At the beginning of 2019, BigCommerce decided to offer a new integrated service to make shipping easier for their merchants. BigCommerce Shipping was an end-to-end fulfillment solution powered by ShipHawk and ParcelCast; it was created as a simple, free solution that all of the platform’s users could access.

BigCommerce is one of the most popular platforms for hosting eCommerce stores. And, with 60,000 online stores across 65 countries, it’s easy to understand that they wanted to capitalize on their success by offering merchants their own solution for label generation and fulfillment.

However, the service was quietly brought to a close just a year later and on May 1st, 2020, it will officially shut down for all connected stores. Of course, this means that many merchants are left scrambling to find new ways to deliver orders to customers. If you were one, never fear. You’ve got plenty of options and we’re here to help you navigate this switch. Of course, even if you already have a shipping strategy in place, you may consider if there’s room for improvement.

BigCommerce Shipping Platform
Photo via Facebook / BigCommerce

A Little Background

BigCommerce Shipping had three main features that were attractive to potential users:

  • Discounted rates: The company paired with USPS, FedEx, and DHL Express to offer heavily discounted shipping fees. The idea was to help online retailers improve their shipping margins and protect each business’s bottom line.
  • A Better Customer Experience: By offering features like accurate rates in shopping carts and real-time shipping updates, BigCommerce Shipping aimed to help merchants improve conversions and sales, and build brand loyalty with a better post-purchase experience.
  • An All-in-One Solution: The biggest draw of the new initiative was that the platform’s sellers could now manage their entire fulfillment process from their dashboard. They could compare rates, print labels, and manage orders and accounting, while also having access to in-depth reporting features.

Why Does This Matter?

If you were one of the many merchants who signed on to use the BigCommerce Shipping service, then obviously, the shutdown matters a lot. The platform has been surprisingly tight-lipped about the end of its fulfillment service, which means many merchants either didn’t hear about it before the fact or haven’t really been sure what to do since. But, that’s okay, we’re here to help you figure it out.

1. You’ll need a new shipping solution

If you only needed one reason to know why the end of Bigcommerce Shipping matters, this is it. Hopefully, you’ve already found something as a stop-gap measure, but now’s the time to dig deeper and find a shipping solution that really works for you. Do your research, ask around, and trial a few providers until you find something that will work well in the long term.

Easyship offers seamless integration with BigCommerce, and by connecting an Easyship account to your store, you can handle your entire post-purchase process from one account. Merchants have access to our full suite of tools, from automated shipping rules and insurance to branded tracking pages.

Connecting Easyship to Your BigCommerce Store

The platform seamlessly integrates with your BigCommerce store to offer a hassle-free shipping experience. Sellers can find courier solutions, offer dynamic rates and delivery lead times at checkout, sync orders, generate labels, automate returns, create branded tracking pages, and more.

To get started, connect Easyship to your store directly from the BigCommerce App store. Alternatively, in your Easyship dashboard, select Connect > + New Integration, select 'BigCommerce' and follow the steps to get started.

It's never been easier to migrate your shipping program, check out our video tutorial below to connect your account:

2. It Could Cause Delays

Perhaps you were a little late to the party or maybe you’ve been too busy dealing with other business matters. Whatever the case, if you’ve dropped the ball on setting up a new fulfillment service for your BigCommerce store, you may find that you have a backlog of customer orders. Even if you were well-prepared (well done, you!), it’s possible that you’re experiencing some bumps in the road while switching over to a new provider.

Don’t panic. Just make sure that you’re honest and communicative about these delays with your customers. Let them know what’s happening, tell them you’re working on a solution, and give them some regular updates. Look at this as a chance to provide some excellent customer service - if you do it well, you will even see some return business.

3. You May (At Least Temporarily) See Increased Costs

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you were a BigCommerce Shipping user, you may now find yourself facing increased costs. Since the service was completely free and provided access to discounted shipping rates, it’s inevitable that you may end up paying more when you can’t use it anymore.

With eCommerce eating an increasingly larger slice of the fulfillment pie, there’s an ever-growing number of companies and couriers providing smart, affordable solutions. You just need to find the right one.

With Easyship merchant's can access the largest pre-negotiated courier network with discounted rates, or connect their own rate cards. Plus, with Easyship's subscription pricing, the platform will always be free for new and small businesses. So here’s the good news - this hit to your bottom line doesn’t have to be permanent.  

Woman Shipping a Box with BigCommerce Shipping App
Photoa via Instagram @bigcommerce

What Do I Do About It?

Good question. Clearly, you’re going to need to find another way to fulfill your orders. Hopefully, you’ve already done so. But, even if you haven't, this is a good time to get a grip on your shipping strategy and see if there’s any room for improvement. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Analyze Your Current Shipments

The first thing you need to do is dig into your current fulfillment process. Do a deep-dive into your operations and find tangible patterns that can help you figure out what you need from a logistics partner. How many shipments are you sending each month? Are they big or small? Which countries are you sending to? What’s the average delivery time for your packages? These are all pertinent questions; if you don’t already have the answers, find them.

2. Do Some Accounting

As part of the thorough investigation you’re doing, you should also be looking at costs. How much are you paying? What exactly are you paying for? Where is there room for improvement?

Once you can answer all these questions, you should also look at your business accounts as a whole and figure out what kind of shipping budget you should be working with. This will help you pick which providers you can afford and what inclusions you need.

3. Pick a New Shipping Solution

Now that you have a full understanding of your requirements, you should start researching what other options are available. BigCommerce’s shipping manager allows you to connect your own carrier accounts to display real-time rates at checkout; the only caveat is you can only access services that are available in your location. However, this does mean you need to go to couriers like FedEx and USPS to set up an account with them, first.

Luckily, the platform also offers several app integrations to help you with different aspects of order fulfillment, from storefront quoting to label printing. As we’ve already mentioned, Easyship is fully integrated with BigCommerce and, not to toot our own horn, but we offer a pretty comprehensive one-stop-shop for shipping!

4. Make the Switch

Once you’ve decided which new shipping solution will work for you, you’ll have to make the switch. Ideally, you would be able to phase in your new fulfillment solution. This would allow you to gradually finish fulfilling orders under your old system while ensuring that orders are being delivered properly with your new system.

However, that’s not always practical. If you can, though, it’s best to plan ahead. Set a date - perhaps two weeks in the future - where you will flip the switch and move to your new solution. Hopefully, this will give you enough time to deliver your current orders and prepare for new ones. Again, the key here will be communicating effectively with your customers and having a process in place for soothing any ruffled feathers (discounts and coupons can go a long way).

BigCommerce Shipping Team
Photoa via Instagram @bigcommerce

Keep Sending Shipments from Your BigCommerce Store

No matter how you choose to approach this, it’s important to remember one thing. The end game here is to ensure that orders on your BigCommerce Store continue to be fulfilled as smoothly as possible.

Just remember to plan, assess, and think things through properly. Going through the motions now means there’s less chance of hitting snags in the future, so knuckle down and do your due diligence. In the meantime, keep calm and maybe give Easyship a try.