Brian has been scouring the internet for weeks, and today all of the typing and searching has paid off. He tracked down a replica of the championship hat and t-shirt from his favorite team’s title run. It’s a bittersweet discovery, because that same team hasn’t won a title in over 20 years. But nonetheless, with a click of the mouse, they will be waiting on his doorstep in only a matter of days.
While the convenience of technology has made shopping easier than ever, it has presented new opportunities, as well as challenges for retailers. In addition to retailers, it has also opened up an entire new avenue of business, e-commerce. E-commerce is expected to account for $370 billion by 2017 according to Forrester Research, making up 10% of all retail sales in the United States. With such huge engagement and potential, competition is higher than ever before.
A key advantage for an e-commerce retailer is low overheard. Without a brick and mortar storefront, and the outsourcing of other services that traditional retailers can be handcuffed to, a tremendous amount of savings can be passed on to customers. However, the logistics involved in getting a vintage national championship hat from a warehouse to a beleaguered fan across the country can be quite complex. In a fiercely competitive market, the margin for error is slim. Customers have more options than ever before and as the number of alternatives grows, loyalty wanes.
With your reputation and bottom line at stake, streamlining your operations with a focus on accuracy and customer satisfaction can create a tremendous competitive advantage. Here are three reasons why your e-commerce platform should integrate with your fulfillment operations.
1.) Receive real time data: With your two most critical systems communicating, the timely, relevant and accurate data your business depends upon will be readily available.
2.) Offer quicker response times: Feedback from your warehouse and transportation operations allows you to quickly make decisions that can enhance your proficiency.
3.) Enhance inventory management: Now that your orders are speaking directly to your fulfillment center, your inventory management should be drastically streamlined. This is an element that can prevent order errors and customer dissatisfaction.
Leveraging an e-commerce platform that interfaces and communicates with your supply chain operations cannot only optimize your overall performance, it can reduce time wastage and human error. This should be a key consideration when making the decision to partner with a third party logistics provider. Barrett Distribution Centers is pleased to be listed on the knowledge base of Xtento. Xtento is the developer of extensions for Magento, which is an open-source e-commerce platform with a customizable shopping cart. This integration allows Barrett to integrate fulfillment management processes into Magento users’ selling processes.