Shopify is a trustworthy partner in the world of online selling for many of those with an eCommerce store. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, it’s a tool that helps businesses, big and small, run their online shops smoothly. Starting out, managing orders in Shopify isn’t too complex. However, as businesses inevitably start to grow and see an uptick in sales, the process becomes more intricate, and the volume of orders can quickly become overwhelming.
This is where the need for route planning software comes in!
The manual processes that once were enough, may now lead to inefficiencies, delays and errors. To maintain the level of service expected by customers, it becomes essential to embrace modern solutions. Integrating Shopify with a delivery route planner becomes a strategic partnership in navigating the complexities of order fulfillment.
In the following sections, we will explore the ins and outs of this integration, offering insights into how it can be achieved and the benefits it can bring:
New to Shopify? Here are some stats!
- Over 4.36 million websites are using Shopify
- Shopify is used in 175 countries around the world
- Nearly 649 million people purchased from a Shopify store in 2022 alone
- Over 50% of Shopify stores Receive Recurring Customers
- Shopify possesses 10% of the global eCommerce platform market
How to Integrate Shopify with a Route Planner
Integrating Shopify with a delivery route planner might sound complicated, but it's actually quite doable! There are a few methods you can use, and you certainly don't need to be a tech expert to get the job done:
1. Out-of-the-Box Integrations: For a straightforward and user-friendly approach, many route planners offer pre-built integrations that seamlessly connect with Shopify. These integrations are designed to work smoothly without the need for technical expertise, making them an excellent choice for those who prefer simplicity.
2. Zapier Integration: If you're looking for a versatile and hassle-free way to link your Shopify store with a route planner, Zapier comes to the rescue. This tool acts as a bridge, allowing data to flow between Shopify and the route planner. With Zapier, you can often find pre-made "Zaps" that simplify the integration process, making it accessible to a wide range of users.
3. Open API: For those who require a more customized approach or are using a route planner without a built-in integration, the open API option is available. Think of an open API as a way for different software systems to communicate. While this approach offers more flexibility, it may require a certain level of technical expertise to set up effectively. (Tip: If you're not tech-savvy, consider seeking assistance to ensure a smooth integration!)
SmartRoutes Route Planning Software
Streamline your entire delivery process, all from one platform
2-Way Integration with Shopify
When a customer places an order on your Shopify site, this integration swiftly gathers all the vital order details - what's been ordered, where it's going and when it's expected to reach its destination. This important information is automatically shared with your route planner.
Your route planner then takes these order details and arranges them into delivery routes. If you've set specific rules or parameters, like "deliver to a certain location on certain days," or “make sure all my drivers finish at the same time”, your route planner will take all of this into account when creating the routes.
As your delivery driver(s) completes each delivery, the delivery is marked as "fulfilled" in your Shopify store. This ensures that your records are always up-to-date in real-time. No more manual data entry, no room for errors and certainly no time wasted.
This allows your customers to stay in the loop throughout the entire delivery process. They no longer have to wonder, "Where's my order?" With real-time updates, they know exactly where their precious package is on its journey to their doorstep.
Benefits of Integrating Shopify with a Route Planner
Remove Manual Processes
One significant benefit of automating your order fulfillment through a route planner is removing the need to manually mark orders as complete in Shopify once they have been delivered. Automation simplifies this process, saving you time and reducing the chances of errors.
By removing manual data entry from the equation, you also eliminate the potential for delayed or misplaced deliveries. Automation ensures that each order seamlessly and instantly finds its place in the delivery schedule, streamlining the entire process.
One standout benefit of automating order fulfillment through a route planner is the substantial boost in operational efficiency. This means you can swiftly identify and tackle any roadblocks or inefficiencies in your order fulfillment operations.
With manual order entry out of the picture, you're not only saving time but also removing the potential for human error in placing delivery orders within the logistics chain. Automation ensures that your orders smoothly transition from your store to the delivery process, avoiding bottlenecks, and keeping everything on track. It's a significant step toward achieving a highly efficient and responsive order fulfillment system.
Customers Kept in the Loop
One of the standout advantages of integrating Shopify with a route planner is the ability to keep your customers well-informed throughout the entire delivery process. With this integration, your customers receive automated SMS and/or email notifications, ensuring they are in the loop at every crucial stage of their order's journey.
These notifications offer flexibility and options tailored to meet your customers' needs:
- Planned Delivery (Advance Notice): Customers can receive a heads-up well in advance of their scheduled delivery. This means they can plan their day knowing when to expect their order.
- On Start Route (Driver's Departure): As soon as your delivery driver clicks "Start Route" on their driver app, customers are notified. This keeps them informed right from the moment their order is on its way.
- Out for Delivery (30-Minute Warning): Using geofencing data, your system can determine when your driver is just 30 minutes away from the customer's location. The out for delivery notification allows customers to be ready to receive their order.
- After Delivery (Completion and Proof): The journey doesn't end with delivery. After the driver marks the delivery as complete, customers can receive notifications, including proof of delivery (POD). This can include copies of the POD for added peace of mind.
By offering these options, you provide a level of control and transparency that customers appreciate. They can choose how they want to be updated and stay informed every step of the way, from the moment their order is placed to its successful fulfillment.
