Integrating Shipping/Logistics with Magento eCommerce Site
Magento is an eCommerce platform built on open source technology that provides online merchants with control over the look, contents and even functionality of the respective online stores. The appended advantages of this platform are as follows:
- Powerful Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Catalog Management Tools
- A dynamic and flexible Shopping Cart System
The unique ability of Magento to scale allows retailers with even a few products to easily expand to tens of thousands of products and complex custom behavior without changing the platform at all through a variety of plug-ins and themes to increase customers’ shopping experiences.
Although this eCommerce development platform is designed to be utilized as a free application by anyone who needs not be a developer, since it is a robust system altogether, integrating other systems like the logistics division with the existing online shopping portal, the need of experienced and skilled developers will definitely be felt. This concept applies to almost all such platforms because custom functionality requires complex coding/programming and cannot be achieved by a simple code.
Speed is the main essence of any eCommerce website because no customer/consumer wishes to stay lingering on one phase of online shopping like the selection of products and then has to wait for systems to reload for moving on to making payment. This undesirable and unwanted feature will leave a bitter taste to the customer’s online shopping experience.
So long, the best practice has been to have an ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning between the two systems, i.e., the system of Magento eCommerce portal and the system of desired Logistics partner. Thus, in this way, the chances of duplication of data items will be eliminated along with the status of the placed order by the customer always being in real time and updated. However, for startups or small businesses with limited investments and less number of financial resources, ERP cannot be afforded; so, they can adopt the tried and tested old method of using an Application Programming Interface (API) layer.
Integration of shipping partners with Magento eStores is easy as one has to only install a plugin or extension mostly provided by shipping aggregators like ShipRocket. Logistics is all about penetration and coverage of geographical area under operation. Following features are also expected to be available as functionalities:
- Admin can enable/disable the existing shipping method.
- Logistics related cost can be calculated by using the Admin’s origin & destination address.
- Admin can set specific countries for Logistics integration and operation.
- All information regarding shipping fare is saved into the database categorically.
The working is quite simple. Once the order is placed on the website, customer details and shipping methods get invoiced to the customer and details are sent to shipment vendor from where they deliver to the fulfillment section. It works with synchronization and shipping confirmation along with delivery details are sent to the customer for tracking.
Hence, integration of logistics partners with Magento eCommerce portals is easy, handy and time-efficient.