Interapptive ShipWorks Order Management – Review

Interapptive Shipworks is a great utility for any level ebay user to automate many of the post-sales transaction tasks that consume time and labor. It links directly to the back end via API to your Ebay, Amazon and other e-commerce shopping portals to centralize your shipping needs within an easy to use offline software program.

Installation and Setup: Installation is very easy. Simply download the software. Shipworks will give all users a free (no restrictions) 30 day trial. Realistically, when the 30 days ends you can extend it for another 30 days as well. I assume they want you to rely on the software and 60 days gives the user enough time to see how much time it can save them. After you install the program you type in basic company information and choose which marketplace you are connecting to. After generating API and cookie applets, your shipworks will be synced with your online commerce store and your merchant account (for us it was paypal which took about 2 minutes in the profile tab assigning an end user key for Shipworks to connect to).  If you are going to use shipwords on multiple PC’s, creation of a SQL database is required but is self-installed and only takes a few clicks and naming the database on your network. If you ship with various mail carriers those general account number details and password links will also be established in the setup phase.

Features You Can’t Live Without:

  • Filters – Shipworks runs on filters! When you first download your orders, it will throw them all into a filter called “Ready to Ship”. This is set by default but after assigning a few “if-then” statements you can separate your orders for streamlined processing. Example: We have a filter separating all First Class Mail, Priority Mail and Fed-Ex Overnight and Ground. Ship works takes ebay auction check out selections and places them into the correct filter. It will also separate International Orders and orders that you flag as “scam” or “Canceled” can be throw out of the “Ready to be Shipped” filters with a simple click and local status assignment. Filters are a very powerful tool in shipworks that let you see a break down of any variants in shipping methods or procedures on one simple to view menu.  You can get real technical with these filters for Advanced users and use them for reporting such as “All sales of a particular item to a specific state” etc …but for the most part these filters are used to separate your orders so you can process one type at a time in bulk.
  • The next best feature for us is the Order Grid Menu. After you have selected a filter (lets say all Priority Mail Shipments for today) these orders will display on the left side of the page. The columns here are endless and can be customized from left to right (most important) so that each specific user using shipworks only sees the columns they need to see. For our shipping department, we show the Quantity, SKU, Location, Name of item and if the user is a confirmed paypal user. (Another nifty filter is to create one for all unconfirmed users to check user names before you ship). After setting up how you wish the selected orders to display you can sort from highest to lowest or alphabetically with a simple click. For us, we organize by SKU number as they go in sequence and is easy for picking and pulling.
  • In addition to organizing filters and superb order display and sorting options, Shipworks ability to print labels and invoices proves to be very fast and can save your business alot of time! We have our filters set up by mail carrier. We simply highlight the orders we wish to ship (usually bulk ship them by category of SKU and click the ENDICIA export button. Shipworks will bring up shipping menu where you simple enter in the carrier you wish to select and verify the weights (most programs will import the weights in from your inventory input). A simple click of the process button and these orders are opened and printed in Endicia. Endicia exports this information back over to Shipworks and is uploaded to ebay and can be sent out with a customized email to your customer.

Other Noteworthy Functions:

  • Rubber Stamps – Easy to add SKU, quantity or other order information to invoice and doc tabs for easy internal operations.
  • Automation Rules – Assign automation rules specific to your business model. Set specific download order times, automatically upload tracking numbers to ebay after order has been processed, print invoice after order label has been created and auto send personalized emails with tracking and order information during any phase of the post-sales transaction.
  • Multiple Users – For no additional cost, shipworks can be run on your network with an unlimited amount of users. Assign admin privileges and menu functionality per each users needs. Information or changes made to orders are instantly updated to all PC’s and runs fast and very reliable.
  • XML Templates –  having no previous XML experience I was shaky when I thought about customizing some email templates. However, Shipworks guide on this is easy to use and making minor changes to the stock templates is relatively easy after an initial learning curve for temple building is understood.
  • Stable & User Friendly – Updates to marketplaces are matched with timely updates to the software.
  • Customer Service – I wouldn’t call Shipworks a CRM application but is has those capabilities of managing order notes or customer calls. The ability to locate and open a customer order and have all relevant comments and notes as well as tracking numbers and emails previously sent localize all order information in a great interface that’s easy to use.
  • Out of Box Ready – Ready to use within 30 minutes of use. Can take a few weeks to customize for maximum efficiency depending on your XML and software knowledge.

Most users are also eagerly awaiting version 3.0. The guys at Shipworks say you wont know how you worked with the previous version when 3.0 Comes out. If this is true, Shipworks will yet again take a big leap towards order automation. Improvements to 3.0 will include more advanced options and upgrades in search options, load times and system requirements which should allow most PC’s to run the application smooth with no RAM overloads. The only downfalls I would say are there could be some improvements to automation with some carriers but that’s usually something they cover every few updates. This is not a one-click and your done program but will save you loads of time with the right operator and customize.

A big thanks to this software and the crew at Shipworks for helping us in the early stages of setting up and for their hard work and dedication to their vision.

Above all, Shipworks can benefit any user that is overwhelmed with the shipping process. It covers a wide range of users from those shipping 10 pieces a day to those shipping several hundreds if not thousands. For the tech-savvy users, you will enjoy customizing this program to your needs and for those with less computer experience will still save loads of time and cut back on repetitive shipping tasks.

Customer Service at Shipworks is also STELLAR. Their message board is active with their developers and owners and other users are usually more than willing to lend a helping hand if you run into a wall. Their telephone support is answered by the guys who program or run the company. (I think they have less than 10 employees).

Before shipworks, it would take 2.5 hours to print 150 labels and invoice via ebay control panel and paypal (even if using the bulk ship options). With shipworks we have been able to print twice that many in half the amount of time. For $49.99/month this tool is a no brainer if want a tool that handles everything shipping and then some. You should use the main features above and for every business there will be several other options that you use that will make perfect sense for your operations.

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2 comments

  1. Ket

    HELP!! i need something like this but for the UK market, as it needs to integrate with Royal Mail etc…..any ideas? love the blog

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