1. Overview of eCommerce Shipping Platforms and Software
The ever-increasing popularity of eCommerce businesses and social commerce can largely 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 delay or damage is equally important. The latter part of the business operations is looked after by eCommerce shipping platforms and software. eCommerce has been around for some time but it grew rapidly during the past few years and especially during the pandemic.
With almost all offline shops gone for the major chunk of the year, even consumers who were previously wary of online platforms started shopping online. As a result, eCommerce companies were swamped with orders. The savior of the day was the eCommerce shipping platforms and software that managed this huge influx of orders and provided timely delivery to the customers. The pandemic has totally changed the way people shop and we assume that the online shopping trend is going nowhere. If you are an eCommerce business with plans of growth and expansion, an eCommerce shipping software is an absolute necessity.
2. What is an eCommerce Shipping Platform and Software?
These shipping platforms and software companies make use of the latest technology and shipping APIs to automate several shipping processes like order manifestation, order tracking, inventory recording, detection of stuck shipments, and much more. All of these services help eCommerce businesses rapidly scale up without investing unnecessarily in staff and storing space. Many times online retailers steer clear of using shipping software because they feel their prices would eat into the business profits. However, research shows that managing logistics in-house is in fact more expensive than usually believed. Moreover, with a shipping platform, deliveries are faster and shipping rates are cheaper.
3. Top 10 Ecommerce Shipping Platforms and Software for Online Businesses [2021 Updated List]
Most eCommerce businesses outsource shipping operations to eCommerce shipping platforms and software and for good reason. Having said that, finding the right eCommerce shipping software or platform can feel pretty intimidating. In this article, we bring forth the 10 best eCommerce shipping software that companies can safely consider. Below you will find a list of these platforms and the features they offer.
ClickPost is one of the fastest-growing shipping software and logistic platforms in the world with operations in over 250 countries. It provides a well-rounded shipping platform that takes care of all ecommerce shipping needs from warehousing, inventory management, pick-pack and delivery, along with maintaining streamlined order tracking features.
Get ahead of RTOs (Return to Origin) with ClickPost’s NDR Management System that quickly tackles delivery exceptions.
Automatically allocate the best and cheapest carrier for your shipment based on several key shipping metrics.
Make shipping easy with shipping APIs that make the order manifestation process easy.
View and manage all orders across a number of selling channels & marketplaces like Amazon, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, from a single dashboard.
ClickPost’s excellent customer service ensures companies have somewhere to go when they face any snags in the shipping platform and software.
ShipWell is a shipping platform and software with the goal of connecting shipping partners better with ecommerce companies.
With ShipWell you can choose how many orders go in a shipment. Companies can opt for single or bulk orders.
Deliver goods via air/ocean/land freight, parcels, drayage as well as FTL and LTL options.
ShipWell can automate a wide variety of shipping workflows, integrate with all existing systems for optimum operational efficiency and provide excellent shipment visibility with real-time tracking.
If you are looking to solve ecommerce order tracking problems, you should definitely consider AfterShip. This is a shipping platform and software known across the world for providing amazing shipping and tracking abilities to customers as well as ecommerce businesses. It can also be used via the AfterShip mobile app.
Get access to the AfterShip branded tracking page that allows online businesses to set up a tracking page reflecting their brand’s uniqueness in the form of logos, colourful graphics, social media feeds, etc.
AfterShip has integrations with all major selling channels and with over 600 carriers.
Veeqo is an ecommerce shipping platform and software best known for providing inventory and order management solutions to ecommerce stores.
Integrate with marketplaces to start selling online or import orders from all your shops onto a single platform.
Provide real-time shipment tracking info to customers and enhance customer experience.
ShipStation 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.
Integrate existing ERPs, CRMs, selling channels, ecommerce platforms, and marketplaces with ShipStation software for easy order creation and management.
Print labels for over 500 carriers and send them to customers with real-time delivery updates.
Offer branded tracking to customers and inventory management to online stores.
EasyShip is an ecommerce shipping platform and software that offers the best rates on shipping with UPS, USPS and FedEx. EasyShip is most loved by companies for the heavily discounted prices it offers on shipping.
Ship globally with 250+ carrier integrations.
EasyShip offers full-fledged fulfillment services in the form of warehousing, inventory management, picking, packaging, shipping.
