ShipStation is a useful eCommerce platform that includes order management and inventory management as well as shipping. Unfortunately, one crucial function your online store needs that ShipStation can’t provide is eCommerce fulfillment. But you don’t have to keep fulfillment in-house to use ShipStation. You can choose a top ShipStation shipping partner or 3PL to handle warehousing and order fulfillment and integrate with ShipStation.
How to save on shipping costs, on and off the ShipStation platform
ShipStation’s best-known feature is its shipping discounts. The platform helps you save on shipping costs by searching for the lowest-cost shipping option for each order and printing shipping labels. For eCommerce businesses that do their own order fulfillment, ShipStation makes shipping easy and economical.
However, once your enterprise grows to a size where in-house fulfillment no longer makes business sense, you might want to hire a 3PL. You can outsource your fulfillment to a third-party logistics provider and still use ShipStation for your shipping. Or you might use ShipStation for order and inventory management and source shipping through your logistics partner.
For example, Red Stag Fulfillment negotiates favorable shipping rates from the major carriers, and we can pass on discounted shipping rates to our clients.
When you outsource your fulfillment, make a price comparison and see whether it makes sense to source your shipping from ShipStation or a fulfillment center such as Red Stag Fulfillment. In many cases, eCommerce companies split their shipping between ShipStation or other shipping accounts (a client-provided shipping label) and their 3PL. Pro tip: Before you compare shipping rates, find out if your fulfillment partner has a charge for using a different shipping account and factor that into your calculations.
Integrating your eCommerce business with a top ShipStation shipping partner
ShipStation integrates with many eCommerce platforms and 3PLs. There are three options for integration:
- Direct integration. Some fulfillment providers, including Fulfillment by Amazon, offer direct integration with ShipStation.
- Middleware. Middleware is software that connects eCommerce software with the warehouse management system (WMS) of your 3PL. For instance, DropStream has a native ShipStation integration, so fulfillment companies that work well with DropStream, like Red Stag Fulfillment, can easily connect to ShipStation. Middleware is quick to set up and doesn’t have an upfront cost but you will pay a subscription fee for the software.
- API. An API gives you more flexibility to customize your 3PL connection. However, an API requires development, and there’s an extra cost in time and expense during setup.
Most online retailers that use ShipStation and outsource their fulfillment will use a middleware connection. At Red Stag Fulfillment, once you provide your information, our integrations and onboarding team members can set up the middleware connection in less than a day. In most cases, there’s no upfront cost, and the integration is seamless. You’ll just pay a monthly fee for the middleware subscription. That makes the transition to a new fulfillment company less of a heavy lift for your operations team.
Inventory management for online retailers through ShipStation
Inventory planning and forecasting are crucial to the success of your online business. Fortunately, ShipStation is much more than a shipping platform. The shipping software also includes inventory management features that can help you boost your profit margins and avoid out-of-stock SKUs.
A platform like ShipStation is critical for managing inventory across multiple sales channels and warehouses. The software’s inventory management features let you:
- Set alerts when the stock of a particular SKU falls below the reorder level
- Reserve stock for filling backorders
- Gain visibility into your inventory levels
Red Stag Fulfillment’s WMS regularly pushes updated inventory data back to ShipStation, where you can use the software platform for inventory management.
ShipStation can also generate custom pick lists that identify the location of each item in your warehouse, speeding up the pick and pack process. And you can use the ShipStation platform for order management to ensure that orders from multiple selling channels have the same fast fulfillment and shipping process.
Get the fulfillment that’s best for your eCommerce business with a top ShipStation shipping 3PL
If you use ShipStation and need a top ShipStation shipping partner, Red Stag Fulfillment would be a perfect fit. Our WMS integrates with the ShipStation shipping platform via middleware or API integration. We provide 3PL shipping services to get your orders out the door faster and provide a positive delivery experience for your customers.
Here are just a few of the fulfillment services that make Red Stag Fulfillment a top ShipStation shipping partner.
Red Stag Fulfillment offers two levels of same-day order fulfillment, with cutoffs at 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm ET. That speeds up the delivery process because orders are shipped the same day customers place them.
Not every fulfillment company offers kitting, but we see it as one of the essential services we can offer our clients. At Red Stag Fulfillment, we have used kitting for package consolidation, to create bundles, and to reduce shipping costs when shipping small and large items together.
Expertise in heavy and high-value products
Red Stag Fulfillment is the industry leader in fulfillment for oversized and high-value items. Our warehouses are designed to accommodate large products, and our staff is trained in order handling for heavy merchandise. We understand how to ship large packages for safe delivery. And we help our clients package their items to reduce or avoid dimensional weight pricing.
Red Stag Fulfillment’s warehouses safeguard high-value products with 24/7 security. And we treat your business as if it were our own, so we train our warehouse associates to handle high-value products with care to prevent damage. On rare occasions where a product is missing or damaged, we can review security footage to find when and where the problem happened and take steps to prevent it in the future.
On time and in full order fulfillment
Whatever service level you set with Red Stag Fulfillment, we are committed to meeting or exceeding your expectations. In 2021, our on time and in full rate was hard to beat. We shipped 99.965% of our clients’ eCommerce orders on time with a 99.976% accuracy rate. Very few 3PLs can match those levels of accuracy. Choose RSF if you want logistics services that will help build your business while saving you time.
Shrinkage can decimate your profit margins, whether you manage your order fulfillment in-house or use a 3PL. But with Red Stag Fulfillment’s zero shrinkage policy, we pay the replacement cost for any merchandise that is lost or damaged while in our care. And it doesn’t happen often because we had an inventory accuracy rate of 99.991% in 2021. Your ShipStation inventory management is easy with RSF because you always know exactly what you have in our warehouses.
Responsive customer service
Red Stag Fulfillment’s commitment to flawless eCommerce fulfillment means that you can leave your logistics to us and focus on other aspects of your online businesses. However, when questions arise, our client success managers work hard to get you the answers you need and quickly resolve any issues. And our fulfillment guarantees demonstrate our commitment to providing 3PL services that are as close to perfect as humanly possible.
Red Stag Fulfillment guarantees our services. If we send out an order late, we pay you $50. If we make a pick and pack error, we pay you $50. We guarantee to move inbound shipments from the dock to stock within two business days, and, if we miss that deadline, we pay you $50.
If you’re ready for top ShipStation shipping and fulfillment, consider outsourcing your logistics to Red Stag Fulfillment. We provide order fulfillment services that are fertilizer for growing eCommerce businesses. Start your free trial today.
More about cost-effective shipping and fulfillment:
- How to Ship Packages Through a 3PL
- Your Complete Guide to ECommerce Integration
- How Does RSF Achieve Such Low Fulfillment Error Rates?