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The Ultimate Guide to Shopify Printing Labels

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After setting up shipping, it’s important to fully understand the Shopify printing label process. This includes how to purchase, what kind of label you need, and what to consider when shipping to other countries. This is a critical factor of any product-based e-commerce business.

Let’s dive in!

What are Shopify printing labels?

It’s a piece of paper that includes the information that a carrier needs to ship your package from its fulfillment location to its destination. In general, most of them will contain the following information such as the recipient’s name, address, phone number, the sender’s address, and a barcode. Before handing a package over to a shipping carrier, it’s a must to purchase, print, and stick a shipping label to it.

Types of Shipping Labels

The shipping label types depend mainly on the delivery speed. The faster the ship is, the more expensive it costs. There are several shipping services for customers to consider including economy delivery (slow), standard delivery (faster), and express delivery (the fastest). However, certain delivery speeds may not be available for some locations.

The transit time may vary depending on your fulfillment location and order destination. Based on the delivery time that the customer requires, it can be from 1 to 8 business days, and up to 15 business days or more if it’s economy international delivery.

Based on the order value and item weight, you can set up the shipping rate for your store. It ranges from $4.99 to $19.99 for orders under 10 lb. For orders that have a value below $200, the rate may start at $9.99 and up to $24.99. Free shipping is available for orders above $200. Make sure that you have done some research to decide on the most reasonable price for your store. The actual shipping rate depends on your Shopify subscription plan and fulfillment location.

Image Credits: burst

Furthermore, Shopify offers extra services for your shipping labels such as tracking number, signature confirmation, or proof of age. These services may not be available for some shipping labels, so double-check them carefully before purchasing.

If you’re in the United States and require higher liability protection, you can also purchase additional shipping insurance.

📝Quick note: Make sure that you meet the shipping regulations of the destination countries. This will ensure that the orders reach customers on time and in good condition.

Tracking Numbers

Tracking numbers benefit both merchants and customers. They allow your customers to track the real-time update of their orders and when to expect the delivery. Customers can easily find the order number on the order’s details page, or via the confirmation email that they previously received from you.

Moreover, it improves your shipping metrics. By enabling you to track your shipping speed, delivery accuracy, and evaluate customer satisfaction, you can immediately identify and tackle potential problems.

📝Quick note: If you have more than one tracking number, all of them must be from the same carrier.

Setting up Shopify Shipping

In order to purchase shipping labels, it’s compulsory for your store to have an eligible fulfillment location, with shipment details, and a printer set up for printing. You can refer to this guide:

- Step 1: Purchase a shipping label in your Shopify admin or the Shopify app. Double-check to guarantee that you are adding accurate details.

- Step 2: Download and print the purchased label.

- Step 3: Carefully attach it to the outside of your package.

- Step 4: Schedule a pickup or drop-off to handle your shipment to a carrier.

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Review your Business Eligibility

In order to activate Shopify Shipping, your fulfillment location(s) must be in the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Italy, or in Spain. It depends on this location that you can purchase a corresponding label from a carrier. Kindly note that some carriers may require your store and your fulfillment location to be in the same country.

For example, if you want to purchase a shipping label from USPS, then your store and fulfillment location need to be in the United States. You may refer to the following table for consideration:

Image credits

📝Quick note: It’s important to review the policies and requirements of Shopify shipping carriers to make sure they meet your business needs.

Managing your Fulfillment Locations

If your business has more than one active location, then it’s crucial to specify how to fulfill online orders. Consider the following ways to manage your locations:

- If you want to fulfill all online orders from a single location, make it your default location, and prevent others from fulfilling.

- If you want to set a primary location and only fulfill orders from other locations if the items are out of stock, then set that location as the priority.

- If you want to customize the location based on the orders and shipping location, then activate the multi-origin shipping to use the shipping profile.

- If you’re using a dropping app for fulfillment service, then you don’t need to make any changes.

Furthermore, by setting different rates for each group of locations, you can maximize your profits, increase efficiency, and ensure that you are complying with regional laws and regulations. However, make sure that you have done practical and in-depth research to be aware of the factors that may affect shipping costs. This includes distance, total weight, and speed considerations.

📝 Quick note:

- Be transparent about the shipping cost and flexible enough to adjust your rates if needed.

- Shopify doesn’t support the Delivery Duty Paid (DDP), which means that you won’t be able to purchase Shopify shipping labels for orders that you’re collecting duties and import taxes at checkout.

