Shipping Solutions for eCommerce Platforms 

A shipping label is placed on an envelope

If you are an online seller, you know that shipping is a crucial part of your business. How quickly and efficiently your packages get from your address to their final destination is a key element in any eCommerce market. 

One way to help eradicate the stress of managing and shipping your online orders is through a shipping platform. These programs help streamline shipping and fulfillment for any size business no matter how unique their process is. 

Think a shipping platform is the next step for your business?

In this article, we compare 3 popular shipping platforms so you can see which is the overall best choice for your business: Shipstation, ShippingEasy, and Endicia.

What is a Shipping Platform?

A shipping platform is a computer program or tool for online retailers and sellers to help them manage the overall scale of their business and ship their products accurately and in a timely manner. You can think of shipping platforms as a bridge between the product you are selling and the carrier you will ship with.  

Shipping platforms can manage your customer and product inventory as well as generate shipping labels for your orders, which can be printed for free on thermal labels from the comfort of your home.

Who Uses Shipping Platforms?

One of the many advantages of using a shipping platform is how versatile they are. Their use ranges from low volume merchants sending less than 50 shipments a month to high volume users shipping upwards of 10,000 shipments in the same timespan. Home and office mailing and shipping, warehouses, and multi-channel merchants all benefit from operating through a shipping platform.

Cost 

Determining your monthly cost for a shipping platform will depend on several factors: your overall budget, how many shipments you make per month, and whether you will require additional offers the company makes depending on your monthly coverage. 

If you are shipping a large number of parcels per month, you will want to consider increasing your shipping plan.

Shipstation

Shipstation offers low-volume users a starter price of $9 per month. These are small merchants who manage less than 50 orders every 30 days. For larger volume businesses, their most popular plan allows for an average of 3,000 shipments for $69 per month. This can be shared among 3 users, allows for customized label and packing slips, and gives users multiple channels to ask for assistance. 

ShippingEasy

ShippingEasy has a $0 starter plan for low volume merchants who manage around 50 shipments per month. While this plan does offer discounted carrier shipping rates and automatic imports from your store or marketplace, it limits additional users, customer support, and customizations. ShippingEasy recommends eCommerce businesses their Plus plan, which supports 1,500 shipments per month for $49.

Endicia

Unlike the previous platforms, Endicia does not provide multiple plans for different size merchants. Instead they offer a monthly service fee of $17.99 per month with applicable taxes, if there are any.

Featured Offers

Most shipping platforms provide new and current users special features to help them get the most out of their online business program. These often include instructional videos, free limited-time trials, inventory and customer management, and more. Certain shipping plans will offer more for users with a higher monthly subscription. 

All three platforms offer potential customers a free trial period of 30 days, which can be canceled at any time. They also offer international shipping to help merchants expand their markets globally.

Shipstation 

Along with a free trial period, Shipstation gives new users the chance to schedule a demo so they can learn first hand if their program can truly help their business. Users can also download the Shipstation app on their smartphone for access to wireless label printing, tracking information, and on-the-go management.

ShippingEasy

ShippingEasy gives customers the ability to wirelessly access their shipping information through Amazon Alexa. Users can print labels and packing slips, ship orders, and check tracking and order status through simple voice commands.

Endicia

Endicia does not offer any additional features.

Online Store Integration 

Online Store Integration

If you are a multichannel merchant, you will want to integrate all of your marketplaces seamlessly into your shipping platform quickly and accurately. 

Shipstation

  • Click connect a selling channel
    • Select your store platform from the list
    • Follow the onscreen instructions to connect your store
  • Click set up a carrier
    • Choose “Carrier” from the list
    • Follow the on screen instructions to add carrier account
  • Click label layout
    • Select the layout that matches printer type, and whether to print labels only or labels and packing slips together

ShippingEasy

  • Add the shop URL and it will automatically redirect you to that page
  • Install the ShippingEasy app from your online store
  • Once downloaded, hit “Synch” and the orders will transfer
  • Once the order is fulfilled you can choose buy or print shipping labels

Endicia

  • Select the web store you want to add
  • Click “Data Source Setup” 
  • Select “Web Store Data Source Type”
  • Select your online marketplace
  • Enter your credentials and follow the prompts to authorize access
  • Click “Done”

