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The ever-increasing popularity of eCommerce businesses can be attributed to the silent contribution of eCommerce shipping platforms and software. Manufacturing goods for mass consumption is a big and important part of an eCommerce company’s day-to-day operations. But shipping those products from the warehouse to the customer’s doorstep without any delays or damage is the tricky part. ECommerce shipping platforms and software look after this critical part of the business operations.
The Growth of eCommerce and the Role of Shipping Platforms
Ecommerce has been around for some time but grew rapidly during the past few years, especially during the pandemic. With almost all retail shops suspending business, even consumers who were previously wary of online platforms started shopping online. As a result, eCommerce companies were swamped with orders. eCommerce shipping platforms and software emerged as the saviors that managed the huge influx of orders. They ensured the provided timely delivery to the customers. The pandemic has changed how people shop, and we assume that the online shopping trend is going nowhere. If you are an eCommerce business with plans for growth and expansion, eCommerce shipping software is necessary.
Advantages of Using eCommerce Shipping Platforms and Software
The shipping platforms and logistics companies use the latest technology and shipping APIs to automate several shipping processes. From order manifestation, order tracking, and inventory recording to detecting stuck shipments, etc. All these services help an eCommerce business rapidly scale up without investing unnecessarily in staff and storing space. Online retailers often avoid shipping software because they feel their prices would affect business profits. However, research shows that managing logistics in-house is more expensive than usually believed. Moreover, with a shipping platform, deliveries are faster, and shipping rates are cheaper. For good reasons, most eCommerce businesses outsource shipping operations to eCommerce shipping platforms and software.
Top eCommerce Shipping Platforms and Software
ShipWell is a shipping platform and software with the goal of connecting shipping partners better with ecommerce companies. Shipwell combines the best features of transport management, carrier visibility, and integrated networks. It also acts as a strategic 4PL for brands in search of outsourcing their logistics operations.
- Transport management
- Carrier visibility
- Integrated networks
- Strategic 4PL services
If you are looking to solve ecommerce order tracking problems, you should consider AfterShip. This online shipping platform is known worldwide for providing amazing shipping and tracking abilities for ecommerce businesses. It can also be used via the AfterShip mobile app.
- Order tracking
- Shipment notifications
- Mobile app integration
Veeqo is an ecommerce shipping platform and software best known for providing inventory and order management solutions to ecommerce stores.
- Inventory management
- Order management
- Multichannel selling
EasyShip is a global ecommerce shipping platform and software that makes order fulfillment hassle-free for online companies. It has major operations in Australia, Europe, the Americas, and some parts of Asia.
- Multi-carrier integrations
- Worldwide fulfillment
- Shipping rate comparisons
ShipBob is an ecommerce fulfillment, shipping platform, and software that provides shipping and overall fulfillment services to D2C brands all over the world.
- Order fulfillment
- Inventory management
- 2-day express shipping
Shippy Pro aims to bring technological revolution to the ecommerce landscape by automating most shipping processes and reducing time for manual labor.
- Automated shipping
- Integration with major selling platforms
- Real-time tracking updates
Shippo is one of the most popular ecommerce shipping platforms, helping ecommerce brands worldwide to streamline their order fulfillment and order management process. Shippo provides all-around shipping solutions to online companies worldwide. It provides cheap shipping rates, making it one of the most loved ecommerce shipping platforms and software.
- Order fulfillment
- Order management
- Cheap shipping rates
EasyPost is a repository of shipping APIs that help cater to the logistical needs of SMBs and big eCommerce companies. Founded in 2012, EasyPost is built on the REStful API architecture for providing web services and resources to retailers. Their products include APIs for multi-varied purposes.
- Shipping APIs
- Web services
- Resources for retailers
Sendcloud is a shipping automation software streamlining deliveries in European countries. Sendcloud has pre-negotiated carrier rates and saves seven minutes of shipping time per parcel. They have several plug-and-play integrations and APIs to ensure smooth-sailing shipping operations.
- Shipping automation
- Pre-negotiated carrier rates
- Plug-and-play integrations
parcelLab is well-regarded by eCommerce entrepreneurs for enhancing the post-purchase customer experience. They streamline the entire shopping process, from managing delivery expectations to handling returns. parcelLab endows business owners with the ability to hyper-personalize a customer’s shopping experience.
- Post-purchase customer experience enhancement
- Delivery management
- Return management
Shipup is another eCommerce shipping software that improves the post-purchase journey for the brand. With Shipup, eCommerce merchants can offer to personalize notifications, create branded tracking pages, and ensure real-time data monitoring. Additionally, they can streamline the customer service process.
- Personalized notifications
- Branded tracking pages
- Real-time data monitoring
ShippingEasy is an eCommerce shipping platform offering one of the lowest USPS and UPS shipping rates to eCommerce retailers. It easily integrates with any sales channel and connects to Etsy, Squarespace, eBay, and Shopify stores. ShippingEasy has an intuitive user interface making it convenient for first-time retailers in their shipping journeys.
