Today’s D2C ecommerce merchants face intense competition. Your work isn’t done after your customers have completed their transactions. The delivery process is a critical component of the customer experience. Consumers expect convenient and personalized shipping solutions that meet their needs.
For many D2C ecommerce businesses, offering a 2-day Amazon-like shipping service is no longer just an option. Instead, it is the key to staying competitive, driving conversions, and building customer loyalty. This is not an easy feat, mainly due to the complexity of the logistics industry. You need 100% visibility and seamless control over every part of your fulfillment process to make that happen.
The good news is that open APIs can help you connect the dots by unlocking the power of automation. They enable you to leverage various technologies so you can improve cost-efficiency and customer experience.
Remind Me… What’s an API?
You might have heard this term before but what exactly does an API do? Here’s a refresher:
API stands for “application programming interface.” It’s a set of protocols that sync up data in real-time across various platforms by allowing the backends of software and applications to communicate with each other over the internet.
With the help of an API, one program (application A) can “call” another program (application B) to access its data or functionalities. For example, users can see data from application A via application B’s interface without manually transferring the data from one program to another. API integrations allow users to automate processes across various digital applications to make the flow of information seamless and instantaneous.
There are different types of APIs. Open or public APIs are publicly available to developers and other users with minimal restriction. Partner APIs are only available to business or strategic partners and often require an onboarding process. Meanwhile, composite APIs combine multiple data or service APIs so that a system can access several endpoints in one call.
APIs allow companies to integrate shipping functionality directly into their system or other platforms so they can customize the interfaces to improve productivity and expand fulfillment capabilities while minimizing errors and delays associated with manually transferring data.
The Benefits of APIs in Logistics
APIs are commonly used by logistics companies to bridge information gaps between carriers, shippers, brokers, customers, and other supply chain partners. Common fulfillment-related systems that utilize APIs include freight rating, freight tracking, freight dispatching, and document retrieval.
API integrations automate processes and data transfer across digital applications to facilitate the seamless flow of information among businesses, partners, 3PL providers, and customers. You can get instant updates on all your shipments and provide tracking to your customers to improve their experience.
A seamless connection to your shipping carrier helps you drive more sales by delivering an outstanding customer experience. It also improves your operational cost-efficiency to increase your ROI. Here are some key advantage of using API integration:
API Integrations Improve Operational Cost-Efficiency
- Automation: Create automated workflows to eliminate the need to manually transfer data between software platforms — a task that is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and error-prone.
- Customization: Set up a customized dashboard to show the most relevant information so you can see all your logistics and supply chain data in one place.
- Flexibility: Meet new requirements necessitated by process or platform updates without overhauling your systems, a task that’s both costly and time-consuming.
- Simple Connections: Reduce IT budget and resource needs since APIs can be activated through a simple internet connection.
API Integrations Improve Customer Experience
- Customer self-service: Provide tracking links to your customers to lower the cost associated with customer service requests.
- User experience: Embed real-time tracking information on your website to deliver a seamless customer experience that aligns with your brand.
- Personalization: Deliver a personalized experience by providing shipping details to visitors (e.g., shipping cost and estimated delivery time) based on their profile information.
- Supply chain visibility: Provide detailed shipping information to shoppers before checkout to increase transparency and reduce cart abandonment.
Scale Your D2C Ecommerce Brand With a Carrier That Offers an Open API
Ready to tap into the power of APIs to improve the logistics cost-efficiency of your D2C ecommerce business? You need to partner with a carrier that offers powerful integrations to help you scale your business and support your growth. X’s open API enables you to:
- Leverage regional carriers to get the best rates while having the “last mile” covered without extra costs or unnecessary delays.
- Consolidate the number of carriers and reduce the number of truck pickups from an average of 5 down to 1 to minimize errors and delays.
- Scale your business so you don’t have to worry about outgrowing a homegrown system. You can keep your system up-to-date with the latest features to facilitate your shipping process.
- Access various shipping options so you aren’t constrained by the shipping time and cost of major carriers. You can deliver products to your customers quickly without adding to your operating expenses.
- Eliminate barriers to integration and promote rapid innovation within your organizations to increase profit margins and deliver the best customer experience.
Our API drives the future of logistics management. We help you simplify package delivery through technology, reliability, speed, and price by leveraging in-motion supply chain assets to give you the best shipping options available in real-time.
See how X can help you seamlessly integrate fulfillment into your business and Reimagine Delivery.