No matter what task you need done, there seems to be an app for it — and ecommerce logistics is no exception.
Whether you need help with inventory management, order processing, packing, shipping, tracking, or insurance, there are a number of reliable shipping apps that you can easily integrate with your ecommerce platform to automate shipping.
Read on to learn more about the top shipping apps on the market, the features they offer, and how ShipBob’s shipping solutions can help you meet customer expectations.
Shipping apps to enable scale
As any veteran online business owner will know, ecommerce logistics is never as simple as pick, pack, and ship. In reality, logistics can be complex, and shipping is one aspect of the supply chain that can cut into profit margins and take up valuable time if not done right.
Fortunately, the shipping app marketplace has grown and is able to solve many of these complexities. While shipping apps can be multifaceted, most apps are generally focused on aiding one or two particular stages of the order fulfillment and shipping process. There are also apps that focus on other logistics operational tasks that you might never have considered, such as shipping labels, delivery insurance, and inventory management.
Every app is unique and offers a custom combination of features and services at a particular price, so with a little exploring, business owners are almost certain to find one app (or a combination) that meets their individual logistical needs.
|ShipBob||A global fulfillment infrastructure powered by best-in-class technology. ShipBob supports customers in shipping products by storing inventory and handling fulfillment all for you. ShipBob makes it easy to connect your online store in minutes.|
|Spark Shipping||Automate connection between ecommerce merchants and vendors.|
|ShipStation||Well-rounded shipping app; services include automatic printing of shipping and return labels, picking and packing lists, and client service portals. Fully integratable with major website platforms.|
|Shippo||Shipping app; compare discounted shipping rates, print labels from home, and ship at cost plus $0.05 per package.|
|EasyPost||Shipping API; compare shipping rates from carriers, verify shipping addresses, track shipments in real time, create shipping labels, and insure shipments against damage.|
|AfterShip||Shipment tracking and return management app.|
|Route||Shipment tracking and shipping insurance app.|
ShipBob does it all
If you’re looking to expand your logistical abilities and are thinking of switching 3PLs, don’t fret! ShipBob integrates with shipping apps that you already use, so you can optimize your shipping strategy by integrating it with a best-in-class fulfillment solution.
ShipBob offers a holistic approach to handling logistics that shipping apps can supplement, as well as other benefits that shipping apps can’t provide on their own. Here are some of the perks that you can expect when you partner with ShipBob for your fulfillment needs.
2-day delivery capabilities, nationwide
ShipBob has a growing fulfillment infrastructure, which allows merchants to distribute inventory and offer faster shipping. This allows merchants to offer a 2-day shipping via ground option for order destinations that are close to fulfillment locations. By automatically forwarding orders to the fulfillment center closest to each order’s origin, you can significant reduce shipping costs and transit times without the need for expedited shipping.
Shipping discounts from your favorite carriers
ShipBob partners with major shipping carriers like UPS, FedEx, USPS, and DHL, and more. Through these carrier partnerships, ShipBob negotiates shipping rates that we freely pass onto our customers. Lower shipping rates allow our customers to pocket more of their profits, or pass the shipping discount onto their own customers —savings all around.
State-of-the-art inventory management
Inventory management is the unsung secret to an ecommerce business’ success, and ShipBob has got it covered. Our built-in inventory management system allows business owners to track inventory levels, orders status, and shipments in real time, and will automatically notify you when a SKU hits its reorder point.
In addition, ShipBob’s data and analytics reporting tool enables you to make better decisions on your inventory based on historical sales data. This way, you can better predict how much inventory to reorder in a given time period and better adapt to seasonal fluctuations in demand.
Partners to help you along your journey
At ShipBob, our goal is to make running ecommerce businesses as simple as possible. As a result, we’ve designed our fulfillment and shipping technology to fully integrate with other ecommerce service providers, so our partners can seamlessly employ another platform in tandem with ours.
Business owners can sync their websites to ShipBob so that orders are automatically imported and processed without a second thought, and also link up with their favorite inventory and order management platforms, return management programs, freight shipping services, or ecommerce marketing tools to create a streamlined ecommerce experience.
ShipBob’s app works with your ecommerce platform
ShipBob’s app and built-in integrations are designed to sync with major ecommerce platforms and other solutions, so our customers can streamline their logistics stratey and track the entire process from one dashboard.. Here are just a few of the ecommerce platforms that ShipBob partners with:
While Shopify offers a shipping solution, shipping and fulfillment are ShipBob’s specialities. Because ShipBob integrates seamlessly with Shopify, merchants can outsource their logistical operation to experts with ease. With ShipBob, merchants can link their Shopify store to ShipBob’s platform with the push of a button, easily automate order fulfillment to push orders placed on their Shopify site directly to ShipBob, and manage their inventory from ShipBob’s dashboard.
ShipBob is a full-stack fulfillment solution that offers a direct integration with BigCommerce. By syncing your BigCommerce store with ShipBob, you can easily outsource fulfillment by automatically sending orders placed on your store to one or more of ShipBob’s fulfillment center locations. From there, ShipBob picks, packs, and ships orders for you.