Choosing the Right Route Planner
Selecting the right route planner for your business is an important decision. To help you make an informed choice, consider the following factors when evaluating route planners:
Integration Compatibility: Ensure that the route planner you select seamlessly integrates with your existing systems, such as your Shopify store. Compatibility is vital to avoid technical hiccups and data transfer issues during implementation.
Scalability: When choosing a route planner, think about your business's future growth. Is the solution scalable? Can it handle an increase in orders and deliveries as your business expands? Opt for a route planner that can adapt to your evolving needs, ensuring a seamless transition as your business thrives.
Pricing: Cost is a significant consideration. Route planners come with various pricing models, from monthly subscriptions to pay-per-use options. Analyze your budget and determine which pricing structure aligns with your financial goals. Keep in mind that while some route planners may seem cost-effective, they might lack essential features, so strike a balance between cost and functionality.
Features: Take a close look at the features offered by different route planners. Consider which functionalities are crucial for your business. For instance, do you need geofencing capabilities, real-time tracking, or advanced reporting? Make a checklist of must-have features and compare route planners based on their offerings.
Customer Support: Reliable customer support is essential, especially during the onboarding process and in case of technical difficulties. Check the availability of customer support, response times, and the level of assistance offered.
Remember that the right route planner should enhance your delivery operations, streamline processes, and ultimately contribute to improved customer satisfaction. By carefully evaluating these factors, you'll be better equipped to select a route planner that meets your business needs.
[Need help choosing a route planner? We have carefully selected: 5 of the Best Route Planner Apps]
Case Study: Kerrigans
Kerrigans is a family run butchers based in Dublin and in 2015, the business took a massive leap. They began to deliver orders nationwide through their Shopify-hosted website. With expansion came the need for a streamlined delivery route planning solution.
Facing challenges with third-party delivery providers, Kerrigans decided to take control of their deliveries, focusing on the greater Dublin area. They soon realized the inefficiency of manually inputting every stop on delivery routes using Google Maps. At the time, Google Maps didn't support Eircodes (Irish postal codes), resulting in inaccurate deliveries. Frustrated and seeking a more effective solution, Kerrigans turned to SmartRoutes.
Kerrigans had clear objectives when they embarked on this journey:
- Reduce administrative workload
- Enhance the customer experience with precise notifications and estimated time of arrival (ETA)
- Optimize delivery catchment areas
- Seamlessly integrate Shopify into their delivery operations, eliminating manual updates
The integration of SmartRoutes and Shopify brought substantial benefits to Kerrigans. The Shopify integration streamlined their order fulfillment process, eliminating manual interventions and operational inefficiencies. This comprehensive solution not only saved time but also provided customers with a superior delivery experience, from accurate notifications to live tracking and reducing missed deliveries. Efficient zoning proved particularly helpful during peak periods, ensuring cost-effective deliveries. This integrated order fulfillment process now allows the team to concentrate on other important parts of the business.
Integrating SmartRoutes with your Shopify Store
This integration collects data from your Shopify store and seamlessly transfers it to the SmartRoutes platform, all without the need for manual data entry. This data guides SmartRoutes in assigning orders to the right delivery teams and ensures customer information and addresses are up to date.
For your delivery teams, everything they need is available on the SmartRoutes mobile app, making the delivery process a breeze. Real-time updates and information flow seamlessly, enhancing the efficiency of your operations.
Not only does SmartRoutes make order management easier, but it also offers a two-way integration with Shopify. This can be done in 2 ways:
- Once your orders have been routed/sent to drivers they are marked as fulfilled in Shopify
- Once your delivery drivers mark orders as completed in the SmartRoutes app, the same status is automatically updated in your Shopify store.
Once you have signed up with SmartRoutes you can contact the support team and they will set you up with minimal effort on your part! Or if you prefer you can use Zapier to connect SmartRoutes with your Shopify store.
SmartRoutes: Your Shopify Order Fulfillment Solution
While delivery software might not be the first thing on your mind when you start selling on Shopify, the benefits speak for themselves. Streamlining your order fulfillment process with a route planner not only saves time but also enhances customer satisfaction by ensuring on-time deliveries.
If you haven't started using SmartRoutes yet, we recommend taking advantage of our 7-day free trial to get acquainted with the interface. Why not try creating a route and dispatching it to a driver to see how it works for you? If you decide to purchase a subscription, our Shopify integration is available on our Standard plan and above. Start optimizing your Shopify order fulfillment with SmartRoutes today!
Frequently asked questions
1. Is technical expertise required to set up a route planner for Shopify integration?
The technical requirements for setting up a route planner with Shopify can vary depending on the chosen route planner and its integration options. Some platforms are designed to be user-friendly, while others may require more technical know-how. Contact the platform's support team for guidance if needed.
2. How can integrating a route planner with Shopify enhance the customer experience for online orders?
Integrating a route planner with Shopify can improve the customer experience by ensuring timely deliveries, providing real-time order tracking, and reducing the likelihood of missed deliveries. It streamlines the order fulfillment process, resulting in increased customer satisfaction.
3. Can a route planner be used for both local and nationwide deliveries in eCommerce businesses?
Yes, route planners are versatile tools suitable for managing both local and nationwide deliveries in eCommerce. They can be customized to meet the specific delivery needs of your business.
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