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Narvar vs parcelLab: Which is Right for You?

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Published on: Feb 23, 2023

narvar vs parcelLab

That’s why it’s essential to have a solid platform that facilitates the various components of the – specifically managing order notifications, tracking, and returns.

Narvar and parcelLab are two prominent players in this space, and if you’re shopping around for a post-purchase platform, these solutions are likely on your shortlist.

In this article, we’ll go over the similarities and differences between Narvar and parcelLab. We’ll look into each platform’s capabilities and offerings to help you figure out which solution is right for you.

parcelLab overview

parcelLab is a leading platform that enables brands to engage and communicate with shoppers throughout the entire post-purchase journey. In addition to order tracking and notifications, parcelLab has features to support returns, warranties, and exchanges, as well as logistics and carrier reporting.

Some notable companies using parcelLab include H&M, Chico’s, Yeti, Bose, LIDL, and FARFETCH.

One thing that separates parcelLab from Narvar is its superior customization, personalization, and whitelabel capabilities. parcelLab makes designing order status emails and shipment tracking pages simple, ensuring they’re entirely on-brand.

Founded in 2015, parcelLab has offices in Boston, Munich, and London, and has teams to serve customers across multiple geographies.

Narvar overview

Like parcelLab, Narvar has robust capabilities to facilitate the entire post-purchase journey – which includes order shipments, tracking, notifications, and returns. However, there are some key distinctions in how these features are implemented and people’s experiences when using the software.

While Narvar has tools for managing the entire post-purchase journey, its platform lacks full branding and customization capabilities. Customer communications aren’t 100% white labeled, so brands don’t fully own the post-purchase experience.

In addition, Narvar’s tracking pages are most often hosted on its domain (rather than the retailer’s website), which can create a disconnected brand experience for customers.

Narvar’s suite of products still gets the job done for numerous businesses. Some of the company’s notable customers include Sonos, Lululemon, Sephora, and The Home Depot.

Narvar currently has offices in San Mateo, CA, the UK, Germany, and India.

Implementation comparison: how long does onboarding take?

parcelLabNarvar
~ 30 daysUp to 6 month

A proper onboarding and setup experience enables you to learn and implement the software faster, so you can hit the ground running. A poor experience, on the other hand, causes delays and leads to poor outcomes.

Here’s how parcelLab and Narvar compare when it comes to software onboarding and implementation.

parcelLab implementation

parcelLab strives to onboard and implement users on its platform within 30 days or less. In many cases, the process takes around two weeks, with minimal effort on your side. The implementation process with parcelLab involves the following steps:

  • Set up data transfer
  • Set up carrier data transfer
  • Add the brand to the parcelLab platform
  • Determine the events that trigger customer comms
  • Design shipping notifications
  • Create shipping notifications
  • Add marketing to shipping notification
  • Create an embedded tracking page
  • Design an embedded tracking page
  • Set up portal accounts
  • Testing
  • Go live

parcelLab works closely with your team to carry out these steps and get you up and running as efficiently as possible.

It’s also worth noting that parcelLab’s implementation team is based in the US and Europe, so we can work in your time zone enabling them to deliver a smooth and collaborative process.

Narvar implementation

Unlike parcelLab, whose customers experience quick implementations, a few of Narvar’s customers have brought up the company’s poor and lengthy onboarding process.

“It took us nearly 6 months to fully onboard. Making adjustments to the program through our 2 years with them was so hard and support was HORRIBLE,” says one former customer on G2.com.

Customer communications comparison: What do notifications look like?

parcelLabNarvar
100% white labeled; no mention of parcelLab in any part of the emailNot white labeled; mentions “Powered by Narvar” at the bottom of each email
Emails are sent from the brand’s domainEmails are sent from Narvar’s domain

Modern consumers expect frequent updates on where their packages are. Narvar and parcelLab can set up and send these alerts, though there are some distinctions between them when it comes to personalization and white labeling.

parcelLab order notifications

parcelLab enables you to manage and send post-purchase communications such as emails, SMS, app notifications, and alerts via WhatsApp, Line, and Messenger. It also offers numerous email triggers from production and order updates to shipment, delivery, and returns.

