By Maria Fagerland, Content Marketing Manager, ShipStation
The e-commerce landscape has evolved quite a bit over the last few years. The pandemic made e-commerce a must have for all businesses, regardless of location and size. With that, companies are refining their technology to offer customers multiple ways to browse, buy, and purchase. While shoppers may find themselves jockeying for parking spaces at the local mall, technology has made shopping more convenient and faster – especially around the holidays.
For e-commerce, these evolving customer habits mean that you, your team, and your business need to be prepared to handle and manage the rush of orders, returns, and other challenges that come far beyond the holiday push.
Manage Inventory with Automation
Managing inventory accurately is key when it comes to handling an influx of orders. Without syncing your e-commerce system to your warehouse in real-time, your customers can add out-of-stock products to their cart, only to receive a notification hours later that the product isn’t available. Not a good look for your store or brand. Whether you’re handling inventory in-house or leveraging 3PL services, it’s crucial to ensure your inventory counts are updated quickly and accurately.
Leveraging automation allows for the seamless exchange of shipping data between ShipStation and your ERP, shoring up inventory counts on your website or marketplace in real-time. As customers shop, they are notified when a product is almost out of stock, enticing them to make the purchase immediately.
By leveraging e-commerce integration between ShipStation, your ERP, and your marketplace, you can automate the exchange of data between all three platforms within the entire buying experience, from order processing, order fulfillment, shipping, inventory updates, confirmations, and more.
Eliminate Manual Processes and Errors
Manual tasks and process bottlenecks hinder businesses of all sizes. Data integration and automation free your teams from manual processes and human error, allowing them to spend more time addressing customer needs and selling products.
Let’s say you’re using ShipStation, an ERP, and a marketplace–but these systems aren’t connected. That means when an order comes in from your marketplace, you have to manually enter it into your ERP and ShipStation. Sure, that’s easy for a few orders, but it’s much different when you’re dealing with more than a handful. With proper integration in place, the e-commerce experience can be frictionless for your customers and staff. An optimized e-commerce integration flow would look like this:
- Customer places an order through your website or marketplace
- Order data and customer information is transferred and/or updated in your ERP
- ERP sends customer, order, and shipping data to ShipStation
- ShipStation creates the label, ship by date, and confirmation that is sent to the marketplace or website
- Website or marketplace sends shipping confirmation and info to the customer
E-Commerce integration from Jitterbit automates this process, eliminating manual data entry and order errors.
Centralize Your Data
Having a single source of truth for customer data is a crucial piece of creating a seamless shopping experience. Let’s say a customer places an order, but their shipping address and billing address are different because they just moved. You receive the order, but don’t update the address in your ERP, so the product ends up being shipped to the customer’s old address.
With proper integration, you can combine and centralize all data from all of your applications to create a single source of truth. That way, your ERP is dispersing the same data it collects from different applications. This eliminates silos between departments and across teams because everyone is working off the same data, which results in more accurate reporting and better forecasting. By integrating Shopify to NetSuite to ShipStation, you can automate the exchange of order, shipping, inventory, and customer data between systems, which eliminates application disparity and data silos.
Even though the holiday shopping blitz has already started, it’s never too late to address any issues with order processing, shipping, manual processes, inventory updates, and data centralization. By leveraging e-commerce integration and automation, you can create the optimal holiday experience for your customers and staff this holiday season and beyond.