Anyone can make an online sale. But can you deliver it?
Everyone who runs an eCommerce knows what it's like to “ship away orders”.
The process goes something like this:
WARNING: These 5 steps are so boring that even reading them makes your eyelids heavy. It’s ok to skip them and jump straight to the solution instead ;)
- Log in to your platform and your shipping company’s platform.
- Take the information of your buyer and copy paste it from your Shopify account, into your UPS account for example.
- Specify the dimensions of the items you’re going to ship. Go through a list of dimensions and weight, checking item by item.
- Specify how potential import taxes or local taxes are going to be paid. Is it you or is it your buyer? All major shipping companies like Schenker want to know and this step is the case for any eCommerce that deals with worldwide shipping.
- Print your shipping labels and send them to your warehouse. To do this you need to advance in your shipping company’s system, find the correct buttons and push on "print". You then download the shipping labels, open your email inbox and send them to the correct person in charge of shipping.
Do you recognize yourself doing all this? I used to do it too.
The solution is freight automation
But what if I told you that this process is a waste of time? Your focus should be on automation, not on repeating the process every time you get an order.
Imagine a robot that doesn’t charge you by the hour. An expert at doing exactly these five steps. Over and over again, until the sun swallows the Earth.
I’m here to tell you there is one. You just need to integrate your eCommerce with your shipping company. It’s as simple as that.
But how do you do it?
There are actually a lot of ways.
Depending on which platform you are running your online store on, there are different solutions.
For example, if you are a Wordpress user and UPS handles your shipping, you’d might want to check out this plugin from Wooforce.com. It’s a straightforward plugin that does what it promises. It lets you print shipping labels, tracks shipments automatically and a few other things as well.
Finding a shipping integration solution is easy
Just head over to Google and search for “your shipping company (Schenker for instance) + integration + the name of your platform (for example Magento)”.
You can also go directly to the dashboard of your platform and make a quick search in the app store. Here’s the result when searching “shipping integration” on Shopify for example.
Be careful that you don't pick the wrong app
As I said; finding integrations is child’s play. The problem is choosing one.
Make sure you read everything you can about the app or plugin before you select one. This includes the FAQ and finding out which different systems it’s integrated with.
Try to head to their website and have a quick chat with the company as well. Make sure they seem to be there to deliver on their promises. At the very least you want to know someone’s got your back in case something backfires.
The best apps are the ones that handle more stuff as well. With an app like that, you’ll save a lot of time jumping from app to app in order to make a fulfillment.
It’s even better if the app works across different platforms as well. Even though you might only be running one store at the moment, there’s a huge possibility that you’ll want to open up on a second platform. In that case it’ll help if you think ahead now. This will really help you run multiple stores without losing your mind.
One example is Jetti. It helps you automate your entire fulfillment process, including integration with all the major shipping companies. It does this on several platforms such as Magento, Amazon and Shopify.
You can try Jetti for free right here if you don’t want to waste more energy looking for an app.
Once you've found an integration solution you're happy with, simply install it, follow their instructions and you're ready to go.
In the end, what we are all looking for is the possibility to scale up our business without a bad shipping process that hinders our growth.
Is your shipping system letting you grow? If not, how do you plan to change this? Please let me know any difficult experiences you've had with the way you handle shipping.