James Thomas, Managing Director at Intersoft, talks lockdown, eBay Virtual Tracking Numbers and peak shipping in this guest post today. He explores how solutions such as Intersoft’s Intelligent Shipper delivery management software can stream line the shipping process and the importance of automation ahead of what looks to be the most challenging Q4 in ecommerce history.
Ecommerce has been rapidly expanding over the years and 2020 is no exception. Lockdown restrictions across the globe brought about by Covid-19 and a general fear among many shoppers to return to the High Street, has acted as a further catalyst for online growth.
For many retailers, this has been a challenging time. Those without an online presence have had to rapidly embrace it to survive, while those already online have seen exponential demand. Data from Intersoft, a provider of delivery management software, shows shipment volumes were up 186% from April to August, compared to the same period in 2019. And this trend is likely to continue as we head into the Peak period. For retailers, getting their online processes up to scratch, from checkout through to delivery, is going to be vital to success.
What are the benefits of delivery management software?
During challenging times, solutions such as Intersoft’s Intelligent Shipper® delivery management software are key to streamlining delivery processes for retailers and creating standout in a crowded market. Not only do they ensure label and customs document automation, but they seamlessly link brands to carriers and their latest delivery innovations. In today’s market, retailers that can offer the greatest breadth of delivery convenience and choice are undoubtedly better placed to secure sales.
“As we head into the perfect storm of Peak and Covid-19 combined, Intersoft has been busy ensuring its solution is well equipped to enable both SMEs and large internationals alike to succeed. Here are some of the ways the delivery management specialist can help your ecommerce business…”
– James Thomas, Managing Director, Intersoft
Label automation – featuring eBay VTN
Due to the rise in demand for their products, many SME’s are outgrowing manual or less seamless processes and solutions. Retailers are rapidly recognising the importance of automation and according to data from Intersoft, retailers now account for 61% of the new customers the delivery management specialist onboards.
Once a shipment is booked, Intersoft’s Intelligent Shipper® delivery management software automatically produces a delivery label featuring all the necessary detail required by the carrier, and any changes in labelling protocol are automatically handled by Intersoft.
Recently, Intersoft has been quick to embrace eBay’s new VTN (Virtual Tracking Number) requirement, supporting its many eBay sellers by incorporating it into its Intelligent Shipper® tool. These customers can now create shipments (via API, data file upload or manual booking) and the eBay VTN field is automatically printed on labels and sent electronically to Royal Mail.
When online retail is busy so are the carriers, which can lead to slower delivery times. Working with more than one carrier during peak will enable retailers to negotiate delivery disruption and provide their shoppers with maximum delivery choice and convenience. Via one API integration to the retailer’s eCommerce platform, Intersoft’s customers have the flexibility of partnering with multiple carriers including Royal Mail, FedEx, DPD, DHL, Parcelforce and Hermes.
Enabling International shipping
Enabling smooth international shipments is high on many retailers’ priority list. But with the UK’s transition out of the EU happening at the end of 2020 and recent reports of significant cutbacks within the US Postal Service, getting products overseas is not without its challenges.
With one survey reporting over 50% of UK retailers believe the US eCommerce market is the next important outside of the UK, it’s vital UK businesses can still efficiently get their goods to market.
Intersoft’s multi-carrier offering includes partners that ship to the US, such as DHL Express, DHL eCommerce US, FedEx, Asendia, P2P and UPS. Ensuring a partnership with a carrier that supports this delivery route will help enable fast and efficient shipment, while removing the headaches associated with customs documentation.
Intersoft’s Intelligent Shipper® is also Brexit ready with its new, dedicated customs documentation API that covers all potential scenarios by allowing for customs documentation (such as commercial invoices, Pro Forma invoices and CN documentation) to be generated on any shipment, no matter where it is destined for. Couple that with Brexit-ready integrations, with carriers including Royal Mail, Parcel Force, GLS, P2P, Asendia, DHL, FedEx, UPS and TNT, Intersoft can ensure a seamless shipping experience as we head into 2021.
While no one yet knows what the impact of Covid-19 will bring to Peak, online retailers that are prepared will undoubtedly weather the storm more successfully than the competition.
You can find out more about Intersoft and how it can aid your retail business at intersoft.co.uk or by calling 01753 689 292.