One of the things most e-commerce owners hate about their job (other than dealing with difficult customers) is the task of processing and shipping orders. I’m continually surprised by how many of our clients are doing it the ‘old fashioned’ way by copying and pasting addresses out of Pinnacle Cart into whatever shipping software they use and then manually updating the order with tracking info. There is an easier way!
Cloud-based shipping software has come a long way in the last few years. While there are a number of companies competing in this space, there are three that tend to be the most popular for a typical e-commerce store owner – ShippingEasy, ShipStation and Webgility. All three work by acting as a central repository for all of your orders across multiple platforms.
For example, say you have an e-commerce site, sell on eBay and also on Amazon. This software collects all of your orders for each of these platforms and lets you print shipping labels, manage returns, track orders and handle all of your order related tasks. The software will also post the tracking info back to your respective platforms, and some even handle sync of your accounting software as well. On top of the automation, all three of these platforms offer significant discounts on shipping due to the volume discount they get. You can choose to pass that savings on to your customers, or, just keep the difference yourself.
So what’s the catch? There is of course a monthly fee (as there is with everything these days) and that fee can get rather steep depending on your order volume and which platform you choose. Each platform also has its pros and cons, and some of our customers just prefer one interface over the other. Here are some pros and cons of each system:
Stamps.com is also a simple alternative and lets you print paid USPS shipping labels from directly inside the Pinnacle Cart admin area. It doesn’t handle returns or automated tracking like the services above, but it will eliminate the copy/paste nightmare at least.
Endicia.com is similar to stamps.com in that it offers USPS labels only. If you offer FedEx or UPS, these two systems will not work for you.
As your business grows, there are more advanced Order/Inventory Management systems like Ordoro which have even more advanced features and functions such as drop-shipping and some incorporate a CRM as well.
Choosing the Right One for Your Business
Compare the features and functions offered by each platform, and find the one that fits your needs the best, and then set up a demo. The goal is to make your life easier, so you don’t want to be stuck with something that you have to fight with to print a label. Also compare the shipping cost savings you get from each platform, as a 1-2% difference can save you a ton over the long haul, and may very well offset the monthly cost of the service.
Questions? Feel free to contact us.