1) Overview of the eCommerce shipping industry in the USA
eCommerce in the USA is the second-largest retail market in the world. One can easily range the magnitude of competition in the USA market. Having a consolidated shipping strategy is a must for survival. While assembling the best team, offering the best shipping methods and rates, and setting the right goals for the business is common. But to get an extra edge over competitors in the USA it is essential to have eCommerce shipping solutions that automate and streamline the shipping process.
2) Types of eCommerce shipping solutions available in the United States
The eCommerce market in the United States is saturated with steep competition, rapid technological innovations, ever-expanding customer expectations, and forays into newer business models. Having a grip over all these transformations may be a swooning task for a budding eCommerce company and an added load for existing businesses. This is where eCommerce shipping solutions come to the rescue.
There isn’t a consensus on the exact meaning of ‘shipping solutions’ but one can infer that it usually refers to processes and people who make shipping a seamless and automated process. This is why the term is used to refer to shipping software and sometimes to shipping carriers, both of which propel the shipping process and clears all the conceivable hassles of the United States eCommerce industry.
2.1) Shipping Carriers
Shipping carriers are an indispensable part of eCommerce shipping. Naturally, shipping carriers carry the weight of the physical movement of goods from their point of origin to their destination. An eCommerce brand has to be cognizant of the different shipping options and rates each shipping carrier offers to provide the best delivery experience to its customers. In the USA, the major shipping carriers are USPS, UPS, DHL Express, ShipBob, FedEx, and EasyPost.
2.2) Shipping Software
Shipping software is the miracle recipe for automated, convenient, and optimized order fulfillment and shipping. In fact, they are the perfect tools for small and medium-sized eCommerce businesses to rival Amazon’s and Walmart’s seamless shipping and delivery process.
In simple terms, shipping software can be thought of as a platform that connects all the sale channels of your business with your carriers and performs at least some or all of the following basic functions:
- Prints shipping labels
- Tracks shipments in real-time
- Gives shipping estimates like delivery dates
- Integrates with organization systems
- Manage and forecast inventory
- Give shipment reports
- Integrate with multiple carriers
- Provide label customizations, packaging, and branding
- Manages warehouse pick and sets shipping rules
All of the above tasks facilitate eCommerce businesses to provide accurate, up-to-date information to customers, furnish multiple shipping options and rates and save tons of time with tasks that would have been manually handled otherwise.
Given the wide variety of tasks performed by shipping software, it is only natural for you to think if there is a variety of shipping software available. Well yes! Let’s take a quick look at some of them:
- Multi-carrier shipping software is one that integrates with all your carrier partners and allows you to prepare shipping orders from a single platform.
- A freight management software helps with the overall optimization of the logistical process and the management of the transport fleet.
- An eCommerce shipping software primarily assists with the day-to-day functions of the business such as organizing and analyzing data, working with cloud systems, inventory management, and business strategies.
- A shipment tracking software monitors and shows the location of the shipment at all points of the shipping route till the final delivery.
- A shipping label software automates the generation of shipping labels for businesses.
3) Benefits of using shipping solutions for USA customers
3.1) Automate Order Fulfillment
The highlight of shipping software is that it automates everyday shipping processes like the visibility of inventory stock, tracking orders, reporting on the delivery status of chosen carriers, and initiating carrier reports. With the help of automation, the room for human error is drastically reduced.
Because shipping software pool all vital information from your chosen carrier partners, you can instantly compare their services, shipping rates, and delivery estimates according to the USA shipping zones to choose the best delivery option for your customers. Having data on the tips of your fingers will surely enable you to cut down on shipping costs.
3.2) Integrate Sales Channel
A shipping software effectively connects with your sales channels such that you can process all your orders, denote tracking numbers, and send order status to your customers from one single platform. A shipping software, therefore, facilitates the real-time flow of data, helping you to maintain detailed and accurate communication with customers.
3.3) Integrate with Multiple Carriers
Most eCommerce brands work with multiple carriers. A shipping software integrates with multiple carriers and offers a single point of contact with various carriers an eCommerce brand partners with to manage order creation and deliveries.
3.4) Tracking Shipments
Shipping software is truly the best eCommerce shipping solution for tracking your parcel’s journey from its origin warehouse or fulfillment center to the end destination, giving you updates along the way and alerting you of possible late deliveries or other issues in transit.
Using IoT appliances, shipping software monitors delivery events for every milestone your parcel travels and feeds this data into your CRM system. This way you can not only keep your customers informed of their delivery status, keeping them in the loop with anticipation but also solve any problems by communicating with your carriers in real-time.
