You’ve got orders to ship, marketing campaigns to launch, and customers to keep happy.
There’s simply no room for distractions or needless complexities.
Managing order fulfillment could easily become the most time-consuming part of your business.
…but it doesn’t have to!
In this guide, I will show you 14 Shopify shipping apps to help your online Shopify store thrive.
You will discover shipping apps that…
- Allow you to manage all of your orders from many different marketplaces under one dashboard
- Save you money on shipping (Who DOESN’T want this?)
- Provide your customers with real-time package tracking
- Intelligently Assign shipping rates on a product-by-product basis
- and last but not least: Generate shipping slips
We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started and find you the best shipping app for Shopify!
All-in-one Order Management
If having a billion tabs open in Google Chrome makes you want to pull out your hair, then an all-in-one order management tool will be your best friend.
The goal of a tool like this is to keep the vast majority of your ecommerce or dropshipping business controlled under one dashboard.
- ShipStation: The most popular option and an excellent starting point for small businesses.
- ShipWorks: Optimal for those who work with a team.
- Shippo: The best option for beginners as it offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model.
- EasyShip: Perfect for dropshippers and those who also need a complete order fulfillment service.
One area where ShipStation really stands out is how many integrations they have. There are HUNDREDS of different shopping carts, marketplaces, and services you could connect to.
If part of your marketing strategy is to have your products listed on several different outlets like Shopify, eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and Jet then ShipStation is a superb choice!
Keeping track of revenue, expenses, and refunds is stressful and boring for most entrepreneurs. This product could make your life easier by integrating with accounting software like Quickbooks.
Being a convenient all-in-one solution, shipping labels can be printed right from your ShipStation dashboard.
The discounts on labels typically range from 5% to 40% depending on your method of shipping. Apparently, this platform could get you 66% off DHL labels! You can read more about their discount system in their blog post about carrier discounts.
- US customers can print labels for the typical five carriers: USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL.
- Canadians only have the choice of FedEx.
- Customers from the UK can ship using Hermes, DPD, or Parcelforce
- Australians get a free premium account to Sendle in order to make Australian shipping a little less of a…hassle!
The next great feature of this product is its automation capabilities. After a short setup process, you can have your custom branding display on all of your print-outs including packing slips, invoices, and emails.
An all-in-one order management suite is not complete without proper inventory management and of course, ShipStation has that too!
There are six tiers in their pricing model. It starts off at $9 a month and goes as high as $159 for the enterprise plan.
The main gripe I have with the pricing is that you have to pay at least $49 to get multiple users and live chat support.
I also wish that they offered an immediate help phone number for premium customers. When you have a problem with order fulfillment, you want to get it solved as fast as possible.
I’d have to say that ShipWorks is the biggest competitor to ShipStation. They’re very similar products, aimed at the same audience.
We’ll start out by talking about the available integrations.
They currently have a little less than 100. While that’s as much as the hundreds in ShipStation’s database, there is likely more than enough for the needs of your business.
As a code geek myself, I was happy to see ShipWorks advocate their API as a feature. In simple terms, an API allows a developer to “create their own integrations”.
Let’s say that I created an app from scratch and wanted to integrate ShipWorks. An API will make it possible for me to track all of my orders, made in the app, right inside of ShipWorks.
ShipStation vs. ShipWorks:
A BIG benefit of using ShipWorks is that they offer phone, email, and chat support on all of their tiers. The biggest complaint I’ve seen with ShipStation is having a problem and not being able to immediately receive help.
ShipWorks puts a lot more care into this aspect of their business.
The discounts on shipping seem to be slightly less, but still pretty close, with ShipWorks.
Both products allow you to create action-based automation rules for different steps in your order fulfillment process. Whether it is adding a new customer to your email marketing solution or printing out a shipping label, both solutions make it quite trivial.
As for pricing, ShipWorks offers more bang for your buck on its least expensive tier. Although it starts at $25, it offers 600 monthly shipments which is even better than the 500 offered by ShipStation’s $29 tier.
Also, ShipWorks offers unlimited users on all tiers.