Ship to 220+ countries worldwide and let EasyShip handle duties and taxes on your behalf.
ShipBob is an ecommerce fulfillment, shipping platform and software that provides shipping and overall fulfillment services to D2C brands all over the world.
Hassle-free onboarding allows companies to start shipping immediately.
Find integrations with most selling platforms, ecommerce channels, marketplaces.
Avail of 2-day express shipping within US locations.
On the dashboard, filter, select, delete orders or club them together in a single shipment.
Shippy Pro aims to bring technological revolution to the ecommerce landscape by automating most shipping processes and reducing time for manual labour.
This shipping platform and software helps ecommerce stores bring down logistics costs by lowering the need to hire people for handling shipping.
ShippyPro offers 120+ carrier integrations and 20+ selling channel integrations for the online seller.
MetaPack operates huge warehouse spaces across the globe and provides lightning-fast pick-pack-deliver services from 350000 warehouses.
With MetaPack you get access to over 400 carriers that ship to every corner of the world.
Send automated order update messages to customers with MetaPack’s shipping software.
Shippo provides all-around shipping and delivery management services to online companies worldwide. It provides cheap shipping rates which makes it one of the most loved ecommerce shipping platforms and software.
Shippo handles returns very well. Ecommerce companies facing issues with returns management should look for Shippo’s reverse logistics services.
Send orders via 85+ carriers worldwide and provide to-the-minute tracking details to customers with real-time tracking updates.
4. How to choose the Best Ecommerce Shipping Platforms and Software for Optimum Shipping Experience
You are familiar with the names of the best eCommerce shipping software platforms and the services they offer. You may find some services are more suited for your business than others. But there are a couple of features that you should look for in the eCommerce shipping platform of your choice. Let’s find out what they are.
4.1) Shipping Costs
While running an eCommerce business it’s important to be mindful of the resources you spend on 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, there are many other factors that affect shopping costs like value-added items, special items, hidden charges, extra costs, etc. Having a transparent conversation with your provider beforehand should help you relieve all these worries.
One of the major reasons an eCommerce entrepreneur ties up with a shipping platform and software is because of 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 the network of its partner shipping platform to provide deliveries to a ton of new customers in distant locations.
4.3) Types of Delivery and Modes of Payment
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 at the time of shopping so that customers leave the checkout window having made the purchase. Needless to say, it’s also a major boost to the customer satisfaction levels. 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. Being able to provide your customers with same-day or next-day delivery can really help boost a business’s prospects. eCommerce platforms can help with that.
4.4) Customer Care Support
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 it’s absolutely essential to have a solid customer care team for any customer-facing business. 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 shipment 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 nervous and make them feel reassured that their order is on its way.
4.5) Reverse Logistics
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 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, stock updates. Since product returns can result in potential losses it is important that the eCommerce shipping platform and software you choose handles returns management well. A good returns management system can turn returns into a source of profit. So choose wisely.
4.6) NDR Management
NDR Management (Non-Delivery Report) 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- unavailability of the customer, wrong delivery address, inefficiency delivery attempts, fake delivery attempts. Whatever the case, it’s important to manage NDRs fast and in time so that customers are not affected. Shipping software can quickly identify that an NDR has taken place, move fast to contain the consequences by notifying the customer that there might be a delay in the order, and finally, take actions to deliver the product to the customer as swiftly as possible.
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 for online shoppers by offering eCommerce companies the option of making customized packaging available for their customers. Any kind of customization or personalization including shipping labels has a very good impact on the post-purchase customer experience.
4.8) Insurance and Customs Services
If you run an ecommerce business you should always want to go with an ecommerce shipping platform that offers a decent insurance plan for you 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.
4.9) Use of Technology
Needless to say, ecommerce software and shipping platforms should make use of the latest technology to enable automated shipping operations. High tech software can make better carrier selections, provide better tracking advantages including GPS facilities, send an automatic notification to customers on order updates.
4.10) Live Order Tracking
Ecommerce shipping platforms and software must have a live order tracking even to be considered. Customers want to stay in the loop regarding the whereabouts of their order and 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.
5. Final Conclusion
Ecommerce shipping platforms and software might not seem like a necessity when your eCommerce business is in the initial stages of growth. But as your company expands and starts receiving 10,000 or more orders every month, 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 towards the right eCommerce shipping platform and software for your business. All the best!