Starting an online business can be really overwhelming. There is so much to learn about running a business, that little things like learning about the best way to print labels can seem like a waste of time. 

But what if we told you that the label printer you use has a direct impact on your customer experience?

Many new online retailers aren’t aware that label printers and shipping labels are a critical component in the shipping process. Courier scanners, shipping durability and shipping notifications all depend on those little sticky pieces of information you attach to each parcel. 

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about label printers and why shipping labels are so important in online retail. 


What not to do

The biggest offence new online retailers commit is printing shipping labels on A4 pieces of paper. It sounds innocuous, but it’s actually one of the worst ways to print shipping labels. Here’s why:

Courier scanners can’t scan regular paper

First things first: Courier scanners aren’t state of the art technology that can scan labels of any material or distance. Courier scanners can’t easily scan labels printed on A4 paper, and this means that you might not be able to capture important tracking events in the delivery process. A courier will still take the package and mark it as delivered, but you and your customers won’t be able to see where the package is at if the courier can’t scan the parcel at different stages. And that leads us to the next issue with A4 paper:


A4 paper is easily damaged in transit

If not attached the parcel correctly, A4 paper can rip easily and fade easily. To make up for this, many online retailers use tap to secure the A4 label to the parcel creating two more issues:

  • Courier labels can’t scan through tape
  • Attaching labels in this way is incredibly time-consuming (imagine attaching 50 A4 labels to parcels a day!)


You’re wasting money on ink

As you begin to grow and you’re printing more and more labels out of your regular printer, you’ll start to notice your paper and ink costs increase as well. Not only is A4 paper hard for couriers to scan and time-consuming to do, but it also is incredibly costly. 


So, now that we’ve convinced you to kick A4 shipping labels to the curb, it’s time to learn a better way to print shipping labels. 



What Shippit recommends

To make it as easy as possible, we’ve grouped printers and labels into two categories:

  1. Generic label printers and labels (any brand)
  2. Dymo label printer and label (the most commonly used printer)


Generic Label Printers & Labels

Generic thermal printers:

Firstly, you’ll need a label printer, but not just any printer, be sure to get a thermal printer. 

Thermal printers digital print your labels by heating by the paper, rather than using ink. 

Replacing your A4 labels with a thermal printer will automatically solve the three big issues we mentioned above by:

  • Thermal printers are made for printing labels and many will automatically align the label for easy scannability and you can start printing on labels that stick directly to the parcel
  • They heat the paper instead of using ink so you won’t need to worry about label damage during the shipping process
  • The money you invest in a printer and labels can be recouped by a reduction in printing and ink costs

generic thermal printer

You can grab one of these printers on our supply store here.



Once you’ve decided on the thermal printer, you’ll need either thermal or plain white shipping labels. The printer you purchase will determine the kind of labels you need, but in general, all labels will:

  • Reduce the time you spend manually attaching labels as they are adhesive
  • Reduce scanning errors for your courier and increase scanning time


You can grab a great range of labels from our supply store here.


Dymo Label Printer & Label

Dymo LabelWriter Printer:

Dymo is one of the most user-friendly label printers out there and is highly recommended for new business owners who don’t want to spend a lot of time learning how to use a new printer.

It doesn’t require any calibration, and automatically aligns labels for all couriers. 

dymo labelwriter

You can grab one of these printers on our supply store here.



The Dymo printer does require specific Dymo labels because it requires perforations to be between each label. 

dymo label

You can grab one of these labels on our supply store here.


In need of more shipping supplies? The Shippit supply store has everything from thermal printers to biodegradable satchels. See our full range here.