If you want to jump into the fast lane of E-commerce, the solution lies in selecting the right software for your business.

Time is money.

If you want to save time and make more profit on top of your revenue, consider fine-tuning your approach to shipping – from carrier discounts to shipping labels.

That means analyzing and choosing the best software for your situation – now and down the road.

Assimilation

Naturally, in order to handle  your orders and printing shipping labels, your shipping software must assimilate throughout your marketplaces, operation and procedures.

What do your marketplaces use for shopping carts (e.g. BigCommerce, Shopify or WooCommerce?).

Obviously, Amazon is the biggest marketplace. But Walmart has come on very strong. Etsy is also a player.

For efficient processes, you should have shipping software that conforms fully throughout your business model.

Do a SWOT analysis (your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).

For instance, prepare for any contingency such as whether your marketplaces use order management systems (OMSs).

Make certain you have existing connectors for importing your orders. If not, you’ll have to get a custom API or XML integration.

This, of course, means selecting the best software to work with your partnering carriers. In this way, you’ll be able to use the best practices, get discounted rates and the newest services, as well as the most efficient carrier pickups.

Continually look for discounted rates and other benefits.

Sometimes it’s best to have a favorite shipper with which to be loyal because of all the benefits accorded to your business.

But you might have to utilize multiple carriers. If so, be certain you choose software that works with each.

Salient features

No doubt you know the best shipping software performs multiple functions with automation features.

You’ll want to be able to automate every task instead of doing them manually including batch shipping, tracking, and return portals.

For foreign shipping, you’ll want to automatically validate addresses, create custom forms and labels.

You’ll want to minimize customer inquiries and complaints, which you can do with self-service portals.

Maximize your branding such as inserting graphics, and reporting, with the right software that allows you to quickly obtain important information from multiple sales channels without resorting to switching.

Particularly, if you’re self-employed, a mobile app is important.

Team approach

Make certain you get all the support you need from your shipper. They should be expert with guides and resources in E-commerce to assist you in identifying problems and solutions.

It’s best if you can get one person with whom to deal.

And it should be convenient to work with your shipper that provides great communication tools with email, phone, live chat and a page for FAQ.

Starting with a new shipper? Be clear about the onboarding process.

Especially, if the trial period is a month or less, be sure to fully understand the shipper’s competence. That’s a given in integrating with your software for efficient document and label printing.

Be sure to tap into your shipper’s expertise whether it’s information about printers or scales.

Planning for growth

Your software should allow for growth. You won’t have time to repeatedly research and buy new apps.

If you have employees, make certain the software will allow them to be added as users without having to pay extra each time.

Security is vital particularly with assigning orders and prohibiting hackers or unauthorized people from your data and information.

If you’re a micro business, you’ll probably be affected by rates and support. Software vendors usually charge by shipping volume.

But as you scale your operation, make certain you’ll get more support such as a dedicated account liaison, phone support or live chat features.

Check reviews

Before buying software, check for positive reviews.

Get the insights you need now and for the future. In planning for your growth, be sure to look for small and large company reviews. How do they depend on the software and how has it helped them?

From the Coach’s Corner, related information:

E-commerce: Shipping Practices for Customer Satisfaction — Conversions for customer satisfaction are paramount in E-commerce, which is built on the concept of prompt service. If you want to attract and keep customers, you must use best practices in shipping.

E-commerce: Strategies to Pick the Right Digital Partner — True, if you don’t have the necessary expertise, e-commerce services can be expensive. So to maximize value for profitable sales, it’s imperative to choose the right digital agency as a partner. Here’s how.

5 Tips to Rock with Your E-commerce ‘About Us Page’ — Your “About Us” page plays a crucial role in whether people will buy from you. It’s always an emotional decision. Here’s how to capitalize on it.

8 Tips to Make Your Social Media Boost Your E-commerce — Are you just starting out using social media? Well, if used well, social media is an excellent tool to accomplish two goals – connecting with your existing customers and attracting fans for new business.

Storytelling: Motivate Customers to Brag about Your Company — Your best opportunity in marketing messages is to inspire your customers to write testimonials about their positive experience with your company. Certainly, you’ll profit more if you can entice your customers to tell your story about your products and services.

“Communications is at the heart of e-commerce and community.”

-Meg Whitman

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.