Every ecommerce business relies heavily on external factors for a seamless delivery experience. Since it is not feasible for these businesses to develop their supply chain, one 3PL partner is not enough to cater to its needs. On the other hand, managing the delivery process through multiple carriers is quite a hassle. The sheer amount of manual effort required and the room for manual error almost negate the advantages of using multiple carriers.
As a solution to the problem of the ecommerce sector, shipping software emerged in the market. Shipping software was the ideal solution as it allowed businesses to harmonize the logistics sector to harvest the benefits without increasing the load. In this blog, we will understand how shipping software allows you to streamline and automate your shipping process.
2) What is a Shipping Software?
Before we understand how Shipping software can help an ecommerce business, we need to develop an understanding of the term Shipping software.
A shipping software uses data-driven insights and APIs to enable and develop an efficient, systematic ecommerce shipping workflow. With a single-point integration of the software, you can access multiple carrier APIs as well as enable other features on your ecommerce platform. Additionally, the software has order management capabilities that assist you in maintaining the functionality and efficiency of the fulfilment system.
An ideal shipping solution also provides you with features that enhance the post-purchase experience on your ecommerce platform. It allows you to promote engagement with your products and platforms through a seamless post-purchase experience.
3) 9 Ways Shipping software streamlines and automates your Shipping Process
Every shipping software aims to make the order fulfillment process easier for an ecommerce business. The shipping software provides the following benefits to fulfill its goals:
3.1) Minimizes Shipping expenditure
As shipping software allows you to use a combination of multi-carrier integration and an AI-based carrier allocation system, you can ensure that you get value services for every penny spent on fulfilling an order. The software will make automated choices based on the preferences set by you.
3.2) Fine-tune the Shipping Process
Every knowledgeable shipper knows that one carrier cannot fulfill all the shipping needs of an ecommerce business optimally. With the service suite of a shipping platform, you can elevate your shipping performance simply by adding more carriers to your operations. Along with this, the data-driven insights and the analytical dashboards allow you to fine-tune the shipping process according to the needs of your customer.
3.3) Automates the Order Manifestation process
An ecommerce business can manually create and ship orders in the initial phase. But as the order volume pushes beyond 300-500 orders per month, the process becomes tedious and leaves considerable room for error. On the other hand, if you integrate your ecommerce platform with shipping software, you can automate your order creation, manifestation, and fulfillment process.
3.4) Enables Better Order Management
An efficient order management system is necessary if you plan to scale and grow without impacting your customer experience. Shipping software will provide a unified dashboard that enables order management for multiple carriers through a single window. This allows for better control over the shipping process and faster resolution of customer complaints.
3.5) Provides Real-time Tracking Updates
Although order tracking is an integral part of every order management system, it cannot be accomplished manually. The automated tracking process allows for better order management. Using shipping management software, you can get real-time tracking updates with the help of webhooks. With more regular updates, you can share this information with the customer to improve your post-purchase engagement.
3.6) Optimizes Billing Cycles
Since you are using an integrated service to ship with multiple carriers, you will get an integrated bill. This eliminates the hassle of having to audit and verify several bills with different carriers and makes the entire process easier. Along with this, the electronic nature of the shipping process enables a more efficient billing and auditing workflow.
3.7) Provides Actionable Insights
To run an efficient operation, you need insights into the performance. Shipping management software provides you with valuable insights into shipping and delivery performance. You can measure the delivery experience with the help of different metrics, including average delivery speed, RTO percentage, carrier performance, delivery success rate, etc.
3.8) Streamlines the Documentation Process
Tracking and generating the required documentation for a smooth shipping process can be quite a hassle. Using shipping software, you can automate the generation of documents. This ensures that all the required documents are generated accurately along with the order.
3.9) Enables You to Scale and Grow
As your warehouse and shipping operations are not limited by the number of orders they can process, your business can venture into new customer bases and geographies for expansion. Shipping automation allows you to replicate a successful order fulfillment model in different geographies to enable faster global growth.
4) 3 Vital Functions of a Good Shipping Software
The above benefits may seem too good to be true. We can understand them better by understanding how every prominent feature of shipping software works.
4.1) Carrier Integration and Allocation
In order to ship with any carrier, you will need to integrate their shipping API with your ecommerce platform. This becomes quite a hassle when you have to use 100 different carriers. Through a shipping integration, you can access all these APIs through a single integration as the software has already integrated with the carrier APIs. In case you use AI-enabled software like ClickPost, you can track the carrier’s performance and history to make choices based on real-time data. You can set your requirements in the software and the algorithm by selecting the ideal carrier after matching your preferences with the carrier’s performance.
4.2) Shipment Tracking
Every carrier maintains a database that contains the records of the transit of the package. An update is made in this log every time a package is checked in, scanned, or shipped from a warehouse. These updates are useful for order management as well as can be shared with customers. To get these updates on an integrated dashboard, shipping software uses push/pull webhooks to retrieve the latest tracking information in the log.
4.3) Shipment Monitoring
As the scrutiny of your operation is crucial in determining the performance and success of your organization, shipping software stores and analyzes all the shipment-related information. This information is then displayed to the customer through a comprehensive dashboard that allows them to measure and compare vital delivery metrics, including success rate, average delivery speed, return rate, RTO percentage, etc. These insights can act as a guide for you when you want to improve your shipping performance and optimize it for efficiency.
With the increasingly widespread accessibility of the internet, customers are now exposed to various platforms and products. Therefore, to compete in this cut-throat market, you have to make sure that you make optimal use of technology. Automation in your order fulfillment process is one of the ideal ways to use technology to get an edge in the ecommerce sector.
6.1) Will shipping software help in automating and streamlining the ecommerce shipping process?
The primary purpose of shipping software is to use technology platforms to streamline your shipping process. With features like multi-carrier integration and automated shipment monitoring, this software can significantly impact the overall efficiency of your fulfillment operations.
6.2) How do carrier allocation engines help in automating the shipping process?
Choosing the right carrier for each shipment can be a laborious process. To automate this part of the process, good shipping software comes with a carrier allocation engine. This engine is basically an ML-enabled algorithm that tracks the performance of the carrier to extract data-driven performance pointers. These pointers are then used as a reference to allocate the carrier for shipments so that your shipping performance is not hampered.