Fed Ex Header Image

A Shopify app for FedEx

The assignment

FedEx is an American logistics company that offers courier services via air, sea and ground. It is short for Federal Express and about 70% of its total sales are made in the United States. FedEx has its own fleet of 650 aircraft at 78 airports and has been in existence for more than 35 years. With nearly 50,000 employees, they operate in 220 countries. They offer several shipping options that allow you to choose to have your package delivered even faster. In Europe, FedEx offers coverage for as many as 50,000 zip codes and you can also personalize your shipment if you want specific requirements.

FedEx came to us with the task of gaining a stronger position in the ecommerce market in Europe. To do this, they wanted to develop a native shipping app for ecommerce platform Shopify. Normally you install a general shipping app, such as Shippy Pro, which contains several shipping providers, but you can't offer all your shipping options. That's why FedEx wanted to create their own app which you can install to your Shopify webshop. It is a native app which means that it is specifically made for FedEx. So the app is FedEx branded and you install it because you only want to use FedEx shipping.

That's how we built the Shopify application for FedEx. Because if you wanted to ship with FedEx first, you would have to search for FedEx in the Shopify app store, but you wouldn't get a FedEx app. You would get shipment apps where FedEx is in the description. So if you installed those you would get a lot of different shipping options and from that list you could click FedEx somewhere. Only then does it go through FedEx. The goal was ultimately to develop an app in which all the shipping options and the FedEx name were more prominent.

Fedex Boxes Casepagina2

Branded shipping app

In the Shopify app we created, you can use everything from FedEx so you don't just have general shipping. A shipping app that has all the parties under view only uses the options that match all the shipping companies. So only the functionalities they all offer will work. If FedEx offers something that other parties don't have, it's not in that umbrella app. It would not make sense to build it there if maybe only 5% of the users are going to use it. So in the app we built, you can choose from all the shipping options!

We used GoLang to build the app. Golang is similar to Python and it is a proprietary language in programming. It works well with Google Cloud and all of its tools. Google Cloud is very scalable as you never have to worry about spikes during flash sales for example. Go is from Google and therefore works well with Google Cloud.

In addition, the Shopify App Framework was used. This is a module that you use to load your app into Shopify in the Shopify style. A module is a part in the whole application. You can think of it as a navigation structure that you divide the app into. This makes it feel like a part of Shopify because you are using their framework. So Go you use as a communication piece and it communicates with FedEx itself. The front-end consists of the Shopify framework and with this you can, for example, set what dimensions the boxes should be or create a shipping label.

The Result

In the Shopify app we developed for FedEx you can create shipping labels, view status updates of your orders and send customers notifications about shipping updates with the track and trace code. As a merchant you can request pickups so you can say that you want a van from FedEx to come by tomorrow at 4 o'clock and pick up all your packages. In addition, FedEx can offer multiple shipping options with the app than if the courier company were in a general shipping app from Shopify.

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