As shipping software is integrated with the eCommerce website, your customers can track their orders on your website. Therefore you can also create a branded tracking experience for them, just like Amazon’s tracking system loved by most customers in the United States!
3.5) Manage NDRs
NDRs are a nightmare for an eCommerce business, resulting in a loss of revenue and reputation. But with shipping software, you can finally breathe with ease. Here’s why.
A well-equipped shipping software strictly monitors delivery attempts and alerts you in case of a failed delivery. Whether it is the customer’s unavailability or a change in address (or other issues) a shipping software triggers alerts as soon as a failed delivery is reported and contacts your customers to get the reason for the failed delivery, for the next delivery to occur without any mishaps.
3.6) Manage Returns
Managing returns is another herculean task for any eCommerce brand. However, shipping software helps you control and simplify the reverse logistics journey. It takes care of generating return labels, scheduling a pick-up date and time, choosing the right carrier for the reverse journey, getting real-time updates on the shipment, and automating refunds.
Since you cannot avoid returns, you can at least give your customers a satisfying returns experience for them to choose you again.
Overall, shipping software is an ideal eCommerce shipping solution, especially for the USA market where brands are evaluated on the parameters of an excellent customer experience, brand value, efficient and fast delivery, and easy returns.
Now that we know how shipping software is advantageous for your business, let’s know more about the best eCommerce shipping solutions that will work for your business in the USA.
4) Top 10 eCommerce shipping solutions for the United States
At its core, ClickPost is a multicarrier shipping software but its operations extend to a whole range of shipping functions like shipment tracking, NDR, and Returns Management. It’s a seamless solution for international and domestic shipping in USA and India.
ClikPost has integrations with over 250 global carriers and major online marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Shopify, and Magento.
ClickPost operates on APIs for automating the shipping process. From generating Waybills and shipping labels to scheduling pickups with carriers, everything is done with the ease of APIs. With its easy-to-use interface, it offers automated carrier locations based on the parameters an eCommerce brand chooses and the past delivery history of carriers.
Coupled with both push and pull carriers, ClickPost offers transparent and real-time visibility of shipments and tracking information from carriers. In this way, it also helps a brand to reduce NDRs and reschedules delivery attempts by promptly communicating with customers.
Shippo is a multicarrier shipping software and a popular eCommerce shipping solution in the USA. It is well integrated with the most popular carriers in the United States viz. USPS, UPS, DHL, and FedEx; and eCommerce storefronts and marketplaces like Shopify, WooCommerce, and eBay. Though based in California, Shippo operates on a global scale with over 85 carriers as partners.
Shippo’s shipment tracking is a comprehensive program allowing eCommerce businesses to have a branded tracking page, shipping notifications tailored to business needs, and real-time updates to inform customers regularly.
As an international player, Shippo handles all necessary tasks in domestic and international shipping like generating the shipping and returns labels, creating invoices and manifests, filling out customs documentation, and adding shipping insurance.
Another highlight of Shippo is that it automatically validates any address in the USA to avoid any errors in delivery.
EasyShip is an all-inclusive eCommerce shipping solution in the USA. EasyShip handles everything from connecting your stores to fulfilling orders and shipping globally.
EasyShip's motto is to automate the shipping process starting with integrating your stores to sync all your orders, apply for tracking numbers, update your fulfillment status, and offer dynamic rates during checkout.
EasyShip has a global warehouse network and integrations with over 250 carriers, prompting a convenient international shipping experience. Because of this, EasyShip is able to offer shipping discounts to eCommerce businesses and display multiple shipping options to customers.
Apart from this, EasyShip takes care of all documentation like personalized packing slips, commercial invoices, validating USA addresses, customs documents, etc.
Based in Austin, ShipStation is modeled as an order management system and shipping software with a global presence in the USA, UK, and Australia. They offer various services ranging from inventory management to order fulfillment and customer communications with over 100,000 eCommerce brands.
Like most other shipping solutions in this list, ShipStation is integrated with marketplaces, global carriers, and storefronts.
ShipStation has simplified the process of label generation. Connecting your stores with multiple carriers and syncing order details to a single dashboard for printing labels has never been easier. With bulk order placement, ShipStation can get discounts and aid in negotiating lower shipping rates. You can also print labels in bulk upto 500 in number.
Integrating all your sales channels into a single dashboard is another advantage ShipStation offers. To handle marketplaces, ShipStation also allows you to create customized shipping label rules for orders from different channels.
Other services it offers include personalized branding with custom emails for notifying customers, a branded tracking page and a return portal. For automating your task flow, ShipStation allows you to tag orders according to priorities, split shipments and execute workflows based on bar code scans.
AfterShip prides itself on one of the best shipment tracking solutions, and its motto is to improve the post-purchase experience for customers. As such, it is a trusted eCommerce solution with ten thousand users.
