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The 7 best cloud-based shipping platforms for retailers

Daniel Bengochea
Daniel Bengochea
May 16, 2024
cloud shipping software and solutions

What is cloud shipping?

Cloud shipping involves importing a business's order information into online software for automatic, centralized processing. This type of strategy relies on technology to streamline logistics operations, improve business productivity and educe the shipping costs.

What is cloud based shipping software?

Cloud shipping software is an online computer system for logistics automation. This solution connects the company with all the carriers it works with, improving information flows and storing customer data.

There are many types of cloud-based transport solutions. Some focus on customer experience, others on parcel management or shipping automation, and others have an end-to-end approach. Depending on the needs and size of your business, you should choose one accordingly.

Best cloud shipping software for carriers and retailers

1. Outvio

outvio cloud shipping software

Outvio revolutionizes order management and customer service for businesses by offering an end-to-end cloud-based platform. By automating all post-sales processes, such as shipping, logistics, returns, customer service, and marketing, Outvio ensures efficient and seamless operations.

With Outvio, your eCommerce business will not only manage shipments accurately but will also have all the tools it needs to stay competitive and user-focused. Increase customer satisfaction, reduce management times, and optimize your resources with a solution that boosts the growth and efficiency of your business.

Benefits

  • Logistics automation, label printing, and goods verification
  • Artificial intelligence-driven shipment allocation algorithm
  • Automatic order notifications with cross-sell product promotion
  • Returns and exchange portal with in-store credit and built-in revenue retention system
  • Customizable tracking portal with shopper management options
  • Shipment monitoring and automatic shipment incident resolution system
  • Automatic freight invoice matching
  • Customer service software with chat that can be integrated into your shop
  • Advanced business analytics

Disadvantages

  • No distribution center, you will have to ship from your own warehouses

2. Shipbob

shipbob-software

ShipBob is a cloud-based shipping software popular with distribution companies looking to streamline logistics. It has in-house distribution centers to outsource some of the work. Its software offers automation, reporting, and customization features.

Benefits

  • Better control of your inventory or stock
  • Network of distribution centers for logistics outsourcing
  • Shipment automation system
  • Integration with green shipping systems

Disadvantages

  • Does not offer returns management or customizable notifications
  • It is not a customer experience tool; you can simply manage your orders.

3. Easyship

easyship cloud shipping system management

With Easyship's cloud-based shipping software, you can integrate multiple carriers and manage them simultaneously. It offers pre-negotiated rates so that smaller businesses can ship at a lower cost. It also has some customization features, although these may be limited compared to other tools.

Advantages

  • Integrations with a large number of carriers
  • Pre-negotiated shipping rates
  • Ability to print labels in bulk
  • Automated fulfillment and packaging

Disadvantages

  • Limited ability to customize the ordering experience
  • Cannot handle returns or product exchanges
  • No ability to enhance the customer shopping experience

4. Shippo

shippo

Shippo is another cloud-based shipping company specializing in multi-carrier integration for medium and small businesses. It allows users the ability to compare real-time rates between different carriers and select the most economical and convenient option for each shipment.

Benefits

  • Pre-negotiated rates
  • Unlimited shop connections
  • Tracking notifications
  • Rate comparison

Disadvantages

  • No returns and exchange management
  • No customization of the delivery experience for your customers

5. Aftership

aftership

Aftership is a very popular cloud-based shipping and tracking plugin. With its module system, you can integrate new functionalities according to your needs. You can send notifications to your customers and keep them informed throughout the delivery phase.

Benefits

  • A large number of carriers, especially in Asia
  • Automatic import of orders from your sales channels
  • Module for printing shipping and return labels
  • Warranty management module
  • Good customization system

Disadvantages

  • High dependency on the integration of other modules and external solutions
  • Not a recommended tool for large companies seeking a complete solution

6. Shipstation

shipstation software

Shipstation is a cloud shipping management platform for carriers. It facilitates rate comparison with various carriers and label printing. Though it offers return and tracking features, customization options are limited. Its functionality heavily relies on integrations with third-party services.

