What will the impact of the growing Coronavirus outbreak on Shopify's business? Consider if you will standing in the post office lines waiting to get packages scanned one by one with the potential for exposure to the Coronavirus? The alternative could be so much simpler and safer, using a Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notice (SCAN) form at your home or business with a USPS or UPS pickup.
Unfortunately the developers/management of Shopify have chosen to prioritize other feature requests over the years and therefore SCAN forms are not available on the native Shopify platform. Perhaps the potential impacts of this Coronavirus outbreak and your own requests can get this 'feature' to the top of the development queue.
To help move this forward, please contact the Shopify Social Care department by opening a chat on the main Shopify Facebook page. Each request for a SCAN form is logged and this will help accelerate the development.
If you are unsure of what a SCAN from is and why you would need one, please read this earlier post:
Shopify and social responsibility. SCAN FORMS.
My business ships around 60 packages a day, 6 days a week. We drive to the post office six times a week, stand in line and watch as each package is scanned one by one. The system works but is wholly inefficient and completely environmentally unfriendly.
As a company we have switched to cardboard boxes (high in recycled materials), we use brown packing paper and even paper sticky tape. There is no plastic in our workflow and we try as much as possible to curtail our environmental impact. We would like to implement more improvements to our impact and the next big one would be the use of scan forms.
What are scan forms? Imagine you have your packages ready to ship, but rather than going to the post office, you ask the post office to come to you. The postman is delivering each day anyway, so picking up your packages is much better for the environment. In order to do this you simply ask your post office to schedule a daily pickup, they then give you some large reusable bags in which you place your packages and you print a scan form daily. The scan form is basically one barcode that represents all packages and this allows the postman or woman to scan one barcode and pickup your entire shipment. The post person will not scan each package one by one (unless you go to the actual post office).
Scan forms have been requested many times on this forum (please do a search) and Shopify has tended to ignore the requests. I have called support on occasion to ask why scan forms are not available ask the answer is generally “We agree with you, scan forms would be great and we are not clear on why they have not been implemented. We are sure they will be in the future, but we can make no promises”.
I am going to ask Shopify to consider this. Please multiply the number of people on your platform who ship with USPS, by the miles they drive each day to the post office, then calculate the amount of unnecessary pollution that is created. This is all because you continually choose not to implement scan forms on your platform.
Shopify you now live in a world where hedge fund managers are becoming socially responsible and divesting from oil stocks, perhaps that is the same world where online retailers (your customers) are becoming socially aware and looking for a environmentally friendly and socially responsible company to host their stores with. Currently I do not consider you to be that company and it is my hope that you will strongly consider the implementation of scan forms in the near future.
Nick here from Shopify.
Thank you for reaching out and giving such detailed feedback about this. We are tracking this request and have many feature requests about the ability to scan forms with our development team. In saying that though, I will add your feedback to it also on your behalf. There is an active thread about this already in the community also which you can see here.
All the best, Nick
I'm new to Shopify and I want to add in and say that it's honestly embarrassing that Shopify doesn't provide the feature for SCAN forms. Shopify relying on third party apps to fulfill this feature has been a massive headache for me. The past 2 days I've spent trying different shipping apps to find one that meets my needs as well as the Shopify shipping function does. I've been on the phone for hours just today trying to resolve issues with Stamps.com and Shipstation, issues I wouldn't have with Shopify itself and I would GLADLY pay towards Shopify's shipping fees instead if given the option.
Etsy, a platform for BEGINNERS which I moved from last month, offers SCAN forms. Shopify advertises itself as a platform for established shops without a need for a marketplace, but can't give its users these basic functions. I've run into this issue before already, with assigning products specific shipping boxes along with weights.
And yes, Simon is absolutely correct that this issue in the world we're currently living in is now affecting our health and safety. When I request pickup from USPS I have noticed a higher chance of packages going missing, so now I'm facing breaking quarantine to go to a post office so they can scan my 50-100 packages one by one.
Shopify clearly isn't listening to the members that pay their salary, as I've found community posts years old regarding these subjects with no promise of change. I know I'm just adding on to a list of thousands of voices that have begged for this for years longer than I've even been running an e-commerce business, but I'm so frustrated with this entire ordeal that I had to say something.