How to implement our Operations Experience platform

The parcelLab platform gives brands the ability to take full control of their Operations Experience, reduce WISMO and offer greater transparency of operational processes. The platform is fully customizable and really easily integrated with a number of other tools, such as Salesforce and SAP.

Who needs to be involved in your parcelLab implementation?

When starting your project you’ll be assigned an onboarding team, including your very own dedicated parcelLab project manager. This team will do the majority of the work and are on-hand to answer any questions as you enhance your Operations Experience.

We’re proud that our team is often described as an extension of the business they are implementing. Trust us, you’ll get to know us!

Most importantly though, the resources required from you and your team are minimal. Each business is different so the team involved will vary.

Here’s a brief overview of who does what during implementation (or onboarding as we call it!):

How long does it take to implement parcelLab?

Implementing our Operations Experience platform is simple, can take as little as 2 weeks and requires minimal resources from the brand side.

In fact we go live with roughly 2-5 new enterprise businesses a month, and already work with hundreds of B2C and B2B brands and retailers.

We’re integrated with 150 carriers globally and this number keeps growing. So the likelihood is that yours is already set up with us and good to go!

Implementing our Operations Experience Management platform

(Hint it’s super easy!)

There are 4 steps to implementing parcelLab. Click through to learn more about each one:

1. Set up data transfer
2. Set up shipping communication
3. Set up branded track & trace pages
4. Testing & go live!

step 1: Set up data transfer

Customer and order details are required from the retailer/brand. We offer three different ways of integrating parcelLab with your data systems:

1. RESTful API
2. CSV/XML file
3. BCC on dispatch confirmation

RESTful API

Our most popular data transfer method is API, which is also the most stable way. Once created, the API requires no input from the customer side.

Why API:
• Flexible
• Stable and good error handling
• Real-time transfer

Our API is the most powerful and flexible way to integrate with parcelLab. This creates a standardised end point for you to send the order and tracking data to. Transfer is done automatically for each order, with instant feedback for all.

For full information on setting up an API data transfer, visit ‘How parcelLab works’.

CSV or XML file

This type of integration is often easy. It involves the end of day shipment data being automatically transferred to our FTP server and encrypted.

Why CSV/XML file:
• Easy integration
• Daily data transfer
• Stable

For more information on setting up a file-based transfer, details on the file types and transfer channels, visit ‘How parcelLab works’.

BCC email delivery

Using email-based transmission is limited in terms of flexibility and data quality but offers a zero-effort integration with parcelLab.

Why BCC:
• Zero-effort integration
• No IT input required
• Continuous flow of data

It’s as easy as this: BCC the custom email address provided by parcelLab on your shipping confirmation and we’ll fetch the relevant information automatically.

This method is a simple and robust way to transfer data to parcelLab. Because we build our email parser based on not just a small sample of emails but a continuous flow of data, this ensures that it is reliably parsing out all the information. In fact, some of our biggest customers have started with this transfer method to aid quick data integration whilst they set up the API.

For more information on setting up a BCC data transfer, visit ‘How parcelLab works’.

step 2: Setting up shipping communication

The shipping notifications we provide are fully customizable and branded. You can use our templates and experience of sending over a million communications each day, or you can create your own.

There are three steps here:

1. Create shipping notifications
2. Design shipping notifications
3. Set up marketing

Create shipping notifications

You determine for which events you want to send shipping notifications to your customers. Here’s some examples of notifications we can send:

• Dispatch confirmation
• Ready for delivery notification
• Delay notification
• Successful delivery notification

Design shipping notifications

Use our templates to design the notifications or create your own with your dedicated parcelLab team – we can be as involved as you need. Often our customers use their marketing newsletter templates to create the notifications. This means full brand consistency is kept throughout the whole customer journey.

Set up marketing

Once the templates are set up you have free rein to add whatever marketing you would like. This can anything: cross- or up-selling, product information, social media campaigns, how to assemble or set up your product – the list is endless!

step 3: Set up branded track & trace pages

The track & trace page is the central hub for your customers to know where their parcel is. So why are they faced with non-branded third-party pages? A custom track & trace page generates valuable additional shop traffic. With parcelLab this can be hosted and directly integrated into your shop.

There are three steps to setting this up:

1. Create hosted track & trace page
2. Copy & paste code snippet
3. Marketing set-up

Create hosted track & trace page

The first stage is to set up an empty landing page within your domain that will host the tracking information.

Copy & paste code snippet

Next, paste the custom snippet into the where you want the track & trace information to be displayed. This will automatically load the JS snippet and default CSS and then render the plug-in into the defined DOM node.

Marketing set-up

Once the track & trace page is created, the exciting stuff happens: marketing and branding! Here you can choose what information you want to display (e.g. predicted delivery date, maps, store opening times), whether you want to include up- and cross-sell products and the look and feel of the page.

Alternatively we can host this tracking page for you.

For more information on creating the branded and hosted track & trace page, visit ‘How parcelLab works’.

step 4: Testing and go live!

Now that you’ve set up the data transfer, shipping notifications and branded track & trace page, it’s time to run the 3-stage tests and go live.

We ensure above-standard quality assurance before any emails are sent and any tracking links are provided. Once the shipping notifications and track & trace page are set up we test them vigorously.

This is done in three stages:

1. Local test: Code is tested locally on an identical ‘lab-like’ system to the one in production to ensure it’s safe
2. Test mode: This uses actual customer data, however no comms are sent to the customer. The emails are viewable in the portal to identify any bugs
3. Production stage: The notifications are sent to the customer

So there you have it! The 4 stages of implementing Operations Experience Management platform, parcelLab.

About the Author: Katharine
Katharine is Head of Marketing Communications - EMEA. An avid shopper, Katharine is passionate about helping retailers understand the importance of efficient post-purchase communications. When she isn’t looking for the latest trends for our blog, Katharine loves discovering new restaurants in London.