1)Overview of eCommerce Shipping Integration
The eCommerce industry has been witnessing unprecedented growth in the previous few decades. This growth can be attributed to a variety of factors including increasing purchasing power and internet penetration, however, one of the biggest reasons for eCommerce’s meteoric rise has been the advancement of technology. Innovation and development of improved software have enabled eCommerce companies to perform at par and even better than traditional retail stores.
Technology has allowed eCommerce businesses to deliver services that are simply not possible for brick and mortar stores. This has acted as a catalyst for a large number of buyers migrating to online shopping platforms, and one of the best examples of the use of technology in eCommerce is shipping integrations. Integrations allow online sellers to communicate with multiple carriers through a single platform and automate a variety of functions that would otherwise have to be performed manually. In this article, we discuss the different types of eCommerce shipping integrations offered by shipping companies and how they help improve operations for an eCommerce enterprise.
2)Shipping Integrations Offered by Shipping Companies
Shipping integrations include a large variety of APIs that are programmed to perform several different functions. Here are some of the most common shipping integrations that allow eCommerce companies to perform better.
Order management integrations allow eCommerce merchants to easily create and allocate orders to different shipping companies through a single dashboard. This eliminates the need to independently place orders with different carriers; rather, a single platform can be used to manage multiple carriers and orders.
Order management APIs allow businesses to create orders, track their status and location, and even export details of multiple orders from a single location. This helps businesses avoid the need to shuffle between multiple systems and also increases efficiency across multiple channels.
2.2)Cost of Shipping
Shipping cost integrations allow merchants to calculate the cost of shipping for a particular product before it is placed. This is accomplished through a seamless exchange of information between the shipping company and the merchant. By identifying several factors such as the location of delivery, size and type of product, the value of the product, etc. the cost of shipping a product to the customer can be calculated. Calculation of shipping cost helps businesses understand the profitability of a particular product and helps compare multiple carriers based on the rates they offer. It can also be used to share information with the end consumer who can know the total cost of purchasing a product at the checkout window, thus, improving the customer experience.
2.3)Visibility of Orders
The location and status of an order is important to both the business and the customer. Integrations help businesses receive such information from the carrier to monitor the shipping process. Tracking information helps businesses identify problems with a shipment, if any, and resolve any exceptions that may occur. On the customer side, providing tracking information eases customer anxiety. Customers shopping are curious about the status of their orders. Since orders are not physically examined before purchase, customers remain eager to receive the product. Statistics show that poor visibility of orders leads to a higher number of order cancellations. Therefore, providing tracking information to customers helps retain them.
Billing integrations help businesses generate Air Waybills or AWBs. AWBs are essentially contracts that create an obligation of shipping a particular product. The AWB contains all the details related to the order that is required to ship it from the warehouse to the final location. Further, the AWB acts as a receipt of goods confirming several stages of the shipping process. It is also used to track the location of the product at different stages.
Integrations are used to communicate the status of a particular order to the end consumer. Such integration allows businesses to notify the consumer about the status and location of the product whenever a milestone is completed. This is to ensure that the consumer is assured of the delivery of their order and also to monitor the entire process closely to resolve any exceptions.
APIs are used to manage order returns as well. Integrations allow businesses to create returns pages for customers. When a customer places a return request, the same information can be seamlessly forwarded to the concerned carrier which will be responsible for collecting the product from the doorstep of the customer and shipping it back to the origin. Returns integrations also allow businesses to monitor the returning journey of an item to prevent exceptions such as damage, loss and stuck shipments.
3)ClickPost Universal API Services
ClickPost is the fastest-growing logistics intelligence platform in Asia, known for its carrier and shipping management solutions for eCommerce businesses. It is integrated with over 170 carriers from around the world and leading online selling channels such as Shopify and Woocommerce.
ClickPost uses several integrations with shipping companies to allow eCommerce merchants to manage a variety of shipping functions using a unified platform. It allows businesses to manage multiple carriers and orders and returns through a single dashboard. ClickPost offers a universal API that allows eCommerce merchants to manage several processes with shipping partners. Here is how ClickPost’s integrations help eCommerce companies.
