Shipping Options with Shopify
Which Irish couriers integrate with it best?
In our experience An Post are a very reliable option for any business starting off in e-commmerce in Ireland. At smaller volumes they do not offer integration with Shopify, however they don't really need to as you don't print a customer specific shipping label with An Post - you simply peel a label off a roll and stick it to your parcel. This means we can develop a generic address label for you to print. Shopify also natively handles tracking for An Post so after you affix the label you can simply scan it and Shopify will send the tracking details to your customer automatically.
An Post at the time of writing were still doing their "limited offer" of 25 pre-paid standard label parcels for €149. This works out at €5.96 per parcel which is fairly competitive. There are two big gotchas - the max weight is 10kg and you have to drop the parcel to An Post. You can pay extra for express, but in our experience the standard service works fine and more often than not is next day delivery.
When your business grows you can scale up with An Post e-commerce hub, but in our experience it is almost impossible to get talking to a rep. This option does integrate with Shopify.
UPS can be a little hit and miss. We always found that the North West of the country was terrible - missing parcels, delivery to the wrong address, and lots of unhappy customers. In other areas there were no issues. UPS integrates with Shopify, but "real time" pricing where the customer is quoted for shipping according to the weight of the order and their address is only available for the higher Shopify plans.
UPS should quote you less than €6 for parcels in Ireland under 30kgs, however they add VAT, fuel surcharges, and random extras here and there. They are a good option for companies with lots of international parcels and prices to the EU can be as low as €10. UPS collect parcels daily.
We have always found DHL reliable. DHL integrates with Shopify, but "real time" pricing where the customer is quoted for shipping according to the weight of the order and their address is only available for the higher Shopify plans.
DHL seem to be alittle disinterested in Ireland to Ireland parcels, but if you get a quote for internation parcels it usually includes Ireland to Ireland and can actually be very competitive. They are a good option for companies with lots of international parcels and end customers seem to like them.
DPD are the biggest player in Ireland and lots of our clients use them. They integrate with Shopify, but "real time" pricing where the customer is quoted for shipping according to the weight of the order and their address is only available for the higher Shopify plans.
We find DPD are not as cheap for international services, but they are good for national and they reliably meet next day delivery targets.
Fastway are not for us after a few bad experiences, but some of our clients love them. They are competitive and collect daily and deliver daily. Like UPS we found that the service in Northern Ireland and the North West was very poor but in Dublin and the rest of the country it seems a lot better. Our own experience was that they broke every parcel going North before we gave up on them after just a couple of weeks.
Fastway seem to offer integration options with Shopify but we haven't tested them.
By a long ways EasyDel are our favourite courier. They publish their rates so you never feel like the price you are paying is made up on the whim of your account manager. You also pay the price you see - no fuel surcharges, residential charges, or other nonsense. We use EasyDel for our own e-commerce business and so far we have had 100% success on deliveries with no breakages or missing packages. EasyDel take up to 30kgs and even better you can split that into more than one package at no extra cost which saves on packaging and helps reduce breakages.
EasyDel integrates with Shopify. There is one big catch at the moment which is that they only serve Dublin, Meath, Louth and parts of Kildare. They will hopefully go nationwide soon, but in the meantime we can help you set-up Shopify so that the bulk of your parcels go by EasyDel and the remainder by An Post. That for us is the sweet spot, and if you need international then bring DHL on board. It sounds complicated having 3 couriers, but we can make it very painless for you.
Royal Mail / Parcelforce
If you live near the border you may wish to offer UK to UK post using Royal Mail or Parcelforce. Both companies integrate very easily with Shopify and the rates are a fraction of what you will pay to ship from Ireland. A small parcel is as little as £3.50 with Royal Mail.
We can help you set-up both services. You will need a UK address for non-delivery returns - but nobody will ever check it exists and non-deliveries are extremely rare.
So in conclusion ...
There are a few options available. You pays your money and you takes your pick. Whatever option you choose we will do the work to make sure it is setup properly on your Shopify e-commerce store.