Shipping goods is the last step in finding, converting, and serving your customers. No matter how good your customer service is during the buying process, you need to follow through until the customer opens their package. Today we will focus briefly on improve customer service with an ecommerce shipping API.
Shipping packages have become quite complicated, and customers have become more demanding.
Businesses can’t afford to fall behind their competitors if they want to keep their customers coming back. That’s why an eCommerce shipping API is a necessity in today’s online marketplace.
Shipping Is Customer Focused
The complexity of shipping options is a result of shipping companies and eCommerce companies trying to serve the customer better. In the not too distant past, customers only expected one or two different choices for shipping their packages and were content to wait for their packages for a comparatively long time.
Those days are over. Shoppers have become accustomed to getting packages shipped to them overnight, or in only a few days, and that has put a lot of pressure on online retailers to keep up with consumer demand.
At first, businesses tried to handle all the details of shipping in-house, usually by asking a series of questions at checkout, and handling the packing and shipping themselves. That’s no longer a practical solution unless your business is very small.
The number of shipping options is just too large to keep track of effectively, especially for a small shop. As complexity increases, the danger of making mistakes when shipping packages increases.
That’s why using an eCommerce shipping API from a company like Auctioninc.com will usually pay for itself almost immediately.
Although the cost of a single shipment might be very low, addressing problems during shipping can be
Drop Shipping Makes An E-commerce Shipping API Mandatory
In order to serve their customers better, e-commerce retailers use every form of inventory control and warehousing available, and that adds additional complexity to shipping procedures.
One of the most common forms of order fulfillment is dropshipping. Businesses store their inventory in a warehouse owned and serviced by others, or they have cooperative arrangements to drop ship goods directly from the manufacturer to the customer.
Dropship arrangements require a robust eCommerce shipping API even more than companies that warehouse their own goods.
Businesses should expect all drop shipping arrangements to be handled by automated systems, and if you’re not able to supply the ultimate shipper with the information they need to handle your orders effectively, the quality of your shipping performance will suffer.
Removing Manual Tasks From the Shipping Process
An eCommerce shipping API can replace many antiquated manual methods of handling customer orders. Older forms of shipping software only automate the collection of a few pieces of information and then require the seller to handle the information manually.
That increases the chances of mistakes, and it also adds overhead to the business that is difficult to track or recoup.
The complexity of handling a lot of shipping information manually drives businesses to offer fewer options to their customers during checkout, and that can result in lost sales.
Shoppers do not make any allowances for the size of a business when they’re making purchases online, and if a website doesn’t offer the type of shipping methods they prefer, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
It’s not practical to comply with all the requirements of more than one carrier without an eCommerce shipping API. Once the software is installed and implemented, the entire process will be handled seamlessly, and changes to the system will only be required at long intervals when shippers update their policies.
What to Look for in an ECommerce Shipping API
Not all eCommerce shipping API software is the same, and your business might require more or fewer options than other businesses because of the nature of the goods you sell and the number of orders you fill.
In general, all businesses would be smart to look for the following functions of a shipping API:
The purpose of an ECommerce Shipping API is to standardize transactions without a loss of customer service. There’s really no reason to restrict the number of carriers you offer to your customers for the sake of simplicity.
Once your API calls are standardized, one tool will work for every carrier available, and varying shipping speeds for each one is easy for your customers and the shipper.
There’s a great deal of documentation necessary to integrate your shipping functions directly with the major carriers, and missing one detail can cost you. An eCommerce shipping API has done all the work for you, so all you need to do is implement the software on your website.
There’s really no reason to re-invent the wheel just for shipping. If you take into account the amount of time that your web developer would have to spend to set up your own shipping API, you’ll realize how much less expensive an out of the box solution can be.
Most integrations of shipping APIs can be accomplished in a day or two, and all the functionality is in place the minute you go live.
Better User Interfaces
It’s much easier to integrate the look and feel of your website into the user interface of a pre-packaged shipping API than to have it done in-house. Out of the box shipping APIs are designed to be used by many businesses, and they’re built from the ground up to allow quick customizations of logos, colors, fonts, and action buttons.
If you try to design your own API, the work is likely to be done by technical staff that
Customers are finely attuned to any change in the appearance of a website during checkout, and it’s smart business to make sure they feel totally comfortable throughout the entire process.
Shipping APIs are powerful tools, and if you don’t put them to work for you, you’ll be forced to compete in a marketplace with competitors that do.
Smart eCommerce businesses know that shipping can make or break a transaction. Use a robust shipping API to make sure your business delivers the best shipping options available to your customers.