An Integrated Import and Export Solution for ShipLowCost
Following the delivery of a successful web-enabled logistics solution in 2013, ICON’s long-standing client Express Group, a dynamic international transport organisation, has yet again entrusted us to handle their new business line. Back in 2013, Express Group identified an opportunity to introduce a service to move goods between countries in which pre-existing logistic networks were poor or too expensive. As a result, www.shiplowcost.com came into being. Seven years forward, ICON has now developed an integrated solution for ShipLowCost, introducing an export service.
Alongside the import service, the revamped portal, which went live as of 1st June 2018, offers individuals and businesses a hassle-free way to ship their goods abroad. The new export service allows individuals and businesses locally to reach millions of potential buyers at their doorsteps around Europe and worldwide.
With an ever-evolving e-commerce industry, ShipLowCost’s principal objective was to provide the B2C and B2B Maltese community with the possibility of exporting goods which need to be shipped from Malta to any other country, through a door-to-door service. This is made possible through ShipLowCost’s export road services in combination with a number of foreign partners.
In offering this new export service, ShipLowCost strived to give customers a complete end-to-end service; one in which customers will be able to find everything they require in one place through a variety of useful features. Such features range from the buying of ancillary products and services to the buying of labels, from exporting in bulk to the tracking of orders, amongst others.
With the introduction of the new export service alongside the already-existing import service, ICON also endeavored to facilitate online operations for ShipLowCost. Thus, ICON aimed to provide the client with accurate, real-time, easy-to-access data for the processing of shipment bookings, reports, and business intelligence. In addition to this, with ICON’s new solution, ShipLowCost would be able to manage all aspects of the shipping management system.
ICON set out to develop a front-end portal from which prospective customers can obtain a quote and book transport services for goods which they need to export. This includes supporting processes such as registration and authentication as well as access to a dashboard from which customers can manage their account preferences, view their shipping booking history, purchase ancillary products and services, print labels and manage bulk orders.
Another component of this project is a transport management (back-end) system which shall be used by ShipLowCost and its partners. This covers the entire cycle of the shipping process from the management of shipping rates and delivery options all the way to the processing of orders, issuing of reports and analysis of data for the continual improvement of the system.
Benefits for front-end portal users
Responsive homepage design
Upon accessing www.shiplowcost.com, users will be greeted with a new responsive homepage design from which they will be able to obtain a quote seamlessly without the need to select ‘Export’ or ‘Import’. This is made possible through the portal’s intelligence in recognizing the user’s intentions based on which shipping destination the user chooses. The calculator, shipping rates, restrictions and related processes will change automatically based on such actions. Additionally, during the same process, users can make both an import and an export shipping booking.
UI & UX experts were responsible for carrying out upgrades of the overall look and feel of the portal, such as improvements to the font style and size as well as improvements to the background colours. The main UI & UX upgrades were made to the shipping calculator and shopping process itself as to include the new ‘Export’ features. Moreover, it was ensured that users will be able to access the new platform from different devices and browsers. Users can also communicate their queries to ShipLowCost via the live chat available.
Introducing the Mini Shop
Customers making use of the export service are guaranteed an end-to-end service when using ShipLowCost. This is because the new portal also offers them the possibility of purchasing an additional ancillary product for future exports, such as box packaging. Alongside this, customers will also be able to print labels in line with ShipLowCost’s partners’ requirements. For peace of mind when exporting goods, customers can also opt to fully insure their goods.
As to keep an eye on both their imported and exported goods, customers using ShipLowCost are equipped with the ability to track their shipment status as well to view their shipment history. Additionally, those using the export service can also keep their own clients informed of the shipping tracking status with ease via email.
Customers seeking to export goods can now also do so in bulk. Such a process will cater for the needs of businesses of all sizes as their exportation processes will be greatly facilitated. They can do so by utilizing the ‘Upload Bulk Shipment’ feature, which allows users to upload a CSV file. Exporters are also given the choice between a fast or a standard delivery.
In developing the system, users’ security was safeguarded through secure browsing (HTTPS), access control, control of records and audit logs. This was done to ensure that customer data is protected at all times.
Benefits for back-end portal users
Efficient management system
With the new solution, ICON helped ShipLowCost streamline and automate backend processes as to enable the client to handle customer requests more efficiently. To facilitate this process, an easy-to-use Administrator dashboard was developed. Such processes as the managing of shipping orders, shipping status, shipping coverage as well as multiple shipping rate and delivery options were taken into consideration to enhance efficiency. The management of payments, refunds and vouchers was also another area which ICON delved deeply into, along with the running of the mini shop.
Real-time tracking and analysing
Alongside Google Analytics, ICON implemented the UX and conversion optimisation analysis tool HotJar. This monitoring tool focuses on users’ behaviour on the portal using screen recordings, heat maps as well as conversion funnel. Through this tool, ShipLowCost can also set up pop-up surveys to gather qualitative data at specific moments of the user’s journey on the portal. These insights will assist ShipLowCost in better understanding its customers’ needs as well as in identifying any issues which may be preventing users from completing a task.
Enhancement of the pricing logic
The process and pricing logic system was enhanced to enable ShipLowCost to handle pricing, vouchers and special offers from both an import and export point of view.
As the e-commerce industry advances, customers’ expectations of online shopping processes are increasing. With ICON’s new solution, ShipLowCost’s clients can now take advantage of a stress-free import and export service that is operated by an advanced transportation management system. With all the innovative features available on the portal, from the bulk shipment to the mini shop to the live chat, the new ShipLowCost integrated solution can exceed customer expectations.
Are you looking to turn your exciting idea into a reality? Contact us today to find out how ICON can help you achieve your business goals.