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Adding Accurate Shipment Details

In case you fill incorrect details or order numbers, the shipping carriers will calculate the wrong shipping rates for your package, as a result, you have to pay an additional cost for a price adjustment. Most important, the carrier may delay your package due to the processing times when you receive the charge.

The shipment details include the origin address, the destination address, and the package dimensions and weight. The order’s weight contains the weight of the box and the item(s), and any other shipping container.

However, when customers checkout, they will only see the shipping cost based on the default package’s dimensions and weight.

📝 Quick note: You may consider using a shipping app, so the shipping carrier will calculate the fee at the checkout page for you.

Shopify Shipping Calculated Rates

Based on your store’s Shopify subscription plan and the order, some carriers may offer discounted shipping. The discounts depend on the package type, weight, destination, and origin. The following table illustrates the maximum discount available for 2022.

Image credits

📝Quick note: You can calculate and preview your discounted shipping rates by using the Shopify shipping calculator.

Printing Shipping Labels

Shopify printing labels require a desktop paper printer or a Shopify-supported label printer. With either of these devices, you can print your labels individually or in bulk when you purchase them, or at any time from the shipping labels page and the order page.

Feel free to custom your labels and packing slips. You can select one of the following formats:

- Thermal (4 x 6 inch / 100 x 150 mm / A6) for label printers

- Letter (8.5 x 11 inch / 216 x 279 mm) for standard desktop printer

- A4 (8.3 x 11.7 inch / 210 x 297 mm) for desktop printers

Refer to this image for a visual example of printing a shipping label with a packing slip in a letter format.

Combined shipping label and packing slip letter format example

Image credits: Shopify help center

📝 Quick note: When purchasing Shopify shipping labels, you can use the presets to make the process faster and reduce manual work.

Shipping Labels on Mobile

With the Shopify app, now that you can purchase and print labels from your iPhone or Android. This feature is only available for American and Canadian merchants but may extend to others in the future. The workflow includes 3 steps:

- Step 1: Pick an order and tap “Create shipping label”

- Step 2: Choose a shipping carrier and service

- Step 3: Purchase a shipping label and print.

Kindly refer to the following gif for a visual illustration:

Print shipping labels on mobile with the Shopify app

Credits: Shopify

📝Quick note: The Shopify app allows you to print the labels using AirPrint or Google Cloud Print, without installing any other apps.

Benefits of Shopify Printing Labels

Time & Cost Savings

Instead of lining up at the post office and spending hours handling your packages to a carrier, you can sit at home and even save up to 88% on shipping rates in the US. Merchants can fulfill their orders, and manage their products, customers, and inventory, from the same place.

Furthermore, Shopify offers merchants pre-negotiated discounts on rates from USPS, UPS, and DHL Express, making it easier to offer free or flat-rate shipping to customers at the checkout step. You can confidently reach customers from other countries with Shopify's automatically generated customs forms. Discounts are also available on international shipping.

Multiple Shipping Options

This gives customers more choices, brings a sense of flexibility, and makes it more likely that they will find an option that meets their needs. There are several methods for you to consider:

- Free shipping: Merchants as the vendors will cover the cost.

- Flat-rate shipping: The package weight or size will not affect the rates. This means that customers will pay the same flat rate for every order based on the generic package sizes.

- Real-time carrier rates: The carrier will automatically calculate the shipping cost at checkout, based on the actual dimension, weight, and distance.

- Local shipping: You will pack and ship orders straight to customers.

- Pick-up: Instead of waiting for a carrier to do the work, customers can come and pick up their orders directly from a selected location.

- International shipping: Select this option when delivering a package to other countries.

- Same-day delivery: Customers receive the order on the same day that they make the purchase.

- Overnight shipping: Customers receive the order on the following day that they make the purchase.

- Expedited shipping: This shipping method will guarantee that the package arrives at the destination faster than others.

Adapt as you grow

As you scale up your business, you can reach global customers with Shopify’s built-in customs forms and discounts. If your Shopify store handles a high volume of orders, Shopify allows you to print up to 100 shipping labels at once tap/click. You can even further save your time and manual work with presets, automatic package suggestions, and bulk actions.