ClickPost’s integrations allow eCommerce companies to create and manage orders with the shipping company of their choice. This gives businesses the flexibility of choice and also enables them to choose the right partner based on a variety of factors such as cost, performance and serviceability.
ClickPost offers a carrier recommendation engine that automatically suggests the most suitable shipping partner for a particular order based on several parameters. It also generates AWBs for orders and allows requests for pickup to be placed from within the platform.
ClickPost offers a unified tracking solution to eCommerce businesses that allows merchants to track all their orders from multiple channels and across different shipping companies. Its tracking integration allows businesses to create branded tracking pages to improve customer experience and leverage post-purchase marketing opportunities.
ClickPost’s integrations also allow businesses to communicate with customers easily. It sends milestone-specific notifications to customers which are triggered upon the completion of different stages in the shipping process. The platform also allows businesses to communicate with customers using multiple channels such as telephone, emails and social media to reduce WISMO (Where Is My Order?) calls.
Cancellation APIs allow businesses to communicate a request for cancellation of an order directly to the shipping partner. This seamless flow of information allows businesses to communicate requests with shipping partners instantaneously, thereby, enabling faster returns of products to their origin. ClickPost enables businesses to create branded cancellation pages on their website to improve customer experience, while simultaneously promoting other products.
3.4)Estimated Date of Delivery (EDD)
The estimated date of delivery of a particular order plays a major role in online sales. Customers seek to know when their items will be delivered to them, and ClickPost makes this possible through its EDD API integration. The API enables users to check the EDD on the checkout page as they place an order. This increases customer trust and also improves sales as customers know more about the order.
3.5)NDR (Non-Delivery Report) Management
Non-Delivery Report or NDR management is one of ClickPost’s flagship offerings. ClickPost’s API integrations allow businesses to receive notification in the event that an order delivery has failed or is delayed. ClickPost’s NDR management solution allows businesses to identify the cause of the failure and resolve the issues.
Generally, issues such as an incorrect address or failure to connect with the customer lead to failed deliveries. Therefore, whenever a delivery fails, ClickPost’s API delivers a notification to the customers with the reason for the failure. The customer is contacted through multiple channels, and the reason for failure is direct to the carrier which then uses the new information to complete the delivery. This allows businesses to reduce RTOs rates and increase the chances of successful delivery.
3.6) Product Returns Management
Returns are an important part of the online shopping ecosystem. It is extremely important for online retailers to manage their returning orders efficiently to curb their losses and recover lost revenues through future sales. ClickPost helps businesses create branded returns pages to improve customer experience as they place returns requests. These pages can also be used as marketing opportunities to promote other products and generate more sales.
ClickPost’s API integrations allow businesses to track and manage their returns through the use of Air Waybills and webhooks. This helps ensure that the products are returned to the seller safely to be used for future sales.
4)What are the Key Benefits of eCommerce Shipping Integration?
As eCommerce companies grow, they need to become more efficient to handle the volume of incoming customers and place orders. In order to survive in a competitive market, they need several integrations that enable them to execute several functions without needing to communicate at every instance independently. Since eCommerce companies rely solely on shipping companies for their products to reach customers, they need advanced integrations to ensure the smooth flow of information across multiple systems and remove any obstacles in the shipping process. Integrations allow companies to communicate with shipping companies, sharing valuable information and automating several stages of the shipping process.
5)Final Conclusive Words
Shipping integrations have opened new frontiers for the eCommerce industry, making them more efficient and cost-effective. APIs have unlocked a myriad of capabilities for companies that allow them to scale, grow and become more profitable. Solutions providers are now using integrations as means to automate several processes that previously required manual labour and effort. Integrations are also being used to determine the best alternatives, options, and services for a particular shipment. As eCommerce and shipping companies grow and innovate, shipping integrations will pave the way for platforms more capable than ever.