Overview of Shipping Software for eCommerce
eCommerce business has changed the way people enjoy their shopping experience, bringing 100 million Indians to online storefronts. To serve this highly populated and expansive country, these businesses rely on shipping companies. Ecommerce businesses with large monthly order volumes (between 3000 and 10000) typically rely on more than 2 shipping companies to serve their customers. But that also means additional efforts are required to monitor both the orders being delivered and the performance of shipping partners over various spans of time. This is where eCommerce shipping software comes in to streamline the management of heavy order volumes and shipping partners. Shipping software can help in every aspect of delivery from order creation to customer updates and even ensuring a smooth return journey. Let’s explore the different e-commerce shipping software that online businesses all over the world rely on.
What is Shipping Software?
Ecommerce shipping software, in the simplest terms, are shipping systems that allow eCommerce service providers to integrate with multiple shipping companies. Shipping software enables easy order management across a multitude of shipping partners. These systems work to automate various delivery processes and shipping services that previously had to be carried out manually. These automated systems help streamline and optimize the delivery process. Depending on the range of features made available, shipping software can also help identify problem areas and address major challenges. They can be synonymous with the growth of eCommerce company.
Top 10 Best Shipping Software for eCommerce Businesses [2021 Updated List]
Choosing a shipping software that works for your company can be as difficult and as important as selecting the right shipping partners. Accordingly, it's important to take a look at the variety of shipping software that are currently serving hundreds of online businesses across the globe. This can help you get some insight into how these different software operates and how they can help you. These are the top 10 eCommerce shipping software in the world.
Aftership is a Hong Kong-based company that provides global eCommerce shipping management software. It was founded in 2011 and serves brands all across the globe.
1.1) Aftership allows eCommerce businesses to choose their ideal shipping partners from 600+ integrated shipping companies.
1.2) It also maintains integrations with the most prominent online storefronts and marketplaces like eBay, Magento and Shopify.
1.3) The main feature of this shipping software is the automated shipment tracking mechanism.
1.4) Aftership uses their custom tracking page to update customers at each stage of delivery.
Pros: The main benefit of Aftership is easy implementation and integration with partnered systems.
Cons: In the case of large businesses with high order volumes, delays and inaccuracies in tracking are known to occur more frequently.
ClickPost is a top-level logistics and shipping intelligence software in the world. This company uses its software to integrate and automate a wide variety of shipping solutions to ensure customers are given the best delivery experience and to ensure that eCommerce enterprises are given the room they need to grow their business.
2.1) This software uses APIs to simplify order creation for eCommerce businesses.
2.2) It makes use of both push and pull APIs to provide to-the-minute tracking updates to customers via a customizable and brandable tracking page.
2.3)Customers are also provided real-time tracking updates via notifications through different channels (SMS, email, and WhatsApp).
2.4) One of the flagship features of this shipping software is the NDR management feature. It enables quick responses to failed deliveries.
2.5) It reaches out to customers with issue-specific queries and actively works to convert such orders into successful deliveries, thereby reducing RTOs.
Pros: ClickPost offers among the widest range of features and shipping services. It has high-standard tech capabilities to ensure more streamlined services.
Cons: ClickPost is most appropriate for large businesses. Only a certain category of SMBs are able to effectively utilize ClickPost.
FreightPop joins Narvar and Shippo as a California-based shipping software that works on a global scale. The focus of this shipping software is to provide optimal integration solutions & function as a reliable transportation management software, even when WMS and ERP services are not being used.
3.1) Distribution of orders is made easier using FreightPop as it is integrated with 300+ shipping companies.
3.2)Through this partnership, negotiable rates are provided to e-commerce businesses for shipping.
3.3) This software also allows rates, shipments, invoices and other complexities to be monitored and audited regularly to reduce freight discrepancies.
3.4) FreightPop aids ecommerce businesses in handling both domestic and international freight.
Pros: FreightPop enables better visibility of orders and easy warehouse management, regardless of existing partnerships.
