June 29, 2022 • 188 Views
What do we know about modern eCommerce? Nowadays, consumerism has become an essential aspect of the world economy. On the one hand, the variety of produced goods highly increases the customers’ choice because there are a lot of alternatives for each product. Of course, this creates comfortable conditions for the potential buyers to choose the best option that will meet all their requirements. The variety of products stimulates competitiveness. It improves the quality of these goods.
Nonetheless, great variety can cause issues with the opportunity to choose. As a matter of fact, when customers see two almost identical products, they can get confused about which item to choose. Moreover, a large number of goods requires more platforms for distribution.
Both of these problems were solved by developing eCommerce. eCommerce seems to be no more than an online store for most of us. Frankly, this is not entirely true. The eCommerce business industry includes a number of diverse features and techniques, borrowed from other spheres like logistics, fintech, etc. In this case, we are going to consider the eCommerce shipping best practices, or how specifically the previously mentioned industry collaborations can help to improve the eCommerce business sector.
Actually, eCommerce is a mixture of various spheres used to make the customers’ lives easier. In simple words, it is an electronic commerce platform, that is used for selling or buying goods. Its major characteristic is that eCommerce is an online business. It uses the Internet as the main mean of communication. This improves the audience reach, enabling a worldwide connection thanks to options like international shipping.
On the flip side, this creates additional challenges to deal with. For instance, most such platforms have no physical departments and stores. Obviously, if they are aiming the worldwide operations there is no need for them. Thereafter, it makes the usual purchase chain impossible. So, the customer can’t just come to the store, choose the item, pay for it and take it away.
This is why, in the eCommerce business, shipping and logistics are becoming the second main aspects to consider, after the payment one. Clearly, it is important not only to sell the goods but to make sure to fulfill the customer expectations: they will get exactly what they paid for, intact and safe. In addition, improving these eCommerce shipping options will enhance the user experience, which results in better audience reach as well as overall customer satisfaction. So what are the best eCommerce shipping solutions to consider?
Frankly, there are a lot of great practices and features, that can help to improve the eCommerce shipping platform. However, it will take ages to review all of them. Thereafter, let’s concentrate on the best ones, that are essential for modern eCommerce shipping businesses.
The first practice, that must be embodied in any eCommerce platform is order management. Obviously, it is an essential process, that helps enable the correct working of the whole platform. No matter how many orders are being made. Whether it is a huge standalone marketplace like eBay or a small online retailer on Instagram. Any eCommerce platform and operator is required to perform consumer order management. Anyway, there is a difference in how can or should the order management be provided, depending on the scale of orders.
For instance, the local online store can use a usual spreadsheet or simple chatbots for this purpose. In this case, there is no need to develop or pay for various complicated management systems. At the same time, if we are talking about large-scale platforms like eBay, it is obvious that they cannot be operated without additional systems and software due to a large number of consumers, orders, and processes to be done and monitored. As a result, the bigger the eCommerce platform is - the more management instrument it uses. For instance, there are advanced chatbots, Order Management Systems, CRMs, Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, etc.
What is the next step after the order has been done? Obviously, it must be paid for. Actually, there could be at least two approaches. The first one is when the customer pays for the product after receiving it. Still, it is rather a same-day delivery, with the local destination, that can be within a country, region, or city. For example, it is a standard option in delivery services like Glovo or UberEats. Usually, in such cases, the payment gateway is provided by terminals, or the payment can be done in cash.
Talking about delivery to other countries or simply large distances, this method is hard to incorporate. Therefore, shipping platforms for eCommerce as well as any online store, that aims for worldwide shipping has to deploy a payment gateway, that can be reached online and work in-app or in a web browser. Anyway, it is not so hard to embody, this software is being upgraded all the time. At the moment, it is being embodied as various payment APIs integrations like ApplePay, Apple Wallet, Stripe, etc.
Eventually, a payment gateway is an essential feature no matter how big the online store is. In any case, it not only simplifies payments and helps to better operate the finances, but makes it possible to go global. Anyway, shipping costs and the final price are interdependent, meaning that changes in one aspect will provoke changes in another. Finally, there must be an ability to pay for the chosen goods and their shipping process.
