E-commerce stores could never have been a success without merchants willing to sell on online and merchants could never have thrived selling online without using automated shipping. Automated shipping effectively automates a merchant’s supply chain. Effect of Automation means that as soon as a merchant receives an order the automated shipping system assigns a carrier, generates the right shipping labels and invoice, and initiates the products pick up. Automated shipping works using API’s or Application Programming Interface which make it possible for businesses to align their software with that of carriers such as BlueDart or FedEx and sales channels such as Amazon or Flipkart. An API can be aligned with a number of different carriers and sales channels allowing merchants the flexibility of using more than one carrier and selling on more than one sales channel.
Allowed Manpower to Be Used Optimally
An advantage of automated shipping is that it allows business to process thousands of orders every day and allows a business to utilize manpower more effectively. Automated shipping makes this possible by freeing up labour from tasks such as labeling and allowing them to work in tasks that add greater value to a business. In addition to eliminating the need for labeling, it also reduces the need for data entry operators because all entries that were earlier made using books or spreadsheets are automated thanks to automated shipping. Using less manpower also significantly lowers a business’s expenses. Also by automating the shipping process companies are able to minimize errors in shipping the cause of many of which is attributed to human beings.
Speedy Delivery Makes Customers Happy
Automated shipping also allows in transit packages to be tracked. This is made by possible because the labels attached to a package are scanned throughout the length of the package's journey until it reaches its destination. Customers are delighted that they can track a package throughout its journey and more and more customers actually expect this service when they buy a product online. An advantage of being able to track a package is obviously that a customer can be ready to receive a package when it is delivered to its destination.
Scale Up and Sell to the World
Because robust automated selling systems have API’s that can be used with multiple channels and carriers, they allow merchants to sell on a number of different platforms and allow them to use the services of carriers who offer them the best price.
More Data Can Enhance Automated Shipping
What makes the potential of automated shipping all the more exciting is that the data generated by an automated shipping system can be used to improve the services provided to customers. An automated shipping system can also be used to anticipate how much demand there will be for products in the future, something that is very difficult to do using manual booking keeping or spreadsheets. In addition, because an automated system can generate GST compliant invoices in bulk such a system allows many merchants to more easily file accurate tax returns.
Automated Shipping Frees Up Clutter
Once an entire supply chain is automated, it allows a merchant to focus on other aspects of the business such as attracting more customers and using the data generated by automated shipping to gain insights into which geographical regions to focus on.
Merchants who take advantage of automated shipping stand to grow their business as the habits of consumers evolve towards more online buying. According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, more consumers will buy products online in the coming years and by 2025 the domestic e-commerce industry is expected to grow to 200 billion from approximately 38 billion today. Clearly, the movement of goods sold online will be a significant component of the domestic supply chain in a few years. This is made visible when one considers that an Economic Times economic survey revealed the logistics industry in India is already estimated to be worth $160 billion and is projected to grow to $215 billion by 2025. Although Economic Survey and IBEF study are distinct, seen together they may indicate that the growth of the e-commerce sector, which relies on logistics for the movement of goods, will also contribute to the growth of the domestic logistics industry as well. Automated shipping is already a part of the logistics industry and will facilitate the growth of the overall logistics industry.
By Vikas Garg, Co-Founder, EzySlips