Deutsche Post & DHL Shipping Magento 2 Extension Update - part 2

DHL continuously improves their shipping product offerings to better support merchants’ business requirements. The DHL Warenpost (Merchandise Shipment) product, suitable for shipping smaller goods, was already implemented in the Deutsche Post & DHL Shipping extension version 1.1.0. Version 2.4.0 now adds the option to send smaller goods worldwide with the new Warenpost International shipping product.

Also introduced in version 2.4.0 was the possibility to declare parcel contents natively as Commercial Goods. For the customs declaration, this was only possible before by ticking Other and adding a content explanation text.

Version 2.5.0 of the Deutsche Post & DHL Shipping extension adds support for Parcel Shop deliveries. In addition to post offices and Packstation locations, this third type of delivery location can now be selected in checkout on the location finder map and shipping labels can be created that are addressed directly to the shop.

This update also makes it more transparent that a delivery location was chosen. In the checkout progress sidebar, the shipping address now displays the location address instead of the customer’s residential address. The selected location is also set as the shipping address once the order was placed. As such, the selected delivery location is now immediately visible to the customer and merchant in shipment and order confirmation emails as well as in the admin panel order listing and detail views.

The biggest new feature – or better, feature set – circles around return deliveries. Merchants always had the option to book a return shipment label together with the regular shipping label, then print it, and enclose it in the package. Most of them will never be used and thrown away. Another option is to request return shipment labels on demand. This was first implemented in the admin panel for Magento Commerce (formerly Enterprise Edition) users. The process was relatively complex and there was no solution for Magento Open Source in place. As a result, the feature was added to the storefront, so that customers could request the return shipment label on their own in the customer account. This reduced the effort on the part of the merchant but had one downside: The generated labels had to be downloaded immediately, otherwise they would be lost and another set of labels needed to be requested.

Version 2.5.0 of the Deutsche Post & DHL Shipping extension now persists the requested labels, which opens the door for new possibilities: Return shipment labels can now be created on-demand in the admin panel on both, Magento Commerce and Magento Open Source.

No matter if the label was created in the customer account or the admin panel, customers can access their labels when and where they need to. Opening the label QR code on a mobile device in a post office has become much more convenient than it was before.

Even return processes that require a customer-merchant interaction have become possible: When a customer requests a return via email, online form, or phone, then the merchant can now create the return shipment labels in the admin panel and send the created labels to the customer’s email address.

Setting up the on-demand returns feature requires the merchant to set up Receiver IDs in the module configuration: The merchant had to download a CSV file from the DHL Business Customer Portal and transfer the IDs manually into the module configuration – one entry per country. This manual step is now obsolete: The CSV file can be imported and the IDs will be automatically added to the configuration.

Over time, the Deutsche Post & DHL Shipping extension has received more and more features. With every new feature, the module configuration grows and the learning curve is much steeper than it was in the first iterations of the DHL shipping modules. The documentation can be overwhelming for new users of the extension and it is easy to get lost when only the main feature – creating a shipping label for incoming orders – needs to be set up quickly.

To support a correct setup, version 2.5.0 allows to validate the current configuration. The validation result reveals which features are properly configured and which settings need to be revised in order to use a feature.

Users that installed the Deutsche Post & DHL Shipping extension via metapackage, either from Magento Marketplace or GitHub, can now review the installed package version in the module configuration.

The alternative email address for the DHL Paket Parcel Outlet Routing service can now be specified or changed when booking a shipping label manually in the packaging popup. Prior to this update, only a default value could be configured for all shipments. If no email address is specified, then DHL will send the notification to the customer’s email address.

The shipping method name that is displayed in checkout can now be set – just like the carrier title – in the DHL Paket Checkout Presentation configuration group. This setting was previously located at the offline shipping method that provides the rates for the DHL module in checkout.

When adding a tracking number to a shipment, then Magento sets the carrier title as track title. Extension version 2.5.0 changes that behavior so that the selected shipping product (Warenpost, Paket International, etc.) is now displayed there.

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