As was mentioned before, online stores must provide delivery services. Due to the virtual nature of eCommerce business, it is almost impossible to enable a self-pickup of the products. Therefore, delivery services are used as the main distribution instrument, that allows shipping the goods to the buyers.
There is a number of various additional tools, used to improve shipping services. For example, eCommerce shipping options are the most common ones. In fact, shipping options are used to improve the user experience, giving them an opportunity to choose the most comfortable way to receive their packages. To simplify the process you could just install a shipping API for eCommerce. Usually, delivery options allow choosing the shipping provider, a company that will take care of the delivery, the destination point, where the package must be delivered, payment method, etc. Sometimes, shipping options also include the “postpone parcel” shipping labels, which can be used to decide the most convenient shipping time.
Moreover, shipping costs can be off-charge or paid, meaning that the shipping fee can be free or the customer has to pay for them. Both have their own pros and cons. Usually, free shipping is used for small packages with lightweight in order to additionally interest the buyer. Talking about heavy weight or big parcels, or the ones with the complicated shipping process, they are mostly paid.
Nevertheless, these conditions vary from platform to platform, and the seller is to decide which approach is more effective. The only tip we can give you is to make the cost of shipping transparent, meaning that it must be clear to the customer how much will shipping cost at the very beginning. This will help the buyer to better navigate and plan the purchase. As a result, you will be able to keep good relations with the client and save your ratings in the future.
Another shipping software worth considering is parcel tracking. This option helps to secure the package, allowing customers to monitor its status and location 24/7. Actually, parcel tracking is often provided by various delivery operators. So, in case your platform uses the services of third-party eCommerce shipping companies you don’t need to worry about this feature. On the other hand, if you are going to provide your own delivery services, then the parcel tracking option is worth considering. For example, parcel tracking has already become a common feature in various shipping services like Glovo and Dominos.
Summing up, the development of parcel tracking options depends on the shipping policies. As a matter of fact, to implement such a feature, the developer has to get access to the package delivery information, which is usually available to the provider only.
Finally, the last but not least aspect to take care of is the improvement of an online presence. There are a lot of ways how to do so. One of the greatest methods is to implement an eCommerce API.
Obviously, in the case of eCommerce shipping companies, the slogan “The bigger - the better” works just fine. eCommerce API is a great tool that can be used for collaboration with other online resources. Of course, in order to make collaboration with others possible, the agreement is enough. In this case, both participants can leave links and advertisements on each other on their platforms.
Nevertheless, if you are aiming to provide the best customer experience possible, then you are recommended to develop your own eCommerce API. Consequently, it will require additional resources. Though you will get a great tool, that can be used both for websites and various applications.
Eventually, eCommerce API is a powerful feature, that can significantly increase the audience reach. Thanks to its multiplatform nature, it can be used on almost any device, saving most platform options.
Talking about the audience reach, it is worth mentioning that it is crucial not only to find new customers but to increase the customer lifetime value. It means, that if you can improve customer retention and increase the number of loyal customers - you will be able to get more profit and become more competitive.
In fact, customer loyalty is a great advantage for any business. It helps not only to create a reliable community but will help your business to be more competitive. Also, it can become a powerful tool for advertisement or improvement. For instance, if you monitor the client's feedback, you will be able to inspect your weaknesses and fix them. Moreover, if you will fulfill the expectations of customers you will get a chance to get new regular customers and the satisfaction with services will result in word of mouth and customer returns.
Additionally, customer retention is a source of additional traffic and statistics. If you analyze them, you will be able to better understand how to improve customer relationships and is it possible to increase the customer acquisitions.
Frankly, the foregoing list of management ways for eCommerce shipping options is not final. As was mentioned before, it consists of the most essential and effective practices because it is almost impossible to list all the options for eCommerce platforms. Nevertheless, the mentioned above approaches could easily answer your question on how to manage eCommerce shipping. And we believe that these best eCommerce shipping solutions are the least you should consider in case you want to develop your own online store. Of course, the combination of these features can vary, depending on the concept and purposes of the app you are creating.
Anyway, our team is always open to your questions and ideas. We have experience in developing in the eCommerce industry. Therefore, we are always happy to help you in your endeavors and we will definitely do everything we can in order to develop a high-quality product.
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