In today's hyper-competitive eCommerce environment, businesses need every advantage they can get. Simply selling a product or service is not enough, and to survive in the ecommerce realm, a company must employ modern tactics to solve modern problems.
Companies that are ahead of the curve will use every opportunity to push forward and improve. APIs, application programming interfaces, are one tool ecommerce companies commonly use to bring new services or features to an existing program. Shipping APIs are especially useful as people increasingly adopt online shopping. As we move into the second half of 2020, shipping APIs will continue to offer various benefits to both ecommerce companies and customers.
One of the essential pieces of information in the shipping process is the delivery address. Mistakes happen, and sometimes customers enter the wrong address, but adding address verification through shipping APIs can help to reduce the frequency of shipping errors or complications. Before the shipping details are finalized, an API will check the delivery address to ensure it is valid and preemptively search for potential delivery issues. If the address is invalid, the customer will be alerted, and the sale will be paused until a valid address is entered. This dramatically helps your business prevent costly mistakes and future headaches while ensuring the customer receives their order without unnecessary delays that would harm your brand's reputation.
The ability to customize your company's shipping functionality helps to ensure you are always using the best available options. The flexibility to use multiple different carriers can improve your company's efficiency and workflow while lowering expenses. Some APIs even offer discounted or special shipping rates; UPS shipping charges are sometimes lower for connected APIs, which lets your company save money and potentially pass the savings on to your customers. Customers want the ability to choose a shipping method based on their needs, so the more carries and prices you can offer, the better.
Live Pricing And Tracking Capabilities
Shipping API integration lets you and your customers see the best price for different shipping options on various carries and track orders in real-time. Customers frequently cite a lack of shipping options, expensive shipping, and long delivery times as reasons they abandon shopping carts. Using APIs to offer more shipping choices will decrease the number of abandoned orders. Many shipping APIs even offer alert systems so your customers can receive notifications through email or text as their order moves through the shipping process until it is delivered.
Cheap Or Free Returns
When a customer wants to return an item, the process should be straightforward and simple. No customer wants to pay to ship a returned item back to your company, as it creates a negative experience in your customer's mind. Returns are not ideal for any business, but offering cheap or free returns to your customers can make the experience a positive one and improve your brand's reputation. Shipping APIs can quickly create a return label for your customer and include discounted shipping rates from various carriers.
Most shipping pages are bland or entirely blank, aside from the critical information. The vast majority of customers will continue through to the shipping page, and leaving the shipping pages void of branding is a missed opportunity. Extending your shipping capabilities with shipping APIs is also the perfect opportunity to add your company branding to shipping pages. While you are offering an improved shipping experience for customers with APIs, use the space to reinforce your branding, so the positive experience is connected with your brand. You can even add links to your social media accounts or other critical pages from the shipping page for increased visibility.
Technology has given companies more tools than ever to improve their workflows and customer experience. Shipping APIs focus on the shipping part of ecommerce to upgrade the process for both the company and the customer. Address verification to prevent delivery errors, multi-carrier options, discounted rates, real-time prices and tracking, and cheap returns all better the shipping experience. Branding opportunities on shipping pages are an extra perk that comes with expanding your shipping processes. Use shipping APIs to bring a variety of boosts to your business that you and your customers will appreciate.