Aftership encompasses everything that falls under the shipment tracking gamut. First, it offers a single dashboard view of orders placed with different carriers for visibility and monitoring. This way, it allows brands to solve delivery incidences with the respective carrier partners.
Second, it creates a branded tracking page and allows widget placements showcasing more of your products for additional sales. This also extends a seamless notification communication system for your customers to track their shipments from multiple channels, be their mobile phones, desktops, or tablets.
Other features include estimating accurate delivery dates for orders, formulating reports of carriers’ OTD performance, and seamless integrations with pages and eCommerce storefronts and websites.
Another highlight of Aftership is its “AfterShip Green” initiative which enables an eCommerce brand to estimate their carbon emissions. It has also ventured into multi-carrier shipping with its other initiative, “Postmen”.
ShipperHQ is another eCommerce shipping solution that prides itself on providing an “Amazon-style check-out experience.” In other words, it simplifies and personalizes the checkout process and offers varying shipping options for your variety of products. It has over 50 global carrier integrations and eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Shopify Plus, BigCommerce, Adobe Commerce, etc.
ShipperHQ USP is that it presents shipping strategies that fit the bill for every eCommerce brand it connects with. As such, eCommerce brands are at liberty to set their own shipping rules based on different factors like products, price, shipping zones, and weight. They can also decide on other carriers' surcharges, discounts, and table rates.
Though limited by certain restrictions of carriers and storefronts, ShipperHQ allows customers to choose their future delivery dates and appoint times and permits eCommerce businesses to inform customers of delivery dates. Its analytics reports educate brands on the status of order fulfillment, packaging, and other shipping details.
ShipBob can primarily be categorized as an order fulfillment software. It is also a 3PL service provider. At its core, ShipBob streamlines the order fulfillment process. From connecting with eCommerce stores to storing and managing inventory, ShipBob extends its operations to picking and packing the orders once customers place them. Another highlight of ShipBob is the distributed inventory program.
ShipBob has integrations with Walmart, Amazon, eBay, WooCommerce, and more. It also offers negotiated rates for different shipping methods.
Ordoro is especially suitable for inventory management of dropshipping businesses. Based in Austin, Ordoro’s aim is to equip small and medium-sized businesses with automated back-office tools that are at par with large businesses.
Like other shipping software, Ordoro too has integrations with major US carriers like FedEx, USPS, DHL, and UPS and facilitates all the tasks with multicarrier shipping. For its inventory management, Ordoro offers the extra service of batching different SKUs into one sales unit.
ShippingEasy is another shipping software integrated with eCommerce stores that syncs the orders placed into one dashboard, automates workflows, and offers unlimited support to brands.
ShippingEasy has strong connections with USPS and UPS and offers services like creating logos on shipping labels and offering tracking emails. Their branded tracking page is embedded with web links for social media.
They also offer automated promotion marketing, including promotional emails on an automated or regular basis.
Shippyro too offers many eCommerce shipping solutions like allowing eCommerce brands to formulate shipping rules with an automatic carrier selection feature, creating picking lists, and scheduling pickups with carriers.
It takes care of order manifestation and invoicing. Another highlight of Shippypro is the COD tracking feature, which automatically condenses orders for the same customers to save time and resources in shipping.
Shippyro also manages returns with customized returns forms for websites, the map-based pointer for indicating drop-off and pick-up locations, creates multiple return labels for different carriers simultaneously, and automates return approvals.
5) Cost of using an eCommerce shipping solution in the United States?
The cost of an eCommerce shipping solution usually depends on the chosen software service, with many offering free trials. However, on average, the cost usually ranges from $25 to $250 per month. Additional features cost more.
An eCommerce shipping solution is key for any eCommerce business to thrive in the USA. Shipping software is a handy tool that automates the back-office operations and regulates the shipping process from order processing to the last mile delivery. Opting for a shipping solution is a constructive investment an eCommerce business can make that will ultimately streamline their logistics operations, create a unique brand image and help them cater to customers’ demands.
7.1) What do you mean by eCommerce shipping solutions?
An eCommerce shipping solution is a software or carrier that helps streamline and automate the backend of an eCommerce business, like order processing, inventory management, integrating with carriers, returns management, etc.
7.2) Which eCommerce solution is right for my business?
The best eCommerce solution for your business ultimately depends on your business goals like monthly order fulfillment, branded delivery parameters, and cost-effectiveness.
7.3) What is the USA's popular shipping tip for eCommerce businesses?
The most popular shipping tip for eCommerce businesses in the USA is to offer faster shipping speeds and an amazing order unboxing experience.