Shopify and S.F. Express Integration for Ecommerce Order Fulfillment

Tips for streamlining your Shopify checkout and order fulfilment process with S.F. Express to increase efficiency for your company, while also providing online shoppers with maximum flexibility in delivery options, from door-to-door service to EF locker pickups.

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If you are running an ecommerce or retail business in Hong Kong, you’re probably considering or you’ve used S.F. Express or Hong Kong Post before as part of your process for fulfilling your ecommerce orders. If you’re using Shopify to power your ecommerce storefront, then you’re probably wondering how you can integrate S.F. Express fulfillment options into your online store. As a Shopify Partner and ecommerce agency based in Hong Kong, we have spoken to many merchants who were considering Shopify and cited S.F. Express integration as a key decision making factor. Given the demand, we built HK Pickup Options for Shopify stores to support local merchants and we have also written this post for few tips on how to use S.F. Express and order fulfillment as a way to provide exceptional customer experiences.

Improving Customer Experience by Adapting Your Online Store to Match Fulfilment

Many merchants in Hong Kong will be familiar with S.F. Express, which is a courier service headquartered in Shenzhen, with domestic Hong Kong delivery services and global delivery throughout Asia, South and North America, and Europe. S.F. Express has services such as door-to-door pickup, S.F. WeChat to submit and track orders, pick-up and drop-off services at S.F. Service Centres and S.F. Stores, to name a few. Successful ecommerce businesses in Hong Kong consider customer experience holistically from discovery through to order fulfillment and customer service, which means fitting the brand’s online store to reflect the range of services that S.F. Express offers for customer convenience.

If you are already using, or considering, Shopify for your online store, you can make important changes for order fulfilment without writing a single line of code. Below is an example of how turning on a required field can improve customer experience and your team’s operational efficiency.

Tip: Make Phone Numbers a Required Field for Checkout

Part of integration just calls for streamlining the information that is collected at the store checkout and used for delivery. As a courier, S.F. Express typically requires a customer’s phone number for shipments to ensure delivery. Shopify’s checkout is designed to help customers make an order in the most convenient way, which means that the default setting is to require minimal information.

Making a quick change to your required data fields is a simple, but crucial, setup. You do this by going to your Shopify merchant console and selecting “Required” for “Shipping address phone number”. Shoppers can only complete the order after providing information that helps you schedule an S.F. Express delivery, which ultimately helps your company deliver a higher standard of customer service.

Modifying Shopify Checkout to Match S.F. Express Delivery Options with HK Pickup Options

In addition to door-to-door delivery, S.F. Express drops off at 100 S.F. Service Centers and S.F. Stores, as well as over 500 EF Lockers in Hong Kong. EF Lockers are designed for ecommerce, enabling customers to pick up items at their convenience beyond business hours and brands to ensure that items are collected.

Presenting pickup locations such as EF Lockers or convenience stores during the checkout process helps your company take an order from Shopify and copy it into and S.F. Express delivery order. One way to do this is to use Shopify Plus to customize your Checkout Page, which requires some coding.

While many ecommerce merchants are aware of these pickup locations, adding and maintaining all the locations has a high administrative cost. After working with global and local brands on developing Shopify solutions for their ecommerce needs, we built the Shopify app HK Pickup Options to remove this administrative barrier for Hong Kong merchants.

Hong Kong Merchants Can Offer 1000+ Pickup Locations at Checkout With HK Pickup Options

Our app HK Pickup Options creates a seamless Shopify checkout flow that is only presented to shoppers in Hong Kong and intuitive for them to use. We wanted to provide a tailored solution to help local merchants focus on delivering world-class online shopping experiences with an app that:

  1. provides delivery and pickup options in English and Chinese
  2. provides a user-friendly interface with region and district filters
  3. allows merchants to turn any location on and off, and add their own stores
  4. collects necessary delivery information for S.F. Express and pickups
  5. automatically provides updated S.F. Express locations

By having an app that provides a smooth checkout flow with automatically updated pickup locations, businesses can focus more on how to offer differentiated online shopping experiences.

Enjoy a 30-day Free Trial for HK Pickup Options

Alternative: Pass Selected Delivery Location from the Cart Page into the Checkout Form

If you would like to do your own Checkout flow and are not a Shopify Plus merchant, and you can consider customizing the Shopify Cart Page (instead of the Checkout Page) to ask a customer to input a Pick Up Point. When the customer clicks “Next”, you can pass the selected pickup location into the address field of the checkout form. This pre-filled checkout is a small user experience enhancement is saves your customers time, while also ensuring that a customer has provided a consistent delivery address or chosen from a list of standardized drop-off locations.

Offer Customers Flexibility in a Cost-Effective Way

It’s commonly believed that free shipping not only increases competitiveness, but also customer retention. To cover costs, many businesses offer free basic shipping after a certain purchase amount. This is where you as a merchant, can take advantage of S.F. Express’ different fulfillment options to provide customers with greater flexibility.

Shopify Plus merchants can use Shipping scripts to tailor the way shipping information and prices are displayed for your checkout. Non-Shopify Plus merchants can use shipping carrier APIs to integrate into the system or platforms with integrations such as Easyship, which is a local Hong Kong platform with over 250 shipping solutions that includes S.F. Express. Additionally, you can also manually set fixed delivery prices on the Shopify merchant console, Settings section, which will display as options for shoppers to choose from.

Generating Orders and Automating Order Integration for S.F. Express Shipments

Once a customer has placed an order on your Shopify store, merchants have a few methods of placing an order with S.F. Express:

  • Dropping off at an S.F. Express Service Centre or S.F. Store

In addition, businesses can use the S.F. Express EasyPrint to process online and offline orders and create batch labels. S.F. Express also has an API that allows merchants to create integrations to automate S.F. Express payment creation and label printing, which merchants can use to integrate into their online systems. Merchants using Shopify can also make use of the platform’s REST APIs to retrieve order information for the purpose of passing that forward to creating your S.F. Express shipment.

While merchants with limited monthly orders can initially connect Shopify and S.F. Express into their existing operations by ensuring data collection at the Shopify checkout matches S.F. Express delivery requirements, businesses that have high-volume inventory management should explore investment to automate order processing and fulfillment.

If you would rather integrate your S.F. Express to your Shopify store now, with over 1000 pickup locations, you can try our HK Pickup Options app for free for the first month!