Best Shipment Tracking APIs to Integrate with Multiple Carriers
After shopping, one of the main reasons ecommerce customers visit a website or a platform is to track their orders. Ecommerce companies can provide live updates on the customer’s orders with the help of monitoring APIs provided by their carrier partners. With the help of the spell of Shipment tracking APIs, customers can track each and every movement of their orders without taking much effort.
Imagine the supply chain of the logistics industry is like a road network in a metropolitan city. It is vast and complex, and multiple roads cross at various junctions. If your friend is travelling through the city, it would be tough to locate them unless they can tell you a significant landmark or a junction they just passed by.
A Shipping Tracking API works similarly, only in the logistics ecosystem. The courier companies mark when a parcel is received in a warehouse or distribution hub. The Tracking APIs takes these updates and pushes them on the website, tracking page or platform as per the requirements and requests of the customer.
The peace of knowing when your parcel will arrive is one of the better conveniences allowed by technology. Order tracking becomes an important feature, especially in transitioning markets like India.
Customers find it difficult to trust ecommerce platforms, and that is why allowing them to track their orders every step of the way enables companies to build trust with their customer base. On the other hand, an order tracking page is an excellent method for ecommerce companies to increase their post-purchase engagement and get the buyer to spend more time on your platform.
Since Shipment Tracking API plays such an integral role in the ecommerce ecosystem, it becomes essential for ecommerce businesspersons and merchants to understand the subject. In this blog, we will discuss the various avenues of the Shipping Tracking API related to the ecommerce sector.
1) What is the Shipping Tracking API?
Shipping Tracking API is an API (Application Programming Interface) that allows you or your customers to locate the shipment in transit or check the shipment status in transit using a reference number provided by the carrier partner. Alternatively, there are integrated Courier Tracking APIs and integration like ClickPost that push and pull tracking updates from multiple courier partners and post them on their integrated tracking dashboard and the branded tracking page on your platform.
The parcel Tracking API plays a vital role in the order and delivery management systems of every ecommerce company. The updates provided by the tracking API allow businesses to manage customer expectations and provide regular updates about their orders.
It also helps them manage and ship orders on time to reach the customer's requested time frame. With the updates from the Shipping Tracking API updates, your customer support team can help and satisfy the customer's doubts regarding the whereabouts of their orders. The customers can be sure about the status of the order.
The Shipping Tracking API is also a crucial part of a robust ecommerce platform, the branded tracking page. Tracking APIs from logistics management software allows you to provide real-time updates on the branded tracking page of your media. Alternatively, you can also make a customised tracking link with every order by using an integrated third-party shipping tracking API to provide live updates to your customers.
Tracking has become an essential part of the post-purchase experience for every ecommerce customer. As developments in technology promote ease of business in the ecommerce sector, the customer is presented with multiple options to buy the same product.
Therefore, ecommerce businesses have now shifted their focus to improving customer experience as it helps them stand out to their customers and improve customer retention rate. With order tracking being an integral part of this experience, Shipping Tracking APIs have gained a new level of importance. A reliable tracking API can improve your post-purchase expertise and allow for efficient and better order and delivery management.
2) Benefits of Shipping Tracking API
Now that we understand the concept of Shipping Tracking API, let’s look at the impact of Shipping Tracking API on an ecommerce business.
2.1) Order And Delivery Management
When you start using a Shipping Tracking API, it becomes easier to manage your orders and deliveries as you can track your shipments in real-time. Using integrated tracking APIs, you can follow and receive real-time updates for orders shipped with multiple carriers.
2.2) Branded Tracking Page
A tracking API pulls updates from the carrier website and pushes the order number on the website to get a real-time update. You can then embed and share this information with your customers on your branded tracking page. This allows you to reduce the WISMO calls on your platforms as the customers can see the real-time status of their order within the platform and enable cross-selling abilities and product recommendations.