In closing, choose ShipWorks if you want to affordably add your entire team and have super-immediate support. On the other hand, ShipStation is a solution that is more affordable for solopreneurs, offers better shipping rates, and has more integrations.
What I love about Shippo is that in addition to traditional fixed-tier pricing, they also offer a pay-as-you-go option.
Why is this important? If you’re bootstrapping your first ecommerce business, you might only get a few sales in the first month it’s also possible to receive none at all.
With a fixed-tiered pricing model, you only have to pay five cents per order, in addition to the cost of the postage.
Thats a big deal!
In addition to the typical shipping label generation, integrations, and automation rules that we have seen in previous products, you also can provide your customers with real-time shipment tracking.
Shippo supports MANY of carriers from around the world. You may view them all on their carriers page.
The last product I’ll be mentioning in this app category is EasyShip.
This is the product I would specifically recommend to the dropshipping crowd. It’s also a big hit among many Kickstarter projects who want to focus on product creation rather than handling an unpredictable amount of shipments.
Being an all-in-one solution, you’re going to get the whole kitchen sink like usual. You’re going to be able to manage all your orders in one place, print labels, and create smart automations.
However, you additionally get the benefits of a complete order fulfillment service.
How cool is that? They have multiple warehouses around the world. They’ll go through the trouble of shipping out your products to customers.
This makes it possible to run a physical product business (that has fast shipping!) from anywhere in the world. From what we know this app is one of the best Shopify fulfillment apps you can get.
Money Saving Shopify Shipping Apps
A survey report from Hubspot shows that 28% of shoppers abandon their cart due to high shipping costs, making it the largest reason for cart abandonment.
This is why it’s incredibly important for us to get the lowest shipping rates possible. If we get our rates low enough, it could become less painful to offer our customers free shipping.
In this section, we will go over an assortment of apps designed to save you money on your next shipping label purchase.
- ShipNerd: I recommend this service the most! It’s a great product with friendly support and offers fantastic savings.
- PirateShip: This is a great choice for those who ship a lot of USPS packages.
- netparcel: This product is reasonable for people who send many products in bulk.
ShipNerd is kind of like the “cheap flight finder” of shopify shipping apps.
You first choose the speed of your delivery: “fast”, “faster”, “fastest”, or “hyper-speed”.
After that, they show you the cheapest prices available and you’re able to print your new label with ease.
It’s pretty straightforward and doesn’t cost you a monthly fee!
PirateShip is similar to ShipNerd, but it’s only for USPS. For that reason, you may get better USPS rates on PirateShip than ShipNerd.
netParcel is similar to ShipNerd in that it offers cheap shipping for a variety of parcel delivery companies.
One point that separates netParcel from ShipNerd is that instead of pricing their services by speed, the pricing is largely determined by the size of your package.
They also specialize in LTL (“less than a truckload”) shipments. This is a great feature if you sell your products wholesale or if you need to make fairly large shipments to fulfillment centers.
netParcel also boasts about being able to save customers up to 70% on shipping. For that reason alone, it’s worth trying out!
Real-Time Shipping Info For Your Customers
Offering an intuitive shipment tracker is an effective way for us to reduce those infamous “where is my shipment?” emails dropshippers know what I’m talking about!
In this section, we will go over the two best choices available.
- Aftership: You’ll find this product more affordable to start out with.
- Tracktor: This product tightly integrates into Shopify. However, it gets a bit pricey for most people’s uses.
AfterShip is a very popular option for shipment tracking!
It is completely free for those of us who only receive 100 or less orders a month. However, the free tier does not offer tracking notifications.
What’s really unique about this solution in addition to providing customers with an easy-to-use package-tracking interface—is that it lets you view analytical data about your shipments.
You’ll be able to hop into the AfterShip dashboard, apply all sorts of filters like a mad scientist and get data to back all sorts of business decisions.
Do you know what your top buying countries are and how much money you are spending on postage in each one? How about the average speed of your deliveries on a month-to-month basis? AfterShip will help you out in that respect.
You even have the option to connect Google Analytics to your AfterShip account to deliver more insight.
What I like about our second option, Tracktor, is that it is operated completely through Shopify. You don’t have to worry about signing into an additional website.
