An efficient and well-run shipping process is an integral part of an eCommerce business. From the business side of things, shipping represents a huge expense for businesses, but in return many shipping apps optimize and automize workflows, saving time and increasing scalability. Offering customers a variety of delivery options is also a great way to reduce cart abandonment. However, not all shipping services offer the same level of flexibility at an affordable rate. It’s important to consider what’s best for your customers as well as what’s best for your business.
Thankfully, there are many fantastic apps on Shopify that will help you with shipping. With so many top-rated apps, it can be hard to figure out which one is right for you. We’ve rounded up the top seven apps to get your research started.
What to know before choosing a Shopify shipping app
Sit down and make a list of everything you want out of a shipping app. Are you a small company sending out only a few packages a month or are you a midrange company dealing with hundreds of orders? Ideally, no matter your situation, a shipping app should help automate your workflow so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.
There are a few things to consider before selecting the best app for your Shopify store.
Perhaps you are more interested in creating a branded experience and want a shipping app that will offer you unlimited customization for shipping labels, confirmation pages, and email exchanges. Or you might want an app that allows you to create custom shipping options for each product.
If you are selling products across multiple channels, like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay you might want an easy way to sync up product shipment through one convenient dashboard. A shipping app that allows multi-channel selling is ideal, even for smaller businesses that are just starting out.
The next thing to consider is what level of customer support you’re looking for. Since you are relying on a third party to manage shipping orders, you need to select an app with an ideal customer service support team. If a package goes missing or is damaged, you want to be able to trust that the shipping app will handle the issue responsibly. Ideally, the shipping provider should offer insurance to handle mishaps.
Lastly, the price will be the number one thing on your mind if you’re a small business owner. While paying per label might be easier if you’re only sending out 1-2 packages a month, it becomes less efficient the more packages you send, and lacks automation. Consider how much time the apps will save you when looking at and comparing prices.
Easyship is one of the best-rated shipping apps on Shopify. It is an all-in-one cloud-based shipping platform that helps businesses streamline the shipping process. Through Easyship, businesses are able to generate labels, custom paperwork, manage orders, and create shipments all through one app.
- 250+ courier services from USPS, UPS, DHL, and more
- Pre-negotiated discounted shipping rates
- Calculates tax and duty costs, prepares paperwork for clearing customs
- 24/7 customer support
- Ability to automate the shipping workflow
- Branded tracking pages, emails, and packing slips
- Automatically generate domestic and international return labels
Pricing: Easyship is free to install and use for eCommerce stores sending out less than 50 shipments per month, offering affordable flat-rate pricing and custom plans. For larger businesses seeing a higher volume of orders, their paid plans start at $29/month for up to 500 shipments, then $69/month for up to 1500 shipments/month, and enterprise pricing is available upon request. The paid plans include a 14-day free trial so you can try before you buy. They also offer 20% off for annual subscriptions.
ShippingEasy is another leading Shopify shipping app. Like many of the other apps, ShippingEasy saves time and cuts costs by offerings discounted shipping rates and easy-to-use automation that simplify the shipping flow. While it only offers discounts through USPS and UPS, these are often the biggest discounts you’ll find from any shipping app. A unique feature is their Customer Marketing add-on, which increases conversions through analytical email marketing, with features like abandoned cart emails, request product reviews, and upsell-related products.
- Access the lowest USPS rates in the industry and discounted UPS rates.
- Easy integration through numerous stores besides Shopify
- Customized tracking emails
- Real-time tracking information sent to customers and stores
- Branded tracking with web links and social media
- Pre-built and customizable email marketing templates for automated or one-time email campaigns
- Interactive metrics dashboard to view key insights into your email marketing campaigns
- Easy returns
Pricing: ShippingEasy is free to use for low-volume merchants with up to 25 shipments per month. After that, they offer a six-tiered pricing plan with a 30-day free trial.
- Growth starts at $19.99/month and up to 200 shipments/month
- Basic at $29.99/month for up to 500 shipments/month
- Plus at $49.99/month for up to 1,500 shipments/month
- Select at $69.99/month for up to 3000 shipments/month
- Premium at $99.99/month for up to 6000 shipments/month
- Enterprise at $159.99/month for up to 10,000 shipments/month
- LulaRoe retailers also receive an exclusive $19/month plan with special discounted rates.
While shipping can be quite bothersome in itself, the returns process can be an even bigger pain. Unfortunately, returns are a part of the eCommerce process, so having an efficient and easy-to-use return process is key to retaining customers. AfterShip promises to empower brands for a seamless returns experience through automation that retains up to 51% of customers. It is used by popular retailers such as KylieSkin by Kylie Jenner, eBay, Etsy, and GymShark. Your customers experience a seamless return process in just a few clicks. From the business end of things, returns are processed through AfterShip rather than through emails to you.
