ShipStation Shipping Software for Ecommerce Fulfillment

Fulfilling orders is easier said than done, especially if you manage multiple stores on different sales channels. I learned this the hard way when I started expanding my first brand—I lost many sales from poor order tracking and confusing payment methods. 


The sheer amount of orders you must sort out daily, all the varying platform requirements, and the need to coordinate with different shipping carriers make the whole process complex, time-consuming, and costly. 


If only there were a way to handle order fulfillment in one place where most shipping carriers are available, repetitive tasks can be automated, and managing orders is a breeze. Life would be easier for entrepreneurs, and they could save a lot of money. 


BUT THERE IS! Many successful online businesses use shipping software to manage their order fulfillment efficiently. Their favorite, and mine too? —ShipStation. 


In this guide, I'll answer some frequently asked questions about ShipStation, including why it's better than other shipping software, how much the monthly subscription costs, and how to leverage its unique features to boost your sales. 


Ready to discover a new tool that can fast-track your business to success? Let's dive in.


What is ShipStation?


ShipStation is a powerful shipping software that streamlines order fulfillment for online businesses, especially those with high shipment volumes. 


It integrates smoothly with multiple sales channels, provides a wide range of shipping options, and automates key order fulfillment processes. Thus, you can manage all your shipping tasks from one easy-to-use platform.


How does it work?


With ShipStation, you can process orders from all your stores on a single dashboard. To do this, you must connect all your stores to your ShipStation account and import your orders. 


When you log in to your ShipStation, you will see all your stores organized on the left-hand side of your dashboard. You can check each for recent orders and fulfill them in a few clicks. 


Many entrepreneurs choose ShipStation over other software because it works with many e-commerce platforms, eliminating the need to use additional platforms for unsupported channels. 


This software also allows you to set custom rules that automate decisions about shipping methods, packaging, and carriers based on criteria like order weight, destination, item type, and customer preferences. This automation saves time and reduces the likelihood of errors.


You may think that generating and printing shipping labels must be done elsewhere since you're using a separate platform. This isn't the case with ShipStation. You can print labels from top shipping carriers, individually or in bulk, directly from the platform. 


Additionally, orders can be processed in large batches rather than individually, which is helpful during high-volume sales periods as it enables faster shipment dispatch.


ShipStation makes it easy to compare shipping rates and delivery times between providers and routes, allowing you to select the most cost-effective or fastest options. 


It also offers tracking information for shipments that you can share with customers and tools for analyzing shipping costs, monitoring listing performance, and improving shipping strategies.


To improve customer experience, ShipStation allows you to customize your shipping confirmation emails, packing slips, labels, and messages. 


It also helps streamline return management, making it easier for you to handle returned items and for customers to return products when necessary.


Who can use ShipStation?


As with other online business tools, ShipStation isn't for every online business. Some need it more than others. Here are the types of online businesses that benefit from using this software:


  • Online store owners who sell through their own websites or multiple platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento
  • Retailers selling on multiple marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc.
  • Fulfillment centers that handle shipping and logistics for other companies.
  • Dropshipping businesses that dropship products directly from suppliers to customers 
  • Subscription box services that regularly send out subscription boxes
  • SMEs that manage a steady flow of shipments 
  • Manufacturers and artisans who manage online sales alongside production 


If your online business fits into any of these categories, then using ShipStation is a smart choice. 

Just make sure you consider the order volume and your preferred shipping carriers when you're picking a service plan.


What's the cost of using ShipStation?


ShipStation offers some of the lowest starting prices for shipping software. Plus, you can choose from several pricing tiers to match your business size and shipping needs.


  • ShippingEasy: This is the software's free version. It comes with 25 free shipments per month and access to standard automation features, exclusive cubic discounts with our Flat Rate Green pricing, up to 82% off UPS Daily Rates, and discounted international shipping with GlobalPost.


  • Starter Plan: This plan is usually the most basic and affordable, suitable for newer businesses or those with lower shipping volumes. It typically allows for a limited number of monthly shipments and has basic features. It costs $9.99 per month.


  • Bronze/Silver Plans: These plans offer more monthly shipments and additional features like more users and integration options. They are suitable for growing businesses that need more capacity. The bronze plan costs $29.99, and the silver plan costs $59.99 monthly.


