E-commerce Tools & Best Practices

6 Must-have Online Shipping Services for E-commerce Retailers

By: Alexandra Sheehan | July 2, 2019

When launching and running your online store, there are lots of moving pieces. It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes tools, including the right online shipping services, to turn a pretty website into a well-oiled, money-making machine. 

When it comes to choosing your shipping software, how do you know which features you really need? Which ones can propel your business forward? 

Here is what to look for in an online shipping solution

International Shipping Support

87 percent of U.S.-based companies believe that international expansion is the key to driving future business growth. And they’re not wrong: retailers with premium international shipping grow 60 percent faster than those without.

International expansion can propel e-commerce brands into the next stage of growth—and they need online shipping services that can keep up. 

Manufacturers of all sizes have reported higher average order values for international orders, compared to domestic ones.

Related: The ultimate guide to international shipping for e-commerce brands >

Vango Art was able to grow their business through international expansion. At the time, their tech stack didn’t support the move. That’s when they migrated over to Shippo, which enabled them to pursue their growth goals. 

Discounted Shipping Labels

75 percent of online retailers consider shipping costs to be their biggest operational challenge. Luckily, some online shipping services can get you discounted shipping labels. 

Shippo, for example, saves you up to 90 percent off Retail rates for USPS and DHL Express. Over time, these savings add up—and you can use the capital to reinvest in your business and set yourself up for long-term growth. 

Related: Your shipping label software needs these four features >

Per-Label Pricing

With per-label pricing, you pay for what you ship—not a penny more. 

Why is this beneficial? Two key scenarios: 

  • Seasonal fluctuations: You might see a massive influx of orders around the holidays or another busy season (for example, swimsuits in the spring). This pricing model is flexible to handle those fluctuations. Rather than overpaying during your slow season, you only pay for the items you sell and ship. E-commerce brand Mail Order Mystery has found this to be a huge benefit of using Shippo to fulfill their online orders. 
  • New businesses: Whether you’re testing a new product idea or getting a taste for online entrepreneurism, per-label pricing is an affordable way to get a smaller quantity of orders in customers’ hands. When Greenbelly Meals was a young brand, they used Shippo’s per-label pricing to find a cost-effective way to test the market. 

Integrations

You’ve built a brand entirely online—you’ve got a website builder, an email marketing platform, integrated accounting, and now it’s time to choose your online shipping services. 

When shopping around, you want to find one that not only integrates with your existing platforms, but also has a long list of integrations beyond that. Should you outgrow parts of your current tech stack, you’ll want to be able to keep as many of the same tools as possible when finding replacements. 

Shippo has integrations with the top e-commerce platforms and tools which touch on other areas of business ops—from inventory management to payment processing. Mountain Madness Soap has relied heavily on the integration with Etsy and Shopify, enabling them to streamline business operations and get products in customers’ hands more efficiently. 

Customizations

65 percent of consumers feel frustrated when a brand experience is inconsistent across different channels and touchpoints. It should be a synonymous experience when a customer interacts with you online and when they get their order (plus any communication in between or after). One of the ways you can do this is by reinforcing your brand with customized packaging, inserts, and email notifications.

Let’s look at packaging: 40 percent of online shoppers would be more likely to purchase from a retailer who delivers products in premium packaging. These experiences are more share-worthy: unboxing videos, flat-lay Instagram shots, etc. 

Expedited Delivery

80 percent of online shoppers are influenced by shipping cost and speed when making purchase decisions, and 15 percent want same- or next-day delivery. But only 1 percent of e-tailers offer it. 

We have Amazon to thank for most of that, with their two-day delivery for Prime Subscribers. Smaller brands are starting to catch up. With integrated e-commerce tools and apps, you can automate also every step of the fulfillment process to fulfill orders even faster. And when choosing your online shipping services, go with one that has experience providing expedited deliveries. 

What’s Next in Choosing an Online Shipping Service?

Your shipping software isn’t just a necessity—it can also fuel e-commerce growth. Sign up for a free Shippo account here to give all of these features a try for yourself. 

Alexandra Sheehan

Alex is a copywriter who works with B2B companies in the retail, e-commerce, and travel sectors to create strategies and expert longform, website, and blog content. Learn more at thealexsheehan.com.

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