If you only get five or less orders a month, it is completely free.
Once you get up to 50 orders a month, it becomes $15-a-month. This tier also gives you the additional perk of having unlimited order status lookups.
The $30-a-month tier lets you customize the style of the displayed map a little bit more. It also lets you handle up to 100 orders a month and offers customers email notifications.
The final $99-a-month tier lets you handle an unlimited amount of orders. It additionally provides a “premium data sources” feature, but there isn’t a description of what that entails. Likely, it gives you more up-to-date information on your shipping statuses.
Shipping Rate Generators
These apps will help you determine fair and accurate shipping prices.
- Advanced Shipping Rules: The best choice for most people.
- Boxify: Takes the geometry of your box into consideration when calculating shipping prices.
- Intuitive Shipping: An alternative to Advanced Shipping Rules with a unique pricing algorithm.
A.S.R. has been a classic app, loved by Shopify sellers for years.
Its pricing starts at $9/month and goes as high as $99/month.
This app is intended for businesses who offer dynamic shipping prices that depend on many different factors.
You may set different prices depending on the vendor you’re sending from, the weight of the item, the location of the buyer, whether or not your delivering locally, the dimensions of the product, and more. It’s very versatile as you could see!
In addition to all of the automatic pricing settings, you could also specify shipping rates on a product by product basis or even organize products in different rate groups.
Boxify is a neat little app that turns calculating shipping costs into a science.
Typically, sellers will set the shipping price to an artificial number in order to anticipate the fluctuating cost of shipping.
But here’s the problem: The higher the cost of shipping, the less likely people are to do business with you.
That’s where Boxify comes in. It takes into consideration the size, weight, and quantity of products you are shipping in order to give your customers a realistic shipping price.
Its pricing starts at $19/month and goes as high as $99/month.
Intuitive Shipping is quite similar to Advanced Shipping Rules. It has a very simple pricing model of $30/month for all features.
The two features that make it stand out from Advanced Shipping Rules are its “Smart Boxing”to accurately calculate shipping costs and its wholesale pricing feature.
If you sell your products wholesale, you’ll be able to charge different shipping prices to your wholesalers, resulting in better profit margins on large orders.
Fulfillment App Slip Generators
Many sellers like to include printable notes in their shipments, whether it is a packing slip, a thank you note, or advertisements for other products.
In this final section, we will cover two of the best apps for printing these kinds of documents.
Order Printer is created by Shopify and is particularly minimalistic in features.
Besides packing slips and receipts, you may also print invoices, labels, and even custom documents.
There are some barebones templates included, but in order to create your own, you (or your developer!) has to wrangle with HTML.
This plugin does its job…however, you’ll notice it only has a 3.8-star rating on the app store.
The negative reviews varied. A lot of them were from Mac users that like to use the Safari web browser. You’re going to want to use either Google Chrome or Firefox for the best experience with this app.
Some other reviewers didn’t like the fact that you had to tweak around with HTML and wished there was an easier way to edit templates.
Well, there is an easier way to edit our templates. This brings us to our next app.
Last on our list is Order Printer Templates.
It’s a lovely little app that has quite a number of features. It has a wonderful 4.9 star rating!
The purpose of this app is to create templates that are able to be used with Shopify’s Order Printer or Order Printer Emailer (An app for creating customer emails).
It makes designing templates a whole lot easier and doesn’t require any knowledge of HTML.
The Best Shopify Shipping Apps Are…
After evaluating each app in every category, I personally believe the best Shopify shipping apps are:
- Shippo for all-in-one order management.
- ShipNerd for saving money on postage.
- Aftership for real-time shipment tracking.
- Advanced Shipping Rules for on-the-fly shipping rate generation.
- Order Printer AND Order Printer Templates makes for a perfect combo when generating printable shipping information.
I hope you have enjoyed our guide as much as I enjoyed writing it!
If you have a question, remark, or suggestion, don’t hesitate to drop a comment below.
Doug Beney started his first blog in 2014 and grew it to over 680,000 visitors in two years. He’s a passionite business writer, software engineering nerd, and SEO specialist.