Shipping and Fulfillment

The 10 Best Ecommerce Shipping Solutions for New and Growing Businesses

Aaron Sullivan
October 31, 2022

According to a 2022 study from UPS Capital, 87% of consumers would probably buy again from merchants if they had a chance to personalize their shipping experience. 

Personalizing the customer shipping experience starts with choosing the best ecommerce shipping solution for your business. Whether you’re just starting out or in a period of rapid growth, this solution is vital to meeting both your ecommerce business needs and customer expectations.

In order to give customers the personalization they seek, you need shipping software that gives customers control over when and how they receive orders and initiate returns. But the software can’t be so time consuming and expensive to manage that it distracts you from other important business-building tasks such as customer acquisition.

Unless your shipping software strikes a balance between improving your internal workflows and giving your customers the ecommerce experience they want, you’ll create more problems than you solve. The following 10 shipping management solutions will help you avoid this situation.

1. Easyship

Easyship is a cloud-based shipping platform that connects top ecommerce platforms with a global shipping network. Whether you’re shipping to California or to Malta, Easyship’s order volume means it has secured preferred global rates with carriers like DHL Express, UPS, and FedEx.

Key features: Easyship’s features enable global growth without sacrificing the customer experience or the shipping process itself.

  • More than 250 global shipping carriers
  • Calculates duties and import taxes in real time for countries in its network, saving merchants the hassle
  • Shows customers the best-priced shipping options at checkout, alongside estimated delivery times
  • Allows you to customize shipment tracking pages, packing slips, and emails with your branding

Pricing: Easyship offers a free plan, but it peaks at 50 shipments per month. The plan doesn’t display shipping rates at checkout or offer branded tracking pages. After a 14-day free trial, paid plans start at $29 per month for 500 orders.

Who it’s best for: Given its global network of warehouses and courier relationships in 200+ countries, Easyship is an excellent choice for ecommerce merchants of all sizes who want to scale internationally.

2. Ordoro

Ordoro is a scalable software solution that pulls your sales channels and carriers together into an intuitive, customizable dashboard for easy order management. If you suddenly decide to start selling on the Amazon marketplace, for example, you can add that channel to the dashboard with a few clicks. 

Key features: Ordoro is similar to Easyship in terms of its ecommerce integrations and ability to print labels and packing slips in bulk. But its key competitive strength is dropshipping management.

  • Allows you to quickly set up your dropshippers (no limit on how many) in a matter of minutes and auto-route each sold product to the appropriate one for fulfillment
  • Allows for the creation of international shipping labels (but don’t expect Easyship’s breadth of coverage)
  • Provides custom product kitting at its network warehouses

Pricing: Ordoro offers a free plan for up to 1,000 orders per month, but this level doesn’t include kitting, dropshipping, or inventory management. These features become available with its Pro plan, which starts at $499 per month for 3,000 orders.

Who it’s best for: Ordoro is ideal for young ecommerce startups that will need to scale their businesses in the coming months or years. If you’re in this category, the last thing you want is to have to switch shipping providers during rapid growth.

3. Pirate Ship

Pirate Ship is a stripped-down software platform offering merchants competitive rates on UPS and USPS shipments exclusively.

Key features: Free pricing is the top feature because you will need to arrange every other aspect of the shipping experience.

  • Integrates with Etsy, WooCommerce, Squarespace, and other popular ecommerce platforms; it claims to offer up to 89% off USPS rates and 86% off UPS rates
  • Allows for tracking packages from a simple dashboard
  • Sends shipping notification emails at times you specify

Pricing: Accounts are free.

Who it’s best for: Pirate Ship is a great option for startups that need to limit shipping costs. It’s the most basic shipping solution in this list, so it won’t suffice for businesses looking to scale. It makes sense for Etsy or eBay sellers looking to make money on the side.

4. ShipHero

ShipHero is a third-party logistics (3PL) provider whose software allows you to outsource your fulfillment entirely to its network of warehouses. Now you can spend more time selling and acquiring customers, not worrying about whether you have enough packing tape.

Key features: ShipHero’s key features and integrations focus on protecting your brand from shipping mishaps and unpleasant return experiences.

  • Its product, PostHero, displays a dashboard showing you which carriers are performing best and which are underperforming. Now you can quickly escalate shipping issues that might be affecting the perception of your brand.
  • Another product, ParcelView, allows you to take a snapshot of the interior of a package before it’s shipped. If a customer complains about receiving a broken item, ParcelView helps you pinpoint whether the problem originated with the warehouse or with the carrier.
  • ShipHero integrates with Loop Returns, which suggests replacements for products customers don’t want. Loop turns a potential refund into a possible upsell opportunity.

