Enter ShipStation’s Holiday Sweepstakes

Enter ShipStation's Holiday SweepstakesA busy holiday season is quickly approaching and there’s no better time to get ahead of your shipping strategy than right now! ShipStation strongly values the success of small business owners and entrepreneurs—and wants to help you stay as efficient as possible.

With holiday productivity in mind, ShipStation is excited to announce a Holiday Sweepstakes. They are rewarding ONE lucky winner to a dream workstation valued at $4,500, and four additional runner-ups to prizes that will help you become more successful!

One GRAND PRIZE winner receives:

  • ShipStation FREE for 1 year
  • 256gb Pro Tablet
  • Thermal Printer + Labels
  • $100 gift card
  • Industrial Shipping Scale
  • Barcode Scanner
  • Hand Truck Dolly
  • Tape Gun + Stickers + Branded Tape
  • Support Visit from ShipStation + feature within our social community
  • Weekly Prizes

Four (weekly) runner-up winners receive:

  • $40 ShipStation swag
  • $25 American Express gift card

It’s simple to enter AND you can earn up to five entries! Get started on the ShipStation Holiday Sweepstakes page. Sweepstakes starts on Sept. 28 and ends Oct. 25.

Enter the ShipStation Sweepstakes at shipstation.com/sweepstakes

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Purchasing does not improve your chances of winning. The ShipStation Holiday Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. and D.C., 18 or older, and businesses that are located within the 50 U.S. or D.C. and Canada (excluding Quebec). Void in Quebec, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, outside the U.S. and where prohibited by law. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:01 AM ET on 09/28/17 and ends at 11:59:59 PM ET on 10/25/17. Click here for entry details and Official Rules. Sponsor: ShipStation, 3800 N. Lamar Blvd #220, Austin, TX 78756.

How to scale internationally with no warehouse footprint

How to scale internationally with no warehouse footprintGrowth is great for business, it means more opportunities, more partnerships, and more more sales

Due to complicated logistics, expansion is also one of the biggest risks of online businesses. For e-commerce stores looking to expand, international markets are prime opportunities. Countries like Germany and Brazil also have some of the fastest growing markets in the world, which makes them a tempting target for expansion. Buyers in certain countries may also be unable to source American products locally, and turn to international sellers to fill their needs. If your brand manufactures a unique product, there may be more international demand than you expected.

International markets are exciting and full of potential, but they also present expenses that could make or break your profits. The largest of those is international logistics; Warehousing, shipping, customs, and other costs. You can overcome these expenses by making smart choices for logistics partners, shipping solutions, and scaling at a reasonable pace. Many e-commerce businesses can scale internationally with no warehouse footprint, and greatly reduce the costs and risks of expanding into a new market. Without warehousing costs, even small businesses could successfully expand into new markets without the traditional risks.

Research your opportunities
Analytics: The first step into expanding is to ascertain demand in your new target markets. It doesn’t matter how affordable the logistics are if there’s no demand. It is crucial that you spend a significant amount of time in market research before expanding into any new channel. This is doubly true for international sales, which present more risks than moving to a new sales channel or selling in another state. If you want to succeed, take the time to identify your market demand, marketing opportunities, your target audience, potential consumers, and your international channels and opportunities. Read more

The Blueprint for e-Commerce in 2017

The Blueprint for e-Commerce in 2017The framework of what’s to come this year and beyond

I’ve been building e-commerce storefronts, platforms, and software for 15 years. And because that in e-commerce time is akin to dog years, that means I’ve been in and around the business for several lifetimes.This unusual perspective gives me special abilities to size up the future, not just because I see the patterns of the e-commerce economy, but because of a well-earned wisdom I’ve acquired by studying our 4000-plus customers for so long. Here’s my list of what e-commerce can expect from 2017 and beyond.

The rising tide against Amazon will grow. Sure, we’ve watched Amazon develop tremendously over the last 10 years and that will continue. But the current of the industry is shifting as we speak and bringing with it different and, yes, even exciting new marketplaces. The giants—Walmart, Jet, Target, Costco, Rakuten—are expanding their footprints with marketplaces from both physical and online stores. Similarly, with the Facebook marketplace, the inevitable Google marketplace, and Pinterest Buy It buttons, social media selling also looms on the horizon. This gradual disruption will give small businesses more choices from which to sell their products and that will lead to improved experiences for both the buyer and the seller. On the flip side, that increase in choice will also mean there will be more systems for online merchants to figure out and integrate. @ParagMamnani shares his Blueprint for #eCommerce in #2017. See what's coming and adjust #Unify Click To Tweet

But we knew this would happen, didn’t we? The big fights that Amazon has been picking with film, TV, music, shipping carriers, delivery, and now grocery were bound to have an effect eventually. Although Google and Walmart are already fighting the behemoth, more resources, resistance, and competitors are finding their positions on the front lines. SMBs and consumers want more choice—and now they won’t have to do battle because the bigger players are doing it for them.

