All Things Shipping
Sep 17, 2015

A Cure for Anxiety

“Anxiety relief. Humans love it when you remove anxiety.”

“Anxiety relief. Humans love it when you remove anxiety.”

A statement couldn’t be more true. Venture capitalist Bill Gurley said those words in an interview organized by Sailthru this week about the future of e-commerce. Shippo was founded upon a deep understanding of that statement. We set out to solve a true problem in e-commerce: shipping is painful. Chances are that if you’re an online store, you’ve battled high costs and inefficient processes to get your customers what they ordered. This constant pain point can be an impediment to growth. We recognized that and decided to address it in the simplest possible way.

Shipping is time-consuming, confusing, and expensive. Business owners are laden with stressors and shipping is notoriously one of the greatest anxiety-inducers. But this is the kind of anxiety that they can’t afford to have freeze them into their current unproductive shipping operations.

Time and time again, our customers express how distraught they were over their old shipping processes – they used clunky software that was not intuitive and always had a sense they were overpaying for shipping. As one of our customers put it, “I used to use the USPS website, which in my opinion is slow and bleh.”

Here are the pain points that Shippo solves:

  • The hassle of going to the Post Office to weigh packages and get the right labels. No one likes waiting in line at the Post Office. No one excitedly anticipates that 20 to 30 min wait just to ship one package. Shippo gives people full control over their shipping from the comfort of their own business or home.

  • The multiple hoops to finally print a label. Age-old online tools require much clicking around to enter customer information, fill out package information, and create packing slips. With Shippo, connect an e-commerce store at the click of a button and then create a label in just three steps. We’re all about efficiency.

  • Cumbersome, inflexible APIs. The available shipping APIs are lacking in strong technology, flexible & quick integration steps, and key functionality. The core of our product is a multi-carrier shipping API that automates the entire shipping process & provides ultimate flexibility on the front-end. It serves as a modern, dev-friendly alternative to the USPS API, FedEx Web Services, UPS Developer Kit, and DHL API.

  • Highly manual, fallible data entry. The current procedure: split customer orders, copy & paste customer addresses into each separate carrier account, fill out customs forms individually, and then finally print labels, often, one at a time – and repeat. Shippo is an automated one-stop-shop. Addresses & order information is fully imported, customs forms & packing slips are created automatically – simply enter the package’s dimensions & weight, select a rate, and click print.

  • It’s expensive! Business owners are wrongly resolved to pay up the wazoo for their shipping, considering it to be a high sunk cost that they can’t do anything about. False! Shippo is a volume business – we get wholesale discounts on our rates from carriers like the USPS and share those savings with our customers. Our USPS and international label prices are lower than what stores pay on their own. No need to worry about overpaying – we display all carrier shipping rate choices on one screen for easy comparison and we share tips for how to optimize for package size.
  • Managing accounts with multiple carriers. Instead of learning how to use multiple clunky dashboards and compare rates across all of them, use one simple dashboard to manage shipments across carriers. Shippo’s sleek interface connects with all of a customer’s carrier accounts and displays label rates for all of them at once.
  • Lack of good customer service. Most customer support is not helpful. Shippo was built with a backbone of strong customer service. Our CS ninjas and Help Center don’t get any better. Empathy is a core value and we practice what we preach.

  • Kickstarter and other crowdfunding campaigns are not tied to an ecommerce platform. On Shippo, simply upload a spreadsheet of all customer order information using our batch import function and create labels for everyone at the same time.

We are building Shippo with a fundamental understanding that humans are creatures of habit. Even if their current process is draining and difficult, they’ll continue on with it because they’re not flexible or trusting enough to try another way: “It’s a hard process, but gosh darnit, it’s a process, and I’ve been doing it for months now!” Our goal is to make trying a better way as easy as possible by removing all points of friction that could cause anxiety for e-commerce shipping.

Shippo is a multi-carrier API and web app that helps retailers, marketplaces and platforms connect to a global network of carriers. Businesses use Shippo to get real-time rates, print labels, automate international paperwork, track packages and facilitate returns. Shippo provides the tools to help businesses succeed through shipping.

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Shan Lian
was a product marketer at Shippo.

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