, you don’t require any technical experience to be up and running in just a few minutes. Its multi-channel, user-friendly dashboard is the best on the market, giving instant access to real-time reports shipment tracking. It is also easy to find and access discounts on shipping labels with USPS, UPS, and DHL.
As previously mentioned, Shippo has a flexible pricing system, which is very useful for smaller business owners. The possibility to pay as you go allows you to try out the system and its features without making a commitment. The Pay As You Go plan has no monthly fee and costs $0.05 per shipping label, plus postage, and allows up to 5,000 shipments per month. You could also opt for the Professional plan which goes for $10-$125 per month, depending on how many orders you ship.
UK-based Shiptheory aims to revolutionize the supply chain with an intuitive automation process. It allows for very flexible shipping rules, increasing delivery options to next-day, same day, and even one-hour with detailed tracking info.
Shiptheory recognizes that in an increasingly competitive ecommerce market, shipping is the one aspect that is most overlooked when seeking to maximize returns.
To stand out from the competition whilst saving time, money, and the possibility of human error, they offer in-depth integration for print automation with easily-printable labels, real-time shipment costs and other metrics so you can quickly calculate the most cost-effective option, and 24/7 support service for businesses of all sizes.
With a smooth multi-channel integration incorporating all of the major ecommerce markets, Shiptheory allows the possibility to pull your orders from multiple channels and send via multiple carriers. Its 10 years experience in the automated shipping game has been well spent addressing issues common to ecommerce businesses and optimizing the process to a tee.
Shiptheory offers a range of plans, including a free ‘Pluto’ plan that allows for one channel, one carrier, a shipping API, and up to 200 shipments a month. ‘Saturn’ is their most popular plan, coming in at £65/mo and offering up to 3000 shipments a month, with unlimited channels and carriers including DHL, FedEx, UPS, TNT, and many more.
ShippyPro is easily able to synchronize your online stores and channels in just a few clicks, saving you costs and time when printing shipping labels and tracking packages.
Integration is a strength of ShippyPro, with online sellers being able to sync with more than 60 marketplaces and couriers worldwide to automatically import unshipped orders. Their automation system allows users to bulk-print shipping labels, track each delivery on a tracking dashboard, upload return policy and create custom emails for easy communication.
This Italy-based platform can offer services to sellers in Australia, Canada, Europe, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and is ideal for mid-size businesses. With a 30-second set up and a 30 order free trial, it’s definitely worth giving them a try to see if they are the right fit for you.
Added to the free trial, which includes the shipping label creator, rate comparison, tracking dashboard, and tracking notifications, are the ‘Fast-Growing’ and ‘Professional’ plans at €29 and €79 respectively. These options offer a relatively low 250 shipments per month and a range of features, with an Enterprise plan available on request.
Easyship is a globally-focused shipping app, which has been specifically engineered to solve cross-border shipping for eCommerce merchants.
Not to be confused with ShippingEasy, mentioned earlier in our list and supporting only USPS, FedEx, and UPS, Easyship supports over 100 carriers worldwide. This gives you an idea of the scale of Easyship’s global ambitions and gives you much more flexibility in terms of pricing and services.
Easyship also offers a range of automated services to optimize and streamline shipping processes for companies of all sizes, with automatic order updating, one-click label printing, discounts from various carriers, and much more.
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? But here’s the cherry on the cake: Easyship is completely free to small businesses with shipments up to 100 per month. Having recently switched to a subscription service (Easyship was free to all users previously, working on a pay-as-you-go basis) the free plan still offers the core Easyship features including dynamic checkout, unlimited store integrations, detailed analytics, dashboard, and tracking at no additional charge. For higher monthly shipping thresholds you can choose either the Plus, Premier, or Enterprise plans at $29/mo, $49/mo, or negotiable respectively.
As you can see, there is a range of excellent and innovative shipping apps available, offering a variety of features and prices.
The one that is best for you will depend on your particular needs and budget. Are you mainly shipping locally within the US? Stamps.com is an affordable and adequate option. Need a more global outlook? Consider Easyship. Want excellent automation and time-saving features? Shipstation is an excellent choice.
All of the shipping apps we have covered are great options. No matter which one you choose, look for 3 basic functions:
Features and Services—Find the app’s standout feature that your company can most benefit from.
Integrations—Which platforms are you currently using for your ecommerce business? Make sure that your shipping app offers seamless integration for a smooth set up.
Cost—Most apps will offer a free trial, so give them a try and see how you like the interface and service. Consider your sales, are they consistent or seasonal? You could try a pay-as-you-go service to save money on your quieter periods.
Go forth and deliver with confidence!
Help us find great content
Never miss a thing! Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated.
Meet the people behind ecommerce businesses. Inspiring interviews, actionable advice, valuable viewpoints.