Two categories will emerge: commodities and niche. In the coming year, niche products, crafts, and small-batch merchandise are going to continue to accelerate in popularity. In fact, the very commoditization of most goods will cause individuality and quality to rise in value and importance. And since consumers are all buying the same commodity items, those costs will be driven further down. Even for the newish commodity items—like $20 jeans found on OldNavy.com—there will be markets created by creative SMBs, or even the luxury industry, for consumers who want their jeans to be special. In 2017 there will be plenty of folks who don’t want everything they own to be found on Amazon, and that is why marketplaces like Etsy are booming and custom Shopify stores are being launched every day. The niche economy will be sustained and grow internationally as entrepreneurs are more educated, supported, and empowered by the larger global e-commerce infrastructure.   Continue reading

Your 2016 holiday ship-by dates

Your 2016 holiday ship-by datesBig thanks to ShipStation for this helpful graphic

Can you believe it’s that time of the year already? Thanksgiving and Black Friday are a month away and Christmas is here in under two months. It’s practically 2017!

But wait. Pump the brakes. Hold your horses. Put the bunny back in the box. Before we get to all that, there’s a lot of shipping that needs to happen. The one-two punch of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Christmas looming on the horizon means business is about to pick up.

Our friends at ShipStation want you prepared right now. So for all our U.S.-based sellers, they’ve collected the holiday ship by dates for UPS, FedEx, and USPS—in one convenient, easy-to-read infographic. Share it with your fellow entrepreneurs, print it out and pin it in your warehouse, or bookmark it.

This year, ShipStation has made the infographic the perfect fit for a standard laser printer, at 8.5 x 11. Click here to download a printer-friendly PDF version. You can also save this as a desktop background and always have it available.

If you plan on using USPS services this year, get ahead of the game and order your supplies now. For ginormous orders, call (800) 610-8734. You can also use that number to set-up standing monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly orders so you don’t have to use USPS.com or drop in to the post office. Of course, these aren’t the only dates that matter.

APO/FPO/DPO & US TO INTERNATIONAL
If you ship to or from military addresses or internationally in general, Stamps.com collected the recommended ship by dates directly from USPS. Click here to see those dates.

CANADA
For our Canadian users, see Canada Post’s suggested ship by dates by clicking here.

AUSTRALIA
If you’re in Australia, shipping with Australia Post, check out their standard delivery timetables using their Parcel Post service by clicking here.

If you’re intersted in streamlining your holiday sales workflows even more, check out Unify for ShipStation. Happy selling!

Unify for ShipStation—mind blown.

Unify for ShipStation—mind blown.Now online retailers can send all sales data through ShipStation to their accounting

As you know, Webgility was founded on efficiency and we believe that the more efficient you are, the more time you have to enjoy your life and your passions. As it turns out, ShipStation believes in the same! Like us, ShipStation wants to revolutionize the way online retailers run their business so they can focus on what inspires them and be more successful, so naturally, it just made sense for us to partner up.

That’s why today we’re thrilled to announce an important new integration between Unify and ShipStation, the leading web-based e-commerce shipping solution. With this expanded relationship, now online retailers who use ShipStation will enjoy seamless shipping and accounting reconciliation with the click of a button. In other words, Unify can now pull orders directly from ShipStation without a direct connection to each individual store and marketplace they sell on, saving time and offering better perspective of their operations. The integration will give users information not just on the order (e.g. items, order value, taxes, customer data, etc.), but also on shipping  (e.g. tracking number, shipping cost, etc.), all from one convenient view.Now #Unify for @ShipStation automates sales data into #accounting. #ecommerce @Amazon @Shopify Click To Tweet

Also new with this release, ShipStation customers can enjoy greater control over their accounting and financial data by connecting to QuickBooks Online, Pro, Premier, and Enterprise, as well as Xero. Unify for ShipStation will give you increased control through an intuitive, easy-to-use interface—a welcome improvement  on the competitive options available. This integration is sure to enhance the efficient, cost-effective user experience customers have come to expect from ShipStation. Learn more about the many features of Unify for ShipStation.