With the changing eCommerce landscape, every little amenity you give your customers will ensure their long-term engagement with your brand. This is why real-time order notifications, easy returns, and personalization have become essential factors driving customer satisfaction.
The current customer research trend shows nine out of ten customers go through tracking pages and notifications. This creates a golden opportunity for upselling, cross-selling, and marketing products. Therefore, retailers should ideally look for technological solutions in shipping, returns, and logistics adept in performing these crucial tasks.
Though many SaaS products fit the bill, AfterShip and ClickPost are rising stars. So, we decided to do an in-depth analysis of all the features and finally answer your concerns about AfterShip vs. ClickPost. If you are an eCommerce merchant interested in this debate, please read ahead without further ado!
2) About AfterShip:
AfterShip is an eCommerce shipping solution that focuses on improving a customer’s post-purchase journey and returns management. It started in 2012 and has 900+ carriers, a returns center, multi-carrier APIs, and shipping insurance.
AfterShip also has sales and marketing features, like email workflows, branded page builders, and syncing your store with TikTok. It also possesses tools for product recommendations and cart recovery SMS automation.
Here are some of its noticeable features:
It offers shipment visibility for 1000+ carriers, EDD predictions, multiple shipment filters, and notifications.
It offers a returns management portal for return order visibility, a self-serving returns portal, and branded tracking notifications.
It supports multi-carrier shipping, integrations with 88 carriers, prints shipping labels, displays shipping rates, and manages international shipping.
It extends shipping insurance and generates simple carbon emission reports.
3) About ClickPost
ClickPost is a multi-carrier shipping software that seamlessly tackles multiple logistics functions, from order creation to shipping and returns. ClickPost has integrations with 300 global and domestic carriers, various storefronts, eCommerce marketplaces, and WMS.
With ClickPost, retailers can improve shipping workflows with an AI-driven carrier recommendation system and reduce courier exceptions. eCommerce retailers can track shipments for forward and reverse logistics in real-time. ClickPost also facilitates the proactive resolution of failed deliveries and pick-ups.
Here are some of ClickPost’s most noticeable features:
It offers integrations with any carrier within 24 hours, configures business requirements for automatic courier allocation, and determines courier serviceability.
It presents all tracking information in a unified dashboard and enables milestone-based notifications across multiple channels.
It extends OTP-based order cancellation to customers to reduce delivery fraud and proactively communicates with them to resolve delivery exceptions with its NDR management.
It offers a self-served returns portal configured with a brand’s returns policy, reducing stuck inventory with active tracking notifications.
It also offers COD reconciliation and Shopify returns with its native app.
4) A Salient Comparison Between AfterShip and ClickPost
Now that we have a fair idea of AfterShip and ClickPost’s features let's compare their services. This will help you determine the best one between ClickPost vs. AfterShip.
1) Branded Tracking Page
AfterShip: Branded Tracking Page
AfterShip’s shipment tracking page provides milestone-based tracking updates and displays the estimated delivery date to shoppers. It also offers room to display brand promotional material.
One unique aspect of Aftership’s branded tracking page is embedding your business’s Instagram feed to drive traffic to other sales channels.
ClickPost: Branded Tracking Page
ClickPost offers a branded tracking page that displays Estimated Delivery Dates (EDD) and provides milestone-based tracking updates to customers. There are three additional features of these tracking pages:
First, notifications for delayed delivery. ClickPost provides customers with early delay alerts as soon as its APIs detect a delay in the shipment.
Second, embedded product recommendation engine. It propels cross-selling strategically by personalizing product recommendations based on the customer’s preferences or previous purchases.
Third, standardized statuses. Order statuses and milestones from carriers are updated in a standardized manner to remove ambiguity and enhance transparency.
2. Cross-Selling During Tracking
AfterShip Cross-Selling During Tracking:
Aftership has a branded tracking page that displays fixed and varied recommendations. Brands can decide to showcase gift cards, New Arrivals, and discount promos on the tracking page.
ClickPost Cross-Selling During Tracking:
ClickPost has multiple options for personalization on its branded tracking pages. From white-labeling tracking pages to exhibiting personalized product categories, it helps brands in their cross-selling marketing.
Like AfterShip, brands can incorporate discounts and standard recommendations, and tap into ClickPost’s smart recommendations system.
To genuinely entice customers for repeat purchases, they are shown products in tune with their current searches. This increases the likelihood of post-purchase cross-selling.
3. Tracking Updates To Customers
AfterShip: Tracking Updates To Customers
Aftership sends customizable tracking notifications to customers via Email, SMS, and Facebook. These tracking notifications contain information about the order status and tracking number, as well as a link to the branded tracking page
However, Aftership uses a system of “web scraping,” foregoing direct API integrations, which often results in delayed tracking updates.
ClickPost: Tracking Updates To Customers
ClickPost is equipped with dual API integrations (push and pull API) and webhooks, which enables more accurate tracking notifications to be updated in real-time. These notifications state the order number, delivery milestone, a link to the branded tracking page, and other relevant information like EDD.
ClickPost uses far more advanced technology than Aftership, which enables faster and more accurate tracking. This is why many eCommerce businesses start out using Aftership but switch to ClickPost as they begin to scale up their business and order volumes.
ClickPost also offers multilingual messaging options (as well as for the branded tracking page), enabling your business to reach customers all over the globe.
4. Returns Management
AfterShip: Returns Management
Aftership has partnered with 12 carriers to provide reverse logistics services. The courier rates are also negotiable.
AfterShip’s self-service returns portal automates sending of return status notifications to customers. It also provides an option for selecting smart routes for reserve logistics.
ClickPost: Returns Management
ClickPost’s return portal enables eCommerce businesses to accept and manage return requests whether or not they have an independent returns portal. It can also handle exchanges and send automated customer queries following return requests.
