Gone are the days when shipping used to be a tedious manual job. Ecommerce automation has penetrated every aspect of online selling, including how store owners ship merchandise. Almost all medium to enterprise-level businesses today use cloud shipping software to run their shipping operations.
In this blog post, we’ll take you through the best cloud shipping companies out there for ecommerce stores. We’ll take a detailed look at what services they provide and the things to keep in mind when choosing one.
What are Cloud Shipping Companies?
Cloud shipping companies use cloud-based software to perform all manifestation, shipping, and delivery activities. Cloud shippers like the ones listed below use intelligent, AI-powered tools to automate and systematize shipping processes that otherwise lead to manual inefficiencies.
In this way, cloud shipping software is better able to utilize time and resources. Activities like label printing, stock counting, return processing, etc., which take immense amounts of time if done physically, are completed within a fraction of that time because of cloud computing.
Cloud shipping companies result in better shipping workflows, reduced errors in package delivery, increased customer satisfaction, and lower order fulfillment costs.
Top 10 Cloud Shipping Companies for Ecommerce Enterprises
Here’s our lowdown of the best cloud shipping companies for ecommerce sellers worldwide.
ClickPost is an AI-driven multi-carrier shipping solution that helps businesses provide an excellent customer experience from the pre to the post-purchase phases. ClickPost automates several parts of your shipping plan to reduce human errors and increase operational efficiency. You can use the dashboard to check the status of all your orders across all sales channels, websites, and marketplaces.
Order manifestation and label printing are automated to reduce time. ClickPost triggers notifications to customers at every order milestone - confirmation, shipped, out for delivery, etc. It has a very proactive NDR (Non-Delivery Report) management or failed delivery protocol to contain mishaps and customer dissatisfaction. It also has a Shopify app called ClickPost Returns Plus to power returns/exchanges for Shopify merchants.
ShipStation is a cloud shipping software that offers order management, shipping, branding, and tracking services for online store owners across the world. It is integrated with 429 global shipping carriers and many sales channels, ERPs, accounting tools, and fulfillment centers.
As of now, businesses in 7 countries can directly use ShipStation for 3PL services. Others will have to avail of its services through co-partners. ShipStation has 6 pricing plans starting from $9.99 to $299.99 and an additional plan for customized order volumes.
Shippo connects ecommerce stores with online marketplaces, 85+ shipping partners, and a range of fulfillment providers with different locational advantages. With the Shippo API integration, businesses can easily incorporate Shippo into their existing business platform and other tech products.
This cloud shipper is great for small and medium businesses who want to try out a couple of software before settling for one. This is because Shippo offers a free pricing plan which is only chargeable if owners want to print shipping or return labels from their own carrier accounts instead of Shippo’s.
EasyPost comes with a bunch of different useful APIs for address verification, tracking, and shipping that make this cloud software very easy to work with. Ecommerce businesses can choose one or all depending on their needs.
They come with multi carrier shipping provisions plus an automatic shipping label generator that’s great for managing higher order volumes. One of the best things about EasyPost is that it offers green packaging and shipping options to reduce overall carbon footprints. While a lot of companies are slowly moving towards green shipping, it’s especially good to have holistic, sustainable brands.
Narvar is a very well-known name in the ecommerce world. It’s a post-purchase customer experience software, in other words, a cloud shipping platform that seeks to straighten after-sales customer experience.
It covers all bases from order fulfillment, tracking, and order status notifications to returns and exchanges. Narvar’s standout feature is known as ‘Concierge,’ which allows customers to pick up and return or exchange their orders from any partnered store near their vicinity. This service has helped many ecommerce retailers in increasing conversions and customer satisfaction.
ShippingEasy is a cloud-based shipping software that also comes with many marketing features to drive new sales. These are customized campaigns, email marketing management, customer feedback, and more. Their ecommerce fulfillment services include a smart shipping workflow, real-time order tracking, and reverse logistics.
Apart from the usual features, they also offer a complete Shopify Seller suite that includes fast store integration, abandoned cart emails, and email promos. ShippingEasy is preferred by any small and medium-sized businesses because it offers really cheap shipping rates for FedEx, UPS, and USPS.
SendCloud is a parcel shipping software that helps ecommerce businesses send out shipments faster than ever because of an automated shipping process. It comes with 80+ carriers for you to choose from and the lowest pre-negotiated rates, so brands don’t have to go through the hassle.
They have a Pack & Go feature that allows businesses to automatically print shipping and return labels and scan SKUs so there are no wrong shipments. Confusion and Mis-shipments are common in ecommerce, and Pack & Go can save you from those human errors.
ShipRocket is a shipping management platform that’s available for online sellers in over 220 countries. It can ship packages globally with 17 shipping carriers. It provides businesses a wider opportunity to sell their products by connecting them to several marketplaces and shopping carts like Shopify, Magento, OpenCart, etc.