Cons: For large companies, implementation and integration with FreightPop can be a tedious process.
MetaPack is a London-based company that provides eCommerce businesses with highly functional shipping software. This shipping software enables order management when it comes to both forward and reverses journeys.
4.1) This shipping management software is integrated with 400+ shipping companies that e-commerce businesses can partner with to avail services.
4.2)These services include international delivery, express delivery and customs documentation.
4.3) MetaPack maintains 350000+ storage facilities all across the planet to provide pick-up and drop services on a global scale.
4.4) It provides customers with real-time tracking updates.
Pros: Metapack is widely regarded as the foremost shipping software for ecommerce businesses operating across Europe.
Cons: Metapack offers a limited range of features and has minimal serviceability in the US and Asia.
Narvar is a US-based shipping software company that serves ecommerce businesses across Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Over 800 different brands, spread across 38 nations, make use of the Narvar.
5.1) This shipping management software helps to create orders, process and pack them.
5.2) Narvar ensures that the orders are efficiently delivered to customers alongside frequent tracking updates.
5.3) Narvar also has numerous Concierge Centres available all across the globe. Here orders can be picked up or returning orders can be dropped off.
Pros: Customer experience can be improved through order tracking accuracy and estimated delivery dates.
Cons: Narvar’s concierge services are largely restricted based on the shipping partner being used.
Shippo, like Narvar, is a California-based ecommerce shipping management software that operates most heavily in its country of incorporation. Founded in 2013, it has expanded its services to include international shipments and fulfill global orders.
6.1) This software actively aids ecommerce businesses in printing shipping labels, creating packing slips and ensuring customers receive real-time tracking updates.
6.2) An automated system is used to send customers email notifications when orders have been picked up from the origin warehouse and when they have been delivered.
6.3) This software also provides regulatory clarity for orders being imported or exported.
Pros: Shippo provides regular validation checks to reduce inaccuracies in delivery and is easily used once implemented.
Cons: Implementation of Shippo can be a complex process and only a limited range of shipping services are available.
ShipStation is a shipping software that operates all across Europe, North America, and Australia. This shipping software gives eCommerce businesses access to a multitude of different order and delivery-related services to improve overall efficiency.
7.1) ShipStation provides integrations with online marketplaces like Etsy and Walmart and selling channels like Shopify and Squarespace.
7.2) ShipStation is also tied up with QuickBooks, which provides enterprise customers with a wide range of accounting services.
7.3) Inventory management and customized labels are also services this shipping software aids with.
7.4) This software is available for purchase with different payment plans in accordance with the monthly volume of orders, starting at $9 for 50 orders, to $159 for 10,000 orders.
Pros: ShipStation is considered a shipping software that is easy to implement, integrate and use.
Cons: It is most effective only for small and medium businesses, and provides minimal customer support services.
Shippy Pro is a shipping software that emerged from Italy in 2017 and focuses on reducing labour, costs, and time spent on each order by automating tasks like order creation, order tracking, updating customers, among many other services provided.
8.1) This shipment management software is integrated with 130+ global carriers.
8.2) It also offers integration with 20+ online marketplaces and selling channels like WooCommerce, Amazon, Magento and Shopify.
8.3) Everything from printing shipping labels to placing return requests is a streamlined process with ShippyPro.
Pros: ShippyPro is known for having a user-friendly interface that enables seamless order tracking.
Cons: Customer support services are only available over chat. Additional features typically result in extraneous costs being incurred, unsuitable for small businesses.
This US-based company provides shipping software that works specifically to keep shipping companies and eCommerce businesses consistently connected.
9.1) Shipping companies are given the choice of bidding on freights to select consignments, using ShipWell’s load board proprietary matching algorithm.
9.2) Each order is assigned to the right shipping partner in accordance with the e-commerce business preference as well as the shipping partners.
9.3) In addition to order creation, manifestation, and tracking, this shipping software also enables carriers to determine optimal routes for smooth delivery.
