Did you know that your shipping system can make or break your
ecommerce business? It’s easily the largest expense of your
enterprise, and for good reason: no matter how great a brand
your offer, if an order takes too long for a product to arrive,
you have no idea which warehouse or location may be out of stock
and which can fill an order, then your business is in trouble.
Today’s ecommerce owner can choose from a wide array of shipping
and tracking software options for large and small businesses to
help you keep your shipping department humming along. Most of
them are easily integrated with accounting, inventory, and
tracking components of a business’s inventory and shipping
systems. In this article, we’ll talk about shipping rates,
compare shipping services and software of some of the biggest
carriers and shipping software developers and the importance of
If you’re new to the wonderful world of inventory and shipping
logistics, you may be wondering about which of the factors go
into in determining rates. In a nutshell, here they are:
Weight tops the list, including dimensional weight used for
light but larger, bulky items that while light-weight, take
up a significant amount of truck space.
Next is the distance to be delivered, otherwise known as
“zone” in the USA, while Canada uses its own postal code
Shipping methods, such as flat-rate methods, fast methods,
low-weight and international methods – the highest of all
rates due to distance and additional charges – round out the
main components of shipping charges.
The above underscores the necessity for a reliable shipping
calculator built into your shipping management software or
available as a plug-in. (Imagine the time wasted by checking
with each and every carrier for information every time you had
to ship a package!)
The current big players vying for the best shipping software for
ecommerce include Shippo, Shipstation, Shipping Easy, and Easy
Ship. Most of these software companies now offer some version of
shipping rate calculations, carrier connection interface,
package tracking, reporting, and often special features such as
batch shipments of quantities of the same products and label
creation for shipping and bills of lading.
Ordoro is also poised right up there with the Big Guys, offering
integrated solutions connecting carriers such as USPS, FedEx,
Canada Post, and DHL utilizing each carrier’s best rates and
methods for domestic and international shipping.
FedEx tracking utilizes GPS tracking devices to monitor a
package’s in-transit status from start to finish, an online
rate calculator and small business-assist pages similar to
those of USPS shipping software.
FedEx Express also offers users a fast shipping option with
Standard, Priority, Overnight, Next Day or 2-Day /3-Day
Delivery, with delivery time setting the rates.
USPS allows API integration by web developers and
technicians with an array of free USPS Web Tools® for use in
websites, customer service centers or shipping operations. A
Business Customer Gateway (BCG) is their hub for businesses
of all sizes to manage volume shipping and mailing.
Other tracking systems and software include Transportation
Management System Software (TMS) for tracking when goods are
in transit, through an app for freight shipments or mail
One important tracking feature that ecommerce businesses
need in their shipping software is what’s known as “Last
Mile” tracking of the final portion of a package’s trip from
warehouse to customer and is a now-standard tool that buyers
have come to expect.
First, what are your shipping requirements? Take into
account your current needs but if just starting out, also
look for features that are scalable as your business grows.
Shipping calculator software is a must, to help find the
most economical carrier at the best rate.
Do you prefer open source supply-chain management or paid
subscription and apps? One example of an open source system
is WPCargo Pro from WordPress, which includes international
tracking. Ordoro, on the other hand offers an online
subscription which includes a multitude of shipping
solutions through apps for a variety of shipping tasks.
Does the software include state-of-the art security measures
to reduce the chances of hacking? Online stores are often
prime targets for hacking customer information, such as
credit cards and identity theft.
Finally, no software is worth much if it’s too complicated
to be understood and used by those who aren’t experts in
software or computer technology. Software needs to be
user-friendly without extensive, lengthy training sessions.
Having software with the capability to interface with a variety
of carriers is essential to the success of your ecommerce
business. It’s critical to have a good multi-carrier shipping
software program in place to handle the innumerable tasks that
shipping management entails, including the tasks outlined below.