It’s also a good choice for B2B shipping because it provides various shipping options and 24/7 customer care for sorting any queries. Shiprocket’s B2B fulfillment service offers very affordable shipping rates, even with expedited shipping.
AfterShip is another logistics platform that aims to improve customers’ experience post-purchase. It used to be the go-to software for order tracking but has recently added many more services to the list. It has an EDD feature that estimates the date of delivery, a shipping workflow with automated label printing, and live shipping rate calculation.
Its tracking feature is flawless, with real-time updates via email and SMS. Its newest addition, however, is AfterShip Green which uses SGS-certified methods to monitor and limit greenhouse gas emissions. It also reduces transit times by finding the fastest and most cost-efficient delivery routes.
MetaPack is an old name, and many of you must already be familiar with it. The software provides exceptional shipping, fulfillment, and management services and is partnered with over 350 shipping carriers. Businesses can opt for its branded tracking page that can be fully customized to look and feel like your company’s extension.
It provides regular tracking, shipping, and delivery reports that help ecommerce owners understand which aspects of their business operation need improvement. MetaPack also helps resolve last-mile delivery issues arising from inefficient carrier selection or route optimization.
6 Things to Look for While Selecting the Ideal Cloud Shipping Company
The cloud software companies we discussed above are replete with specialized features to make ecommerce shipping a painless process for you. However, not all of those features are absolute must-haves. Below, we discuss 7 criteria that every cloud shipping company must fulfill.
1) Multi-Carrier Support
The reason most eCommerce companies switch to cloud shipping is because of the number of carriers it provides access to. Therefore, multi-carrier support is our topmost criterion for a cloud shipping platform.
Multi-carrier shipping opens the global market to you through carriers that provide cross-border and international deliveries. It also gives sellers a greater opportunity to compare shipping costs. Moreover, multi-carrier cloud shipping companies can keep delivery channels open if one carrier faces major supply chain issues.
2) Real-Time Shipment Tracking
Anyone who has ever shopped online understands the necessity of accurate tracking information. The cloud shipping company you opt for must provide your customers with live order tracking data. It’s best to send real-time order status notifications at every milestone via SMS, email, and WhatsApp.
Sharing live shipment status with customers helps them build realistic expectations about when they might get their order. It also prepares them in case of a delay or lets them take anticipatory steps if they are away.
3) Return & Exchange Management
Brands must be conscious about the way they plan their return logistics. If you choose to partner with a cloud shipping company for forward shipping, then we suggest you do the same for returns as well. Reverse logistics is infinitely complex, and a lot depends on it in terms of customer satisfaction and retention rates.
Instead of accepting every return order manually, with a cloud shipping company, businesses can automate returns and exchanges through a return portal and track the status of every return/exchange from their dashboard.
4) Shipping Capacity
It’s important that the cloud shipping software you select for your online store gives you room to grow your business operations and monthly orders comfortably and at short notice. As businesses start out they may deal with low order volumes, but most ecommerce companies witness rapid growth.
Therefore, considering shipping capacity is very important. Additionally, pay attention to how many shipping carriers your cloud shipping company is integrated with. This is because as your orders grow, you will need access to more carriers for timely order fulfillment.
5) Easy Onboarding
A cloud-shipping software does not work in a vacuum. Most ecommerce companies today use more than one software to manage shipping and other business operations.
To keep the business running smoothly, it’s critical for all tech products to work in tandem. An easy onboarding signals that the new product you have introduced to your existing tech stack is going to work smoothly with little to no glitches. It might not seem too important now, but we guarantee you it is.
6) Customer Care Unit
No ecommerce seller wants their customers to contact them directly in any scenario because it mostly means something has gone very wrong. However, there are many reasons why a customer might want to get in touch. Maybe they want to know more about your product or are confused about a feature, or don’t find the information they are looking for on your website.
With an around-the-clock customer support unit, you’ll be able to soothe customer anxieties, answer queries and even generate more sales. In any instance, the inability to speak to a store representative is going to negatively impact a customer’s image of your business.
The best cloud shipping companies are ones that prioritize customer preferences, tailor their services accordingly and give businesses the much-needed space to grow. We’ve presented to you the best cloud shippers from around the world and highlighted their key features. We hope with our detailed insights on which functionalities are crucial for long-term success, you’ll find the one that works best for you. All the best!
1) Do cloud shipping companies use cloud computing?
Yes, cloud shipping companies use cloud computing for all their operations because it allows businesses to install their software on their server. Cloud shipping companies, also called SaaS (Software as a Service) companies provide all their products to customers on the cloud, which is only possible through cloud computing. With cloud shipping, there is little to no physical data to be handled.
2) Is cloud shipping best for ecommerce companies?
Yes, cloud shipping is a more efficient and low-cost option compared to physical shipping operations. It’s also speedier in terms of delivery times and increases customers’ loyalty and retention rates through continuous engagement and a better shipping experience.