1)Introduction to Online Selling Channels for eCommerce
Ecommerce businesses carry a huge burden on their back, trying to serve the needs of 100 million shoppers across India. That's why this burden is best handled by sharing the responsibility. Online selling channels are an important player in the process of ecommerce sales. These channels are platforms that Ecommerce businesses can use to display their products and all related details to customers. More importantly, these storefronts provide customers a shopping cart for their intended purchases and allow you to streamline each customer's checkout process. Virtual selling channels are vital to the success of any Ecommerce business.
2)What is Shopify for eCommerce Enterprises?
Shopify is a proprietary platform for hosting ecommerce stores, owned by a Canadian company of the same name. Shopify is arguably one of the most popular selling channels utilised by eCommerce enterprises, followed quickly by Magento and WooCommerce. Shopify provides a variety of services including enabling payments, meeting promotional requirements and providing customer engagement tools. Over 1 million Ecommerce businesses across 175 different countries currently use the Shopify selling platform to reach their customers.
Andrew Left, the founder of the investment newsletter Citron Research, has referred to Shopify as "best-in-class". Shopify lets you design and customizes your ecommerce website as per your preference. Budding entrepreneurs can start their online business through Shopify while existing businesses can move their entire business to a website hosted by Shopify. Shopify helps Ecommerce enterprises with store management, inventory management and customer experience.
3)What are Shopify Shipping Apps and How Do They Work?
One of the major benefits of having a Shopify ecommerce venture is the access provided to numerous external platforms, apps and tech-enabled solutions. These tech-driven innovations help you cut to the heart of the matter when it comes to scaling up your eCommerce enterprise. Among the most popular of these are Shopify's shipping apps, which actively work to improve customers' post purchase experiences. They are available as apps, extensions and private integrations. These apps and software help to address certain seemingly small but extremely complex functions in your shipping mechanism. Essentially, they exist to automate and therefore streamline numerous processes. In addition to this, they enable you to track your orders better, manage your carriers and in some cases even reduce your shipping costs. So they are hardly the typical apps you likely have on your phone. Shopify shipping apps allow the brand that your best-in-class storefront displays to be associated with a best-in-class delivery experience for customers.
4)Top 10 Best Shopify Shipping Apps for eCommerce Businesses [2021 Updated List]
Now that you have a general idea of what Shopify shipping apps can do, we're going to take a look at what they actually do. To that end, let's run our magnifying glass over the 10 best Shopify Shipping Apps currently available. This includes a quick breakdown of their features and how integrating with them works. These two tidbits go hand-in-hand as knowing their features gives you an idea of whether or not they're worth the effort of integrating with.
ClickPost is a shipping management platform that works as a private integration with Shopify. It is one of the leading shipping systems in India due to its comprehensive set of features. This system offers 130+ carrier integration and automates the entire process of order manifestation with a single API. It offers an AI-driven carrier selection engine that enables both fixed metrics and custom business-specific metrics (like reduced RTO or stuck shipments) to be configured. It enables faster tracking of orders on a single-view dashboard by using both push and pull API integrations. These are then notified to customers via email and displayed on a branded tracking page. ClickPost is known for detecting and managing shipping exceptions, actively reducing RTOs and improving shipping operations. It also has NDR management and Returns Management capabilities.
Shippo is a shipping app available in the Shopify App store that provides delivery and fulfillment services. Once the app has been installed and configured with an eCommerce enterprise, it enables them to sync orders with Shopify and shipping partners through an automated mechanism. This same mechanism enables shipping labels to be printed in bulk with pre-filled details, speeding up order processing. This can also simplify the process of returns. Shippo offers 85+ different global carriers for enterprises to choose from. Through Shippo, eCommerce ventures can avail of discounted shipping rates and send orders in split shipments to reduce costs.
ShipStation is a shipping and delivery platform that can be purchased as a Shopify shipping app and handles up to 10,000 shipments only. Armed with this app, eCommerce businesses can sync up and automate numerous different functions in the shipping process. This helps minimize the manual effort involved in creating orders and processing a shipment. It also enables shipping labels to be created and printed in batches quickly and with few steps. Shipstation also enables you to check various shipping partner rates in real-time as well as determine the estimated delivery time for each shipment with different carriers. You can then select a shipping partner based on these metrics. This app also helps simplify the process of international shipping.
ShippingEasy is one of Shopify’s top shipping apps and helps ecommerce enterprises sync their orders across multiple platforms and multiple shipping partners. Orders are automatically processed, so there is no need to enter information manually to create shipping labels. Batch-printing of shipping labels is also available as a service. Packing slips can be customised in accordance with your brand requirements. Order status updates are also pushed regularly to all your selling channels, including Shopify. In addition to automating shipping operations, ShippingEasy also helps with marketing through targeted emails.
Aftership is another leading Shopify shipping app that offers multiple features to help manage shipments and increase engagement with customers. This app created by Aftership tracks orders across all of the various shipping partners tied up with your ecommerce business. Tracking notifications provided by shipping partners are automatically pushed back to your dashboard on the app. These order tracking statuses are communicated to customers immediately after being updated on the dashboard. These statuses are also displayed on your various selling platforms via a tracking page. This tracking page can be customized and personalized to suit different eCommerce brands and customer preferences.
ShipperHQ is a shipping app for Shopify that allows ecommerce enterprises to reduce costs and save smartly. As a shipping rate management system, it enables businesses to create rules that customise delivery methods and shipment prices. This is especially useful during certain seasons, around holidays and when dealing with customer-specific scenarios. Even otherwise, this app lets you give your customers flexibility and freedom. You can offer shipping rates within their budget and the ability to opt for various delivery options like scheduled delivery or alternate pickup. Additionally, rules can also be created for calculation of dimensional weight, box packing and package selection.