- Automate returns and exchanges
- Send return updates to customers
- Discounted USPS prepaid return labels
- Multiple payment solutions for customers
- Routing rules ensure items are sent back to the right place at a minimal cost
- Integrates with 16 leading eCommerce platforms
- Partner with 18 carriers including USPS, FedEx, DHL, UPS, and more
Pricing: If you’re a small business, there is a free plan for up to 3 returns/mo., and once that limit is reached, each subsequent return will incur an additional cost. This pattern continues even with the paid tiers, of which there are four.
- Essentials at $11/month for up to 20 returns/month
- Pro at $119/month for up to 400 returns/month
- Premium at $239/month for up to 400 returns/month and additional automation
- Custom enterprise quotes are available for businesses with 1000+ returns and include full customization and support
ShipStation organizes and streamlines the order fulfillment process. Like the other apps mentioned, it allows you to manage your shipping process all from one platform. They offer premier discounts through various carriers both domestically and globally. ShipStation app features intuitive dashboards that allow you to integrate with 90+ eCommerce platforms and apps and tools in one place.
- 50+ shipping carriers spread out through the US, CA, UK, FR, DE, AU, and NZ.
- Branded shipping for a more memorable customer experience
- Efficient Inventory management is available through the app
- Add multiple delivery options to the checkout page
- Customer support is available through email, phone, forum, and live chat.
- Track multi-location inventory sources
Pricing: ShipStation offers a six-tiered pricing plan with a 30-day free trial.
- Starter at $9.99/month for up to 50 shipments/month
- Bronze at $29.99/month for up to 500 shipments/month
- Silver at $59.99/month for up to 1000 shipments/month
- Gold at $99.99/month for up to 2000 shipments/month
- Platinum at $149.99/month for up to 5000 shipments/month
- Enterprise at $229.99/month for up to 7500 shipments/month
Shippo is a trusted shipping provider used by over 100,000 retailers, including Curology, Mario Badescu Skin Care, Etsy, Depop, and Tuft & Needle. Shippo works with the tools and systems you already use and integrates everything through one app. Shippo also offers some of the lowest rates with carriers in the industry, so you can expect deep discounts.
- Up to 90% off USPS with Commercial Plus Pricing and Priority Mail Cubic
- Branded tracking pages, shipping emails, packing slips, and more.
- Synchronized tracking keeps you and the customer up-to-date.
- Key shipping analytics and reporting
- Free auto-generated return labels
- Simplified international shipping with auto-generated customs forms & commercial invoices
- Excellent customer support
Pricing: Shippo is free to install with no monthly subscription fees or per-label fees with default carriers. However, the free plan lacks automation as well as custom branding. The lowest-paid Professional plan begins $10/month for up to 60 labels and includes eight other tiers, ending with $200/month for 10,000 labels. A 30-day free trial is provided. Large enterprises requiring more than 10,000 labels must contact Shippo for a custom quote.
Packlink Pro Shipping Platform is another great option for those looking to save money. With over 800 positive reviews and 4.7 rating, it is one of the most loved apps on this list. Packlink Pro works with over 40,000 online retailers to optimize the shipping process. Like the other apps on this list, it features an easy-to-use interface that allows you to automate everything from one screen.
- Easy to install interface straight from Shopify Admin
- Access to 350 carrier services
- Worldwide shipping
- Multiple delivery and carrier options at checkout
- Real-time import of Shopify orders
Pricing: It is a free-to-install platform where you only pay for each shipping label without any other additional fees.
Advanced Shipping Rules is a Shopify-exclusive app designed to be easy to use with no coding knowledge. While Advanced Shipping Rules might not offer the deep discounts we’ve seen from others on this list, they make up for it by offering customizable shipping rates for unique products and use cases. If you have products that require complicated shipping methods due to size, weight, or other criteria, Advanced Shipping Rules might be perfect for you.
- Real-time carrier rates with advanced package settings
- Group products together to apply unique shipping rates
- Create shipping sub-zones based on postal codes
- Customizable free shipping
Pricing: A 7-day free trial in live mode is included with the installation of any of their four affordable packages. Each package offers more custom shipping options, such as an increased number of product groups, postal code subzones, and more.
- Lite at $9/month
- Standard at $29/month
- Pro at $59/month
- Unlimited at 99/month
There are many great shipping apps available through Shopify. So many, that it can take a lot of work to figure out which one is right for you and your business. For smaller organizations looking for more automation at a reduced cost, the seven apps outlined above are all excellent choices. Make sure you adequately determine your business and your customers’ needs before making a final decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the point of a shipping app?
Shipping apps offer end-to-end automation that saves businesses time and money. Rather than having to hunt for low rates, many already have deals with dozens of carriers. In addition, these apps may also offer custom reporting, inventory management, and return management.
2. Are branded shipping labels important to customers?
While it might seem like a small thing, a custom logo on a label adds a small personal touch that will create a memorable experience for the customer. In modern times, brand loyalty is key.
3. Are discounted rates the standard for shipping apps?
Sometimes, but not always. While some of the apps on this list offer discounts with major carriers like USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL, many more don’t. For apps that don’t offer discounts, they sometimes make up for it with low package costs, unlimited customization, and stellar customer service,