One thing that separates parcelLab is its flexible and fully white-labeled solution that lets you customize the look and feel of your post-purchase comms. parcelLab is also developing self-service tools, like Campaign Manager, that allow you to make changes without having to rely on parcelLab to deploy updates.

While Narvar does have post-purchase communication features, its customization and self-serve capabilities are limited. (More on this in a bit.)

With parcelLab, your messages are 100% on-brand. The platform sends emails via your domain, so they look like they’re coming directly from you. parcelLab also lets you add product recommendations and promotions based on each customer’s purchase history, loyalty program status, and more.

parcellab_delivery_order_notifications_vs_narvar

And if you have a mobile app, parcelLab seamlessly integrates into the system to facilitate push notifications.

Narvar

Narvar covers all post-purchase communication channels. You can send alerts via email, SMS, WhatsApp, and Line.

Narvar also has customization capabilities, so you can design emails that follow the look and feel of your brand. However, its solution isn’t 100% white-labeled. Narvar’s emails contain a “Powered by Narvar” line at the bottom, and messages are most often sent from the Narvar domain.

narvar_branded_email_vs_parcelLab

Branding at the end of the email:

powered_by_narvar_branding_vs_parcelLab

Some users have also reported having a poor experience with updating content and design. You can’t edit your content and designs through a self-serve platform; instead, you need to get in touch with the Narvar team to implement changes.

“I wish that I had more ability to make changes on the fly without the help of our Customer Success Manager,” writes one user.

Another merchant said that a “Lack of access to be able to update content within the tool itself” is one of the downsides of working with Narvar.

Branding and tracking comparison: how do the Narvar tracking pages compare to parcelLab?

parcelLab Narvar
100% white labeled; no mention of parcelLab in any part of the pageNot white labeled; mentions “Powered by Narvar” at the bottom of each page
Order tracking page is embedded on the brand’s domainOrder tracking page is hosted on Narvar’s domain
Returns portal is hosted on the brand’s domainReturns portal is hosted on the brand’s domain

Both parcelLab and Narvar provide features to set up order tracking pages where customers can view the status of their packages and estimated delivery dates. Here’s a look at each provider’s key order-tracking capabilities.

parcelLab

With parcelLab, your order tracking page and returns portal are hosted right on your domain, which means you send customers back to your website (vs. a third party) when they want to view their order details.

narvar_vs_parcellab_order_status_page

This also makes it easier to update your order tracking hub. Want to add a banner? Change the content? You can do everything from your website’s back office instead of contacting customer support.

In addition to providing a seamless branded experience, retailer-hosted tracking paves the way for more sales, as it encourages users to browse your website while viewing their order details.

Narvar

One key difference between parcelLab and Narvar is the former hosts its customers’ order hubs on the Narvar domain. You can customize the pages’ look and feel to fit your brand, but shoppers will still see a “Powered by Narvar” label at the bottom of the page. In addition, your order hub is hosted on “tracking.narvar.com.”

narvar_hosted_tracking_page_vs_parcelLab

narvar_powered_by_tracking_page_vs_parcelLab

For this reason, updating the page may be more complex because it requires you to contact Narvar to implement changes.

As for returns, it looks like Narvar has the capabilities to host returns on the brand’s domain.

Delivery estimates comparison: how accurate is the data?

parcelLabNarvar
Direct API and easy integrations with 350+ carriersDirect API integrations with 300+ carriers
Near real-time order updatesSome delays with order updates

Consumers expect quick and accurate updates on their orders, so having a post-purchase partner with robust data capabilities is a must.

parcelLab

parcelLab has a direct API with 350+ carriers, giving users a nearly real-time view of where shipments are. Unlike other providers, which scrape data from carrier websites, parcelLab’s order updates come directly through easy integrations. Because of this, the platform is highly adept at predicting delivery updates and tracking shipments.

Narvar

Like parcelLab, Narvar API integrates with over 300 carriers to serve up order status updates. However, some users have reported experiencing significant delays with updates, so it’s possible that the company’s integrations aren’t as robust as parcelLab’s.

Customer service: what are Narvar and parcelLab’s support offerings?

