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How UK Sellers Can Save Money and Time on Shipping

10 min read

Remember how you used to ship parcels (you know, like gifts to your loved ones) before launching a business? You waited in line at a post office, filled out shipping labels, paid full-price shipping rates… That’s fine when you ship once or twice a year, but a real no-no when you run a business and ship orders regularly.

Wait, you’re telling us you still ship your products that way? As a business owner, you can’t afford to lose time and money on shipping — you have so much to do already, from promoting your store to communicating with your customers, to innovating on product inventory.

And if you sell in the UK  there are lots of ways you can save on shipping costs while also keeping your processes time efficient — and we’ve got just the tool for that. Read on to find out how to automate your shipping, and start selling more!

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What Is ShipStation?

ShipStation is a shipping solution that helps you to import, organize, and ship orders quickly and easily. You can use it to create shipping labels, print packing slips, ship with popular carriers (like UPS or Royal Mail), send tracking numbers to your customers, and more.

Now, how exactly can you upgrade your shipping with this tool?

How to Choose the Most Cost-Effective Shipping Option

One of the coolest perks for our online UK sellers is that you can access discounted rates with ShipStation. To do that, you can either create an account with popular carriers or connect your existing account.

ShipStation connects to popular UK carriers such as Royal Mail and some of other leading carriers: FedEx, UPS, Canada Post, Australia Post, FBA, DHL, or many more.

Negotiate your rates with UPS

When you get more orders (which is great on its own), the volume of your shipments grow too. Paying more for shipping isn’t cool, especially if you find yourself running free shipping promotions to boost sales regularly. And with UPS, you can negotiate your base rates and surcharges.

To negotiate your UPS rates, gather your shipping invoices and paperwork for the past few months, and reach out to your carrier. Make sure to provide the following data:

  • total number of shipments per month
  • total shipping costs per month
  • average cost per shipment
  • additional costs: tax and duty, insurance, surcharges
  • destination countries.

After you negotiate for your new rates, don’t forget to connect your existing carrier account to ShipStation.

Enabling negotiated rates in ShipStation

Access discounted rates

Even if you don’t get the rates you were hoping for, no worries! With ShipStation, UK sellers can still access pre-negotiated rates with UPS and other carriers.

For example, when you sign up for a UPS account on ShipStation, you get reduced UPS rates. That means UK sellers can access the rates below when printing UPS labels with ShipStation:

  • up to 50% off UPS® Ground shipments
  • up to 66% for UPS 2nd Day Air® service
  • up to 65% for UPS Next Day Air® service
  • up to 76% off International services on eligible packages.

Prefer to ship with Royal Mail? Connect your account to Royal Mail through ShipStation to access various domestic and international services, reduced shipping rates, and other benefits.

Learn more: Introducing Automatic Shipping Rates for Royal Mail

Consider flat rate options

With flat-rate shipping, packages ship for the same cost regardless of weight. In some cases, that can prove to be very beneficial. For example, when shipping heavier products and/or products traveling further across the country. These flat rates can help you budget your shipping and sometimes even avoid certain surcharges.

Each carrier has its flat-rate limit, so make sure to check out several options to find out the one that works best for your business.

Learn more: How Business Owners Can Save With Flat-Rate Shipping

Use multiple carriers

You can ship with multiple carriers to get the best discounts based on your orders’ size, weight, shipping method, and destination.

Because ShipStation supports all the major UK shipping carriers (UPS and Royal Mail), you can select from a variety of shipping options. You manage all your shipments in one place, even if you create and print shipping labels from different carriers to avoid confusion along the way.

How to Automate Your Shipping to Save Time

All of your orders are imported into a single ShipStation dashboard, making managing your shipments a breeze. You can connect to and compare rates from 40+ carriers, print labels and shipping documents, and even automate multi-step shipping tasks.

Print shipping labels and documents

Instead of buying and filling in shipping labels at a post office, why not do everything from the comfort of home? When you’ve found the best rates for your orders, you can quickly generate shipping labels for them. Send print jobs directly to the printer or scan a barcode to print a label.

Need labels for US domestic and international deliveries? You can buy USPS labels right in your Ecwid Control Panel.

Need to print other shipping documents? ShipStation can handle that paperwork for you too, by generating printable documents. For example, you can print packing slips to accurately complete an order. This makes preparing orders for shipment much easier.

You might appreciate the printing documents option even more if you ship internationally: ShipStation automatically creates customs declarations for each item you ship.

Manage return labels

Returns happen. You can’t avoid them entirely, but you can make the return process as fret-free and painless as possible, both for you and your customers.

Create return labels in ShipStation, so your customers can get their items back to you with maximum efficiency. The easiest option is to generate and send a return label with your original shipment. That way, your customers can return orders without having to contact you for a label if they aren’t satisfied with their order.

You can also create return labels upon a customer’s request

Also: How to Write a Return Policy for Eсommerce Stores

Automate your workflow

Another time saver to take advantage of is automating the repetitive tasks you do to prepare your orders for shipping. For example, why not use automation for:

  • Configuring shipping services, package type, and insurance needs
  • Adding notes to orders
  • Sending the order to a connected fulfillment provider
  • Including a return label

With ShipStation, your automation can be as complex as you need it to be. You can even create customized shipping rules for different locations — handy if your products are stored at multiple warehouses, or your team contains multiple members based in different places (hello working from home life!).

How to Connect Your Ecwid Store to ShipStation

ShipStation is available for sellers in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

Here’s how to connect ShipStation to your Ecwid store:

  1. In the Ecwid App Market, find the ShipStation app.
  2. Click “Get.”

That literally couldn’t be easier, right? We designed it that way on purpose! But if you have any shipping-related questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Customer Care team — we’re always here to help.

Upgrade Your Shipping Today

One of your main goals as a business owner is to make sure that everyday processes help you grow your store instead of wasting your precious time. With ShipStation, you can prioritize actually selling while also keeping your shipping cost low. We call that a win-win!

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About the author

Anastasia Prokofieva is a content writer at Ecwid. She writes about online marketing and promotion to make entrepreneurs’ daily routine easier and more rewarding. She also has a soft spot for cats, chocolate, and making kombucha at home.

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So simple to use – even my most technophobic clients can manage. Easy to install, quick to set up. Light years ahead of other shop plugins.
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I’ve used Ecwid and I love the platform itself. Everything is so simplified it’s insane. I love how you have different options to choose shipping carriers, to be able to put in so many different variants. It’s a pretty open e-commerce gateway.
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I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
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