Two companies that help online merchants with their shipping automation were scooped up this year by Stamps.com, highlighting the importance of ecommerce to the shipping industry.
Stamps.com paid $22 million in cash for ShipWorks this month, and it paid $50 million (plus performance-linked shares) for ShipStation in June. Stamps.com is a leading provider of Internet-based postage services to nearly 500,000 customers.
Shipping presents some of the biggest challenges online sellers face, but it also presents opportunities to save money and become more efficient as merchants grow their businesses. Multi-channel sellers find it particularly helpful to manage their shipments that originate in multiple venues (their own websites, marketplaces and third-party websites) in one place.
ShipWorks, based in St. Louis, Missouri, offers monthly subscription based ecommerce shipping software that integrates with over 50 popular online sales and marketplace systems including eBay, PayPal, Amazon, Yahoo and others. ShipWorks offers multi-carrier shipping options and features including sending email notifications to buyers, updating online order status, generating reports and many more.
ShipStation, based in Austin, Texas, offers monthly subscription based ecommerce shipping software primarily under the brand names ShipStation and Auctane, and it supports automatic order importing from over 40 shopping carts and marketplaces, including eBay, Amazon, Shopify, Bigcommerce, Volusion, Squarespace and others. ShipStation offers multi-carrier shipping options, and automation features like custom hierarchical rules and product profiles that allow customers to easily and automatically optimize their shipping.
On Friday, Stamps.com CEO Ken McBride said, “The acquisition of ShipWorks represents another strategic investment in our high volume and ecommerce shipping business. Ecommerce driven package shipping is a very attractive segment within the mailing and shipping space and this acquisition further leverages our ability to accelerate our growth in this area.”
Stamps.com said it planned to operate both companies as independent, wholly-owned subsidiaries led by their existing management teams.