Benefits

  • Connect to carriers and import your orders
  • Automatic label printing
  • Pre-negotiated rates
  • Tracking notifications with branding capabilities

Disadvantages

  • No returns or exchange management
  • Not an effective customer experience tool

7. Sendcloud

sendcloud shipping platform

Sendcloud is a cloud platform for the automation of shipments and returns in eCommerce. Specializing mainly in tracking, you will be able to centralize a large part of your operations. It is a fairly accessible software, so it is recommended for beginners in the sector.

Advantages

  • Direct integration with carriers
  • Automatic label printing
  • Tracking notifications
  • Free plan for up to 50 orders

Disadvantages

  • Limited return options; you cannot automate the exchange of products
  • No incident management system
  • You will not be able to solve the buyer's problems during delivery

How to improve your shipment management in the cloud: strategies and functionalities

Increases the variety of shipping options at checkout

93% of online shoppers say that delivery methods affect their final purchase decision. By integrating a cloud-based shipping platform, you can expand your shipping methods, such as standard, expedited, or in-store pick-up. This provides more flexibility to the customer and will increase your conversion rate.

Automate carrier selection

Set up rules so that the system automatically chooses the most suitable carrier based on criteria such as weight, destination, or cost. With this, you can ensure you always choose the most economical option and minimize shipping costs. 

Customize delivery notifications

According to Statista, shipping traceability and the software that provides it are critical to the customer's shopping experience. With a cloud-based shipping solution, you can automate personalized shipping notifications. You can add your own designs to create a unified aesthetic and increase brand recall. You can also promote products, upsell related products, and increase your revenue.

Monitor shipments and troubleshoot problems

95% of customers expect shipping problems to be addressed throughout the order's delivery process. With Outvio, you can set up alerts to detect shipping issues and quickly communicate with carriers to resolve them immediately.

Automating Returns

On average, online shoppers return 20-30% of products. Some cloud-based shipping software provides portals to make it easier for shoppers to return their items. Not only does this improve the customer experience, but it will also minimize the time it takes your staff to manage returns.

In addition, the most advanced portals allow you to promote in-store credit to avoid having to refund your customer, drastically reducing the cost of your returns.

Analyze data and optimize strategies

Utilize analytical tools to collect data about your shipments and analyze it to identify areas for improvement, such as delivery times, costs, and customer satisfaction. Adjust your shipping strategies based on this data to become more efficient and reduce costs.In this article, you will find a list of the best shipping analytics software.

Cloud-based parcel and shipping platforms: pricing overview 2024

Software Description Price
Outvio Revolutionizes order management and customer service, offering an end-to-end cloud-based platform. From $125/month, your entire operation is optimized.
ShipBob Cloud-based shipping software for distribution companies, offering automation, reporting, and customization features. Personalized pricing plan
Easyship Cloud-based shipping software with integrations to multiple carriers, pre-negotiated rates, and automation features. From $29/month
Shippo Cloud-based shipping company specializing in multi-carrier integration, real-time rate comparison, and tracking notifications. From $19/month
Aftership Popular shipping and tracking plugin with module system for customization and notifications. Starting from $9/month, only tracking
ShipStation Cloud shipping management platform facilitating rate comparison, label printing, and tracking notifications From 9 euros/month up to 50 shipments
Sendcloud Cloud platform for eCommerce shipment automation and returns, specializing in tracking with direct carrier integration. Starting from 23 euros/month

Conclusion

As a logistics professional, it is your responsibility to find solutions to optimize your operational processes. In that sense, implementing cloud-based shipping software represents a significant improvement for your business. This cloud-based shipping solution streamlines your shipping operations and enhances efficiency throughout your supply chain.

Not only does this technology simplify supply chain management, but it also transforms the way customers interact with your brand during the ordering phase, which is essential for customer retention. With a cloud-based shipping management system, you can provide real-time tracking updates, offer multiple shipping options, and ensure timely delivery, thereby enhancing the overall customer experience.

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