Shipping can be a hassle. But with the holidays coming up, you’ll probably be doing a whole lot more of it. Luckily, our friends at ShipStation are here to help with a few key pointers.
You can start by connecting your Square account to ShipStation in Square App Marketplace. Then, follow these five expert tips to help you streamline the process:
Buy a thermal label printer.
Direct thermal printers require no ink, toner, or ribbon to print a label. While you can see the obvious savings associated with them, there are also many time-saving benefits of using this type of printer. Here are a few:
- Having a dedicated printer for postage means that you don’t have to feed labels into your laser or inkjet printer when you need to prepare a label. You also don’t have to worry about someone accidentally printing on your labels, or printing postage on normal paper.
- Jamming is less likely, which means fewer errors, saving you time and money.
- Your shipping labels won’t smear and there’s no need to wait for the ink to dry, which saves time, especially if you have hundreds of labels to print!
Use four-inch labels for shipping. ShipStation is compatible with almost any 4” x 6” thermal label printer.
Print your shipping labels in batches.
Whether you have three labels to print or a hundred, you want to get through them as quickly as possible. That’s why you should consider using the batch printing functionality in your shipping software. ShipStation gives you the option to print as many as 500 labels at a time, which makes the process a snap.
Include return labels in all your shipments.
We’re not trying to create more returns for you to manage. But including a return label does make it easier for those folks who want to use them — and ultimately that leads to more customer satisfaction. In fact, online shoppers identified a strong return policy as the most important decision-making factor in a recent analysis by Granify.
Providing labels and clear instructions on your return policy also greatly reduces the amount of time you spend handling return issues, which helps you streamline your shipping and receiving process overall. ShipStation makes it easy to create return labels automatically.
Set up carrier pickups from Canada Post, UPS, and FedEx.
Hauling items to the post office, FedEx, and UPS can be a seriously draining activity. Save yourself time by scheduling automatic pickups from carriers. Every carrier offers its own set of pickup options. UPS and FedEx generally charge to pick up from your house or office, but the fees vary depending on whether you need a daily scheduled pickup or an occasional pickup. Canada Post on-demand pick ups are generally $3.50 per pickup, or free if using Priority shipping. Regular pick up fees are based on annual parcel purchases.
Create product shipping automation rules in your shipping software.
When possible, use technology to help you automate, especially when it comes to mind-numbing tasks such as determining how to ship each product (depending on weight, fragility, geography, price, etc.). ShipStation allows you to set up automation rules in the system, so when an order comes in, it does the work to figure out the best way to ship it so you don’t have to. This results in fewer errors and less time spent.
Bonus tip: Last but not least, you can save time on shipping by setting up your physical shipping space for maximum efficiency. You can check out some tips here.
We hope these five ideas help you make the shipping process less of a hassle, and give you more time to focus on what matters — making more sales!