Client

Liftwing is a 3PL Logistics Service Provider specializing in inventory management, warehousing and eCommerce fulfillment. Liftwing is U.S. based and located in Connecticut.

 

Summary

As an eCommerce fulfillment center, Chain.io client Liftwing always provided deep integration to Shopify; however one component was missing.  Clients were required to use their own (expensive) parcel rates, or Liftwing was required to expose their costs directly to their clients without an opportunity to profit from the beneficial rates they could provide by aggregating their clients shipping.

By leveraging Chain.io’s connections with both Shopify and the parcel rating systems, Liftwing is able to collect shopping cart data in real time and present consumers with a cheaper shipping rate than they would have received directly from the client while also applying a reasonable margin to each transaction.

Opportunity

The eCommerce industry is rapidly growing and small and medium eCommerce stores are increasingly relying on Logistics Service Providers for additional services beyond the basic fulfillment activities. Much like the consumers they service, eCommerce store owners are seeking a turnkey service that they can fully outsource so they can focus on developing and marketing their product.  

In this light, Chain.io client Liftwing recognized that they could provide additional client value by leveraging their significant parcel volume to present less expensive shipping rates to their clients than any individual eCommerce store could achieve on their own.  

This arrangement creates a win-win-win situation:

  • The consumer wins because they get a lower shipping rate than they would have without the service.
  • The eCommerce store wins because lower shipping rates make them more competitive and increases conversions.
  • Liftwing wins by creating an additional revenue stream.

 

Challenges

Direct Shopify Parcel Integration

Shopify currently allows stores to enter their own parcel account codes for each of the major providers, which it uses to calculate the appropriate rates.  This direct integration would not work in this scenario because Liftwing wanted to use their own account information. They could not provide their account numbers to the client since this would expose confidential cost side information and also did not provide an opportunity to add the appropriate margin on the transaction.

Individual Client Setup

Liftwing needed to manage each client individually in Shopify for carrier options and service levels. This is not a standard setting in Shopify.

Management Overhead

Liftwing’s core business is logistics and the services around fulfilling the eCommerce orders of their clients. They did not want to be in the business of custom configuration of each client’s Shopify shipping setups.  They were looking for a managed service provider who could assist with providing end-to-end business value including development, configuration, monitoring, and ongoing support.

 

How Chain.io Helped

Project Analysis

When Liftwing approached Chain.io to solve the challenge, they didn’t have a concrete plan for the technical implementation.  They only had a business goal and an idea that it might be possible. Because Chain.io project teams are lead by experienced logistics experts, we worked with Liftwing to understand the value they were trying to create and designed a technical architecture to achieve the goals.

 

Direct Shopify Integration

For Liftwing, Chain.io deployed a direct integration to the Shopify shipping API.  When a consumer requests a shipping rate in their cart, Shopify queries Chain.io as if we are a parcel carrier and Chain.io immediately responds with an appropriate set of shipping options and rates.  The rates list the level of service, and the consumer is not aware that either Chain.io or Liftwing is involved in the transaction.

 

Custom Carrier Rate Connection

To provide a seamless consumer experience, Chain.io queries for carrier rates in real time utilizing the confidential Liftwing account numbers and rates.  Next, Chain.io applies the Liftwing markup, which can be customized based on each store’s volumes or other business factors. Finally, Chain.io returns the rates to Shopify who presents them to the consumer.  All of this happens in milliseconds, ensuring a positive consumer experience.

 

Individual Store Configuration

Chain.io built the Shopify integration to be customizable for each of Liftwing’s clients. Liftwing can present each of the customers with a menu of shipping options, which the store owner can select to best represent their offering to the consumer. Additionally, each store owner can set custom labels for their shipping tiers so one store can say “Ground Shipping 5-7 days” and another can say “Ground Shipping, Best Value!” depending on their goals and branding.

 

Streamlined Client On-boarding

As a full service provider, Chain.io’s involvement didn’t end when we delivered a functioning product.  Chain.io also developed a quick start guide that Liftwing is able to use with their customers to quickly onboard the custom shipping add on in their Shopify stores.

 

Results

By utilizing the Chain.io platform, Liftwing was able to improve their client satisfaction through lower shipping rates and help increase their client’s conversions.  Because Chain.io delivers a fully managed cloud integration platform, Liftwing did all of this without involving any internal IT resources and without procuring any additional infrastructure.

To learn more about Chain.io, visit us at https://www.chain.io