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  March 20th, 2023 | Written by

How to Choose the Right Shipping Software for Your Business

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In order to optimize the way you run your business, you need the best software every step of the way, especially when it comes to something as important as shipping. This is why we’ve prepared a guide on how to choose the right shipping software for your business.

Seamless software integration

The first thing you need to look out for in order to choose the right shipping software for your business is seamless integration. Good shipping software can easily fit into your business without causing disruptions. It should serve to empower your logistics workforce, not hinder it while you struggle to adapt. Note that this doesn’t mean it should only be able to plug into your site easily. The software needs to slot easily into your current systems. It actually needs to support all of the carriers you work with. Finally, it should also be easy and intuitive to use in order to make it more appealing to your customers. Suppose any of these elements are not present. In that case, you will find yourself struggling to use the software properly, especially if there are any issues in the integration of the software and your carriers. 

Requisite core functions

The second thing you need to pay attention to in order to choose the right shipping software for your business is its core functions. For it to be well-received, you and your customers both need to see real value in the software. This means it needs to perform at least the following functions reliably: address validation, shipping rate calculation, carrier type, and rate listing. Without address validation, a typo can result in problems at the destination or outright failure to deliver the product. And without thorough info on the carriers and cost of delivery, a lot of your customers will outright give up on their order. In addition to this, the software needs to be functional on any platform, including phones and all manner of hand-held devices. If people can’t even finalize their order, then it’s obvious your business will suffer!


Order checkout options

Speaking of checkout, there are many requirements a shipping software has to tick off here to be considered ideal. This is because businesses face the greatest shopping cart abandonment rates during this step. Buyers experience doubt, and any sign of problems can easily drive them away. So, the process needs to be as optimized as possible. First, you should offer your customers a choice between different carriers, with rough price predictions for each. Then, you should offer them different shipping options for that particular carrier. Things such as express shipping, standard shipping, or even free shipping either for a slower delivery or any order above a certain price. For this to be possible, especially the latter option, the shipping software must have excellent automation and order analysis capabilities. Note, too, that the price and delivery time of each option should be clearly marked.

Business-to-carrier connectivity

We mentioned carrier integration already, but it should not be enough for the software to include them in your shipping option listings properly. For the software to be optimal, it also needs to feature data transfer automation. In the past, for every registered order, your business would have to copy the order details and then paste them into your carrier’s shipping manager to generate the order and shipping label. Predictably, this takes up a ton of time which is functionally wasted on just copy-pasting data. To avoid this and streamline the process, quality shipping software automatically transfers the data and generates the order. 

Automatic notifications

Order delivery is extremely important for both your own business and the customer. If the confirmation is not sent, the customer wonders if it even went through. If they’ve already paid in advance for the order instead of on pickup, as is most common nowadays, this inspires anxiety and will make your customer eventually contact your support. This will naturally not leave a very good impression and ensures they’re unlikely to shop with you again. Shipping software of the past did not have automatic order confirmation, forcing your employees to send a notification email manually. This meant additional work for your employees and longer waiting times for your customers. Thankfully, software today can automatically do this, which is a huge step forward. Therefore, a mark of bad software is a lack of automatic order confirmation.

Order tracking options

When discussing business practices that induce anxiety in your customers, we have to mention order tracking. Without order tracking, your customers feel they have no control over the process. This is true, but a smart inclusion of the tracking function provides an illusion of control that reassures them. This is why you should select shipping software that automatically emails the customer a link they can follow to track their shipment. This link can lead to the carrier’s default site, or, more preferably, the software might even come with a customizable shipment tracking page that features your branding. This will not just solve your shipping needs but will help enhance your brand recognition and loyalty too!

Solid customer support

The final way to choose the right shipping software for your business is to pick one with good customer support. And we don’t mean customer support for those who patronize your business. We mean customer support for you! If there are any problems with the software, you need to be able to contact the publisher to resolve them quickly. Similarly, when first trying to integrate the software into your business, proper support through the process is invaluable. With assistance, everything becomes easier, which is why you should not ignore this aspect!

Struggling to choose the right shipping software for your business

With our guide on how to choose the right shipping software for your business, you have the basic requirements down. However, you can easily grow overwhelmed by the number of different options on the market. A lot of them even perfectly match the requirements we listed! So, what your selection will come down to in the end are your own preferences. Pick the software you find appealing and whose customer support representatives you think you can work with most smoothly. If the software offers a trial version or similar, consider checking that out first.

Author Bio

Gerard Flint is a tech support and integration expert who works with The Gentleman Mover company in order to optimize the online experience of each and every one of their customers. He likes to offer his own insights into software selection and integration through interesting blog posts.