ShipBob’s software integrates with WooCommerce to optimize your supply chain, from inventory management to shipping. ShipBob’s distributed inventory model can help WooCommerce merchants offer free 2-day shipping to their customers, and with ShipBob’s inventory management dashboard, WooCommerce users can better forecast demand and prevent dead stock and stockouts.
ShipBob is a full-stack fulfillment provider that offers a direct integration with Wix and is a great option even if your business is still small. By syncing your Wix store with ShipBob, you’re able to streamline the retail fulfillment process by automatically sending orders placed on your Wix store to one or more of ShipBob’s fulfillment center locations of your choice. From there, ShipBob picks, packs, and ships orders for you.
The 7 best shipping apps
With so many shipping apps to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which app will offer you the combination of features you need to optimize your shipping straetegy.. To jumpstart your search, here are some of the top apps for ecommerce shipping and fulfillment that you should check out.
In addition to our desktop software that helps you ship products by storing inventory and handling fulfillment for you, ShipBob has a Developer API that allows anyone to build an integration into our software. With our Sandbox environment that can be used for more in-depth testing, you can create your very own custom integration that addresses your unique logistics needs.
2. Spark Shipping
Spark Shipping is a shipping app that automates the connection between ecommerce merchants and the various vendors they work with, including warehousing, distributors, and manufacturers. With this app, business owners can automate almost every aspect of inventory management, order processing, and package tracking with minimal confusion, as Spark Shipping will integrate with almost any online platform or vendor — including ShipBob! While it does not offer a free trial and is one of the more expensive shipping apps, Spark Shipping is a worthwhile investment for business owners looking to eliminate logistical noise and focus on what matters.
If you are looking for a well-rounded yet affordable shipping app, look no further than ShipStation. Like a Swiss Army Knife, ShipStation does it all: it generates picking and packing lists, automatically prints return labels to include in packing, offers discounted shipping rates, and supports your brand by allowing branded packing, tracking pages, and client self-service portals.
It is fully integratabtle with most channels, platforms, and shipping carriers (including ShipBob, with whom it has a platinum partnership for fulfillment)—and starting at $9 per month after a 30-day free trial, ShipStation provides significant value for a reasonable rate.
Shippo is a mobile app specifically devoted to helping businesses navigate ecommerce shipping. Business owners can sign up for free and compare shipping pricing between major carriers to secure the best deal at discounted rates.
After selecting a carrier, businesses simply print the shipping label from home, include the return label Shippo provides in the order, and ship it. Shippo is perfect for the beginning business owner, as it connects with most major ecommerce services and platforms and offers simplicity at a stellar price.
EasyPost is a shipping API that allows you to compare shipping rates from 100+ carriers, verify shipping addresses, offer customers real-time shipment tracking, create your own shipping labels, and insure your shipments against damage. Accounts are free, and EasyPost makes it easy to save money through discounted shipping rates.
AfterShip is a 2-in-1 shipping app that handles both shipment tracking and return management. With access to over 700 carriers, AfterShip tracks your customers’ packages regardless of which carrier you ship with, and sends your customers automated tracking and delivery updates and/or notifications.
And in case your customers aren’t happy with their order, AfterShip includes prepaid, discounted return shipping labels and offers a self-service client returns portal that makes it easy for customers to navigate the returns process. AfterShip is completely free to use for up to 50 shipments a month and offers scalable plans, making it perfect for small businesses looking to expand quickly.
Route is unique among its peers in that, in addition to package tracking, it also serves as a shipping insurance app. After a merchant integrates the app with their ecommerce website, Route offers the option to purchase shipping insurance at a fraction of the cost of their cart to cover the cost of lost, damaged, or stolen items in their order.
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Shipping Apps FAQs
For a business owner new to ecommerce, getting started with fulfillment logistics is a daunting task. Shipping apps can help, but with so many to choose from, how do you know what to look for? To help you find the right shipping solutions, here are answers to some of the most common questions about shipping apps.
What do shipping apps do?
While shipping apps are mainly designed to make shipping packages easier and less expensive for ecommerce owners, some of these apps offer or even specialize in additional features, such as package tracking, return management, and inventory management.
Is there an app that calculates costs?
Typically, your ecommerce website platform will allow you to calculate shipping costs, but if it doesn’t, there are plenty of shipping apps that can help. Apps like ShipStation will calculate your shipping costs for you and integrate directly with your website to track shipping data for future reference.
Do shipping apps provide discounted rates?
Sometimes. Mobile apps like ShipStation, Shippo, and EasyPost negotiate discounted shipping rates with the major shipping carriers they partner with, and allow small business owners to compare pricing across carriers before selecting their preference. However, not all shipping apps offer discounted rates, so be sure to research a potential shipping app before committing to it. An alternative is to partner with 3PL like ShipBob, who fulfills and ships orders on your behalf and offers discounted shipping rates.