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Searching for robust BigCommerce shipping apps to make your fulfillment process easy and trouble-free? Read our review of the best 3 solutions for a start.
For every online merchant, there’s nothing more important than customer satisfaction. One of the vital facets of e-commerce that can make consumers happy or otherwise is shipping. In this post, we explain why shipping is so crucial for e-retail companies, talk about the consumers’ most common expectations as far as shipping goes, and finally review three BigCommerce shipping apps that can significantly help you facilitate your fulfillment effort.
With the rapid development of technology, e-commerce is gradually becoming a fierce rival for traditional retailers. Every year, its share of total global retail sales increases exponentially and is expected to reach 21.8% in 2024.
The boost in the popularity of online sales can be largely attributed to the emergence of new e-commerce platforms such as BigCommerce. This new generation of systems allows ordinary, non-tech-savvy people to set up online stores within hours.
However, the online retail business is complex and presents all kinds of challenges. Merchants have to take care of promoting their sites, making them visible to Google and other major search engines, finding the most profitable products to sell, and handling a host of other essential tasks. One of these crucial functions is shipping.
Why Does Positive Delivery Experience Matter So Much?
Shipping is the area that truly sets e-commerce apart from conventional retail businesses. Good or bad delivery experience can “kill” an online store or greatly contribute to its success.
Imagine this (not-too-uncommon) scenario. You’ve ordered a T-shirt from an online store. The company promised a fast delivery service and charged a reasonable shipping fee. How surprised were you, then, when your order arrived in two weeks instead of one, the packaging was torn in several places, and the color didn’t match the one you’d selected on the site. It took you another week and some shattered nerves to return the T-shirt and receive a refund.
You aren’t likely to purchase anything from this store again, right? You’d rather leave a negative review about your misfortunes. Other shoppers will read it and go elsewhere to buy what they want. This will likely be the end of the T-shirt selling business.
This shows how important it is for every e-commerce company to ensure a smooth and hassle-free order delivery experience for their customers. Yet, small and medium-sized online stores can find it extremely difficult to compete with e-retail giants like eBay in this respect. The former have unlimited resources to ship goods to every part of the world within the shortest timeframes. Amazon’s International Expedited shipping option, for instance, guarantees order delivery from 3 to 7 business days to every corner of the globe.
So, is there a way for small-timers to at least streamline and automate the order fulfillment process, if not to make it as fast as that of eBay or Amazon? Yes, there is: specialized shipping apps. Let’s take a brief look at how exactly these solutions can help you alleviate your shipping pains.
The Main Functions of Shipping Apps
We can divide the tasks that shipping apps in general and BigCommerce shipping apps in particular perform into two big groups: before shipping and during/after shipping.
Presenting Shipping Options to Customers
Giving your customers a range of shipping options is crucial from a conversion point of view. Alas, if you’re a small business, chances are you can’t afford to deliver your products free of charge since this can negatively affect your profit margin.
You can come up with a flat rate or create a table of shipping rates based on the distance from your fulfillment center to your customer’s location. However, the most viable option is to collect shipping charges from several carriers and display these at the checkout in real time. Your customers then will be able to pick one they like best.
There are a number of shipping apps that address this task. Some are so advanced that they even enable you to adjust the shipping options you show to customers depending on the types of goods they order.
Once your customers have selected appropriate shipping options and paid, the fulfillment process begins. The first step is making a label for each order:
- You open up the dashboard and an app from a particular shipping company.
- You select the data for the order and press Ctrl+C.
- You switch over to the carrier’s app and press Ctrl+V. You repeat this process for every order you’ve received.
Is this how you still do things? If you answer, “yes,” it’s time to install one of the BigCommerce shipping apps to automate this label-forging routine. You can simply direct the information for all the orders into the app’s dashboard, click the “Print” button, and get all the labels ready in seconds.
The products that your customers have purchased are now off to their destinations. While the customers have no reason to distrust you, they still want to know where exactly their order is at this very moment, as well as when they can expect its arrival.
That’s another mission for BigCommerce shipping apps. Many of the label-making solutions we discussed in the previous section send an email to a customer once their order has started on its way. This message contains a reference to the corresponding section on the carrier’s or merchant’s site where the current location of the order is indicated.
Let’s go back to the T-shirt order example above. In the end, the customer returned the item that didn’t match the description on the site and came in a damaged wrapping. Many BigCommerce shipping apps make this process for customers as easy as ABC.
Here’s what a typical flow for returning products looks like:
- A customer types in his/her email address and order ID. This brings up a window with all the other order details, including the list of items in the parcel.
- The customer ticks the items they don’t need.
- The customer indicates if he/she wants the money they paid reimbursed or placed into the store’s deposit.
- The customer prints the label, sticks it onto the parcel, and leaves it at a post office.
These are some of the most important functions that shipping apps perform, although there are more.
BigCommerce merchants are very lucky when it comes to shipping apps. The official store offers a wide choice of these. Some are quite broad, trying to cover every aspect of the fulfillment process. Others are conceived to target a particular function like label printing.
If you’re looking for a perfect solution for your store, check out this review of three BigCommerce shipping apps. Perhaps, you’ll find one to meet your specific business needs.
The Top 3 BigCommerce Shipping Apps to Simplify and Streamline Your Order Fulfillment Process
Easyship: Displaying Live Shipping Options and Rates
This BigCommerce shipping app is an all-around solution encompassing the full shipping fulfillment cycle from label printing to tracking and final delivery. However, its main attraction is offering consumers live shipping rates.
