Business Wire, December 16, 2008.
Enhanced Program Presents Revenue Opportunity for E-commerce Software Developers and Shipping Affiliates
Supply chain logistics and transportation is a fragmented multi-billion dollar industry that has not traditionally catered to small and medium sized e-tailers. One piece of the puzzle, order fulfillment, is particularly time consuming and complex for businesses to manage independently. Recognizing this opportunity, Shipwire, a leading e-commerce order fulfillment service and transportation logistics company, provides the e-commerce community with tools to offer shipping and fulfillment as a value-added service via the Shipwire Shipping Affiliate Partner Program.
Since launching the Shipping Affiliate Partner Program in December 2007, more than 150 developers and e-commerce partners have built applications on top of the Shipwire Fulfillment Web Services platform; extending the functionality of their shopping carts, inventory management tools and business applications. To support its growing community, Shipwire today announces enhancements and additional shipping web services for its shipping partner program, including APIs and XML testing tools that allow independent software developers to add transparency to the shipping process, reduce customer support costs and increase data communications between e-commerce applications. Participation in the program is free and unlike UPS affiliate , FedEx affiliate and USPS affiliate programs, offers long-term commission earnings each time a merchant ships through Shipwire.
“The shipping and order fulfillment process was long seen as the dreaded last mile of the e-commerce process for small-to-medium sized businesses—full of hassle, costs and labor-intensive steps,” said Nate Gilmore, vice president at Shipwire. “Shipwire turns that reputation on its head; transforming order fulfillment into a streamlined process and an opportunity for cost savings, revenue and market growth. The enhancements to the program provide e-commerce partners with a shipping and fulfillment web services toolkit to save hassles, time and money while enabling international sales growth and greater shipping status transparency for online buyers.”
In 2008, Shipwire merchants averaged a 32 percent reduction in per-item parcel shipping costs by leveraging Shipwire’s multiple warehouses to ship goods shorter distances to end buyers. Shipwire merchants also continued to grow international sales in 2008. Leveraging Shipwire warehouses in Canada and the U.K., in Q3 2008 Shipwire merchants were able to dramatically reduce international shipping costs while expanding international orders to 15 percent of total volume, up from 9 percent in Q2 2008. By partnering with Shipwire, the e-commerce community for the first time is able to establish a significant long-term revenue channel while solving merchant challenges such as rising shipping rates, international fulfillment complexities and expanding into new growth markets while lowering customer support costs.
Integrations Deliver New Revenue and Market Opportunities
When partners integrate with Shipwire they can now leverage new Shipwire Fulfillment Web Services features including: a multi-carrier shipping rate API, enabling shopping cart providers to integrate selected parcel shipping rates directly into the checkout process. Developers choose specific carriers and merchant inventory locations from Shipwire options, or opt in for the Merchant Package Service, which provides the best shipping rate available by matching shipping preferences pre-selected by the merchant. Shipwire offers shipping rates and integration with parcel and freight carriers including UPS, FedEx, USPS, Canada Post, Royal Mail, FedEx freight, Eurotrux, and Parcel Force. An additional Web fulfillment service feature adds inbound receiving APIs so that inventory management systems can inform Shipwire of inbound inventory and anticipated receiving times.
Shipwire also introduces enhancements to existing Web services including:
- Order fulfillment web services API: Includes retrieval of detailed order status and scripted cancellation and manipulation of orders.
- Inventory Web services API: Allows for product export, product attribute manipulation and scripted reporting of “pending” and “shipped” counts as well as anticipated ship date for back orders.
- Tracking Web services API: New calls for whether a package has shipped and pending ship dates, as well as more detailed status updates available via API.
While each partner integration is unique, these examples illustrate how the Web services developer community is leveraging the Shipwire partner program to find new revenue opportunities and facilitate merchant success:
Leveraging Shipping to Increase Merchant’s Bottom Line: Shopify delivers to retailers the tools to design and build a successful e-commerce store that attracts and retains customers. Shopify integrated with the Shipwire API to improve the internet-delivered application for its increasingly savvy e-tailor customer base; adding order submission, inventory control and shipment tracking. “Since releasing the Shipwire integration we have seen very favorable merchant response including many signups to the service and we have received thousands of dollars in partnership commissions from Shipwire,” says Shopify CEO Tobias Leutke. “We are now able to help merchants control shipping costs and save time and hassles—all they do to ship an order is click a button in the Shopify interface. With Shipwire, we have a powerful new revenue stream for the entire Shopify community.”
Going Global with Proven Shipping Infrastructure: Zen Cart, a free open-source shopping cart software provider, needed a shipping solution that was on-demand and scalable for Zen Cart merchants who wanted to extend into international markets. According to Zen Ventures, LLC’s CEO Kim Elliott, “Shipwire allowed us to quickly enter the order fulfillment market and offer a leading solution to Zen Cart users with virtually no time investment. Many international merchants use Zen Cart and many more want to sell internationally. We estimate that 25 percent or more of our users are in need of local or international order fulfillment and the Shipwire Zen Cart module makes this a reality by enabling orders to be manually or automatically sent to Shipwire for fulfillment out of warehouses in the U.S., Canada and the UK.”
Delivering on the Last Mile for Successful E-Commerce Order Fulfillment: Solid Cactus provides e-commerce design, order management, and Internet marketing for 3,000 e-commerce stores, but was missing the last mile—order fulfillment. “Merchants had repeatedly asked us to add an order fulfillment solution, and once we launched our new online order management solution, we immediately looked to Shipwire as a partner,” says Kurt Illian, vice president of business development. “There’s real feedback and insight into delivery times with Shipwire. Plus, the partner team gave us the marketing and sales support to confidently recommend the service to all our merchants.”
Monetizing Shipping Opens Up New Services for Miva Merchant’s Customers: Miva Merchant, a shopping cart software and Web design service to small businesses for over a decade, recently partnered with Shipwire to offer affordable fulfillment services to an array of small merchants. According to Rick Wilson, executive vice president, “The Shipwire partner program allows us to release our entire e-commerce software module at no cost to the merchant. Coupled with Shipwire’s free trial, a Miva Merchant customer can test out the entire service package without any investment or risk whatsoever.”
Further details about these integrations and additional program information are available at http://www.shipwire.com/partner.
About Shipwire (http://www.shipwire.com)
Shipwire provides growing e-tailers with e-commerce order fulfillment services powered by a global warehouse network and its Store-Sell-Ship™ platform. Shipwire eliminates the hassle of storage and shipping, so merchants can focus on growth. With warehouses in Los Angeles, Reno, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver and the UK, Shipwire allows merchants to drastically reduce shipping costs by locating inventory closer to buyers. Usage-based plans start at just $29/month, and enable merchants to locate inventory in all warehouses, with no contract commitments. Shipwire is the only warehouse logistics service that instantly integrates with shopping carts and inventory management systems. Shipwire is developer and partner friendly; learn more about our shipping affliate partner program or get our outsourced e-commerce order fulfillment guide at http://www.shipwire.com/partner. Stay up to date with our shipping fulfillment blog. Print online postage USPS. For a free trial or more information, contact 1-888-SHIPWIRE or visit http://www.shipwire.com/trial.
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