ShipStation vs. Finale: Barcoding Software Face-Off

Barcoding solutions are vital tools for businesses to streamline their operations, minimize errors, and ensure inventory accuracy. With a myriad of software options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Today, we present a side-by-side comparison between two leading barcode management tools: ShipStation and Finale Inventory.

1. Hardware Compatibility

Both ShipStation and Finale Inventory offer compatibility with scanning devices:

ShipStation: Compatible with USB scanners and has dedicated apps available in the Google Play Store and iOS Store.

Finale Inventory: Compatible with mobile scanners and available via the Google Play Store.

At Finale, we understand the importance of flexibility, which is why we offer fully mobile barcode scanners that allow warehouse staff to simultaneously pick and pack orders from various locations within the warehouse. Transitioning to mobile scanning is made easy with preferred vendors offering pre-installed barcode software

2. Picking Methods

The method of picking can differ per business and is dictated by product type, team size, and order trends. Selecting the right method is so important as it affects the overall efficiency of your warehouse operations:

ShipStation: Offers methods such as Batch, Wave, and Zone Picking.

Finale Inventory: Provides flexibility with methods like Single Order, Wave, Batch, and even the Pick and Pack method.

3. Kits and Bundles

Selling kits and bundles is one way to get ahead on marketplaces. However, handling them in the warehouse can get tricky. The ability to correctly scan kit and bundle items and accurately update inventory counts ensures streamlined operations:

ShipStation: It primarily scans one “parent” SKU.

Finale Inventory: Provides more flexibility by allowing the scanning of both parent and component SKUs.

4. Multi-location Fulfillment

Navigating sales seasons can be a challenge for online sellers when they are trying to ensure timely and accurate deliveries to customers. By leveraging multiple fulfillment centers, they can strategically distribute their stock closer to their customer base. When a customer places an order, the system selects the nearest fulfillment center to ensure quicker and cost-effective shipping:

ShipStation: Doesn’t support multi-location fulfillment.

Finale Inventory: Proudly supports multi-location fulfillment, ideal for businesses with multiple warehouses or storage locations.

5. Verify to Ship

Ensure the order has the right products before shipping to reduce order errors and return rates dramatically:

ShipStation: ShipStation has a verification feature when packing an order, which requires an extra scan of each product after picking to verify order components.

Finale Inventory: Finale handles verifications as you pick orders, telling users where to find the product and what product to put in the cart.

6. Stock Transfers

Moving inventory between locations or even within a warehouse can be a complex task. Mishandling inventory during such moves can result in unallocated stock, incorrect counts on sales channels, unnecessary product buys, and more. Keep things straight with stock transfers:

ShipStation: They do not support stock transfers within their software.

Finale Inventory: Finale’s software does allow stock transfers, adding another layer of usability to inventory management.

7. Support and Additional Features

A new user, eager to optimize their team’s workflow, signs up. However, upon delving into the features, they find themselves overwhelmed by the multitude of options and unfamiliar interface. Here, having an easily accessible and proactive customer support system comes into play. The user quickly schedules training calls and is connected to an expert who guides them through the initial setup, explaining the functionalities in a friendly and patient manner. That’s why customer support is crucial for a seamless experience with any software solution:

ShipStation: Provides a comprehensive range of support channels, including free onboarding, email, phone, and a dedicated help center. When it comes to additional features, ShipStation does not offer app-integrated hardware or pick-and-pack guidance.

Note: Some features are exclusive for platinum and enterprise users, such as phone support.

Finale Inventory: Offers a robust array of support options such as free onboarding, email, phone, video tutorials, and knowledgebase. In terms of added benefits, Finale Inventory stands out with its app-integrated hardware and pick-and-pack guidance features, providing users with a better inventory management experience.


Both ShipStation and Finale Inventory bring their unique strengths to the table. Your choice should be influenced by your specific business needs, the size of your operation, and your growth plans. Consider factors like the number of warehouses, the complexity of your products, and the volume of shipments when making a decision. Remember, the right barcode management tool can be a game-changer for your business!