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How to Manage Shopify Multi-Vendor Shipping With Shipping Software

May 2021
International Shipping for E-commerce platforms
Nikolay Pasholok
Product Owner, Calcurates
Multi-vendor shipping might look like magic from the outside. In reality however, it is a complicated process that requires lots of planning, managing, and monitoring. The hardest part though is the shipping process.  Many e-commerce platforms do not offer multi-vendor shipping. Shopify as well, has a limited choice of multi-vendor apps that would support shipping. Shopify Shipping itself doesn’t offer multi-vendor shipping. Therefore, how can you solve this problem if you have an e-commerce store on Shopify? Multi-vendor shipping can be solved with a third-party shipping app.

Let’s have a look at this short guide on multi-vendor shipping and what to do if you want to sell products from more vendors.

What Is Multi-Vendor Shipping?

Multi-vendor shipping is a term used when products are shipped to a customer from two or more vendors from various locations. Multi-vendor shipping is about managing and calculating shipping rates based on multiple shipping methods from different locations or warehouses.

What Is Multi-Vendor Marketplace?

A multi-vendor marketplace is an app, extension, or software that allows you to add more vendors to your existing e-commerce store on any e-commerce platform. Usually, these apps help you to automate the whole multi-vendor process, including fulfillment, payment, and order management.

What Is Multi-Vendor Store?

The multi-vendor store offers products from multiple vendors under one roof with a unified shipping policy. Usually, as a multi-vendor store manager, you do not keep products in your own storehouse. In this case, you simply act as a moderator between the vendor and the customer. Thus, you might consider a multi-vendor shipping app to help you with the automation of the shipping process.

Why Is Multi-Vendor Shipping Popular Today?

There are several options for shipping when you opt to build your e-commerce store on Shopify. The majority of the apps have default shipping options such as flat rates, table rates, and multiple carriers like FedEx, UPS, USPS to add to your account. Regardless, how would you calculate shipping rates for a multi-vendor store?

Imagine your customer from Pittsburgh orders products from the United States.
Now, there are a couple of problems that arise here for you as a multi-vendor store owner. First, shipping costs will consist of two shipments. Second, how is the order going to be dispatched from different vendors? Third, the chances are that the merchandise will be shipped with different carriers, as well. Now, this is a complicated situation for the e-commerce owner.

Shopify Shipping does not offer multi-vendor shipping out of the box. So, that is not an option here. On the other hand, managing multi-vendor shipping manually is time-consuming, and requires lots of management and communication between vendors and retailers.

Third-party shipping software can be a key to managing multi-vendor shipping efficiently. The shipping process can be easily automated with shipping software, saving lots of time and money on your side. This is the reason so many people are reaching out for shipping solutions to help them solve multi-vendor shipping issues. With the increasing popularity of international shipping, the demand for multi-vendor stores increases.
Calcurates Related Features

What Does Shopify Multi-Vendor Shipping Offer?

Shopify is a very easy-to-use e-commerce platform to build your e-commerce store. By default, Shopify only allows the user to ship from a single location. This means that shipping costs are calculated as if shipped from a single location. Likewise, the application of shipping options and methods to optimize the multi-vendor shipping process is not possible. The e-commerce owner should have a say when it comes to the application of shipping options and methods. The right shipping option ensures that the profit won’t be wiped out by the shipping costs completely. 

What Are the Challenges of Multi-Vendor Shipping?

Not only related to Shopify Shipping
1
Management Issues
Running a successful multi-vendor store will require the management of multiple vendors, including order management, shipping, and tracking. Failure to manage some vendors might result in vendor dropout. The customer sees only the end result, not the whole organization behind the scenes. If something happens with the merchandise, the customer will blame the multi-vendor store owner, and not the suppliers.
2
Suppliers on Your Website
Your job as a retailer is to bring all the suppliers under one roof and help them with sales. You can charge a small, fixed fee or commission for the advertising. It is also in your interest to sell as much as possible.
3
Guarantee of Quality
Allowing other manufacturers to sell their products via your e-commerce store comes with responsibility. As an owner, you should guarantee product quality. Nowadays customers care about where the product was manufactured and how it was manufactured. Failing to do a quality check of vendors’ products can be fatal for the reputation of your e-commerce business. Before selling any products on your multi-vendor store, make sure you trust the manufacturers producing the merchandise.

Are There Any Third-party Shipping Apps That Solve Multi-vendor Shipping?

As Shopify does not support multi-vendor shipping, retailers are required to get a third-party shipping app. Here is the list of shipping apps that support multi-vendor shipping.
Jetti by Jetti
Jetti is a multi-vendor marketplace that directly integrates with your vendor and e-commerce store. Key features are vendor shipping labels, shipping rules, shipping rates, dropshipping, and payment management.
Jetti offers a simplified payment system and shipping reports to monitor shipping costs. The price starts at $249/month.
Jetti by Jetti
ShipTurtle Logo
ShipTurtle Multi Vendor
A ShipTurtle helps you with fulfillment automation, label generations, and tracking. Fulfillment automation supports order management, shipping, delivery, and returns. The app integrates with many international carriers, including FedEx, DHL, USPS, Canada Post, Royal Mail. In short, ShipTurtle automates multi-vendor shipping and they offer a 7-day long free trial.
Calcurates by Amasty
Calcurates is multi-carrier shipping software that helps your business calculate and display the right shipping methods and rates to your customers. At the same time making your shipping cost-effective and sales-stimulating.
Calcurates offers as one of its advanced features multi-vendor shipping as well.

The price starts at $49/month.
Calcurates by Amasty logo

How Does Multi-vendor Shipping With Calcurates on Shopify Look Like?

Shopify Vendors
Calcurates Shopify App imports all your Shopify vendors and you are able to set the shipping from the location for each of them in your Calcurates account.
Shipping Methods and Options
In your Calcurates account, you can create and assign shipping options and methods to certain vendors (origins).
Shipping Rates
Once your customer reaches checkout, Shopify requests shipping methods and rates from your Calcurates account.
Vendor Attribute
By vendor attribute, Calcurates knows which vendor belongs to what product in the order and returns available shipping methods and rates.
Products From Multiple Vendors
If there are products from multiple vendors, Calcurates sums up individual shipping rates by the vendor.
Vendor Options
With Calcurates, you may set different shipping rules, restrictions, and delivery dates by the vendor.
Pricing Plan
The price of the shipping app starts at $49/month.
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