  • Gold Plan: This plan is designed for more established businesses with even higher shipping needs. It includes more advanced features and supports a larger volume of shipments. This plan costs $99.99 per month.


  • Platinum/Enterprise Plans: These are the highest tiers, supporting the highest volume of shipments and offering the most advanced features, including full API access, dedicated support, and more. The platinum plan costs $149.99, and the enterprise plan costs $229.99.


  • High-Volume Plan: This is the best and priciest plan, which suits large businesses with nonstop shipment needs. Subscribers get access to ShipStation's pre-negotiated shipping rates and best-discounted shipping rates from USPS, UPS, DHL, and GlobalPost.


Why should you choose ShipStation over other software?


ShipStation offers several advantages that make it a popular choice among e-commerce businesses and retailers—


  1. It integrates with over 100 shopping carts, marketplaces, fulfillment services, and major carriers. 
  2. It allows you to automate many steps in the fulfillment process, including order importing, shipping selection based on predefined criteria, and label printing. 
  3. You can customize packing slips, shipping labels, and other customer communications with their own branding. 
  4. Processing time is faster because you can print shipping labels, pack slips, and pick lists in bulk.
  5. It has a clean and intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate and use, even for beginners. 
  6. It can handle unlimited shipping volumes, allowing you to scale quickly. 
  7. It offers robust analytics and reporting features that help businesses track shipping costs and delivery times.
  8. It's available on mobile.


How to Use ShipStation?


Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an account and using Ship Station to improve your product fulfillment.


Step 1: Create an account.


You need to register to ship products through ShipStation. To do this, you can click the "Start Shipping Now" button below the welcome message, the "Try It Free" button beside the core page titles, or the "Log In" button in the top-right corner of the home page. All of them lead to the same sign-up page.


Next, fill out the form with your information, including your name, company, email address, and phone number. You also need to disclose how many shipments you handle per month. 

If you have an offer code, enter it in the designated field to apply the discount. Then, click "Get Started."


Choose a pricing plan that suits your needs. If you've just started and only ship less than 25 units per month, stick with the free plan first. Then, gradually upgrade as your monthly shipment increases.


Step 2: Configure your account.


Log in to your account to open your main dashboard. You'll receive a welcome message with instructions on fully configuring your account. First, link your ShipStation account with your stores. Just click the corresponding button and select the sales channels you're using. You can connect as many stores as you like.


ShipStation will request access to your stores' data, which is essential to avoid manually entering them into your dashboard. The integration enables the automation you need to handle hundreds or even thousands of orders per month. You must install the ShipStation app on your store to enable integration. 


Next, activate savings on carrier and insurance rates. This option gives you access to discounted rates and automates label generation. You'll see all domestic and international shipping carriers ShipStation supports, including popular ones like UPS, USPS, FedEx, and DHL. Select your preferred carriers and fill in your billing address and payment details. 


Tip: If shipping within the US, choose USPS as your carrier because they're the cheapest. If you're shipping internationally, I recommend DHL Express. They deliver fast and have excellent customer support.


Once your shipping carrier and address are set up, choose a label layout and printer type for batch printing. Under "Printing," select "printer" and choose your desired printer model. Then, adjust the settings, such as the label size and orientation, units of measurement, no. or copies, print model, printer type, etc.


Lastly, provide your business location or where your products will be shipped from. If you're shipping from multiple addresses, add all your warehouses and store locations. ShipStation needs this information to calculate transit time and delivery rates.


Step 3: Import orders.


It's time to see ShipStation in action. Head over to the "Orders" section and select "Awaiting shipment." An empty order form will pop up, which will only be filled with information once data is imported from your store. Click the Update button in the top right corner and select the store you want to sync with your ShipStation account. 


Give it a few seconds until the data populates the form. Once the unfulfilled order appears on your dashboard, you can start customizing it based on the buyer's specific requests, adding tracking, printing labels, and more. You can do all this in a few clicks. 


How to Make More Money with ShipStation


Here's how using ShipStation can help boost your profit:


  • Since you can compare shipping rates across various carriers with ShipStation, you can choose the most cost-effective option for each shipment.