2.3) Customer Satisfaction
Order tracking has become an integral part of the modern-day e-commerce experience. As the customers can get live updates using advanced tracking and management systems, Shipping Tracking APIs allow you to increase customer satisfaction on your platform.
2.4) Resolution Of Complaints And Queries
Studies show that most of the customer queries and complaints registered on any e-commerce platform are about the status and expected delivery of the order. Using an integrated package Tracking API allows you to equip your customer support team with the necessary data to resolve these complaints faster and more efficiently.
2.5) Post Purchase Engagement
As the customers get adequate information about their orders every time they visit the branded tracking page, you can increase post-purchase engagement on your platform. You get to push notifications and product recommendations to your customers to increase your conversion rate and reduce your customer acquisition costs.
3) How does a Shipping Tracking API work?
Every logistic and courier company has a tracking page. But tracking shipments through this method can be tedious. You have to enter the AWB number/reference number/order number provided by the courier company. E-commerce companies can get automatic updates from the tracking page of these courier companies and share this information with customers directly through a branded tracking page and proactive notifications.
Based on their method of getting an update, Shipping Tracking APIs can be classified into two main types:
3.1) Pull Shipping Tracking API
All shipping and logistics management software commonly use pull tracking APIs to provide updates to e-commerce companies and their customers. The Pull-type APIs keep refreshing and reentering the tracking information from the courier company at specified intervals. If an update is available on the tracking page, it is automatically shared on the branded tracking page and dashboard. This method is similar to you refreshing Netflix every 5 mins to see if the new episode of your favourite web show has dropped yet.
3.2) Push Shipping Tracking API
A good delivery management software uses both push and pulls type tracking APIs. While pull APIs refresh the page for new updates, Push Tracking APIs request, and get real-time updates from the carrier company on demand. Push-type APIs can be reliable in providing regular real-time updates and are more efficient in providing customers and e-commerce businesses with tracking data.
The working logic for both types of shipping tracking APIs is the same. APIs contain a code that requests or pulls updates from the carrier company’s tracking page or data to provide an update to the businesses and customers. The courier companies use cloud-based software to update the status and the shipment's location in transit.
For example, the shipping label is attached with a barcode containing all the necessary information when a shipment is shipped. At every transit point where the shipment is accepted and transferred for its journey ahead, the barcode is scanned, and the courier tracking page receives an update about the parcel's location.
With the advancements in technology, well-established carriers like FedEx have started using GPS-enabled shipping labels to allow their clients to track their shipments in real-time. While the courier companies may change their way of updating the shipment status in their database, Shipping Tracking APIs perform the function of searching and locating the data of that particular shipment and pushing the tracking data retrieved to the requested locations.
4) What are the most popular Shipping Tracking APIs?
E-Commerce is an explosively growing field. With companies making strides in technological advancements, cutting-edge technology has become an essential catalyst in the growth of an e-commerce business. If you are planning on using a Shipment Tracking API, you should be able to compare the options presented to you with some of the best Tracking APIs across the globe. To make the search for the golden standard easier for you, we have compiled a list of the best Tracking APIs (for package, parcel, delivery, shipment, logistics, courier, shipping tracking, etc.) available on the market.
4.1) ClickPost Tracking
ClickPost is a customer experience management software that provides tracking services for its clients. The software has partnered with 250+ carriers and has one of the best shipping tracking APIs on the market. The ClickPost Tracking API uses push and pulls APIs to give accurate real-time tracking updates. Furthermore, the software assists you in creating an advanced branded tracking page with enabled cross-selling abilities to increase your conversion and post-purchase engagement. However, ClickPost reviews show that the software is better suited for businesses with higher volumes.
4.2) AfterShip Tracking
Aftership is a shipping management software that offers integrated tracking services. It has over 800 carriers in its carrier library and allows for ten requests per second per account for tracking a parcel. Aftership enables you to create a basic branded tracking page, which will enable you to display the tracking updates to your customers. Aftership reviews show that it offers an integrated tracking dashboard to facilitate efficient order and delivery management for its clients.