9.4) This route optimization, coupled with the tracking mechanism of the software, enables delivery agents to eliminate in-transit blindspots.
Pros: With Shipwell, both implementation and onboarding are carried out easily. The platform is also known for its ease of navigation.
Cons: Very few features of Shipwell shipping software are customizable. This software is also not equipped to deal with challenges to delivery.
Veeqo is a shipping software that was developed in the UK in 2013 to handle inventory management and shipment management for e-commerce businesses across the UK and the globe. Hundreds of eCommerce businesses in England currently make use of this software.
10.1) Veeqo enables businesses to synchronise their inventory across a multitude of integrated selling channels and online marketplaces like Shopify, Ebay, Amazon and Magento.
10.2) This order management software regularly appraises stock and can forecast the status of inventory to ensure stock is always available when an order is placed.
10.3) In addition to highly efficient inventory management solutions, this shipping software also provides customers with real-time tracking updates.
Pros: Veeqo allows eCommerce stocks to be designated to different warehouses and stores. It also enables better communication between different partners.
Cons: Each supplier must be independently integrated leading to numerous technical issues and difficulties in onboarding.
How to Choose the Best Ecommerce Shipping Software?
While the overall service provided by every shipping software is largely the same, each maintains its own area of operation and field of expertise, from transportation management to inventory management. So the best way to determine the right shipping software for your business is to keep in mind these simple parameters.
Serviceability refers to the ability of a shipping software to provide its services in the area your e-commerce business requires and in accordance with the volume of orders your business receives on a monthly and daily basis. While a global shipping software may be integrated with 500+ shipping partners, only 3-4 of those may operate within your designated region. This would impair your ability to meet the volume of orders placed. Some may be able to handle smaller volumes at first but would be unable to maintain efficiency as order volumes grow.
Low prices don’t always mean low expenditure, given that inefficiency in delivery mechanisms can result in heavy losses borne by e-commerce businesses. So when we discuss shipping rates and rates levied by shipping software, these costs must encompass a wide range of delivery services that will reduce your overall logistics costs. These services could have a bigger impact on certain KPIs like customer experience and RTO%.
As your eCommerce business grows, different issues become more visible and each needs to be addressed. Shipping software can help address these issues in a streamlined manner. However, first, you must be aware of what your priority concerns are for your business and what services the shipping software provides that will address them. In case your priority is to ensure customers receive real-time updates or reducing RTO%, your choice of shipping software would accordingly be one that specializes in the same.
Once you have an idea of what your eCommerce business needs, what your customers want, and what your profit margin is, you can look deeper into shipping software. Take a look at all the different features they offer and how efficiently they provide these services in different regions. Some features are made more effective when customized to your business needs. Certain shipping software only offers a limited range of features which could hamper your overall business growth.
5)Implementation and Easy of Use
A brief look into reviews and past performance data of any concerned shipping software will give you an idea of how they work. The software must be implemented in your system, your system must be onboarded with theirs. Integration with shipping partners and other logistics partners must be completed. Since the goal is to ensure maximum order fulfillment, a delayed implementation process can be detrimental to your bottom line. Similarly, once installed, the eCommerce shipment software should be easy to navigate and user-friendly.
Shipping software typically requires frequent updates and upgrades, as well as general maintenance. As a technologically enabled system, the software must be able to keep up with the latest logistics and shipping services. This means you would need shipping software that comes with effective and prompt technical support. This support should extend beyond implementation and onboarding. It must be available at any given point to ensure a seamless delivery mechanism is constantly functioning.
As the eCommerce industry continues to grow, so does the need for efficient and effective e-commerce shipping software solutions. These shipping softwares are operational all across the globe and are revolutionizing the way eCommerce companies do business. A good shipping software can automate tasks that previously had to be carried out manually, like creating orders with shipping partners, printing labels, and assigning delivery agents. Tracking orders and giving customers updates also becomes a breeze. These shipping softwares can be utilized to help you build your business to monumental heights.