Pricing: ShipHero offers flat-rate pricing for its ecommerce fulfillment that includes picking, packing, shipping, packaging, and postage. It requires a consultation before quoting an actual price.

Who it’s best for: ShipHero’s functionality is best for high-volume ecommerce companies that have scaled to the point that they need to entirely outsource the fulfillment process. By outsourcing fulfillment, such companies reduce overhead and only pay for the space and services they actually use. 

5. ShipperHQ

ShipperHQ’s ecommerce shipping software uses data from available carriers, package dimensions, customer addresses, and nearest product storage locations to generate accurate rates at checkout. 

Key features: ShipperHQ’s key competitive advantage is emphasizing customer convenience before and after checkout. 

  • Allows customers to enter their ZIP code, state, and/or country on product pages to see shipping rates and delivery options to better estimate final costs before entering shipping and billing information
  • Shows customers the closest retail store offering pickup (for ecommerce merchants with physical stores)
  • Allows merchants to override shipping logic with promotions for a set time period — e.g., free two-day shipping in the week leading up to Christmas only

Pricing: ShipperHQ doesn’t offer free plans, but it does offer 15-day free trials for users of Shopify, BigCommerce, Salesforce, Zoey, WooCommerce, and Magento. Pricing varies according to the platform.

It offers five paid plans for Shopify and BigCommerce users, starting at $75 per month. 

Another feature of its pricing plans is “monthly shipping requests,” not orders shipped. ShipperHQ defines “requests” as something “generated anytime a customer gets a shipping rate in the cart or checkout.” In other words, a customer doesn’t need to complete an order for a merchant’s number of “requests” to increase.

Who it’s best for: While ShipperHQ is not the cheapest option on this list, we do recommend it for merchants of any size who want to mix ecommerce with traditional retail.

6. ShippingEasy

ShippingEasy is an easy-to-use, cloud-based application that centralizes orders from different channels to create an improved shipping workflow. Print labels automatically from the data ShippingEasy downloads from your integrated channels and send return labels according to the rules you set.

Key features: ShippingEasy stands out with its suite of customer marketing tools. It has the capacity to handle your most important email marketing tasks in addition to shipment tracking communications. 

  • When an order ships, create an entire branded post-purchase campaign based on the total order value or items purchased. 
  • Upsell or cross-sell customers based on purchased items and even ask for reviews once a certain number of days have passed.
  • Send ShippingEasy commands using Amazon’s Alexa. Speak commands such as “Alexa, print a pick list for all open orders” while typing an email. Capabilities include printing labels and packing slips, as well as shipping orders.

Pricing: ShippingEasy offers a free plan, but once you cross 25 orders per month, you must upgrade to a paid plan. 

Paid plans have a 30-day free trial and scale according to your number of orders. They start at $19.99 per month for up to 200 orders. Paid plans include branded tracking tools, custom logos on labels, and advanced analytical tools.

Who it’s best for: This platform is best for a young online business wanting a cost-effective shipping solution containing the most out-of-the-box brand-building tools. It can be expensive and time consuming to explore and sync different marketing platforms. ShippingEasy saves merchants some of this effort by supporting an email marketing tool that personalizes pre- and post-purchase messaging.

7. ShipEngine

ShipEngine is a shipping API, not a shipping software platform. While shipping software platforms have unique order management dashboards and user interfaces, APIs connect shipping features you need to a dashboard or interface you already use.

Suppose you operate a Shopify store. ShipEngine’s API lets you quickly incorporate features that make Shopify more powerful. But you’re not completely trading Shopify’s order management dashboard for ShipEngine’s.

Key features: Use ShipEngine’s API to sync orders from Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Walmart, Magento, and WooCommerce.

  • Offers preferred carrier rates so merchants can incorporate them into sales channels
  • Validates addresses for fewer shipping errors
  • Incorporates ShipEngine’s detailed tracking information into your ecommerce site

Pricing: ShipEngine has three pricing tiers designed for different stages of an ecommerce company’s development: Startup, Growth, and Scale. It bases fees on services rendered at each level. An Enterprise tier exists for companies shipping more than 5,000 orders per month.

Who it’s best for: ShipEngine is best for ecommerce companies of any size who wish to add shipping features to existing ecosystems. These companies also shouldn’t mind using a developer to sync with the ShipEngine API.