Comparing the Shipping Platforms

Shipstation ShippingEasy Endicia 
Cost $9.00 per month for 50 shipments $0 per month for 50 shipments $17.99 per month
Associated Discounts Stamps.com & UPS USPS & Shipping Insurance USPS
Featured Offers 30 Day Free Trial & Ships Worldwide 30 Day Free Trial & Ships Internationally 4-week Free Trial & Ships Internationally
Shipping Platforms FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL USPS & UPS
Marketplaces Most Marketplaces Most Marketplaces Most Marketplaces
Label Printers Zebra, DYMO & Rollo Zebra, DYMO & Rollo Zebra & DYMO
Shipping Labels 4 x 6 4 x 5, 4 x 6, 4 x 8 4 x 4.5, 4 x 5, 4 x 6

Support

Maneuvering through all of the data, information, and browser interfaces can be a challenging and daunting task, especially for first time users. It is important to consider how much assistance you are offered with your shipping plan so you can easily navigate through how-to’s, troubleshooting, and related questions.

Shipstation

For first time Shipstation users, how-to videos and webinars on their website offer helpful tips and information. Depending on your payment plan, live chatting is available as well as emailing and a community support forum.

ShippingEasy

Along with a customer call number, live chatting, and email support, ShippingEasy assigns each customer a service agent. This agent is there to help new customers by answering questions and guiding them through the setup process as well as moving customers forward with their progress.

Endicia

Endicia customers can call a customer support line as well as product and shipping information numbers should questions arise. Users can also submit an email request form of the Endicia website or check out their blog to learn more information.

Ease of Use 

A DYMO 4LX printer with a shipping label printed

Whether you are a single or multi-channel user, no one wants to use a complicated software tool. These are meant to ease the strain of managing customers and orders and shipping out products, no matter the volume size.

Shipstation

Shipstation is equipped to handle a range of business sizes, from those sending out a few dozen orders a month to larger sellers handling thousands of packages, and many users report the site being incredibly intuitive to use. They offer a brief tutorial on how to set up your account and their dashboard is easy to navigate, especially if it’s integrating multiple channels. It organizes categories and tools, like orders, shipments, customers, and support.

ShippingEasy

ShippingEasy’s goal is in the name: to make shipping easy for their customers. They automatically integrate with ecommerce marketplaces, map carriers, and allow users to customize their own shipping rules. The interface is simple to navigate with clearly labeled menus and features.

Endicia

Endicia eases the process of printing postage from the comfort of your own home. They simplify importing and shipping, especially large batches if they are all in the same weight class, which saves users time.

User Reviews

Below are just some of the pros and cons each shipping program has from current and previous users. We recommend thoroughly researching customer reviews before making a final decision.

Shipstation

  • Better/easier marketplace integration
  • Large range of customization options
  • Intuitive to use
  • Can only access phone support with a higher paid plan
  • Technical issues are common

ShippingEasy

  • Great customer service
  • Intuitive to use
  • Excellent reporting features
  • The interface can be difficult for new users
  • Few reports of billing after cancellation

Endicia

  • Substantial savings on USPS shipping
  • Poor customer service
  • New software causes issues
  • Many comments about fraud charges

Holiday Shipping Solutions

Shipping platforms offer solutions for the holidays

Because we have seen 2020 rely on ecommerce more than ever, it is absolutely worth considering using a platform to streamline the overflow of upcoming holiday orders. If you are preparing your business for the chaos of the holiday season, managing your inventory and having a proper shipping plan in place are vital. These programs are able to minimize errors, allow your business to run smoother, and provide your customers with a better shipping experience.

It is important to note the deadline for each mail carrier so you can be sure your products will arrive on time. Below is a current chart of holiday schedules:

UPS
Shipping Method Shipping Deadline
UPS® Ground December 15th
UPS 3 Day Select® December 21st
UPS 2nd Day Air® December 22nd
UPS Next Day Air® December 23rd
USPS
Shipping Method Shipping Deadline
USPS Retail Ground® Service December 15th
First-Class Mail® Service December 18th
Priority Mail® Service December 19th
Priority Mail Express® Service2 December 23rd
FedEx
Shipping Method Shipping Deadline
FedEx Ground®1,3 December 15th
FedEx Express Saver® December 21st
FedEx 2Day® December 22nd
FedEx 1Day® Freight December 23rd