Choosing the right shipping platform is no easy task; there are dozens of options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s start with the basic features and benefits you should expect from any modern eCommerce shipping solution so you have a basis for evaluation.
Shipping solutions: 10 benefits sellers should expect
- Integrations: you should be able to integrate orders from anywhere you sell: selling platforms, carts, marketplaces (in addition, most solutions will allow you to upload orders from offline sources; e.g. trade show). Orders download automatically to the shipping solution and tracking numbers and orders status update are posted back to the selling platform. Accurate, real time data flow.
- Order management: tools to manage all of your orders. Online orders can be complex and you want the flexibility to sort, filter, split – multiple addresses, combine – orders going to same address, batch, and dropship from a single system
- Discounted rates: the aggregate volume flowing through the shipping software typically enables discounts that are passed on to their customers (you). Look for discounts on USPS at a minimum.
- Browse and compare rates: shipping solutions should integrate with all major carriers. This means you can browse and compare rates and service options across carriers before you decide.
- Returns management: the ability to easily generate return labels and provide to your customers in a timely manner keeps buyers happy
- Tracking and customer communication: real time shipment confirmations sent to your customers with tracking information keeps customers informed and reduces inbound queries via your store.
- Rules and automation – the ability to set rules to automate repetitive tasks and decisions is crucial as you grow. If you ship every package <13oz USPS First Class mail, you should be able to set up a rule that automatically applies this service (leaving you to “review” vs “do”)
- Pick, pack, label – flexibility to print pick lists, branded packing slips and labels in the order you require with the details you need to ensure error-free, efficient fulfillment
- Reporting: the ability to capture the data you need across customers, products, items, geographies, carriers, etc to analyse your results and make good business decisions
- International: 95% of the world’s population lives outside the US – so at some stage you will think about growth beyond US borders. Choose a shipping solution that offers pre-populated Customs forms and remove the headaches associated with shipping overseas
Common Features: a visual to make it easy
eCommerce sellers are fortunate to have many solutions to choose from. The most important thing is choosing one that will support you as you grow. Plan for success!
Solutions like ShippingEasy offer an affordable Starter plan to allow smaller or newer sellers to get used to a robust solution with all the features they’ll need as they grow.
Related Articles & Resources
- Choosing an eCommerce Shipping Solution: Part I
- Choosing an eCommerce Shipping Solution: Part II
- Choosing an eCommerce Shipping Solution: Part III
- Choosing a Shipping Solution: download vendor evaluation tool
- View ShippingEasy integrations
- View ShippingEasy features
This article is from The Definitive Guide to eCommerce Shipping