Easyship allows you to connect with more than 250 shipping solutions and provide your customers with rates from the leading shipping companies on a global scale. You will pay up to 70% less for delivering your products thanks to the vendor’s partnership with the world’s best carriers.
Your customers will have a good choice of dynamically changing shipping rates based on their preferences. Whether they want their orders to be delivered fast or as cheaply as possible, this BigCommerce shipping app will always live up to your expectations. It will display the most appropriate real-time options at checkout, bringing you more conversions as a result.
Easyship is also one of the best BigCommerce shipping apps automation-wise. Just set your own shipping rules to escape the monotony of handling the same tasks (picking a delivery company, specifying package dimensions, etc.) manually over and over.
Main Points of Attraction
- Dynamically changing shipping rates displayed at checkout: more conversions guaranteed.
- A powerful automation solution to perform repetitive operations.
- Excellent after-sale service: sending consumers an email with a link to a branded tracking page so that they know the status of their order at any moment.
- Global shipping options: generates all the right shipping papers and Customs documents to ensure the smooth cross-border delivery of your products.
- Generation of return labels for products shipped within the country.
This BigCommerce shipping app offers you four pricing plans to satisfy all your fulfillment needs:
- Plus: $29/month
- Premier: $49/month
- Enterprise: Custom
The plans differ in the access to certain options. For example, Free plan subscribers are only allowed 100 shipments per month. Those who have purchased the Premier package are entitled to 2,500.
If you choose the Plus or Premier package, you have a 30-day free trial period to decide if you’re ready to pay for using Easyship on a regular basis.
As for the Enterprise plan, you need to get in touch with the vendor to discuss the fees and options.
ShipStation: Efficient Bulk Label Printing
This BigCommerce shipping app is a fantastic solution for merchants who sell their products via multiple channels such as Fulfillment by Amazon. All in all, ShipStation has integrations with more than 70 various selling platforms.
For entrepreneurs doing business in many places, printing labels for every channel with its own rules can be a task from hell. Enter ShipStation. It allows you to bulk-print all your labels in seconds and direct your energy to other important business matters.
Efficient label printing is not the only strong point that places ShipStation among the top BigCommerce shipping apps. Just like EasyShip, it enables you to display and modify shipping rates dynamically at checkout.
The long list of the vendor’s partners includes the heavyweights of the shipping industry such as USPS and DHL. Thus, you can count on lower shipping rates for your customers and more conversions.
Main Points of Attraction
- Easy and quick bulk label printing. Perfect for merchants selling products not only through their store but also through several marketplaces.
- Efficient automation of the entire shipping flow. Just set appropriate rules and handle your repetitive tasks in autopilot mode.
- Detailed and easy-to-navigate dashboards.
- Dynamically changing shipping options and rates at checkout.
This BigCommerce shipping app offers a wide range of pricing plans in the “precious metals” style. Between the Starter ($9 per month) and Enterprise ($159 per month) plans, the rest of the pricing options are represented as:
- Bronze: $29 per month
- Silver: $49 per month
- Gold: $69 per month
- Platinum: $99 per month
The plans offer different numbers of shipments and users, provide branded or customized labels and packing slips, and have a longer or shorter list of customer support methods.
AfterShip & Returns Center: One of the Best BigCommerce Apps for Tracking Shipments and Returning Goods
Most customers want to know where their order is along the shipment route at any given time. Some might be unhappy about the condition of a delivered product and want to return it. The AfterShip & Returns Center BigCommerce shipping app allows you to kill two birds with one stone.
To begin with, it integrates with more than 700 shippers. You can easily track all your orders in real time from within one intuitive dashboard. The app also allows you to send automatic notifications to buyers, informing them about the current status of their shipment. That’s a great way to boost your customers’ loyalty and trust.
AfterShip also caters to consumers who wish to send back the items they’ve purchased from your store. The entire process is completely independent for customers and doesn’t require the merchant’s involvement.
A customer simply provides the respective email address and order ID through a branded return page, selects from several exchange and refund choices, prints out a return label, sticks it onto the package, and leaves it at a post office.
Merchants can refuse to accept a product back or agree to a return request and resolve it.
Main Points of Attraction
- Two important functions in one location: tracking and returns.
- Customers can independently return products via a branded return page. Merchants can reject or accept a return request.
- Automatic messages to customers via email and social media with the current status of their shipment.
- Integrations with more than 700 shipping companies. This guarantees always-up-to-date tracking information.
Choose among the four available pricing options to use this BigCommerce shipping app:
- Essentials: $9/month
- Pro: $199/month
- Enterprise: Custom
The table below contains the key facts about the three BigCommerce shipping apps we’ve described in this post.
|App Name||Key Features
||Displaying live shipping rates|
|AfterShip & Returns Center||
||Tracking and returns|
Shipping products to customers is an area that can seriously affect the success of every e-commerce business. There are a lot of things to consider when fulfilling orders, from customizing shipping options at checkout and printing labels to tracking shipments and accepting returns.
BigCommerce merchants can take advantage of a wide array of applications that handle all those tasks efficiently. We’ve reviewed three BigCommerce shipping apps in this post. Install them to see for yourself how they can make your shipping process much easier.
Meanwhile, the GetDevDone BigCommerce development team is always ready to customize the look and feel of your online store and make it more functional to help your business rise above the competition.
Write to us! We’ll be happy to help you with your BigCommerce project.
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