Rakuten France is a leading marketplace in France and fr.shopping.rakuten.com is the fifth most visited e-commerce website in France.
Rakuten France connects merchants (professionals or individuals) and buyers, providing a trusted platform for customers to purchase products from thousands of sellers worldwide. Given merchants can select couriers of their choice, it creates challenges in answering customer inquiries about delivery status.
“Prior to using the Aftership shipment tracking platform, we had to access the websites of as many as 50-60 couriers in order to provide shipment updates to merchants and buyers,” said Habib-Sylvain Gourguet, Director of Customer Relationship at Rakuten France. “Such a process was operated semi-manually. Not only was it unreliable, but it also took a lot of manpower and resources to safeguard receipt of goods.”
Delivering orders within the promised delivery time is critical for marketplaces. Rakuten France needs to set up the correct expectations of delivery time with customers and allow merchants to choose the right couriers to meet such requirements. Moreover, Rakuten France as the middleman holds the payment received from buyers first and releases it to merchants after delivery confirmation. It is important for Rakuten France to capture proof of the delivery of all couriers. However, data across couriers are not unified, and it requires lots of resources to integrate with all couriers individually.
Rakuten France partners with AfterShip to integrate with all their couriers and retrieve unified tracking data automatically.
“AfterShip is the most advanced shipment tracking solution on the market. It takes only 1-2 weeks for our engineers for the implementation,” he said. Now integrated with AfterShip, Rakuten France merchants and buyers can see delivery updates directly at Rakuten France’s platform instead of manually extracting data from couriers.
Rakuten France’s engineering team makes use of AfterShip API to build a custom tracking page to display up-to-date delivery status and expected delivery time. Customers can easily navigate to the page through order history or shipping confirmation notifications. On Rakuten France’s seller portal, merchants can view the delivery performance of their couriers and compare delivery time. Based on AfterShip’s historic data, Rakuten France also gives recommendations on courier services based on delivery time performance.
Moving forward, Rakuten France is planning to integrate AfterShip data with their CRM system to further automate their operations. The Rakuten France service team can answer customer tickets more effectively with delivery status directly shown in the CRM system. Gourguet furthered that Rakuten France would consider integrating AfterShip’s webhooks feature in their future’s mobile app. With AfterShip webhooks, merchants can proactively send notifications to customers about changes of delivery statuses and encourage customers to review product and courier service after delivery.