Selling products online is easy. But shipping those products is not, as e-commerce merchants contend with continuously increasing customer expectations around speed, price and convenience.
Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) customers, though, are about to receive a massive boost to their fulfillment capabilities through the company’s integration with Shippo for Platforms, a new offering launched by Bay Area-based Shippo on Wednesday. Shopify will become the first platform to leverage the solution, starting in European markets.
Shippo is similar to a service like Bringg or Walmart GoLocal that allows sellers to leverage fleet capacity to fulfill e-commerce and other orders. But the Shippo for Platforms offering is geared less toward retail businesses and more toward marketplaces — its value lies in enabling those e-commerce platforms to offer their buyers and sellers a premium shipping experience.
Platforms that sign on to the new service will be able to leverage Shippo’s prenegotiated rates, integrated billing services and a global network of over 85 carrier partners.
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“Since day one, Shippo’s mission has been to eliminate these complexities for e-commerce merchants. We help merchants grow their businesses by offering a modern shipping experience, and it’s our ultimate goal that all businesses, regardless of size, have access to shipping tools that help them compete at scale,” said Shippo President and co-founder Simon Kreuz. “Shippo for Platforms ensures merchants can access Shippo’s entire shipping infrastructure seamlessly integrated within the platforms they know and love.”
Shopify, which offers its own fulfillment service leveraging networks of fulfillment centers and national carriers such as the Postal Service, Canada Post and Sendle in Australia. The company sees a partnership with Shippo as a way to ease the burden of global shipping that many of its merchants face.
“To succeed in commerce today, merchants must be able to get packages into the hands of their customers quickly and affordably,” Kaz Nejatian, vice president of merchant services at Shopify, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Shippo allows our merchants to meet consumer expectations for convenience, speed and cost without having to be a shipping expert themselves.”
For Shopify sellers, the partnership means that they’ll be able to manage their shipping and fulfillment services directly through the e-commerce platform without having to worry about in-house development. Through Shippo for Platforms, Shopify will be able to offer merchants lower, prenegotiated carrier rates and a turnkey end-user experience that allows for easy onboarding of carriers.
“Third-party apps are clunky and often result in a poor user experience,” Kreuz said, “but natively integrating Shippo’s shipping capabilities directly within the Shopify platform helps ensure their merchants enjoy all the benefits of Shippo while maintaining the seamless experience they have come to expect from Shopify.”
However, Shopify is just the first partner to sign onto Shippo for Platforms. As more and more platforms test out the service, Shippo will increasingly be able to meet e-commerce merchants in the places they sell.
“All businesses, regardless of size, deserve access to shipping tools that help them compete at scale,” Kreuz added. “I’m excited to keep raising the bar and empowering modern e-commerce merchants worldwide to ship better.”