While it’s easy to see the benefits of an optimized and integrated ecommerce system for customer management, it’s equally – if less obviously – important to have that system integrate with the one managing your inventory and shipping operations. The best ecommerce systems allow you to track customer and merchandise information with one interface; integrate with supply chain and finance systems; quickly and consistently update product data for multiple channels or storefronts. Having an inventory system that syncs with all of these other mission-critical systems further optimizes your ecommerce system and makes your ecommerce company even more competitive.
Optimize Service Delivery
Customers have found your site, been impressed by what youoffer, and made their purchase. Delivering exceptional service does not end with that transaction. With major brands offering ever-quicker delivery options, having an integrated inventory and warehouse system that continues to provide a superb and streamlined customer experience is essential. For some vendors, taking advantage of drop shipping may be the answer; for others, it may involve warehouse space in multiple locations. Whatever the solution, a system that integrates all your tools will make your company the most effective.
Accurate Data for B2B/D2C Delivery
Syncing your inventory systems from warehouse to ecommerce to brick-and-mortar empowers your employees to accurately respond to customer queries and sell any and all available inventory. You don’t have to worry about overselling merchandise or having items languish on warehouse shelves. Without integration, information lags can result in inventory inconsistencies and prevent optimal merchandise dispersal.
Update Inventory Once
With an integrated system, you only have to update your data once. One upload and everyone across your system can quickly and reliably access precise stock levels. Better information makes it easier to sell the inventory on your shelves – wherever those shelves may be.
Optimize Shipping Time
With multiple warehouse locations, you can optimize shipping time to your customers. Based on their ship-to location, you can select from where in your system their merchandise should ship – a retail location in Chicago, a warehouse in San Diego, one in Philadelphia, a customer service center in Atlanta. Shipping merchandise from as close to your customer as possible is an easy and effective way to bring down shipping time and cost.
Reduce Liability, Reduce Footprint, Increase Options
Working with distribution partners is a great way to reduce inventory liability and warehouse footprint. They purchase and house the merchandise you offer to your customers and ship out when you upload a customer order to them. This is particularly cost-effective when moving large items – saving you the expense of shipping a heavy item twice or from finding the warehouse space for an oversized item. Moreover, if working with multiple distribution partners, an integrated inventory system lets you select the drop-shipper located closest to your customer, reducing ship time.
Omnichannel Delivery Integration
Another easy way to improve delivery time and customer satisfaction is to forge appropriate partnerships with brick-and-mortar retailers or distributors to provide omnichannel delivery. This may not be an appropriate avenue for all ecommerce retailers, but larger brands have tested the waters and customers have proved receptive. Further investigation may be warranted, depending on existing partnerships and business needs.
Integrate End-to-End to Compete End-to-End
As we have outlined previously, an integrated ecommerce platform provides numerous opportunities to increase efficiency, improve business processes, and make your company more competitive. The same holds true when it comes to warehouse and inventory management. After taking the time to upgrade your customer or supply systems to make your business more competitive in the consumer marketplace, it is worthwhile to do the same to increase your advantage in inventory management and merchandise delivery.