Order fulfillment is an important aspect of any successful ecommerce business. It is described as the number of steps involved in receiving, processing, and finally delivering orders to the intended customers.
Generally, an ecommerce shipping process includes:
- Labeling Orders
- Pick-up by shipping partner
- Local warehousing
- Last-mile delivery
Any ecommerce store owner with a cognitive approach will never willfully dismiss planning a strong shipping strategy. Knowing the fact that it can make and break the ecommerce business, merchants ensure providing transparency throughout.
This is where Order labeling comes into play!
It is accomplished by ‘Ecommerce shipping labels’ which are barcode ridden stickers affixed on online ordered products.
Often overlooked, ecommerce shipping labels are a crucial part of an ecommerce business process ensuring safe delivery of your orders and packages.
Streamlining online delivery process, ecommerce shipping labels have proved beneficial for consumers and online retailers alike.
While consumers want to stay updated about key attributes of the shipping process of their online orders, the ecommerce retailers look out for ways to minimize shipping efforts for dispatching orders seamlessly and accurately.
Should you fail to create clear shipping labels, a logistics disaster is right on the way.
There are huge chances of en-routing the wrong package to your customers resulting in deteriorating customer experience, losing brand loyalty, ruining sales, increased return requests which ultimately turns out to be a cost-prohibitive approach.
Thus, generating quality shipping labels holds great importance in the complete shipping process. We can say, they have become an irremovable cog in today’s digitized delivery process.
Realizing this, different ecommerce platforms plan different ways to generate ecommerce shipping labels.
Our expert BigCommerce developers at The Brihaspati Infotech have shared their views on how BigCommerce supports the implementation of ecommerce shipping labels.
Before we proceed, let’s first understand the basic anatomy of ecommerce shipping labels and their significance.
So, What is an Ecommerce Shipping Label?
A shipping label, made up of barcodes and abstract abbreviations, is an identification paper affixed on the shipping containers which is used to specify the contents of the box.
It carries the key information including originating, intended destination address and the unique tracking code which ensures safe end-to-end delivery of consumer products.
Significance of ecommerce shipping labels
Here are some pointers highlighting the vital role of shipping labels:
- Merchants can track sales and inventory
- Customers can track the status of their online ordered packages
- Barcodes in shipping labels are useful in handling logistics and supply chain
- Barcode scanners used in shipping labels are cost-effective and extremely accurate as compared to key-entry
- Utilizing shipping labels on packaged boxes can help online retailers ‘brand their stores’ in an efficient way
It is important for the merchants to choose right shipping carrier which provides shipping labels. For example, the commonly used are the United States Postal Service (USPS), United Parcel Service (UPS), Federal Express (FedEx), General Logistics Systems (GLS), etc.
What comprises an eCommerce shipping label?
Though different carriers have different formats of shipping labels, each logistics provider has its own unique template. Each carrier aims at an efficient handling and delivery process.
For instance, here is a breakdown of Amazon’s Airway Bill shipping label:
1. Barcode segment: This area has barcodes which comprise crucial information for delivery.
2. Payment section: It denotes whether payment has been paid by the user or is cash on delivery.
3. Delivery address section: This section denotes the destination address where the package is to be sent.
4. Selling company’s name: It bears the name of a seller company on a shipping carrier.
5. Destination address codes: It represents destination station code, sector code and a Geo zone (if any).
6. Weight and date: It shows the weight of the package, and the date of shipment.
7. Source Address: It describes the address of a seller from where the order has been initiated.
8. Other codes: This section bears the symbol of logistic company Amazon Transportation Services (ATSPL) and a code IXCD here.
9. Additional Information: This part includes the information that is not so important. For instance, company logos, user declaration and so on.
Generating ecommerce shipping labels in Bigcommerce
Ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce support the by-default integration of some shipping carriers which can generate shipping labels.
BigCommerce supports integration with two shipping carriers:
The merchants need to connect the shipping carriers into their stores.
On connecting, they get a chance to chose the drop-off type.
Before establishing a connection, merchant needs to register on shipping carrier’s website to fetch key and other details. After this, your BigCommerce store is connected with FedEx and shipping labels can be created.
