With the evolution of the e-commerce industry each day, many entrepreneurs, and customers have started to set high bars with its services. Every customer wants to receive premium quality services because of increased technology use. Running an online store is less tedious than an offline one, but it demands continuous upgradation each time to avoid saturation and maintain software consistency.
Certain responsibilities that come under the umbrella of e-commerce are– marketing, design, product development, merchandising, and so on. Almost every marketer and entrepreneur are well familiar with different segments of e-commerce. If everyone is practicing the same method, what elements set you apart? Besides marketing and designing, what else should you focus on that can give you both exponential success and guarantees consistency?
Enterprises have started assimilating technology as much as possible in multiple vertices. The shipping software plays a crucial role in your system, leveraging technology to its fullest potential.
This article will take you through some of the best shipping apps for e-commerce and how to utilize them at their best.
What is Shipping Software?
It is well known that so many different factors influence shipping rates. These could be weight, product dimension, and sometimes shipping zones that affect shipping costs. If your order volume is low, you can bear some cost alone. However, managing and calculating shipping costs become tedious as your business grows because of high-volume transactions.
Wrong calculations can downgrade your business growth, and you could overpay. Many enterprises have started availing the benefits of shipping software to avoid this scenario. Shipping software provides you with every information you need regarding shipping. It also allows you to print shipping labels from your computer. Let’s now look at some more benefits of shipping software.
Benefits of Shipping Software for E-commerce
Here are some of the key benefits of shipping software in e-commerce:-
- Automated shipping process: With the help of automated shipping software, you get all the control over operations. It updates you about order tracking numbers, courier reports, inventory levels, etc. It aims to reduce human efforts and errors and amplifies the efficiency of fulfillment operations. With shipping software, you can effortlessly import and export files, update inventory status, select courier, confirm or cancel orders, etc.
- Sales channel integration: You can sync your sales channel with shipment software to start fulfillment operations. The system will align purchase orders with shipping by providing tracking orders and numbers. Entrepreneurs can access real-time tracking, which establishes a crucial transparency factor.
- Save time and money: Most software nowadays provides vast courier partner connections with exclusive discounted shipping rates, enabling speedy delivery and extensive customer reach. This also helps expand the customer base by making the orders faster and more cost-effective.
- Non-delivery reports: As a new-age online seller, it is one of the most painful situations to go through. This results in a massive loss in the company’s profitability. It also makes the loyal customer move away from your platform to others. Here e-commerce shipping software kicks in the best. It gives you ways to reduce the chances of the non-delivery report and puts all the effort into making your order successfully. The automated report comes with a detailed structure and provides appropriate reasons why the order is undelivered and which courier partner is at fault.
- Return management: As an e-commerce entrepreneur, you cannot move away from return management, no matter how much effort it takes. An efficient e-commerce shipping software allows you to manage and track the returning order. With the help of a shipping app, you can create labels, schedule a reverse pick-up, QC the product, automate the fund, and so on.
Types of Shipping Software
There are three main types of shipping software. These are as follows:
Multi-Carrier Shipping Software
Shippers can choose carriers and generate documents from a single system, allowing clear communication between the shipper and the exporter. They can also switch between the carriers effortlessly. Moreover, you can also compare which carrier has the best rates, transit times, arrival dates, and more information about them. This type of shipping software is generally used when you have high-value goods and time-sensitive shippers.
Cloud-Based Shipping Platforms
Cloud-based shipping platform gives solutions to generate shipping labels, ensures fast fulfillment, and provides real-time updates. It involves cloud-based software in which shippers can utilize online tools to choose the most appropriate carrier and service to ship their package. The shipping software is designed to automate and streamline high-volume orders. With this technology, you can record shipment-related data across the logistics network. It spreads across the distribution network via one centralized system.
Standalone Shipping Solutions
Standalone platforms have become a go-to for many start-up enterprises, allowing companies to create forms faster than their conventional method. Companies like Locad, Shipbob, and Shipstation provide updated solutions and use the latest software system. You can use a data exchange manager to import the order entry, ERP system, etc. These software solutions come at a reasonable rate and provide a one-stop solution to businesses.
