Starshipit & DHL eCommerce


Written by David Renwick

Let’s face it: shipping can be confusing. Whether it's figuring out the best eCommerce management system for your business, managing post purchase dissonance or building the right set of integrations, there is a lot to think about.

Things can get especially complicated when it comes to picking your shipping providers. That’s to say nothing of international shipping!

The market for couriers is obviously well-established, with a staggering array of companies able to handle your domestic and international shipping needs, with every combination of shipping speed and multiple price points.

While we always recommend using a mix of couriers so your customers can access shipping options that work for them, there are some major players that we need to explain in some detail.

That’s what we’re going to cover in this article: What DHL is, and exactly what you need to know about DHL Express and DHL eCommerce.

First things first: What is DHL?

You’vealmost certainly heard of DHL. The global shipping giant is now decades old (founded in 1969) and ships to basically every corner of the planet. In fact, they deliver over 1.6 billion packages every year.

  • Here are some other interesting facts:
  • Delivers packages to over 220 countries and territories.
  • Employes over 400,000 people.

It’s not unusual for such large companies to offer quite a few different services, and DHL is no different. If you’re an eCommerce business and trying to figure out whether DHL is a good fit for your business, you’ll likely have come across two of their offerings: DHL Express and DHL eCommerce. Well, both have their place. Here’s a bit more about exactly what they are:

What is DHL eCommerce?

Best for: Shipping lightweight packages where speed isn’t a concern.

DHL eCommerce is a courier service designed for international shipping. It’s not as well-suited to deliveries where speed is a requirement.

What is DHL Express?

Best for: Shipping time-critical packages and shipping internationally.

DHL Express also offers domestic and international shipping, with the primary difference being that DHL Express offers more time-critical shipping. If you want to offer same-day and speedier delivery options to your customers, then you’ll want to go with DHL Express. It’s also a better option if your shipping tends more towards international rather than domestic.

What’s the best option for you?

There’s no one right answer when it comes to selecting a courier – both DHL Express and DHL eCommerce are great options to add to your list of couriers.

The best approach is to maintain a network of couriers. Whenever you’re evaluating your courier mix, make sure you’ve got a good spread of options based on time, price and ability to handle your different package types (dangerous goods, for example).

Using a courier management system

Given that you need to offer different shipping options to your customers, you’re probably thinking through the logistics of managing multiple couriers – especially the manual task of going in and out of different courier systems.

Add the process of providing tracking options, returns and customs documentation and you’ve got a recipe for order delays and stressed staff.

This is where courier management software comes into play. It's helpful to think of this software as a superpowered platform that connects your online store (like Shopify) to the different couriers you’ll need. Oh, and a whole lot of other useful functionality.

Next, we'll learn about some of the main shipping challenges our courier management system (Starshipit) can handle.

What challenges can a courier management system resolve?

Logging into multiple eCommerce and courier platforms
Manual processes
Managing returns
International shipping

Why Starshipit?

If you’ll allow us to toot our horn a bit more, we’re also quite proud of the fact that we offer free, unlimited and local support to all our customers too. Whether you’re shipping 10 orders a week out of your garage office or 10,000 from 5 different warehouses, our shipping experts are always standing by, ready to take your call and answer your questions.

How does a courier management system work with DHL eCommerce and DHL Express?

We’ve already explored the benefits of introducing a courier management system into your retail business. But how do these systems work with DHL eCommerce and DHL Express? Quite easily!

With Starshipit, for example, you can simply integrate the shipping platform into your existing workflow:

  • Create a Starshipit account.
  • Bring your existing courier account numbers and product codes into Starshipit, using our ready-to-go integrations with DHL eCommerce and DHL Express.
  • Using our integrations or dynamic API, integrate your eCommerce store or inventory management system.
  • Start processing orders and let Starshipit automate the tedious tasks of shipping.

Note: DHL Express is best suited if you need to ship to any country, domestically or internationally, whereas DHL eCommerce is best for international shipments from Australia.

Finding options that work for you

We’ve talked a lot about DHL in this article, but that’s not to say they’re the only option for your retail business. In fact, given just how important it is to give your customers choice, you should aim for a solid mix of couriers. In turn, this will allow you to cater for every option and every customer, whether that’s someone who wants a package shipped across the globe in 3 days or someone who’s happy to wait a bit longer.

What’s more, with the right courier management system in place, you’ll be able to easily swap couriers out as your business evolves – not to mention negotiate better rates for your shipping!

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how a powerful shipping platform like Starshipit could revolutioniseyour shipping and fulfilment.

David Renwick

David Renwick

David is Starshipit's Content Marketing Lead. When he's not whipping up a fresh new product update or chatting to customers for an exciting case study, you'll typically find him scoping out coffee spots and talking about what's on at the movies.

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