Step-by-step setup guide
The information provided in this “on-boarding” guide are the big picture steps to get you started using Shipwire and expanding your business into new markets. With warehouses in multiple countries and merchants all over the world, there are a lot of ways to benefit from Shipwire. This setup guide will put you on the track for success whether are an established merchant shipping millions of dollars annually to consumers and B2B or a “newbie” that has never sold online.
Once you are confident that Shipwire is a match for your business please jump right in. Click on an item in the list below to continue!
Setting up your Shipwire account
Once you are comfortable that Shipwire is a good fit for your business, sign up for a trial account.
If you want a Shipwire representative to help you through the step-by-step, please set up a 1-on-1 training.
Define your products in Shipwire
Each shippable unit in Shipwire is called a SKU. As you set up your products in your Shipwire account, the product wizard will help you. To help you better understand setting up products review the following:
- Adding Products (General FAQ that helps you decide how to name your SKUs)
- If you need to review whether your products are loose and need to be “picked and packed” or if they come pre-boxed please see shipping options.
- If you want to send in lots, cartons or master cartons and be able to ship these items, you should review our bulk shipping examples.
- Get a few test shipping rates to target addresses, this can help you understand if your products were set up with the right characteristics.
Once you have your products defined; you can schedule a shipment to the warehouse.
Send your free trial inventory to the warehouse
Sending inventory to a Shipwire warehouse is very simple once you have your products defined. Just go to “Send To Shipwire” and walk through the wizard. This will bring up your products and allow you to tell us how many quantities of each SKU we should expect. Once you walk through this wizard you will get an ASN# (Advanced Shipping Notice Number) and be able to print a shipping label and packing slip.
- See sending goods to Shipwire to review information about ASN’s, scheduling shipments and understanding how many ASN’s you need if multiple shipments are coming to Shipwire.
- Labeling your products properly is critical to ensure a proper receiving. This is important if you are sending us 3 items or 30,000!
- Did you give us a realistic date for when your products should arrive?
- Sending more than free trial merchandise? The next section goes into more detail on considerations when sending Shipwire a lot of inventory; if you are sending more than your free trial inventory it should be reviewed as it covers sending goods to Shipwire in much greater detail.
Connect your shopping cart or selling tool
Shipwire can be connected to almost any e-commerce system, shopping cart or payment system.
- Check to make sure your shopping cart, marketplace or order taking software is supported.
- If you want to custom develop to Shipwire we offer a series of API’s.
- If your shopping cart is not on our compatible cart list
- Please contact your shopping cart provider and tell them you want a Shipwire connection. Really let them know why and send them the links to the API’s so they can see how easy it is. Our business development and partner team can work with them if you send us a contact.
- Please contact us and let us know. A connection may be in development or there may be a work around.
- If neither Shipwire or your other provider seems to be making any traction you may want to hire a developer and have them integrate to our API’s. If you do this, please let us know.
- Test your connection with a couple orders. This is why we provide the free trial.
Optionally set up your Delight Tools and Shipping Preferences
Tutorial 4 account management has a great walk through of many of your account features.
As you set up your account here are a few places to pay attention to.
- Delight tools – You can set up notifications to buyers and yourself when orders Ship. Configure when you want to send these notifications. There is also a customers support portal that you can put in your Website.
- Shipping Preferences – By default Shipwire will rate shop and ship the cheapest option that matches your delivery requirements for timing, tracking and insurance. In Shipping Preferences you can control this to a granular level.
- Payment options – Your free trial storage and handing is free; but, you still need to pay for your shipping. We offer a variety of payment options.
Sending inventory to Shipwire – checklist!
Getting products to Shipwire is not complicated; but, it’s important to think through a few things before the goods are in motion. A few of these items were covered above briefly for the free trial inventory.
In this section we’re going to clarify the steps that should be accomplished before you send a pallet or a container of inventory. Understanding everything up front will ensure the fastest receiving and inventory availability date.
Are your products coming in as bulk (wholesale) inventory or individual items?
To maximize your warehouse shipping options, reduce or eliminate deposit requirements, and give yourself wholesale shipping options at the lowest cost send inventory in as wholesale quantities. We can always break down a carton to ship an individual unit.
- Example of bulk shipping and SKU management.
- If you need help deciding how to identify your SKU see adding products.
- Our video tutorials have more examples of this (note, our interfaces have slightly changed; but, the model remains the same). Tutorial #3 covers setting this up and gives examples. Tutorial #4 covers it in greater detail.
- Your plan consists of “items” shipped. An item is a shippable unit. This can be an individual widget, a carton of 10 widgets or a master carton containing 10 boxes of 10 widgets. You can see how this can really impact your wholesale shipping costs. Contact sales or attend a webinar if you have any questions.
Are your shippable units labeled with the SKU number?
- Each shippable unit should be labeled as a SKU.
- See “I” above for information on defining a shippable unit.
- Here is a complete resource for labeling and supplier instructions.
- If you need Shipwire to label your products at the time of receiving see Special Projects below.
Do you need any special handling on the merchandise when it arrives at the warehouse?
The warehouse can kit, label, bag and reconfigure inventory BEFORE it is received into inventory. This is called a special project.
- When you walk through the “Send to Shipwire” wizard you will be able to define special projects.
- If you need a Special Project, please review our Special Projects Information page.
- Shipwire highly recommends inbound shipping insurance.
Is your shipment information accurate for faster processing?
Please keep your Shipwire account up to date with changes to arrival dates or changes to packing lists. The more we know at the time of arrival, the better. You can do this by updating the ASN# for your inbound Shipment.
- Start by review our qualified receiving help file.
- When you go through the “Send to Shipwire” wizard you will be building a packing list of what the warehouse should receive. If you use a supplier, make sure it matches the supplier list.
- For shipments of 8 pallets or more (including containers) we need to schedule the receiving to make sure the loading docks and personnel are ready to promptly and accurately receive your products.
- We can unload, inventory and have available for shipping a qualified receiving within 2-5 days. Please review our receiving service levels to better understand receiving times and qualified receiving requirements.
Shipping products from the warehouse
Shipping options to consider
- Every warehouse can ship internationally or domestic. See shipping options.
- Shipwire offers shipping service level guarantees.
- By default our Merchant Package Service will help you lower shipping costs by matching your preferences to the lowest cost carrier.
- International shipping from the U.S.A. now requires an EIN number that can be added to your account.
Preferences take you from testing to automating your business
- Shipping preferences are in your account settings.
- Most shipping methods have a minimum amount of outbound shipping insurance. You can always set your account to add more insurance per shipment in Shipping Preferences.
- You can set up order holds based on ship methods (like international) or shipping amounts.
Back-orders, returns, customer communications and shipping projects
- Submitting orders to Shipwire before product is in the warehouse will automatically generate a back-order. It will ship when the inventory arrives.
- Returns can go back to the warehouse or your home office. Spend a few minutes thinking about your return policy.
- If you have a large freight or outbound shipment that needs some type of project before it ships (retail hang tags, etc). Create the order, put it on hold and submit a support case with the order number and our team will help you.