- Low shipping rates
- Integration with major sales channels
- Intuitive user interface
Choosing the Right eCommerce Shipping Platform
You are familiar with the names of the best eCommerce shipping software platforms and their services. You may find some services are more suited for your business than others. But there are a couple of features you should look for in your choice of eCommerce shipping platform. Let’s find out what they are.
While running an eCommerce business, you must be mindful of the resources you spend shipping products from your warehouse to the online shopper. Shipping costs are calculated in many different ways shipping platforms and software would have a shipping rates calculator on their website that calculates costs based on weight, dimensions, source, and destination of the package. Apart from this straightforward breakdown, many other factors affect shopping costs, like value-added items, special items, hidden charges, extra costs, etc. A transparent conversation with your provider beforehand should help relieve all these worries.
Extensive Service Area
One of the major reasons an eCommerce entrepreneur ties up with a shipping platform and software is the vast areas it can provide its services to. Shipping companies have a good network and a high amount of serviceable regions. An eCommerce company can leverage its partner shipping platform’s network to provide deliveries to many new customers in distant locations.
Multiple Payment and Delivery Options
If you think like a customer, you will realize just how important having various modes of payment and delivery options is. Say your eCommerce website does not offer the option of Cash on Delivery. If you have a buyer on your website who is still not very comfortable with the idea of online shopping, there is a high chance that you might lose that customer the moment they realize there’s no COD option at checkout. This is just one example out of many. The point here is that an online company should be able to give as much comfort to their customers as possible when shopping so that customers leave the checkout window after making the purchase. Needless to say, it’s also a major boost to customer satisfaction. It’s the same in the case of delivery options. Customers typically expect to get their orders anywhere within 2-5 days. But this time frame can vary depending on time-sensitive deliveries like groceries, pharmaceuticals, or other items of necessity. Providing your customers with same-day or next-day delivery can help boost a business’s prospects. eCommerce platforms can help with that.
A surefire way of knowing how well a business is doing and how much it respects its customers is by finding out if they have a customer support team. We believe having a solid customer care team for any customer-facing business is essential. And what could be more customer-facing than eCommerce? Customers want to follow the journey of their shipments from start to finish and tend to get anxious when they lose track of their shipments, or the tracking page does not give them clear information. In such situations, customers call up sellers with questions. A customer care team can help address those queries, soothe anxious nerves, and make them feel reassured that their order is on its way.
Reverse logistics or returns management is the flow of goods inward in the supply chain. Meaning products travel backward from the customer to the seller/warehouse. Reverse logistics come into play as soon as a return or exchange request is placed for an order. Reverse/backward logistics follow all the steps that forward logistics does. But additionally, it also has to handle refunds, exchanges, and stock updates. Since product returns can result in potential losses, the eCommerce shipping platform and software you choose must handle returns management well. A good returns management system can turn returns into a source of profit. So choose wisely.
Non-Delivery Resolution (NDR) Management
Non-Delivery Resolution (NDR) is a situation in eCommerce delivery where order fulfillment is not completed, and the customer does not get the order. This can happen for many reasons, but the most common reasons are the customer’s unavailability and the wrong delivery address. Inefficient delivery and fake delivery attempts are concerning causes too. Whatever the case, it’s important to manage NDRs fast and on time so that customers are not affected. Shipping software can quickly identify that an NDR has taken place and move fast to contain the consequences. The NDR management tool notifies the customer that the order might be delayed. Finally, it takes action to deliver the product to the customer as swiftly as possible.
Customization and Branding
Ecommerce shipping platforms and software companies know that a personalized experience means a lot in this day of anonymity. Therefore, they try to bring that experience to online shoppers by making customized packaging available for their customers. Any customization or personalization, including shipping labels, greatly impacts the post-purchase customer experience. So, many shipping platforms offer customizations and branded logos on shipping labels or packing slips.
If you run an ecommerce business, you should always want to go with an ecommerce shipping platform that offers a decent insurance plan to cover any losses. This is especially true if you are a supplier of valuable or fragile goods. Losing a single valuable item can cost you a ton of money. So be smart and have a failsafe option.
Automation and Real-Time Tracking
Needless to say, ecommerce software and shipping platforms should use the latest technology to enable automated shipping operations. High-tech software can make better carrier selections and provide better tracking advantages, including GPS facilities. They also send an automatic notification to customers on order updates. Ecommerce shipping platforms and software must have a live order tracking even to be considered by customers. Customers want to stay in the loop regarding the whereabouts of their orders. The only way an ecommerce company can make that happen is by tying up with a shipping platform or software that provides real-time order updates.
Ecommerce shipping platforms and software might not seem necessary when your eCommerce business is in the initial stages of growth. But the work pressure triples as your company expands and receives 10,000 or more orders monthly. You will feel buried under the pressure of verifying order data, synchronizing orders across all selling channels, contacting carriers, and sending order updates to customers. The job of an eCommerce shipping platform and software is to save online retailers from bending over backward to run their business. Moreover, it saves logistic costs and provides more efficient and timely delivery. We hope this article will push you toward the right eCommerce shipping platform and software for your business. All the best!