ClickPost has more carrier integrations that provide reverse logistics solutions and enables automated carrier allocation for returns, reducing your work. All returns/exchanges can be viewed from a single dashboard.
The returns management portal provided by ClickPost also enables automated procedures to be used for handling pickup, and return exceptions.
5. Shipping Delay Management
AfterShip: Shipping Delay Management
Aftership enables brands to set up rules for sending tracking notifications to customers in case of delay. After customers have been notified, you must manually resolve issues.
ClickPost: Shipping Delay Management
ClickPost provides automated tracking notifications to customers in case of delayed or stuck shipments. These notifications also provide a new delivery date to the customers.
ClickPost presents information on carrier performances and causes for delays to weed out the issues. Carriers are also notified of delays through ClickPost’s platform allowing for faster resolution of issues.
6. Integrated Tracking Dashboard
AfterShip: Integrated Tracking Dashboard
Aftership provides a single dedicated dashboard that displays all orders with integrated carriers and their delivery status. It assigns one of the 7 critical statuses and 33 sub-statuses to each order following its movements.
ClickPost: Integrated Tracking Dashboard
ClickPost also focuses on end-to-end shipment visibility and provides a similar dashboard that displays all orders and their statuses. ClickPost provides 10-12 key metrics for measuring carrier performance and categorizing order statuses.
7. Failed Deliveries Management
AfterShip: Failed Deliveries Management
Aftership provides a separate shipment update for missed deliveries to inform customers when a failed delivery occurs. However, Aftership does not provide any protocol for reducing or addressing failed and missed deliveries.
ClickPost: Failed Deliveries Management
ClickPost has an NDR (Non-Delivery Report) management portal that features a clear 5-step protocol for failed delivery management. All the processes are automated.
When a failed delivery is notified, the reason for the delivery is captured. Thereafter, it triggers an issue-specific query to customers to collect their responses. These inputs are fed back to the carriers, reducing the time and effort required to process the failed delivery and resolve the cause.
By streamlining the collection of customer responses, ClickPost informs the carrier system of updates. In this way, delivery agents are more likely to successfully deliver the order, thereby lowering the RTO% and stuck shipments.
8. Shipping Rates
AfterShip: Shipping Rates
Aftership does not give you access to discounted shipping rates.
ClickPost: Shipping Rates
Like AfterShip, ClickPost does not provide information on discounted shipping rates, however, its API gathers the shipping charges from carriers. On a different front, it enables you to maintain independent SLAs (Service Level Agreement) with your carriers to monitor your negotiated shipping rate and other clauses. SLA terms can be tracked via ClickPost’s platform.
Aftership provides a dashboard for analytics, enabling you to evaluate courier performance, customer engagement, and exceptions. It also provides breakdowns of customer ratings.
ClickPost offers an interactive self-service hub for analytics. It generates customized reports. In addition to carrier performance and exceptions, this dashboard tracks numerous other metrics. Some of them are customer preferences, brand engagement, COD remittances, and stuck shipments.
10. Delivery Date Prediction
AfterShip: Delivery Date Prediction
Aftership receives the estimated delivery date from carriers and displays them on both the branded tracking page and notifications sent to customers.
Delivery dates can be calculated based on different metrics, including shipping zones, method of transportation, and order cut-off times.
ClickPost: Delivery Date Prediction
ClickPost uses APIs to predict the estimated delivery date per previous carrier performance and address details given by the customer.
This is done before checkout and displayed on multiple places, including the eCommerce company's product page and checkout page. This assists customers in making informed purchase decisions. The estimated delivery date is again displayed on the branded tracking page.
11. Multi-Carrier Integration
AfterShip: Multi-Carrier Integration
Aftership gives you access to integrations with 878 different carriers and supports integration with other platforms like BigCommerce, Magento, and Shopify. Through these integrations, visibility over all orders across multiple carriers is maintained.
ClickPost: Multi-Carrier Integration
ClickPost offers a similar multi-carrier integration platform that displays the end-to-end life cycle of all orders with integrated carriers. It also synchronizes orders across partnered platforms like Magento and Shopify. So far, ClickPost has integrations with 300 carriers from multiple countries.
Unlike Aftership, which can take weeks to integrate with new carriers, ClickPost has the shortest period of integration and onboarding. eCommerce brands can integrate with listed or new carriers or niche carriers and go live within a day, thanks to ClickPost’s dedicated tech support team.
Both ClickPost and AfterShip have many distinct qualities and strive towards creating an excellent shipping experience for eCommerce companies. However, regarding performance comparison, ClickPost presents meticulous API infrastructures, better automation capacities, and timely customer support.
It further fills the gap left behind by AfterShip, especially when it comes to shipping exception management, customer feedback mechanisms, and order manifestation.
Therefore, in our analysis, ClickPost offers a comprehensive forward and reverse logistics management solution. In the competition between AfterShip vs. ClickPost, ClickPost fares better.
6.1) Can you use AfterShip for free?
No. AfterShip does not provide a free trial version or free plan. Instead, retailers pay 11 USD per month for using its essential features. For monthly shipments between 100 and 2000, merchants pay 119 USD or 239 USD, depending on the number of features they require.
6.2) What APIs does ClickPost offers?
ClickPost has a multitude of APIs assisting in domestic and international shipping. ClickPost’s APIs present a wide range of services. It handles most shipping functions from recommending couriers and extracting shipping rates to generating shipping labels and manifestations.
It hosts APIs for canceling orders, checking courier serviceability, EDD, scheduling courier pickup, customer feedback, and tracking webhooks. Moreover, it has APIs for WhatsApp optin and opt-out and NDR management updates.