The Value of Automating Fulfillment within Your Shopify Store
A guest article by the StarShipIT, an integrated shipping and tracking software that simplifies and automates the process of fulfilling on and offline orders.
When you are the founder of an eCommerce business, you start out doing everything, from product sourcing to website copywriting to posting on social media. Many founders start their online business on the side, an entrepreneurial experiment that sometimes fails and on numerous occasions, goes gangbusters!
Working out of a spare room, a garage or even a mate’s place, budding entrepreneurs have to wear a lot of hats and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Many owners rely on a mix of spreadsheets, accounting software, and manual stocktaking – all of these tasks can take up most of their limited time.
So how can you reduce some of the admin that grows as your business does? What automations and integrations should you consider to free up precious time required to focus on growing your business?
One of the most valuable, time-saving processes you can look at first, is your fulfillment process. Automating fulfillment with a shipping integration can save you thousands of hours and dollars a year. In a study released by Radial, "Strategies for Agile, Profitable and Secure Omnichannel Execution," retailers report that the “average cost for the company to fulfill an order is staggering at 70 percent of the average order value…Today, more than 55 percent of customers are using multiple channels such as online and mobile to shop, yet over 40 percent of retailers describe fulfillment costs as a major challenge impacting their business.”
For the online retailer only sending a few parcels a week, automation may not offer you any immediate cost/time benefits. However, if you’re shipping orders in batches of 10, 20 or more daily, it is a worthwhile consideration when you calculate the time required to produce labels and customs documentation.
This is where an integrated shipping and tracking application can save you a lot of time and money and reduce costly mistakes. You can centralise orders from multiple channels and process them quickly; some customers process over 15% more orders per day. A shipping integration such as StarShipIT supports multiple channels and couriers, providing live rates at checkout and flexible shipping options including collect from store. You can generate labels automatically (single or batch print) as well as picking slips, manifests, and customs documentation.
One of the biggest headaches online retailers face when shipping internationally is the amount of paperwork required. As well as the courier labels, customs require information around the contents and value of orders, and often this takes the form of a signed declaration. With StarShipIT and DHL Express, for example, you can simplify the process with an electronic lodgement of the customs declaration, leaving just the label to be printed. If all the information is imported from your eCommerce platform, this can become a fully automated process saving countless hours on laborious paperwork.
A further benefit of automating fulfillment is improved customer service. Keeping your customers updated automatically with email and text notifications throughout their orders journey reduces phone calls and emails to your customer support team. Creating a branded tracking page will further improve service levels as well as giving you a chance to upsell to customers when they return to track their orders.
There are several different platforms and plugins available so you will need to check that the integration you select plays nicely with Shopify as well as your preferred couriers. Review which channel and courier integrations it provides. Talk to their support team about the setup process and what support they will offer to get you set up correctly.
StarShipIT easily integrates with Shopify as well as the largest range of Australasian couriers providing excellent customer support, with a dedicated team providing one to one support throughout the onboarding process. StarShipIT offers a free month’s trial during which time our support team will help you get your account setup and integrated with your courier accounts so that you can start shipping straight away.