Merchants have the ability to add and configure new shipping services in Loop to use across their return policies. This feature is largely intended for merchants who:
- have their own negotiated rates from specific carriers
- operate in multiple countries or regions, and need shipping services best suited for those parts of the world
- utilize specialized logistics companies
Most, though not all, merchants that leverage shipping services are merchants selling internationally.
There are two main advantages to this flexibility:
- better carrier coverage by being able to use different shipping services in different parts of the world you're selling in
- cheaper labels across the board by being able to use the cheapest shipping service for a given region
From a pricing standpoint:
- Merchants on Essential / Basic plans can assign one shipping service to a single return policy.
- Merchants on Advanced / Pro / Plus plans can assign different shipping services across multiple return policies.
This article will go in depth on both of those advantages, and cover how to set up multiple shipping services in Loop.
Why Use Shipping Services
There are two primary advantages to being able to use shipping services in Loop:
The first is international flexibility. Many merchants who are selling internationally use specialized logistics companies (e.g. Cycleon and SEKO) to get their products to customers and back. Shipping internationally also requires the use of multiple carriers, some of which may be supported by one shipping service, but not by another. Accommodating multiple shipping services allows merchants to pick and choose which shipping services make sense, depending on where the return is coming from.
For example, a US-based merchant selling in the US, Canada, and the EU could continue to use EasyPost and their USPS rates in the US, use Canada Post through EasyPost for Canadian customers, and leverage Cycleon and their consolidation services in the EU.
The second benefit is cost optimization. Using multiple shipping services will allow merchants to use the shipping service that most cost-effectively handles returns in a given region - and in turn a given return policy. This ensures that merchants can match up the cheapest shipping service for them to the correct return policy and return zone.
A merchant using SEKO's cheaper labels in the EU and EasyPost's built in USPS rates in the US will have a much more efficient and cost-effective return operation than one stuck choosing whether to use SEKO everywhere or EasyPost everywhere.
Setting up a new shipping service is simple. The process is the same as setting up one shipping service, just repeated for any others you would like to connect.
- Go to Settings > Shipping in the Loop Admin.
- Connect the shipping service you'd like to use. Each service will require some inputs that you can get from that team, whether it be an API key or something else. Each shipping service Loop works with has its own help article, please search for it here if you need more detail for connecting.
- Select the carriers you plan to use through that shipping service.
- Once all shipping services you'll need are connected, navigate to Settings > Return Policies.
- Click Edit on any policies that you have set up, and scroll to the Generate Labels piece within Policy Zone section.
- Click Manage shipping services, and select the shipping services that should be enabled for that return policy.
That's it! You are now set up with multiple shipping services so Loop can use the one that best fits each of your return policies.
Can I use multiple shipping services for a single return policy? No, policies are currently limited to one shipping service. Multiple shipping services unlocks the ability to have multiple services on the same instance of Loop.
Can Loop rate shop across multiple shipping services? Not in V1 of this feature. For the time being, Loop will rate shop with all carriers on a given shipping service. Since a return policy can only have one shipping service on it at a time, it's not currently possible to rate shop across multiple services.