Image credits: Burst

With Shopify analytics, you have access to a clearer picture of the expenses, the total cost of shipping labels, and how to enhance the process. As you can quickly handle the package to carriers, your customers are more likely to receive it sooner. Through a transparent and easy-to-track process, you can minimize potential errors, and boost customer satisfaction and retention both at once.

Supported Shipping Label Printers

When it comes to shipping orders, you want to ensure that they reach their destination and that customers are happy with them. That’s when having the most convenient and fine label printer for your Shopify store is necessary.

Before purchasing a printer, you need to make sure it’s compatible with Shopify. If the printer conflicts with the platform, it cannot print labels for your orders. So, what to consider when choosing a printer for your store? Here is a list of them.

- Speed: If your store has to cover a high volume of orders on a daily basis, or you just need to invest more time in other activities, then you may not want to wait for the labels. A fast and efficient printer that can keep up with your business is crucial.

- Quality and Durability: Choose a printer that produces crystal-clear labels and uses pigment-based inks to protect them from being illegible in harsh conditions.

- Label Size: A 4x6-inch label is typically sufficient for most sizes of packages, however, for larger or more complex orders, you may need a printer that is capable of printing different sizes. Considering this in the first place may benefit your business in the long-term development.

- Printing Cost: How much will it cost to replace the ink or toner? How often? How much is your budget? This may go a little beyond the upfront cost.

Our following list of compatible printers for Shopify contains many printing options for you to consider.

Brother QL Label Printer - Wifi

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Image Credits: Shopify

This is one of the best printers for Shopify that is also ideal for creating name badges. The printer can print labels up to 4.1 inches wide, including 4x6-inch labels. If your Shopify store is looking to print labels both from mobile devices and from PC using USB/Bluetooth, then this printer is the perfect match for you.

Zebra Wireless Label Printer

Product Image

Image credits: Shopify

This is also a direct thermal printer. It can easily print 4x6-inch labels and different-sized shipping labels from your computer. The printer is also compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. For example, you can connect and tap print shipping label from your iPhone or Samsung.

Zebra 2" ZSB Label Printer

Product Image

Image Credits: Shopify

You can print labels in different sizes with this printer. You can print almost anywhere and on any device, crop, rotate, and print address labels, barcodes, and other label content.

ROLLO Label Printer

Image credits: Rollo

It has a high-speed direct thermal printing at 150mm/s, which means one shipping label per every second. With Rollo, all you have to do is peel off the label and stick it on the package, without using a tape.

📝Quick note: Before deciding what printer is right for you, consider its print speed, durability, quality, cost, and the size of your package/labels.

Tips to Fulfill Orders Faster

Customers always expect a quick, efficient, and professional shipping process. To meet their expectations, it’s important for merchants to find fasters ways to review their unfulfilled orders, purchase and print labels, and packing slips, pack the orders, and hand off them to the carrier. In this section, I would like to recommend some tips and tricks to make this process stress-free!

Organize your Orders List

screenshot of the Shopify orders list page with a group of orders organized by destination country

Image Credits: Shopify

To further speed up the process, you can sort your orders by grouping them according to similar attributes. Shopify allows you to easily group your orders using search, filters, and tags. Moreover, you can add and remove columns to customize the way you view your orders. After customizing, you can save these views, and Shopify will automatically arrange orders for you next time.

One suggestion is to group your orders by products or order items. Another way is organizing them by destination markets. You can easily track and control your orders, and manage to fulfill groups all at once.

Create, Purchase, and Print Labels in Bulk

After grouping your orders, you are able to create, purchase, and print shipping labels for them in bulk. You may double-check the information to ensure it’s accurate. These details include carrier service, insurance coverage if any, package, and personal information. Once you’ve confirmed it, you can buy purchase, and print them all in a few clicks/taps.

Use Smart Order Routing

Based on a set of rules, Shopify allows you to automatically prioritize and assign the best location to fulfill an order. You can consider these four rules of smart order routing which are shipping from the closest location, staying within the destination market, minimizing split fulfillments, or ranked locations. Once you’ve chosen the rules, Shopify will routinely check which fulfillment location is the best option.

Proficient and scalable order fulfillment is vital for any eCommerce business. These tips and tricks will save you time, reduce costs, and improve customer experience.

Conclusion

When customers are happy with the shipping process, then it’s a green light that your conversion rates and customer satisfaction will significantly increase. It’s a vital part of business success, and Shopify supports you with all the tools needed.

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