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Ask Us: Choosing Shipping Extensions for Your Ecommerce Store

Editor’s Note: Find the answers you need to succeed in Ask Us, a monthly advice column powered by Squarespace employees and other experts in their respective fields.

Receiving your first orders and sending items to new customers are major milestones in scaling an online business. But, when the time comes to process and send an order, the reality is that shipping and fulfillment can quickly become time-consuming and bogged down by logistics. I’ve seen this be a particular challenge for online stores during seasonal sales spikes, growth spurts, and the initial launch phase, when operations are still being defined.

Identifying the best ecommerce shipping and fulfillment extensions for your business needs allows you to better support your store and prioritize your time. The smoother your shipping process is, the better experience you’re providing to customers, too.

Whether you’re interested in potentially reducing shipping costs, simplifying returns, or outsourcing production of your goods, Squarespace Extensions can help streamline your shipping and order fulfillment so you can stay focused on nurturing other areas of your business.

Save time and potentially lower shipping label costs

Shipping extensions have the immediate benefit of reducing your workload and saving you time. Third-party extensions like Easyship, Shippo, and ShipStation sync with your store orders and offer you different shipping methods and rates during order fulfillment. From there, you only have to select the carrier you’d like to use and print the shipping label. Your customer addresses will already be synced, which makes it easy to print multiple labels without any manual data entry.

When you use a third-party shipping tool, you may receive discounts on shipping label costs. Your actual shipping costs may also be lower than what customers see at checkout, depending on the third-party extension’s rates.

Ensure hassle-free returns

In the event that a customer needs to return or exchange an item, the logistics of processing their request can quickly add up. Shipping extensions on Squarespace allow you to create return labels to email to customers on request, or simplify the process for the customer by printing and including a return label in the package. Some carriers also allow you to schedule package pickups directly from your third-party shipping tool dashboard, which is useful for ensuring accurate shipping and arrival dates for customer packages.

As a Squarespace Commerce plan subscriber, you can also use the Returns Center by AfterShip extension to manage the post-purchase experience. The Returns Center by AfterShip extension provides your customers with an online portal to submit their own return request and receive automatic status updates without directly contacting you. You can set advanced rules to match your return policy, and gain visibility into trends in returning products by seeing every return request.

Outsource production and shipping

Depending on your business and the products you sell in your online shop, you might consider a fulfillment service, or a printing and drop-shipping company that produces and ships your products directly to your customers.

For businesses that manage large quantities of products, or whose volume of orders has grown significantly since they launched, a fulfillment partner like ShipBob can simplify your work. ShipBob stores your inventory in their warehouses and fully manages packing and shipping orders as they come in. In addition to enhancing your offerings by giving you access to a large network of fulfillment centers, Shipbob also allows you to split inventory across locations, which can reduce shipping costs and time in transit.

For a designer exploring new products, or a creative testing print sales for the first time, extensions like Printful can be particularly useful. Printful produces and ships individual products as orders come into your Squarespace store. This means you can create products without having to order a minimum quantity from a manufacturer, or store everything before it gets purchased. Specialized extensions like Printique, which prints custom photo products and artwork with state-of-the-art technology on high-quality materials, are great options for photography prints. Once the Printique extension is connected to your site, your Squarespace orders will sync and be printed, packaged, and sent directly to your customers.

No matter the shipping or fulfillment needs of your business, using extensions can reduce the work that goes into receiving and mailing customer orders, returns, and exchanges.


Looking to improve your online store? Browse Shipping Extensions to get started.

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