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3 Questions E-Commerce Businesses Need to Ask About Integrations and Fulfillment

An e-commerce fulfillment company provides an extensive list of services to online retailers. A key component to providing these services is a seamless integration with an online retailer’s existing platforms and software.

There’s no room for error here. Orders can’t be processed if there is a disconnect or delay between the storefront and the fulfillment center.

When searching for an e-commerce fulfillment company, one of the first questions online retailers ask is if the fulfillment company’s inventory management software integrates with their storefront. While that’s a critical question to ask, there are three more questions you’ll want to ask about a fulfillment company’s integration capabilities.

Fulfillment Integrations: Real-Time Inventory Analytics

Connecting with a storefront or website for orders and inventory management is the most common and perhaps the most important integration between an e-commerce business and a fulfillment company.

Any integration with your e-commerce fulfillment partner needs to provide real-time data and reports formatted for you and your customers.

When data is displayed in real-time, you’ll have complete visibility into your inventory, orders and operations.

Knowing your real-time inventory levels ensures that your website reflects exactly what’s available to purchase. The last thing you want is for a customer to purchase an item and then have to notify them that the item is actually out-of-stock. Real-time inventory data also informs you when items are running low or if there is a sudden surge in demand for an item.

Fulfillment Integrations: Multiple Selling Platforms

73% of online shoppers use multiple platforms, such as Instagram and Amazon, when seeking the items they need. Savvy online retailers have figured out this strategy works in reverse and are increasingly having a presence across multiple online shopping platforms.

Your fulfillment partner needs to be able to integrate with those channels, too.

It’s not enough for an e-commerce fulfillment company to integrate only with your Shopify storefront since you may also be selling products on Instagram or Amazon. Each of these platforms has different selling rules and processes, meaning each requires its own integration.

Additionally, shoppers expect to be able to track their order from the moment it’s placed. In fact, 70% of online shoppers said tracking was one of the top three reasons they decided to make a purchase. This aspect of shipping must also be integrated.

Custom and Complex Fulfillment Integrations

An API (application programming interface) is an easy and secure way to exchange data between different software programs. For example, when you use Google to sign into a third-party website, you’re doing so through an API.

An API is by far the simplest method to integrate your storefront with a fulfillment company’s inventory management system. A fulfillment company can also integrate with your storefront through:

  • Storefront plugins.
  • Third-party middleware providers.
  • Manual uploading of files.

Unfortunately, not every storefront integrates with fulfillment software, causing some online retailers to reinvent the wheel and abandon platforms they’ve successfully been using for years.

If you have disparate platforms or software, be sure to look for a fulfillment partner with an in-house development team that can create custom integrations.

Seamless E-Commerce Fulfillment Integrations with GLF

GLF takes pride in providing fast, seamless and customized integration solutions for e-commerce businesses across the country.

While most fulfillment companies take up to four weeks to integrate with your storefront, GLF can get you fully integrated within 24 to 48 hours–often before your inventory arrives at our warehouse.

Our proprietary, cloud-based software is completely customizable and integrates with hundreds of storefronts, CRMs and order management systems, including:

We’re also constantly adding new integrations and enhancing our API systems to improve data exchange.

In addition to fast integration, GLF’s cloud-based platform provides precision order and inventory data in a variety of formats for both you and your customers.

Here are just a few of our comprehensive, real-time reporting capabilities:

Inventory Balances Report 

This report provides a date-range view of inventory levels and movement within the WMS. The report includes a SKU with a beginning balance for the date range and any receipts, shipments, returns, positive or negative adjustments in that date range, as well as the ending balance for that date range. We recommend pulling this report at least once per month.

Tracking Data Summary Report

The Tracking Statistic Report indicates package shipment costs and analysis on average ship cost, weight, and shipping zone distribution. The Tracking Data Detail Report provides that same info but at the line-item detail level.

Open Orders Report

This report provides the ability to view any orders at the line-item detail level that are still open or processing in the system.

Item Dashboard and Inventory On-Hand Report

The Item Dashboard provides a snapshot view of item status. It reveals how many units are on-hand and if there are any units in order. It will also send low-stock alerts. The Inventory On-Hand Report provides a snapshot of on-hand inventory quantities.

Orders Dashboard

This dashboard provides a snapshot summary of order statuses throughout order processing.

Component of Report

This specialized report tied to GLF’s Virtual Kit Concept allows for looking at the SKU and seeing a list of offers that an item is connected to. It’s very useful when swapping out coupons or inserts from an offer and substituting for back-ordered or discontinued items.

Need a reporting feature that isn't listed? No problem. 

Our in-house development team is on call to create customized solutions for your unique business needs. For example, if you’re having trouble integrating an obscure storefront, our developers will create specialty integrations upon request.

And you’ll never have to wait days for customer support. Our team takes the time upfront to learn your business and work with you as a proactive partner to create personalized solutions that sync with your processes.

To learn more about our fulfillment services and integrations, contact us today.

GLF fulfillment integrations

 

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