8. ShipStation

Like other shipping solutions mentioned here, ShipStation is a good choice for syncing, managing, and shipping orders from different sources. But its automation rules set it apart. ShipStation saves you time by letting you apply different shipping requirements to orders based on the criteria you set up.

Key features: ShipStation’s versatile automation “actions” streamline mundane shipping-related tasks.

  • Tag specific types of orders to ship with particular rates attached to them. For example, tell the system to upgrade all orders containing a hat and shirt, but not orders containing a hat and shorts, to USPS Priority Mail.
  • ShipStation features robust inventory management, discounted multi-carrier rates, and a native integration with the marketing automation platform Klaviyo.
  • Use Klaviyo to send ShipStation messages with consistent branding.
  • Also in Klaviyo, use shipping emails and SMS messages to create new customer segments. For example, exempt customers who purchase items recommended in shipping confirmation emails from your other upsell and cross-sell campaigns.

Pricing: ShipStation has flexible pricing options based on the number of orders shipped. After a free trial, you get 1,000 shipments per month, as well as customized labels and packing slips, for $59.99 per month. If you’re a startup with a maximum of 50 orders per month, you pay only $9.99 per month, but your communications get the ShipStation brand on them.

Who it’s best for: ShipStation is best for medium-to-large ecommerce companies that self-fulfill and manage their own warehousing. It’s one of the best platforms for companies not quite ready to make the leap to a 3PL.

9. Shopify Shipping

If you have a Shopify ecommerce store, Shopify Shipping is included right off the bat. Though it only works with DHL, USPS, and UPS in the United States, its suite of tools is ideal for businesses with less complicated shipping needs.

Key features: Shopify Shipping gives you the convenience of managing order fulfillment, where you also manage inventory and customer communications.

  • Even if you don’t ship many orders per month, you still get Shopify’s preferred carrier rates of up to 88% off. Those preferred rates extend to select international carriers. 
  • For international orders, access customs forms directly from the Shopify dashboard.
  • Buy and print up to 50 shipping labels at once.

Pricing: Any ecommerce merchant on Shopify can access Shopify Shipping. Even the most basic account can start shipping via the Shopify platform for $29 per month.

Who it’s best for: Shopify Shipping is ideal for newly established Shopify business owners who need to get a good shipping solution up and running quickly. Once you need advanced automations and batch shipping above 50 orders, you’ll need to upgrade shipping solutions.

10. Veeqo

Veeqo syncs your orders from stores hosted on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Shopify, to name a few. It automatically chooses the best shipping rate for each item based on size and weight and displays that rate to the end customer. 

Key features: Veeqo is rolling out several new features in November 2022, with inventory control among the most useful.

  • When customers place orders, Veeqo will automatically sync inventory levels across your active storefronts (Shopify, Amazon, etc.).
  • Veeqo will be able to send daily email updates containing low-stock alerts.
  • With Zapier’s help, Veeqo currently offers integrations with key marketing automation tools like HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, CampaignMonitor, and, yes, Klaviyo. Through these platforms, customers receive automatic emails with tracking links as you fulfill their orders.
  • Veeqo has a native integration with the customer support platform Gorgias, so agents can access order histories when customers submit an inquiry. This feature saves customers time and makes it easier for agents to resolve shipping-related issues.

Pricing: You pay for postage through Veeqo, and it takes a cut. Other than that, Veeqo does not have any monthly fees. 

Who it’s best for: Because Veeqo has no monthly fee, it should merit a look from any small business using Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce. But it’s especially useful for merchants who ship heavily through the Amazon marketplace. Because Amazon owns Veeqo, it protects you from any brand-related harm due to late delivery from associated carriers.

Your shipping solution isn’t complete without shipping protection

Once you’ve settled on the best shipping software for your online store, boost its impact on the post-purchase customer experience with shipping protection.

It’s one thing to give customers the best rates and perfectly timed and branded shipping updates. But it’s something else to give customers options if their product is stolen or damaged during transit. UPS Capital found that 51% of customers want the “perk” of shipping protection to protect themselves.

Extend integrates shipping protection options into ecommerce shopping carts without disrupting checkout or the experience provided by your shipping solution. Customers can resolve most claims online in a matter of minutes.

Image source Kaley resolves most shipping protection claims quickly.

To learn more about shipping protection by Extend, click here for a free demo.

Aaron Sullivan
Aaron Sullivan is senior content marketing manager at Extend. He specializes in writing about e-commerce, finance, entertainment, and beer.

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