If you operate an eCommerce business, there’s one element of your daily process that is unavoidable: shipping and order fulfillment. One of the greatest costs of doing business in the eCommerce industry is directly related to shipping and handling and the cost of returns (that your online store must encumber). While current studies show that your customers want free shipping over anything else, even more so than the shipping speed or time of delivery, offering free shipping is usually not an option for eCommerce shopkeepers due to the fact that many of these businesses are smaller businesses that are individually owned. However, even if you can’t offer free shipping to your customers, you can offer low-cost shipping; which studies show can serve to decrease shopping cart abandonment rates by as much as 65% while serving to also increase sales by as much as 15% or more. Two popular providers offer discount electronic postage through the USPS online: Stamps.com and Endicia. We’ll compare and contrast what both of these entities offer, so you can decide which solution is best suited for your shipping needs.
Stamps.com Vs. Endicia
A quick overview of both of these entities can help you better understand what they offer. Each is a competing electronic postage provider. Both of these entities will offer you access to discount postage and can save you time as well as some money by using their discount USPS options. It is important to bear in the mind that both offer the same discounts on postage, as regulated by the rates which are set by the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission. Whichever option you choose, you’ll still get the best rates possible on discount USPS postage.
One of the leading online postage solutions, Stamps.com is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ. They offer services for thousands of users and companies nationwide. User accounts start at about $15 per month and include some free goodies, like a digital scale. You can pay for postage as you need it with your credit or debit card.
- You will gain access to USPS discounts on postage that will save you a lot of money off standard postage rates.
- Stamps.com allows you to generate cost reports, and also allows you to assign user access to employees or even other offices.
- You can print custom electronic postage instead of using USPS branded packages for a more professional-looking shipment.
- A trial membership is offered so you can test drive the service.
- Cost tracking can enable your business to better manage as well as predict postage costs.
- Stamps.com allows you to have your USPS branded shipping materials delivered to your home or business for free.
- Custom forms for international shipments are included.
- Users can schedule USPS pick-up using the online Stamps.com interface.
- Stamps.com is designed to fully integrate with eBay, Yahoo, Amazon, Google Checkout, QuickBooks, Excel and numerous others.
- The auto-correct feature helps prevent shipping errors within address fields.
- Returns labels can be emailed directly to your customer from the interface.
- Stamps.com offers discounts shipping insurance.
- No long term contracts are mandated.
For over 25 years, Endicia has been a powerful player in the electronic postage demographic. They are actually a subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid, which acquired the company in 2007 for an undisclosed sum. To-date, Endicia users have printed and used over $10 billion in postage. Like Stamps.com, they offer a value plan starting at about $15 per month. Users can use their debit or credit card to purchase postage as needed.
- Endicia, like Stamps.com, offers a free trial that comes with some goodies. New customers can sign-up and get as many as their first 90 days free.
- You can print digital postage directly to envelopes or you can even print out shipping labels that are prepaid, so you can more easily send out your outbound parcels.
- The company helps you save time and money because you don’t need to purchase your postage at the post office.
- You will receive generous discounts on USPS postage by using Endicia and their volume contracts with the USPS.
- The service provides an electronic delivery confirmation for all subscribers that confirms that your shipments have been delivered.
- Endicia allows you to create international postage including customs forms directly from your computer.
- The interface will log each outbound shipment that you send, and saves it into an electronic file. This can save you time and money because you will no longer have to purchase tracking stickers and manually update them online with the USPS.
- With Endicia, you can print electronic stamps on a 4×6 thermal label for easier label printing.
- Endicia offers USPS First Class Mail, Media Mail, Parcel Select, Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and USPS mail services.
- You can purchase discount shipping insurance through this provider.
- There are no long term contracts.
The Final Scoop
Choosing a provider can be a difficult decision. Hopefully the information that’s offered in this article can help you better decide who wins in the battle of Stamps.com vs. Endicia. A good suggestion is to check out both services at the same time. Since they both offer free trial usage periods, you can test drive each solution to see which one is the best fit for your needs. The most veritable way to know what each service offers is via first-hand experience. After tinkering with each interface, make sure you assess compatibility, integration and ease-of-use. Since the pricing is roughly the same between the two, consider the features and functionality that’s offered by both. Doing so will result in you being able to choose the best electronic postage provider for your eCommerce business.