What does it take to ship a package? It is often a lot more than a label, and there are the many technicalities that you, as a retailer, may overlook. For example, if you are a multichannel ecommerce retailer who sells on such popular sites as eBay, Amazon, Newegg, Bigcommerce, and others, you may handle your shipping or you may drop ship.
Either way, you have to accept that your shipping process is not “hands free” on your end. There is the need to verify the shipping address, obtain the item or alert the shippers that it is to be sent, print the shipping labels, and more. There is also usually the need to work with more than a single shipping provider. After all, if you are to remain competitive in any online retail channel you have to make things like overnight, second day, international, and even discount shipping an option to buyers.
In all of these things, it is clear that shipping management software is something that can be of value. However, there is software and then there is fully integrated software. We can tell you that even the smallest online business can benefit dramatically from the use of integrated software of this kind (as well as any associated services).
A Deeper Look at Integrated Shipping Management Software
The word integrated, when used in speaking about shipping management software, tends to mean that the ordering is also connected to the system too. So, an order is received at any of your integrated channels (eBay, Shopify, Amazon, and so on). The order is automatically sent to your software or service provider, and this creates everything from a warehouse “pick list” for the product details, to the labels needed for shipping according to the buyer’s request.
The labels are seamlessly printed by you or by your shipping department. These labels should be from the more common services, such as USPS, FedEx, UPS, and others. They should also be available from any device. For example, a good provider of shipping management software should be able to alert you in real time, and via a mobile device, if a sale is made and/or shipping labels is processed. This guarantees that timely responsiveness are part of the overall customer experience, and especially if you are offering things like overnight shipping.
More Than One Way
Naturally, shipping can mean “returns” as well. This is why any good shipping management software is going to provide you with as much support where return lables are concerned, too. Perhaps you have already used some of the premium return features on other websites? Can you recall why they left a favorable impression?
It is likely that they were simple, straightforward, and provided you with all that you needed to easily manage return shipping. This may not mean that you didn’t actually pay for the return, since some firms don’t do free returns and instead take the sum needed out of any rebates or refunds.
However, truly optimal shipping management software does tend to incorporate shipping label printing and even packing slip information. This is usually available via an email function or directly at a returns page on the ecommerce website.
The system also alerts the inventory management software that an item is being sent back into inventory, then when that package arrives and is processed it reflects in the real time inventory management software too.
Imagine trying to do all of these things manually. There are certainly many businesses still doing such things, but they are giving up too much time, money, and resources. Instead, they could be depending on comprehensive multichannel order management software with online solutions to make their jobs easier and much more effective.
Using order and shipping management software is best when it is connected to all your sales channels. This allows many benefits, including tracking of inventory, printing shipping labels, and processing of order returns with better customer service management.