Find out all there is to know about Shipping APIs and how adding one to your e-commerce technology stack may help you save time and money. Shipping application programming interfaces (APIs) integrate shipping software’s features into a company’s pre-existing e-commerce technology stack.
In the modern world of e-commerce, giving customers what they want involves minimizing any potential hassles they could encounter. Your team will be able to deliver the greatest possible customer service if all of your shipping capabilities are integrated into your present tech stack.
We’ll break down all you need to know about shipping APIs to better illustrate the significance of this solution and how you can utilize them to positively affect your ecommerce company.
What Does It Mean To Have A Shipping API?
Shipping Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are a crucial component of every well-oiled shipping operation. When used correctly, shipping API integration may greatly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of any e-commerce shipping.
The abbreviation “API” refers to the interface via which particular programs for various applications may be set up. Any application or system’s API may be thought of as a database of information about that application or system. The data is then used to instruct the API to do the desired actions.
With the YouTube API, for instance, other websites may embed YouTube videos with the same user experience as the famous video-sharing platform. Shipping API is also used by carriers and delivery management systems to complete a variety of shipping-related operations.
Why Shipping APIs Are Important In eCommerce
There is a growing tendency toward purchasing online, which highlights the necessity of shipping APIs for e-commerce. A recent poll found that 68 percent of online buyers said that faster shipment would encourage them to make a purchase.
When there are too many operations that must be performed manually, it becomes next to impossible to satisfy such high standards for customer satisfaction. With the correct API, shipping APIs may cut down on time spent transferring data between applications, the likelihood of human mistakes, and shipping expenses.
1. Order Tracking
For online retailers, the Christmas season is a very busy time of year, and the resulting influx of orders may be difficult to handle. Due to the inherent inefficiency of manual procedures, it is easy to waste money by printing several shipping labels for the same order or to lose track of a specific order on your 3PL platform.
When customers make orders on your website, the 3PL platform in the fulfillment center receives the data and updates the shipping software used to create labels. As a result, you won’t have to go back and forth between different programs to see and keep tabs on the progress of your orders throughout the fulfillment process.
This aids inventory managers and may also aid your customer service department in responding to inquiries about the delivery of customers’ purchases.
2. Improve Shipping Efficiency
Improved productivity in the shipping department is one of the main draws of a shipping API. Take the case of entrusting your shipment fulfillment to a third-party logistics provider like Cmarix.
With the use of a shipping API, the company may tell its staff about the products that need to be packaged at its fulfillment centers, the most appropriate shipping carrier, and any other relevant details about each shipment. In turn, this means fewer questions and less back-and-forth on specific orders, which expedites processing and shipment.
3. Guaranteed Delivery Safety
No company, even in an ideal setting, can avoid the possibility of supply chain management problems. If shipping APIs are implemented, however, you may rest easy knowing that hackers won’t be able to disrupt your supply chain.
You can trust APIs to keep your shipping information safe and ensure its smooth movement to your other fulfillment platforms and business partners.
4. Possible Reduction in Shipping Costs
You may be able to reduce your shipping costs by using a more cost-effective shipping API. To provide just one example, if you add Shippo to your present technology stack, you may save money on shipping labels from the best carriers in the country thanks to savings that were already negotiated for you.
Depending on the label, discounts may reach 90% for USPS and 86% for UPS international shipments. All of these price reductions will add up to a larger saving on each purchase you place. Shippo’s API may be automated to always choose the lowest pricing for certain orders thanks to its integration with numerous carriers.
How Do Shipping APIs Function?
APIs provide data processing, action progression, and inter-system communication. Shipping APIs are quite active. Online merchants’ shipping APIs may make or ruin their businesses. We’ll cover them soon. First, we’ll examine some shipping APIs. This implies some occurrences may trigger other features. Some shipping APIs use an event-based methodology.
Let’s look at the Order Tracking Shipping API to see how this works for online stores (less cartoonishly). This API is used by courier aggregators and shipping software to keep companies and consumers updated on online shopping orders as they ship. Shipping Tracking API connects aggregators and delivery services.
This shipping API gets order updates from the courier system. It immediately retrieves updated data from the carrier and delivers it to the e-commerce firm through a dashboard. The same API may automate data dissemination to clients through several channels. Pull APIs ‘pull’ system data. Shipping APIs have unique responsibilities and demands.
Shipping APIs allow order creation, warehouse management, and delivery failures. That said, below are some of the topmost 3 popular shipping APIs that may help your company and your consumers:
1. Validating Addresses
Human clients may make errors. This includes typos in their address on your ecommerce site. This error is expensive if you lack the right tools. Not only is printing a fresh shipping label expensive. It’s also in the form of labor for completing other goods and processing returns, and a bad customer experience equals lost future income.
Shippo’s shipping API integrates your ecommerce business with address validation. When a consumer enters their address during checkout, the Shippo API will cross-reference it with the USPS database to authenticate its legitimacy. It will also assist distinguish between a home and business address, which might alter your clients’ shipping choices or the shipping options you provide.
2. Multicarrier Support
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” Sending packages with one carrier is also recommended. Each carrier calculated shipping costs based on size, weight, distance, and delivery time. The best carrier to employ depends on what you’re shipping, where it’s going, and how long the consumer will wait.
Using a shipping API that supports various carriers lets you compare shipping prices in one place. You may even automate the process so the cheapest delivery option is always chosen for a given purchase. This saves time and speeds up fulfillment. A shipping API may retrieve real carrier prices and show them to your consumers, giving them several delivery alternatives.
3. Tracking shipments
Consider your previous internet purchase. You’ve probably checked on your cargo in transit. Online consumers monitor orders 3.5 times each order. E-commerce clients demand ship-tracking. Without it, your customer support team’s email might soon fill up.
Having a shipping API with tracking alerts may help your firm retain contact points throughout the product path and improve the post-purchase experience. A shipping API may link with your customer outreach tools so you and your customers can keep informed.
Courier Logistics + eCommerce APIs For Shipping
The quantity of shipping API possibilities might be overwhelming. Using the following variables to pick a shipping API will lead you to these possibilities dependent on the shipping carrier:
- UPS API: The UPS API is easy to integrate. Three kinds of APIs employ extensible Markup Language (XML), a standard language that your developers can manage. Well-documented API should aid integration.
- FedEx API: FedEx’s REST API is developer-friendly. OAuth 2.0 authentication and JSON request/response processing is used. Rest APIs are widespread, thus individuals with API experience should choose them.
- DHL API: The DHL API is also a REST API that supports OAuth 2.0 and JSON. It supports XML, making integrations versatile.
- USPS API: The USPS API is similar to FedEx and DHL, however, it has fewer resources. This makes it harder to set up, but smaller domestic shipments have lower delivery prices.
- Shippo API: Shippo is the greatest shipping API. Shippo’s API lets you compare rates across these and other regional and international carriers. Multiple airlines provide lower shipping prices. These savings may be passed on to consumers as decreased delivery expenses, boosting sales. It has a 99.99% uptime, so disruptions seldom disturb your company. You’ll also receive thorough documentation and a dedicated customer service representative to assist integrate the API into your platform.
Shipping Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are a crucial aspect of every ecommerce business. If you accept e-commerce API integration services into your system, you will have a considerable edge over less sophisticated businesses. With selling software and plugins, you can get by with less technical know-how.