Trackingmore is a dedicated tracking solution that allows you to track and get all the updates about your shipments on PC and Mobile. The software has integrated 700+ carriers and has a free version for companies with an order volume lower than 50 shipments per month. However, the TrackingMore Shipping Tracking API has a limit of one request per second, which can hamper the customer tracking experience on your platform.
4.4) ParcelPerform Tracking
ParcelPerform is a shipping analysis platform that provides tracking services with over 600+ carriers. The API allows you to send active notifications and create a branded tracking page to push the tracking updates to the customers.
The unique feature of the ParcelPerform shipping software is that it provides data insights and generates reports so that you can study and optimise your fulfilment operations. ParcelPerform reviews show that the software offers a 14-day free trial version, in which you can create unlimited tracking requests.
4.5) Shippo Tracking
Shippo is widely known as Shipping and delivery management software. However, Shippo does provide tracking services as a separate service for its clients. Shippo has over 48 carriers in its carrier library and offers reliable and affordable tracking services with every one of its partners.
It allows you to track the parcel at meagre cost of 0.01$ per package, but it does have a call limit of 500 calls per minute. Shippo reviews show that the software allows you to create a basic branded tracking page, but it may not be as advanced and user-friendly as other branded tracking pages.
5) Challenges Regarding Shipping Tracking API
APIs are a complex technical implementation, and if you plan to use a third-party API to provide certain services on your platform, you will face some challenges. These challenges can hamper the implementation and downtime of your platform and affect the resolution time if the API provider is unreliable.
If a particular service is entirely reliant on a specific API, the failure or glitches in the tracking API means your entire tracking feature may shut down on your website. Here are some of the common challenges you face while implementing and incorporating a Shipping Tracking API on your platform:-
5.1) Unreliable APIs
One of the first challenges you will have to overcome while implementing a tracking API is to find a reliable tracking API. While the technology is now easily accessible, the market is flooded with unreliable APIs prone to frequent shutdowns and glitches. Therefore, find an API with a guaranteed uptime of 99% or more in the SLA terms.
5.2) Finding Developer-Friendly APIs
While we look for user-friendly interfaces when looking at software options, it is essential to look for developer-friendly opportunities when choosing a Shipping Tracking API. This reduces the time required for implementation and does not require you to dedicate many technical resources to API integration.
5.3) Feature-Rich APIs
When you select a shipping partner, the API of the shipping partner must allow you to provide as many features as possible. Most partner APIs are not compatible with one another, and it is not financially feasible to have multiple partner APIs. Therefore, it is vital that you choose an API that suits all your needs.
Shipping Tracking APIs have become an integral part of the ecommerce ecosystem. The ability to track and locate a shipment in the vast intertwined network of the logistics supply chain is truly a feat of technology. Tracking an order has become an integral part of the customer experience and is shown to have a significant impact on the customer retention rate. Furthermore, integrating a tracking API allows you to provide seamless post-purchase features like branded tracking page, proactive notifications and real-time tracking updates.
While a tracking API is essential to customer experience, it has also taken an important place in the order and delivery management systems. You can use it to track your vast inventory and keep track of orders with multiple carriers. Integrated tracking APIs become essential as you scale as it helps in managing and tracking orders with multiple pages through a single window. It also helps your customer support team as they are equipped with accurate real-time tracking data and can resolve consumer complaints more effectively.
FAQs on Tracking API
7.1) What Is The Programming Used To Develop Shipment Tracking APIs?
Usually, a Shipping Tracking API is written in python or PHP language depending on the API's features and level of complexity.
7.2) How Does A Tracking API Track Your Orders?
An integrated tracking API uses the tracking database of your carrier partners and keeps on requesting and pulling information from the database to provide you with regular tracking updates.