What is a shipping platform and why you should consider using one.
As an eCommerce owner, there are some frequent topics and questions to have in mind sometimes during the lifetime of your business. Some of them concern marketing, customer service, or IT for example, but the field in which more questions arises is shipping.
Shipping is such an important thing because it is a key moment during the buying experience. It is where the relationship between the seller and the client reaches a critical point. If a customer experiences a negative delivery, it’s quite likely that they won’t return to that online shop.
Previously, we have covered some other common shipping topics, like fixing or not your shipping prices, if it’s a good idea to insure your shipments, what is the best way to ship your orders or how to get better shipping rates. We think shipping is essential for an online store and that’s why we want to bring up today the idea of shipping platforms and why you should consider it for your business.
You might have the most sophisticated system in the world to market your product, a great marketing team to attract customers to generate sales leads. Your sales team might be the most productive one and close sales like no other. All that of course it is very important but at the end of the day, the main point is that your eCommerce get the product to the final customer, right?
Putting your shipping in order is more than sorting out when they have to be delivered. As a business owner you need to consider some of the followings as well:
– Carriers: will you have one or multiple operators?
– Speed: do you offer same day delivery, express, or 48 hours?
– Services: do you have at your disposal services like pick-up or can you offer to your customers home delivery, or to pick up their parcels at a drop-off point?
– Territory: does your store has national or international deliveries?
– Cost of deliveries: will it be fully paid by customer, half paid by customer, or are going to offer free shipping? (Get a shipping policy in place first)
It is a lot to analyse. In general, when it comes to big corporations this is not a very big problem since these companies have different departments taking care of those issues. But what happens when the eCommerce is smaller as well as their budget?
What is a shipping platform?
Nowadays, most eCommerce platforms come with shipping integrations which generally only let you manage the process from one side. While the consumers can choose sometimes from different shipping options, the process of selecting and booking carriers, updating tracking numbers, sending notifications, track&trace emails and reporting is mainly done manually.
A shipping platform is a software that can help you to deal with all the shipping process, by doing many of those processes automatically, plus it generally includes contracts with multiple carriers. This improves the shipping process by making it faster, easier and safer. Thanks to the automation, you spend less time there because the plugin speeds each action, cut out unnecessary manual tasks and there are less mistakes and friction.
However, different companies have different shipping requirements, therefore the key point when using a shipping platform is finding the one which best adapt to your needs.
Shipping platform – Consider using one.
With consumers loving e-shopping more and more, it is estimated that 95% of purchases will be made online by 2040. This means logistics and shipping would be constantly reviewed to reach customers’ expectations even more.
Keep on doing things the “old” way won’t be productive anymore in a short while. Is it not sensible then to find an effective way to improve, enhance and reboot your shipping process? And there it’s where these platforms get into the game.
These kinds of software to manage your eCommerce’s shipping brings a set of advantages to the procedure by having everything accessible in one place. You can see how many shipments are sent, how much you are spending and how your deliveries are performing. That way, you can also better analyse your statistics, control your orders, get an instant breakdown of your shipments and see the cost of them.
In general, most of the shipping platforms normally include the following characteristics:
- Automation: generation of shipping labels and customs documents for each carrier.
- Variety: option of multiple carriers depending on your needs.
- Aggregation: integration with carriers and rates which flags weights and dimensions when they don’t meet the carrier/country restrictions.
- Measurement: calculation of the postage cost based on the weight, carrier service, package dimensions, and destination of the order.
- Addition: some of them have insurance coverage to protect your orders to the full value of any potential loss.
- Assistance: services of internal support, customer support and carrier support.
- Comparison: although this is not a common feature, some allow you to compare different carriers as well.
Another thing worth mentioning, there are some of these platforms that allow free trials (nice, isn’t it?). Normally, you can try for a month, check the whole platform out and if you like it, simply tell them and keep on rocking your shipments. We can tell you that these shipping software will save you a lot of time and potentially even money by automating your delivery process.
You know those solutions that you may not be quite aware of, or even aware that you actually need them? A shipping platform many times is exactly that. Even if don’t have many issues with your deliveries, that doesn’t mean you can’t improve it. And by doing so, your business can be highly benefited. A shipping platform helps and saves you time. It makes the process easier, faster and safer.
Well, if after reading this article, you got wondering how exactly a shipping platform can help you with your eCommerce, let us know.
We can tell you. 😉