Another essential factor to consider when selecting a tech vendor is the company’s level of customer support. You need a post-purchase partner that offers support when you need it and can resolve issues efficiently.

Let’s take a look at parcelLab and Narvar’s support offerings.

parcelLab

With teams across the United States and Europe, parcelLab provides speedy and efficient customer service. The company works closely with customers to resolve issues and proactively finds ways to optimize their accounts.

“They are by far the most proactive success and technical team I have worked with and it seems like they are always offering ways for us to improve that we hadn’t even identified ourselves,” writes a parcelLab customer on G2.com.

parcelLab also has an online developer hub, allowing devs to view detailed documentation on the software so users can get the most out of the platform.

Narvar

Narvar provides several support resources, including an online hub and ticketing system.

Narvar also has account managers who can give tailored support to customers. Some users have reported having regular check-ins with their account managers, though it’s unclear whether this is a standard and consistent practice within the company.

According to a merchant on TrustRadius:

“Once it’s set up, it doesn’t require much support. We used to have quarterly or bi-annual touch bases with an account person to review our rating and customer usage but haven’t heard from them in a while – either because we’re too small or they got rid of this interaction. Can’t say we miss it though because we can see our rating and feedback, and there is only so much you can do within the confines of the platform without adding on new functionality.”

Pricing: how much do brands pay?

How much can you expect to spend on post-purchase software? Here’s a quick overview of parcelLab and Narvar’s pricing.

parcelLab

The cost to use parcelLab depends on the capabilities you need and the number of shipments and users on the platform. To streamline pricing, parcelLab offers bundles with a set number of offerings. These include:

parcelLab Convert 

  • Promise

parcelLab Engage 

  • Track & Communicate
  • Service
  • Campaign Manager

parcelLab Retain

  • Returns Portal
  • Returns Track & Communicate
  • Returns Service

parcelLab Platform

  • Insights
  • Connect
  • Security

parcelLab also adjusts its pricing based on each company’s pain points in order to provide a truly customized package.

Narvar

Narvar currently doesn’t provide any public-facing information on its pricing.

Which solution offers a better post-purchase experience?

parcelLab and Narvar are two solid choices when you want better control over the post-purchase experience. While both platforms offer similar features like branded post-purchase comms and order tracking pages, parcelLab’s fully white-labeled solution offers a big advantage.

What’s more, parcelLab’s swift onboarding process ensures you get up and running efficiently and spend less time dealing with technical issues.

FAQ

How is parcelLab a better replacement for Narvar?

parcelLab is an excellent alternative to Narvar. In addition to having the same features, parcelLab’s customization, self-serve, and whitelabel capabilities outshine Narvar’s offerings.

parcelLab lets you fully customize all post-purchase touchpoints—from the look and feel of your messages to the domain on which your order tracking page is hosted. Narvar, on the other hand, hosts order tracking pages on its domain. In addition, all assets are labeled with “Powered by Narvar” which limits your ability to offer a 100% branded experience.

Are Narvar features better vs. parcelLab features?

While Narvar and parcelLab are both feature-rich platforms, parcelLab provides greater versatility and personalization for post-purchase communications and tracking pages. This gives you more control over the look and feel of your assets.

What’s more, parcelLab is increasingly developing self-service features to streamline content and design changes. In comparison, Narvar users rely heavily on customer support to make changes, which can hinder those who want to act quickly.

Who offers a better delivery notification system?

parcelLab and Narvar both have API integrations with major carriers, allowing them to serve up order updates and delivery notifications through their platforms. parcelLab’s strong integration provides timely shipping and delivery updates that keep shoppers in the loop. On the other hand, some customers have seen delays with Narvar’s delivery notification systems.

What are some cons of Narvar?

Narvar is a good post-purchase platform and market leader in USA but has a few weaknesses. For one, Narvar doesn’t provide a fully white labeled solution; order notification emails and tracking pages are hosted on Narvar’s domain.

Some Narvar customers have also reported a less-than-ideal software onboarding experience. According to those who switched from Narvar, onboarding can take up to 6 months, and making changes almost always requires them to contact customer support.

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