This post is contributed by Paul Byrne, the President of Razoyo, a systems integrator, software developer and digital agency focused on the Magento platform.
As a full-service digital agency specializing in ecommerce, Razoyo works with hundreds of small and medium-sized merchants on the Magento platform. In addition, we manage Shop Junior Golf and a few other house accounts directly. We chose ShipStation as our shipping solution two years ago and have not looked back.
Because of our great experience with it, and the experience of our clients, we routinely recommend ShipStation as our preferred shipping solution.
When we started using ShipStation, we were immediately impressed by several advantages:
Because we sell products not only on Magento stores, but on Amazon, eBay and other channels, but only have one person managing shipping, it was a great advantage for us to have one account for our shipping manager to log into to pick, pack, and print postage. The orders sync up with our channels automatically and flawlessly. Tracking numbers, shipping dates and other critical info is automatically returned to the various platforms. Our shipping manager almost never has to log into our actual ecommerce platform admin panels.
We ship in a variety of containers ranging from envelopes to large boxes and use USPS, UPS, and FedEx. Some of our clients use other couriers. ShipStation is able to print postage (even directly on envelopes) for all of them. As our business has evolved, we have never encountered an instance where we wanted to change our shipping setup that ShipStation did not support.
As we started shipping, we noticed that when we had shipped an order one way previously, ShipStation remembered that and recommended the same setup the next time saving a lot of keystrokes. Certain products could only be shipped via ground or in a certain size box. ShipStation helped us automate those situations simply and effectively.
In addition, we have been able to manage an increasing number of orders by using filters and creating custom automations. For example, we ship US orders from our warehouse for an Australian client who occasionally sells items to customers in the US. We keep the key items on hand for them. By using filters, those orders show up in the top of our queue as they occur and we process them along with our other orders. Labels and packing lists for each store, including that client, print automatically with the appropriate logo, order specifics and brand-specific messaging thanks to the implementation of just a few automations that we set up in just a few minutes.
Our ShipStation clients routinely comment to us that they have seen similar improvements in their business since we set them up, including clients that routinely ship odd-shaped items like fishing rods and pet cages.
Having worked with the system and spoken to our clients about their experiences over the past two years, we have developed some tips for small businesses that want to improve their efficiency and cost effectiveness as shippers.
1) Have dedicated shipping equipment and space. While ShipStation can be used from any computer or device, anywhere, we found our entire shipping operation worked best when we took an old computer, desk, and printer and dedicated them to shipping. Having a dedicated space, even if it is just a corner where you have your boxes, packing supplies, printer, scale, and other shipping necessities makes an enormous difference.
2) Put critical information on your packing lists and shipping labels. Using ShipStation’s ability to customize labels for each channel, we made sure that our packing lists and labels had the order number, our customer service phone number, and other oft-used information in the customer’s hand. When the customer calls about their order, being able to tell them where to find the information makes handling those customer service calls go much more smoothly. By having your logo and their order information on the shipping label, the customer also knows what is in the package and is less likely to hesitate when signing for delivery.
3) Use the Warehouse Location fields in the product records. While this field is critical for large warehouses with thousands of SKUs, it can be helpful for small operations as well. You can put anything in that field you want, like, “blue box on the top shelf.” If you have ever used temps to help you through the busy holiday season or had your shipping person out sick, these little pieces of information can be huge time savers. The Warehouse Location routinely prints out on the pick lists making finding your products that much easier.
4) Use the reports. We had a client who shipped a large number of light, but oddly-shaped items that quoted shipping based on dimensions. Their business was extremely price-competitive on shipping and they always felt they were over-charging (and losing sales) or under-charging (leaving money on the table), but, in the past, that was difficult to research as it required cross-referencing several reports. ShipStation’s Shipping Cost Report provided what we charged and what we paid for shipping, weights and box-dimensions, allowing us do the analysis daily and narrow the gap substantially. The client still uses those reports when they introduce new product lines to tune shipping costs a year later!
In short, ShipStation has been a game-changer for many of our clients. We have been able to solve numerous business problems by using the out-of-the-box features or by customizing and automating. When we haven’t been able to find a solution ourselves, the support folks have provided great suggestions based on our specific account data and situations.
That is why Razoyo will continue to recommend ShipStation.
We empower merchants through intuitive store builds, education and training, support services, and one-stop shopping for development, design, hosting, and support backed by superior support and project management. We boast four Magento Certified developers and a broad team of application experts all working together at our headquarters outside Dallas in The Colony, Texas (Dallas area).