How ShipStation Communicates with Shopify and Customers
The main advantage of a shipping platform is that it cuts down on the repetitive nature of manual tasks like copy and pasting order and shipment information between platforms. This not only takes time and takes more work, but it also delays when you can notify customers of their shipment. But, before we get into the nitty-gritty of what all you can do in ShipStation, we need to first explain how ShipStation and Shopify work together and how their relationship benefits you and your customers.
Selling on online marketplaces can be a very strict and heavily regulated process. However, online stores like Shopify let you build out a lot of your own processes. And while Shopify gives you the tools you need to make selling successful, ShipStation helps you stay on top of the shipping side of things—for Shopify and all your other selling channels. So let’s get into how ShipStation streamlines the communication between Shopify and your customers.
- Order placed in Shopify or in a physical store using Shopify POS
- Order is imported into ShipStation
- Order is shipped in ShipStation
- ShipStation sends shipment and tracking information back to Shopify
- ShipStation sends customer shipping confirmation email (if not enabled, Shopify will automatically send notification)
The Shopify and ShipStation Integration
ShipStation connects with Shopify to pass order information to us. Then ShipStation sends back shipment information. At its core, this is how ShipStation communicates with Shopify or your other selling channels. When an order is shipped in ShipStation, we send Shopify the shipping information such as a shipped status and tracking/carrier information. There are a few more advantages to shipping with ShipStation too.
Advantages of ShipStation’s Shopify Integration
View Shopify Inventory in ShipStation
Never worry about printing a label for an order that isn’t in stock. ShipStation lets you view your Shopify items’ stock levels when you’re shipping.
Partially Shipped Orders
If you split a Shopify order into multiple shipments in ShipStation, the shipment notification we send to Shopify will only include the products from that shipped portion order—leaving the unfulfilled order items as unshipped in Shopify until they too are shipped.
Shipping Rates from ShipStation at Checkout
ShipStation offers discounted shipping rates on carriers like USPS, UPS, and DHL Express. In Shopify, you can display these rates—or adjusted versions of them— to your customers at checkout. This allows you to offer adaptive shipping rates that protect your profit margins while also saving your customers money.
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How to Import Orders into ShipStation from Shopify
Your orders don’t immediately appear in ShipStation as soon as they are created in Shopify. Instead, these orders sync via a store refresh that occurs either periodically or via a manual sync.
We recommend manually initiating a store refresh whenever you’re ready to ship. Any time you want to see if there are any new orders to ship, simply locate the refresh store section in the upper right-hand corner of ShipStation. You can Update All Stores at once or click the sync icon beside each store. This is also where you’d check to see if there are any errors in the store connection.
From here, you can access your orders on the Orders page. You can ship the orders individually or bulk print labels from the orders grid. When your orders import, you’re ready to start shipping them. Let’s go over some common ways to simplify the shipping process.
How to Ship An Order in ShipStation
Now that your orders have imported into ShipStation, it’s time to ship them. The video below explains how to create a shipping label and reprint it within ShipStation.
What ShipStation Sends to Customers
Apart from in-cart delivery options, much of what ShipStation communicates with customers involves shipment information. Additionally, ShipStation lets you brand your customer communications to match your brand’s unique themes.
In a recent survey of Canadian ecommerce consumers, we found that:
- 88% expect branded confirmation emails to update them of tracking events.
- 62% prefer SMS shipping confirmation notifications
Find out more about what consumers expect from shipping by downloading our Global Pulse Ebook:
Customizable Confirmation Emails
Whether you only send a shipping confirmation or also use delivery confirmation emails, ShipStation lets you create branded email templates that keep your customers in the loop about their package’s delivery timeframe.
Shipment Confirmation Notifications
With ShipStation, you can send a confirmation email to your customers letting them know that a parcel has shipped. You can schedule these notifications to send out based on different criteria.
When ShipStation Can Send a Shipment Confirmation Email:
Upon Label Creation: The default setting in ShipStation is to send the shipment confirmation upon label creation. This automated trigger can be adjusted based on customizable criteria.
When This Shipment First Hits The Mail Stream: This option will notify a customer that a shipment has been created once a carrier scans the label into their system. Please note that this will only be sent out once ShipStation receives the update from the carrier. So there may be a slight delay.
At a Specific Time on the Ship Date: If your carrier picks up your orders at a certain time in the day, you may want to wait until then to update customers that their parcels have been shipped. If this is the case, you can choose the At a Specific Time on the Ship Date option.
Number of Hours Elapsed after Label Creation: Another option would be to simply add a little time after you print the label to update the selling channel and notify the customer.
*NOTE: If you don’t have ShipStation configured to send a shipping confirmation email to your customers, Shopify will default to send the email. So you don’t have to worry about your customers not being notified.
Delivery Confirmation Notifications
In addition to letting customers know when a parcel has been shipped, you can also notify customers that their parcel has been delivered. This uses the same WYSIWYG email template editor that the shipping confirmation template uses.
Branded Tracking Pages
Instead of linking your shipping confirmation emails to the carrier’s tracking page, ShipStation lets you link your customers to a branded page that includes tracking information, your logo and a colour scheme of your choosing, and links to your social media accounts. This is helpful since 77% of customers want to have real-time insight into their package’s delivery.
SMS Tracking Notifications
SMS notifications provide customers with timely, relevant shipment information via their preferred communication channel. Perfect for both small and large businesses, branded SMS notifications are a great choice for reaching more of your customer base. Learn how to turn these notifications on for your customers in your ShipStation dashboard.
*NOTE: The SMS tracking notification feature is currently in Beta. The functionality and availability may change as we further develop the feature.