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API logistic management

How APIs are Disrupting D2C Shipping and Logistics Management

The Indian D2C market is getting extensively competitive with every passing day. Brand’s work does not get over with customers just making the transaction. Delivering the products to the end customer is critical for brands striving to provide a customer experience. Consumers in the present era expect convenient and personalized shipping solutions to meet their needs. Be offering 2-day delivery similar to giants like Amazon is not just an option; or giving personalized customer experience or communicating with the customer through the shipment journey and selecting the right logistics partner, logistics management is not easy to achieve, majorly due to the complexities of the logistics experience. Brands must have 100% visibility and seamless control over their shipping, logistics, and fulfillment operations to provide hassle-free deliveries to the end customers.

However, the above-mentioned tedious tasks can be efficiently performed with the help of APIs. Application programming interface or API can connect the dots for brands by leveraging automation and enabling the D2C brands to leverage multiple technologies to improve cost-efficiency and customer experience. While most of the logistics players expose their APIs for sellers/D2C brands to use, integrating these on internal systems becomes a major challenge because of the variability across partners and the different use cases each logistics partner’s is created for.

Before looking into API’s impact, importance, and benefits in logistics management, let’s dig deeper into the term Application Programming Interface (API).

What is an API?

API

API or application programming interface is a set of protocols that enable the users to sync the data in real-time across multiple platforms by opening a communication channel between the software’s backend and an application over the internet. In a layman’s language, an API allows one program to call another to access its data or functionalities. For example, An application X can access another application Y’s data without manually transferring the data from A to B with the help of an API.

Majorly the APIs can be classified into three categories, Open, Partner, and Composite. Among these, open APIs are publicly available for developers with minimal or no restrictions. On the other hand, partner APIs are usually licensed programs that enterprises majorly use. Composite APIs combine multiple data or service APIs so that a system can access several endpoints in one call. 

Since the definition of an application programming interface is clear, let’s look at the benefits of APIs in logistics management.

Benefits of APIs in Logistics Management

 APIs in Logistics Management

Logistics companies extensively use APIs to mend the gaps between carriers, customers, and brands. Some application programming interfaces for logistics management are freight calculator, order tracking, product dispatching, and document verification. Integrating APIs allows the brands to automate the data transfer processes across multiple digital applications to facilitate an uninterrupted information flow among 3PLs, partners, businesses, and customers. The brands can get instant updates on the shipments and provide end customers with the tracking details resulting in an improved customer experience.

Let’s look at some of the additional advantages of APIs in logistics management:

Improved Operational Cost

As stated earlier, APIs automate the data transfer workflows, eliminating the tedious task of manual data transfer. Since data manual data transfer is a labor-intensive and time-consuming task, they often result in increased operational cost. By automating this task with the help of an application programming interface, brands can reduce the cost involved in managing the resource required for the manual data transfer process. On the other hand, APIs are customizable, scalable, and flexible, allowing brands to overhaul their operations without elevating costs.

Leverage Real-time Data

Providing accurate information to customers about their products is essential for D2C brands. It allows the brands to develop a stronger brand-customer relationship. However, the information that the customer requires must be updated. This is only possible when the brands use real-time logistics. Application programming interface or API allows D2C brands to leverage real-time logistics data for logistics management, allowing them to provide accurate information about the whereabouts of their products.

Enhanced Decision Making

There are chances that orders might return due to reasons such as bad addresses, inaccessible zones, endangered regions, or customer unavailability. As a result of these returned orders, the brands have to bare the cost of reverse logistics, resulting in the shortening of their profit margins. Having an API for logistics management integrated into the brand’s environment allows the stakeholders to make better decisions, such as restricting COD features, notifying the customer about the delivery, and asking the customer to convert a COD order into prepaid. This allows the brands with better logistics management to restrict the loss with better decision-making.

Augmented Customer Experience

APIs allow the D2C brands to provide tracking links to the customers that reduce the cost associated with customer service requests and help the brands deliver a better customer experience. Moreover, the embedded real-time tracking notification systems also allow the customers to connect with the brands making them feel special, resulting in an improved customer experience.

Pickrr’s API: New Frontier of Logistics Management

Pickrr’s tech-enabled logistics management system is designed to provide end customers with a state-of-the-art pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase experience. Powered with advanced technologies such as AI and ML, Pickrr provides seamless functionalities of order placements, weight dispute resolution, order tracking notifications, NDR workflows and RTO prediction. 

Pickrr APIs can be used across the 17+ logistics partners that Pickrr integrates with and the best part is that integrating with Pickrr APIs is a one time process and Pickrr internally takes care of how the data flow/fetch occurs to/from the end logistics partners. Owing to the benefits and ease of operations, Pickkr API for logistics management helps brands to provide a seamless shopping experience to their customers.

In case a D2C brands want to add a new service or a new logistics partner to improve their operations or customer experience, there is 0 tech effort required to integrate the same as Pickrr’s custom APIs work seamlessly across partners.

Conclusion

Besides technical benefits, logistics management APIs are disrupting the shipping and logistics industry with business advantages. The tech-enabled application programming interfaces allow the D2C brands to communicate with customers directly, encouraging brand-customer engagement and further improving the shopper’s post-purchase experience. Additionally, the ease of integrating APIs with the brand’s environment further makes them a must-have tool for D2C businesses. Connect with us to know how APIs can help enterprises to gain a competitive advantage.

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