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Small Business Item Packaging
March 29, 2022 - By Jesse McCarl

How Third-Party Shipping Software Can Help Shopify Merchants Grow on New Selling Channels

This is a guest post by the editorial team at Hawke Media partner, ShipStation.

Shipping may seem like the final step in an order lifecycle, but shipping touches so many other areas of your business that you need to be able to centralize fulfillment. Platforms like UPS Worldship or Shopify Shipping are great platforms. But shipping apps or plugins that work with a single platform tend to be restrictive. Having a single place to manage shipping for all of your orders is a great way to build a scalable fulfillment plan. Even as you grow to account for new workflows and more platforms, being able to integrate with existing systems is crucial. 

Get Access to Shipping Discounts

An advantage of programs like Shopify Shipping is that they offer discounts for shipping rates. In order to be a competitive ecommerce platform that offers shipping, you must offer shipping discounts. One common reason people stay keep an existing shipping workflow is because they are getting discounts. Luckily other shipping platforms offer the same shipping discounts. These savings generally result from negotiations between the shipping software and the carrier. However, as your shipping volume increases, there are more shipping discounts available to you. Shipping software like ShipStation just give you the stepping stone to grow your presence. 

Multichannel Shipping Scales With Your Business

An early hurdle that online businesses need to clear is the ability to ship to their customers—regardless of where they live. A shipping program like ShipStation helps you reach new customers by integrating with the online marketplaces, carts, and other systems that you use to sell or manage orders. Siloing information has its benefits. It helps create clear lanes between different products, customers, orders, or employees. But, when you create clear lanes for your different orders, you still need to be able to transmit data between the programs and platforms in your tech stack. 

Simplify International Shipping

International shipping can be complicated even if it’s just crossborder shipping to the US. Luckily, you can scale international shipping with ShipStation by removing manual steps. This lets you grow into new international markets across the globe. 

ShipStation helps international expansion by: 

  • Generating customs forms
  • Helping transmit tax compliance
  • Applying harmonization codes and customs form

You may sell the same items across multiple selling channels. There’s no need to have to control customs information in the selling channel or copy and paste it each time you create a shipment. Shipping software give you the tools to efficiently ship all of your orders, regardless of order source or destination with the same ease. 

How Automation Increases Fulfillment Efficiency

Automating your fulfillment workflow allows you to scale more efficiently. The more manual processes you are able to remove, the more work you are able to accomplish with fewer workers. Moreover, the larger your operations scale, the more places you sell on. While Shopify Shipping works great for your Shopify orders, merchants need a solution that works for all their orders. This is where a shipping solution like ShipStation comes into play. 

Shipping automations that increase efficiency:

  • Add packaging weight
  • Assign orders to pickers
  • Update selling channel and customer of shipment
  • Apply tax and customs information to international orders
  • Hold orders until they are ready to ship

Control Brand Voice

An advantage of using the same shipping software across multiple selling channels is that you can control your brand voice and image. With platforms like Shopify, you have access to great email template builders. And one area of growth that can be difficult is growing brand identity from an online store like Shopify to new marketplaces or other self-hosted carts. Having a way to create customer correspondence with all of your customers removes barriers and elevates how you engage with consumers. 

Returns Create Merchant Success

Customers want returns to be as simple as possible. A good returns process leads to increased customer satisfaction that leads to returning customers and good customer reviews. In fact, ShipStation found that 63% of consumers consider the ease of returns before buying from a website. Not only do softwares like ShipStation simplify outbound shipping, they also help you and your customers navigate the world of return shipping too! Whether you want to include outbound return labels or give customers a simple way to generate and print their own return labels after you’ve discussed a return, you have options.