Key Features to Consider When Choosing a Shipping Solution
Now that you have looked at the benefits of opting for shipping solutions, we have compiled a list of factors you should consider while choosing the best shipping app for e-commerce.
Automated Label Printing and Tracking Information
This is one of those factors that should come intact with shipping software. Knowing about the difficulties of the fulfillment process, the software should link to multiple carriers to analyze which one is the fastest and most-effective provider available to the entrepreneur. It should then be able to automate printing shipping labels for all the orders (with different carriers) rather than focusing on just one.
Tracking information is another necessary feature that should come in-build. Both business owners and customers need to have transparency with the order. Moreover, it is the owner’s responsibility to carefully monitor the package until it reaches the doorstep.
Ensure that any software you opt for provides appropriate tracking infrastructure and a way to access the data points. A report estimates that 4 out of 5 shoppers expect a regular update about their whereabouts.
Notifications to Customers on Delays or Changes in Delivery Status
Expanding on the previous point, communication is the key to every business. Nothing could be worse than leaving your customers unattended during a delay or any change in delivery status. Your shipping software should be able to maintain maximum transparency and should give your customers regular updates about delays, changes, or even refunds.
Some feature the software should offer:
- 24/7 live support
- Phone call assistance
- Email support
Pricing Tiers are Based on Weight, Dimensions, and Destination Country
This feature allows you to accurately calculate the cost of shipping based on the specific characteristics of each package, ensuring that you are charged the correct amount for each shipment. By taking into account the weight, dimensions, and destination country, pricing tiers can help you save money on shipping costs and make more informed decisions about how to manage your shipping operations.
Inventory Management Integration with Sales Channels
Integrating inventory management with your sales channels is uncommon. There are only certain software providers who have incorporated this feature. Merchants with a customer base on e-commerce marketplaces would want to link their shipping software to those marketplaces swiftly. Any software with one of these features is definitely a green signal.
International shipping, Customs Support, and Documentation Requirements
International or cross-border shipping services are a plus point. Many 3PLs are already making their way to open gates for domestic and international shippers. What could be more interesting than having an international shipping facility at your fingertips? International shipping assistance aids you with different carrier partners and comes with multi-language support.
Additional Features Such as Reporting, Insights, and Analytics
Reporting capabilities can help you track your shipping expenses, identify trends and patterns, and monitor the performance of carriers and shipping methods. Insights and analytics can provide deeper insights into customer behavior and preferences, as well as help you identify areas for improvement in your shipping processes. By having access to these additional features, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your shipping operations and make better decisions for your business.
Top 10 Best Shipping Software for E-commerce in 2023
Locad is one of the best shipping services providers for businesses of any size. It helps you control your entire inventory system and maintains visibility across multiple channels. One of the biggest USPs of Locad is the flexible warehousing and logistics to provide products efficiently to the customers.
Moreover, it facilitates order management in one place where you can ensure a smooth transition of orders from your online store to product delivery. For a growing business, you can spread the inventory across multiple warehouses, accelerating shipping and delivery.
It is a global e-commerce 3PL platform and software that has streamlined the fulfillment process for many big and small companies. The main reason for its success is– ShipStation integrates your existing ERPs, CRMs, selling channel, marketplaces, and so on with its own software without any extra effort.
Moreover, you can also print labels for nearly 500 carries and get real-time delivery updates. Information like stock management, pick and pack services, shipment, and many more are also available to entrepreneurs that ensure visibility. ShipStation operates in Australia, Europe, the United States, and parts of Asia.
ShipBob is one of the most efficient e-commerce fulfillment service providers globally. It is a tech-enabled 3PL and uses shipment software across the network. This global logistics platform effectively ships products and provides rapid delivery services. The platform is also cost-effective and improves the logistics experience for both entrepreneurs and customers.
It also offers a straightforward onboarding process with platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and many more, making it an excellent choice for shipping. The facility is currently available in the United States, Europe, Canada, and India.
ShipRush is one of the best and easiest solutions for small and medium enterprises with numerous features. It has the largest integration network, including 90+ marketplaces and 200+ carriers. You get to select among different sales channels such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce– to name a few.