4.7)Shipping Rates by Parcelify
Parcelify is another Shopify shipping app that helps ecommerce businesses regulate shipping costs and add flexibility to delivery options. To begin with, customised shipping rates can be determined based on the vendor of the product. Product SKU, collection of the product, as well as the types, names or tags of the product are all also metrics for customising shipping rates. Through this customisation, ecom enterprises can decide which rates to show and which to hide from customers, based on the minimum and maximum price for orders of differing weights or different product types.
EasyShip is a free-to-install Shopify shipping application that acts as a multipurpose shipping solution. Its features are said to aid in shipping, delivery and fulfillment, and customer service. Through Easyship, online businesses can get access to approximately 250+ global courier services, as well as potential discounted rates for use of various shipping solutions. The option also remains to simply integrate with your existing courier partners to manage orders from a single location. Rates are determined based on products customers have in their shopping carts. In addition to shipping rates, you can also see taxes, customs duties and other fees associated with the cost of shipping each order. The dashboard provided enables you to help customers track orders easily.
Parcellab is a shipping system that can be privately integrated with the Shopify storefront and other selling platforms for eCommerce enterprises. It is integrated with 150+ eCommerce shipping companies. Parcellab uses an Operations Experience Platform to help send order tracking updates to customers through email. Customers can further engage with your business via a branded “Order Status” page, which displays the tracking updates to them on various platforms. Parcellab is known for increasing brand loyalty through brand-specific customizations and personalized interactions.
Shippy Pro is a shipping and delivery management app available in the Shopify app store. While this system works as a private integration as well, offering more features, as a Shopify shipping app it focuses on the creation and printing of labels, order tracking and returns management. It is partnered with 130+ shipping companies and enables shipping labels to be created in bulk. By automating this process, Shippy pro allows you to avoid errors in shipping details. It also provides comparisons between shipping rates for various shipping partners. Ecommerce enterprises can also track their packages through this app and send tracking notifications directly to customers with ease.
5)How to Choose the Best Shopify Shipping App for Your Online eCommerce Business?
It should hopefully be clear to you now that shipping apps are very similar but completely different. After all, clarity is of utmost importance when it comes to running an online business. But in all seriousness, we know it can be difficult to distinguish between the different Shopify shipping apps. With the help of the right shipping app, you can maximize order fulfillment and growth. But how to determine the right one? We've narrowed down the most vital criteria that you can look for when searching through shipping apps that integrate with Shopify.
All Shopify shipping apps and integrations come with a variety of different features. These features work in many different ways to automate, simplify or improve your shipping operations. Some automate order processing, others provide comparative shipping rates and help with eCommerce NDR management. These can influence your choice of shipping app.
Your business may have very specific requirements when it comes to growth and scaling up. The additional features offered by different shipping apps and integrations may better address these needs. If your business is trying to increase brand loyalty with customers, being able to provide customisable shipping options may be what your ecommerce business needs.
Implementation of a shipping app or delivery management system refers to the process of integrating said system with that of your business. Ideally, the process of installation and onboarding should be an easy one that is not time-consuming and requires too much effort. This can result in delays in order fulfillment.
5.4)Ease of Use
Once a shipping system has been installed and your system has been onboarded, the goal of any Shopify shipping app is to simplify your job. This means the system should have a user-friendly interface that can be easily navigated and utilized. If the platform proves to be difficult to use, it will again result in delivery delays.
A good determinant of whether or not a shipping app will be a good addition to your Shopify storefront is reviews given by former and current customers. This will tell you which features and services are best provided, what are challenges you may face, and how easily implemented and used the app can be.
While some apps may be top-notch for integrating with Shopify, not every Shopify shipping app will necessarily integrate with other systems you are tied with. You would ideally want a shipping management system that integrates with other selling platforms you use, as well as all the shipping companies you are partnered with, ERP, WMS, and any other software you require.
Some shipping apps available in the Shopify app store are free while others may offer free trials, monthly payments, per-shipment payments or feature-based charges. The best Shopify shipping app would be one that falls within your budget while also providing all the features you need to optimize your shipping operations, reduce shipping costs and improve customers’ shipping experiences.
5.8)Customer Support and Services
A truly good shipping app is one that is equipped to help you help your customers. This includes providing some mechanisms for customer support, as well as mechanisms for supporting your enterprise. In case of any difficulties or defects in the operation of the shipping app, customer support services should be made readily available.
5.9)Future Technology Advancement
In the eCommerce industry, nothing is more important than staying ahead of the technological curve. Shopify is frequently undergoing updates and advancements, so it's only natural that a good Shopify-worthy shipping system would also do the same. You can take a look at the latest features added to a shipping app and the frequency at which they have been added to understand this.
The User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) offered by any shipping system or shipping app is of utmost importance. It determines your ability to interact with the app and actually make use of the various features to the fullest extent. The UI/UX of the shipping app ensures you and your customers have a smooth experience when using the app.
There are two key phases that every customer faces when placing an order through any eCommerce business. These are the pre-purchase and post-purchase phases. In the pre-purchase phase, customers typically browse through your products to see whether or not they want to place an order. Shopify lets you customize your store and helps push customers to the second phase, i.e., post-purchase. A customer's post-purchase experience relates to their anticipation and excitement while waiting for the order to be delivered. This is the time within which customers may face anxiety or buyer's remorse. A good post-purchase experience ensures customers remain happy until their order is delivered and are therefore more likely to return to your Shopify storefront for another purchase. The entirety of the post-purchase process can be streamlined with the help of one of the many Shopify Shipping Apps. These shipping tools simplify everything from order processing or notifying customers of tracking updates. When the right technology is employed and then supported by Shopify's system, these services can shoot customer satisfaction through the roof.