Well, this was the case of in-built shipping carriers that help synchronize the order status in BigCommerce.
Apart from these, BigCommerce also supports the use of third-party shipping apps to print ecommerce shipping labels. There are many apps available on the BigCommerce’s store that can be integrated.
Here are top 5 sought-after ecommerce shipping app that our BigCommerce experts utilize to implement ecommerce shipping labels in clients’ BigCommerce store:
Ordoro is a cost-effective software solution for managing order fulfillment and tracking the inventory. Online merchants can tackle their orders in one place.
Apart from the powerful shipping options that Odoro provides, it allows you to select leading shipping carrier whether it is USPS, FedEx, Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime or DHL. It is capable of generating shipping labels both individually as well as in bulk.
Ecommerce merchants can create shipping labels by filling the carrier, package type, weight of the package, dimensions of the package, origin of shipment and shipping method and then push a ‘create label’ button.
Additionally, it also offers integrated inventory management, heavily-discounted shipping rates, and many other features.
You can download Odoro app from BigCommerce’s app section.
Stamps.com is a popular BigCommerce shipping app that can integrate your ecommerce store with shipping carriers.
With Stamp.com, the online BigCommerce merchants can print shipping labels in batches that too in one click. It also generates return shipping labels which are to be used on the orders returned by customers
It provides easy processing and printing of USPS shipping labels from your control panel.
3. Ship Station
This BigCommerce app, Ship Station allows the merchants to print batches of hundreds of shipping labels with a few clicks.
It allows BigCommerce store owners to create custom shipping labels for different shipping carriers like USPS, FEDEX, UPS, DHL, and Amazon FBA.
4. Shipping Easy
ShippingEasy is another way how BigCommerce implements shipping labels.
It helps reduce friction in shipping label workflows. The app offers lesser shipping rates. It helps ecommerce store owners to print labels, automate shipping, handle orders, track shipments, and notify recipients. It is an all in one easy-to-use solution for BigCommerce merchants.
It’s powerful automation helps in streamlining shipping, tracking, and order returns. This helps you save time.
Postmen is an app which when integrated with BigCommerce automatically updates it with tracking numbers and notifications.
Postmen support shipping carriers like FedEx, UPS, DHL & 40+ international couriers!
This shipping label generator allows merchants to print labels easily. On integrating the app with BigCommerce, orders can be imported and clicked to create ecommerce shipping labels along with tracking numbers.
Additionally, merchants can filter orders by customer name, payment status, order ID, fulfillment status and destination.
Custom BigCommerce App Development
Though third-party apps fulfill major ecommerce shipping requirements, however, there can be certain instances where there are no straightforward apps available or where ecommerce business owners demand more.
For example: What if an online merchant wants to integrate an additional shipping carrier that is not included in the paid apps by default? Or what if a merchant uses a local shipping carrier that is not available online?
The solution is: Utilizing the API of shipping service company and creating a custom BigCommerce app.
API, Application Programming Interface, is a set of protocols and functions via which two applications interact with each other.
How to do?
We recently had the chance to develop a custom BigCommerce shipping app that integrated BigCommerce store with a local third-party shipping partner.
To achieve this, we created a custom BigCommerce app that served as an intermediate between the BigCommerce vendor panel and the local shipping partner.
- To create an app, we used PHP and YII framework
- With API provider, we create custom integrations. Usually, API is provided in JSON/REST flavors
- Through our custom BigCommerce app, we can synchronize shipping data between shipping service provider and merchant
Wrapping it up
Being a pivotal step of an ecommerce shipping process, ecommerce shipping labels represents the facade of your ordered package. Where unclear shipping labels can wreak havoc in the logistic delivery operations, they can also cost ecommerce vendors more in case packages are lost in-transit. So, the need of implementing shipping generators in ecommerce stores is of great significance for end-to-end smooth order delivery.
Third-party apps have powered marketplaces like BigCommerce to support the implementation of shipping labels. Still, some vendors seek more customized settings for their scaling e-stores.
In case, your multi-channeled ecommerce business also needs customized shipping solutions which include generating custom ecommerce shipping labels, do feel free to reach our BigCommerce development company for API integration of your website.