Features you’ll want to have should include:
Up-to-date rate information and calculators for figuring
real-time shipping rates in your estimates. This should be
obvious, but you might be surprised how often this is
missing in action on the more generic software offerings out
there. Ordoro leads the pack in rates with giving you
best-in-industry cost-effective shipping rates as well as
discounts through USPS of up to 67%!
The ability to fully integrate with the rock stars of major
ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Etsy,
Amazon and eBay. Most purchasing is now done online, making
seamless interfacing with these platforms a must-have
feature for multi-carrier software.
Any shipping software worth its salt should be able to
create shipping labels, and for larger shipping needs, bills
of lading, packing slips, and other documents appropriate
for your type of business.
If you already have or plan to move into a larger logistics
model, as with a transportation management system (TMS),
software with multi-carrier shipping capabilities are a
must. Today’s cloud-based solutions can help automate and
manage your entire freight process, saving money and time by
ensuring the smooth flow of goods and their documentation
from their origin to final destination.
Certain delivery models, such as cloud-based, can scale up
automatically to handle spikes in demand, such as happens
during seasonal and holiday purchasing.
Finally, the name of the game is convenience – for customers
tracking their packages and for you, the owner. If you make it
easy for your customers to buy and receive their purchases, your
ecommerce business will take off like a rocket.
Enterprise shipping software is used by organizations, such as
clubs, interest-based user groups, schools and similar
organizations, including governments. Because it’s an integrated
part of a (normally computer-based) information system, this
software collection is called an Enterprise system.
Unfortunately, most traditional enterprise fulfillment processes
take up to 6 or 7 days – not including the actual transit time.
Newer Enterprise shipping software offers users a full suite of
flexible, configurable and scalable shipping as well as full
documentation automaton built into the shipping process. These
functionalities enable the order and (warehouse) fulfillment
teams to more efficiently process multi-carrier shipments in one
Using pack and ship software allows your business to connect
shipping, order processing, your business or ERP system as well
as customer service by consolidating everything into a single
powerful solution. This improves fulfillment accuracy and
efficiency with pick and pack lists. Ordoro offers automation
rules as well as presets for help with bulk selection, bar code
scanning and label printing. In addition, Ordoro connects
seamlessly to supply-side channels and warehouses, efficiently
routing orders to 3PLs and others, while selecting the best
location to ship from. Ordoro also relays tracking numbers and
shipping status to the appropriate sales channel to keep the
customer on track.
As previously mentioned, package tracking abilities are
essential and an expected tool of any shipping management
software package. Here are some final picks for finding and
utilizing the best shipment tracking software for your ecommerce
Shippo multi-carrier shipping software designed for ecommerce to
help businesses ship smarter by saving on carrier rates for UPS,
DHL Express, USPS and more. When connected with your ecommerce
platform Shippo synchronizes order information, creates and
prints documents and shipping labels. Customer service is
improved through its tracking pages, batch printing and branded
Shipping Easy is a bit different from other shipping software in
that it offers tools for not only inventory, shipping and
tracking but marketing campaigns and inventory automation. Used
by stores and other sellers on Shopify, Amazon, Magento, eBay
and Etsy, Shipping Easy saves you money on shipping with
discounted USPS rates and a free US postage account. Shipping
Easy is probably the less expensive option, although most
providers are becoming pretty competitive.
Shopify Shipping has become an ecommerce industry leader in
recent years for good reason: in addition to its popular
ecommerce sales platform, the shipping arm of the company helps
users improve their customer service with real-time tracking
updates, as well as offer them the best rates with trusted
carriers, shipping insurance and return labels. While not the
least expensive among the group, it carries the well-known
Shopify brand – no small consideration.
Ordoro is gaining in branded shipping and inventory solutions
for businesses of all sizes, but with a special focus on
ecommerce. This workhorse company does it all: whether through
Ordoro-supported sales channels, integrating a custom API,
importing orders into their handy app (and quickly shipping them
out), as well as staying connected to your supply side and other
channels, Ordoro walks away with the prize for best choice.