You also have complete control over your shipping with some advanced technology. You can easily connect your sales channels via prebuilt Shopify connections.
This software provider is based on a cloud-based supply chain management (SCM) solution designed for many businesses. Some key highlights include– load management, accounting, finance management, payment management, and many more. AscentTMS also has GPS tracking systems that provide you with the exact geographical locations of carriers.
The load management function lets users track their whereabouts, delivery dates, and carrier information in the dashboard. Users can even track their financial record to discover the most profitable load assignments. Another critical feature of AscentTMS is driver payroll management. You can pay the drivers through contracts, and it comes with a comprehensive payment structure such as– per mile, per pallet, per hour, or per ton.
Pirate shipping lets you quickly compare UPS and USPS for the cheapest rates. You can also access pre-negotiated discounts, compare carriers and provide the fastest service. The software is accessible through the internet, which allows you to ship your packages from any location and at any time. In addition, it enables you to print shipping labels in bulk for subscription orders and batches of shipments. Entrepreneurs can also share their labels conveniently through a private share link.
The pirate ship also believes in providing first-class customer support with email or chat 14 hours a day and seven days a week. They have friendly customer service, which makes the entire customer experience happy.
This shipment software has three main motives– accuracy, reliability, and efficiency. Sure Shipped provides you with a fully automated warehouse solution that helps you monitor your inventory instantaneously. It ensures effortless on-demand shipping to multiple locations. Besides inventory tracking, it focuses on warehouse storage and equips businesses at seasonal peaks.
Sure Shipped provides a variety of channels to incorporate your existing inventory management with their fulfillment solutions. With each integration, you get end-to-end secure communications, customer data, robust APIs, and a smooth fulfillment process.
Another popular e-commerce software provider is Shippo, which compares different carrier options. Shippo facilitates smooth integration by aligning your orders and tracking information, addresses, order fulfillment, and more straightforward returns. It also lets you discover your company’s most suitable alternatives.
Shippo has a similar interface to WordPress or Shopify, consisting of a list of each detail about the shipped items. Some other USPs of Shippo are– automating the shipping process from the inside out, robust API, real-time notification updates for every customer, providing insights about your shipping processes, and many more.
This shipping software imports your orders, prints shipping labels, facilitates picking and packing orders, and automates every step in the entire operation. It sheds the world’s some of the best carrier services in its software. Features such as pre-negotiation, home delivery, same-day delivery, and many other options are also available in Packlink Pro.
Some other USPs of this shipping software include:
- Sync and automate your Shopify orders
- Build a custom workflow that consists of picking, packing, and printing labels
- Choose the solution which best suits your business
- Offers your customers some of the best carriers in town and also comes with multiple delivery options
It provides end-to-end fulfillment solutions where you can optimize your inventory management system. You just have to send your products to a single warehouse, and ShipHero picks them up from there. With its intelligent inventory distribution system, it gives entrepreneurs an edge in terms of visibility and sustainability.
ShipHero also presents an instantaneous report that helps you understand the efficiency of your shipment. It further gives you a competitive edge by expanding your customer reach. Inventory replenishment, cost optimization, and efficiency reports are some of its USPs. It is well-known how vital is the distribution of fulfillment centers, which is also undertaken by ShipHero.
Lastly, we have Bolt fulfillment shipping software providers, which have a suite of proprietary apps to give owners and shoppers an enhanced experience. The portal lets you gain real-time inventory control, orders, shipment, and increased first-touch resolution. You can manage the delivery and return orders under one system. Bolt fulfillment also optimizes last-mile delivery routes, which lessens carbon emissions and costs and increases on-time delivery.
Their notification features update customers with the order at every point in time. Moreover, their system unshackles your shippers from oversized windows. The customer integrations available under Bolt are– Shopify, Squarespace, BigCommerce, ShipStation, and many more.
These are some of the best e-commerce shipping apps that provide business owners with the latest and advanced technologies. In a world where industries are continuously evolving, maintaining consistency with advanced software and newfangled platforms not only keeps you ahead of expectations but also supplements customer satisfaction.