Key #3: Make it easy for merchants to provide accurate shipping and tracking information to shoppers

Posted on July 03, 2013 by @ship_cpc in Shipping Solutions

This post is part of our continuing series on platform integration supporting our e-commerce web services.

“Canadian online shoppers are acutely aware of the gap between the online experiences of domestic sites versus those in the U.S.”*

What can you do to make sure your extension or platform can deliver in an increasingly competitive e-commerce marketplace?

Ensure you include configurable features that allow online merchants to provide an excellent user experience to their shoppers.

Use our web services to improve customer satisfaction

Managing customer expectation is a key factor in e-commerce shipping. Ensure your platform or extension uses our data to your advantage. With the right integration choices, you can help merchants avoid costly calls to their customer service, provide accurate shipping times and keep customers happy.

Pitfall: Building a platform or extension that automatically provides data to shoppers without allowing merchants a chance to configure and choose what they reveal to shoppers and when.

Solution: Make sure your solution includes a way for merchants to:

  • Adjust the expected delivery date to account for time required for fulfillment, such as picking and packing at the warehouse.
  • Reveal tracking numbers when the shipment is provided to Canada Post rather than automatically when an order is placed.

Tracking number

Technical tips for integration programmers

  • The Get Rates web service is for more than just rates. Use it just to find out the expected delivery date or transit times. Just enter dummy data in the parcel characteristics fields to get the delivery information you need in the response.
  • The expected delivery date and transit times are provided in the response from a call to Get Rates. Dates and times are based on the expected mailing date you provide in the request to the web service. Therefore:
    • Don’t use the order date for the expected mailing date. Use the date you actually plan to have the item picked up or dropped off by Canada Post.
    • If you do use the order date, keep in mind that the expected delivery date will not be accurate unless you ship the same day an order is placed.
    • Rather than passing the expected delivery date directly to the shopper, include a feature that allows merchants to add in a buffer for the extra time they may need for picking, packing, handling or drop-shipping.
    • A response from the Create Shipment web service provides a tracking number. Rather than passing this number directly to shoppers, allow merchants the option to provide it to shoppers once the order has shipped rather than when the order is created.

Read Key #4: Get the address right the first time!

*The State of Canadian Online Retail – 2013, Forrester Research, Inc.

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