Written by David Renwick
Is your Shopify system talking to your courier management system? If not, you may be missing out on some easy efficiency wins.
For businesses of all ages and stages, one of the most useful actions can be getting different types of software to talk to each other.
This isn't to say that every tool and system should be linked up with a series of complex APIs, but that businesses can unlock new efficiencies when they make logical connections between different systems.
One such connection is linking a courier management system with a Shopify store. In doing so, businesses can access a whole host of benefits. Let’s explore.
Note: Stumbled across this page? Wondering what a courier management system even is? Essentially, a courier management system is a tool that simplifies courier management and routing. They’re fast becoming a necessary tool for retailers looking to remain competitive with larger companies.
If you’re running an eCommerce store, chances are you’ve heard of Shopify if you aren’t already using it. Shopify is one of the most-used eCommerce platforms in over 175 countries, and millions of orders are placed every month.
It’s also something of a one-stop-shop for retail businesses looking to sell online as it brings together a variety of tools to setup an online store and manage relationships with customers.
It’s true that Shopify already offers built-in shipping functionality, so you may be asking what’s the point of even opting for a dedicated courier management system in the first place.
However, Shopify Shipping is only suitable if you’re shipping tiny volumes and don’t anticipate growth. It’s also only available in certain countries.
Using a dedicated courier management system unlocks several benefits, namely:
Courier management systems are essential for retail businesses with growth ambitions – especially if they’re planning on international expansion. Now, let’s explore some of the benefits of getting these systems talking with Shopify.
Shopify offers an easy way of launching an online store without hefty development costs. But despite how flexible and powerful Shopify is, retailers would do well to use a dedicated courier management system to handle shipping and post-purchase. After all, post purchase is fast becoming one of the most important parts of the customer journey.
Here are 5 benefits of integrating a courier management system with your Shopify store.
As a retail business, chances are you need to use multiple couriers for your deliveries. After all, customers expect to be able to choose couriers based on their time and price preference.
Switching between multiple courier systems to manage orders is error prone and inefficient. By linking a dedicated courier management system with Shopify, retailers instead have one platform where they can manage all orders and select the best courier for the job.
Automation is the key to shipping success. Without it, retailers face the prospect of endlessly growing staff numbers and dealing with the human error that comes along with inefficient, manual processes.
Instead of struggling, courier management systems can let retailers assign couriers to orders according to various parameters. This ensures that you are using the best courier for the job. For example, cheapest available rate, rural deliveries, dangerous goods etc.
As we mentioned in our first point, customers want to be able to choose different shipping options directly within the checkout process. Courier management software lets you do this – by pushing your shipping rates to the checkout process via an API.
Customers want to track their orders and get updates throughout the delivery process. When they’re left in the dark about their orders, your help desk queries spike. Automated SMS and email notifications, as well as tracking pages, can keep customers informed throughout the process.
This can be a costly and time-consuming aspect of the shipping process, with staff needing to devote time to managing the returns process. Certain courier management systems let retailers set up dedicated returns portals with their own branding. This can simplify the process of returns, in turn allowing retailers to remove the frustration for customers.
But how should retailers approach the task of finding courier management software? It starts with an analysis of the features, and then an assessment of the unique benefits afforded by opting for a particular platform.
Here are the top 3 features you should prioritise:
Most players in the fulfilment automation market are freight aggregators, meaning they offer set courier prices to customers and clip the ticket with each shipment. You should opt for a freight enabler, which will help you build your own relationships with couriers (which will enable you to negotiate your own, more competitive rates). Over time, you'll be able to scale more easily and provide better customer experiences.
There’s no getting around it, shipping isn’t exactly easy. That’s why you should choose a courier management system provider that will support you at every stage of your business. Whether you’re just starting out or shipping 10,000 orders per month, you should be able to call on support and training when you need it.
Automation unlocks the burden of needing to scale up staff numbers indefinitely, and instead gives you the tools to introduce efficiencies throughout the delivery process. The right software should let you automatically print shipping labels and manifests, handle customs documentation and correct invalid addresses.
Shopify is undeniably a great tool for the modern retail business. It’s never been faster or easier to set up an online store in a way that makes it easy for staff to manage day-to-day operations – and to deliver a great customer experience.
With that said, Shopify can’t do it all, especially when it comes to shipping. That’s where dedicated courier delivery management systems come into play. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use these systems alongside Shopify, get in touch with us today.