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How small businesses can access discounted shipping rates

(Source: Bigstock.)

ShipStation, the world’s largest multi-channel, multi-carrier e-commerce shipping solution, is launching a new feature designed to bring better savings to small businesses signed on to the service.

ShipStation is now offering a single balance account for making payments to any carrier on the system, giving small retailers access to preferred service rates – the kinds of discounts usually only reserved for top ASX companies.

“When small businesses are competing with bigger businesses – especially the big-box retailers – the cost of shipping can be the difference between making and breaking a sale,” says ShipStation’s Sales Manager ANZ Sophia Pope. “ShipStation now offers discounted rates, so there’s more added value and convenience for the merchants. Instead of purchasing the labels and managing payments through multiple different carriers’ accounts, customers can use the discounted rates that ShipStation have negotiated on their behalf, saving more money and time.” 

With the business having negotiated rates with top carriers, merchants no longer need to set up individual accounts with each carrier, connecting their selling channel instead to ShipStation’s base platform. This provides immediate access to top carriers without having to take any extra steps, enabling the printing of discounted labels with the billing all in one place.

“The premise of ShipStation is that we cover all of a retailers’ shipping needs on one platform,” says Pope. “What we’re now offering is essentially a single postage account, giving the retailers access to multiple shipping services in one place. They can import all their orders from one or more selling channels and print and pay for these labels within the platform. That’s the whole idea of us being a one-stop shop – it’s super easy.”

ShipStation’s discounted rates are especially beneficial to small businesses that are expanding and increasing their offer. As an order management and shipping optimisation platform for retailers selling online, the problem ShipStation solves sits at the heart of the classic e-commerce story. Most businesses start selling through a single channel (usually their own website) and generally use one shipping provider, but as they start to grow – adding more SKUs while selling through increased channels and marketplaces – their back-end processes inevitably become more complicated. This leads to problems with deliveries, prompting bad reviews and poor customer experiences.

“It’s because they don’t have the correct operational processes in place from the beginning,” explains Pope, “and they’re facing several limitations – including resources, budgets and shipping expertise. At ShipStation, we’re helping retailers become as efficient as possible, and that is the core feature of the platform in that it automates and simplifies all kinds of complicated shipping tasks.”

That help extends to educating retailers on how to navigate the more complex issues related to fulfilment. This ranges from assisting businesses to compare the various shipping rates offered within ShipStation through a rate calculator (allowing users to quickly view all the available rates for a parcel and compare the options based on speed and cost) through to choosing the right packaging, an issue often overlooked by small businesses. Packaging dimensions have a significant impact on shipping costs, with most shipping options based on size and weight. Users of the platform can see clearly how much these different dimensions affect the cost, helping them to better manage their packaging processes and save money with every shipment.

Every business coming on board with ShipStation starts with a 30-day trial. Signing up is an easy four-step process involving connecting your store, choosing the carrier accounts you want to use, deciding how you’ll print the shipping labels and select a pick-up location. Following sign-up, you’ll be ready to print labels within minutes, and you’ll be allocated a dedicated account manager who will then configure your account and answer any questions you may have.

To start your 30-day trial with ShipStation, click here.