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September 7, 2017

Drive Operational Efficiency in
E-commerce with i95Dev and Temando

Author Vishnu
Category Blog | eCommerce | Integration |
eCommerce has revolutionized how shoppers and brands interact with each other in so many ways. Customers love browsing and ordering products anytime anywhere, at their convenience, and brands love offering customers a huge portfolio of products without the need to stock any inventory.

However, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes, of this seemingly simple exchange. In this blog, we will go behind the scenes to explore the complexity that surrounds a very simple use case of a customer placing an order, merchant fulfilling the order, to the customer receiving the product. We will also explore how i95Dev and Temando help brands drive operational efficiency in this complex environment.
Let us break down our use case into the following scenes

  • Scene 1: Finding the Right Product – Customer visits your e-commerce store and is browsing through your product portfolio
  • Scene 2: Placing the Order/ Checkout – Customer finds the product he/she was looking for, added the product to cart and is at the checkout page ready to place an order
  • Scene 3: Order Fulfillment – You have received the order and have initiated the process of fulfilling the order

Scene 1: Finding the Right Product

About the scene
You are a retailer with presence across multiple channels – physical stores, e-commerce store, eBay, and Amazon. Your e-commerce store is one of the most important channels of sale.
A customer, looking for exactly the product you sell, stumbles across your e-commerce store (thanks to all the marketing and promotional activities). He/she starts browsing your amazing and extensive product catalog hoping to find the product he/she would love to order.

Behind the scene – The Operational Challenges
What is the first thing your customers notice about your product? The product information of course – which includes everything from the product name, image, description, inventory, and more.
With such a large portfolio of products, how can brands like yours display rich, accurate, and consistent product information on their e-commerce store? Now imagine doing that across multiple channels – the complexity only gets multiplied.
In addition, not ensuring this can have a huge negative impact on your brand. Consider the impact the following situations can have on your customer’s experience

  • Customer visits your e-commerce store and finds insufficient (or incorrect) information about the product.
  • Customer finds inconsistent information about your products across channels, say eBay/ Amazon and e-commerce store.
  • The customer finds the product he/she loves only to find out, during checkout, that the product is out of stock.

Hence, ensuring rich, accurate, and consistent product information is critical to the success of your business. It not only affects customer experience but also the discoverability, read SEO, of your e-commerce store.

How i95Dev helps drive Efficiency
Most businesses often manage and maintain the product information, including inventory, in their ERP system. They use manual resources to sync this information from the ERP system to other channels. However, the manual sync approach is not only not scalable but also prone to errors.

i95Dev helps streamline the entire processes by automating information sync between your e-commerce and ERP system. i95Dev’s e-commerce ERP connector ensure a consistent product and inventory information across systems by keeping the two systems in sync without any manual intervention. In addition, the same setup can be extended to include other sales channels like eBay and Amazon.
This automation thus improves operational efficiency while ensuring improved customer experience (by preventing scenarios like over-selling of products, etc.).

Scene 2: Placing the Order/ Checkout

About the scene
The customer finds the product he/she loves, adds the product to the cart and is ready to checkout. The customer clicks on the Checkout button and is redirected to the checkout page.
On the checkout page, the customer is asked to enter some personal information (like name, email, phone number, billing and shipping address, etc.), select the shipping method, and make payment using the payment method of their choice.

Behind the scene – The Operational Challenges
With a staggering $4.6 trillion at stake (BusinessInsider), the total e-commerce sales lost because of shopping cart abandonment, checkout is probably the most important and nervous phase for both customers and brand alike.
Further, consider this – shipping, and related things are the most cited reason for shopping cart abandonment. Based on Temando’s 2017 State of Shipping in Commerce report for the U.S. market:

  • 82% of shoppers find shipping costs are generally too high, yet 51% of retailers admitted that they struggled with rising carrier costs.
  • 54% of shoppers admitted that they’ll abandon cart if the shipping cost is too high, while 39% will do the same if free shipping wasn’t offered.
  • Showing shipping information too late in the checkout process, and slow shipping are also cited as reasons for cart abandonment with close to 60% of shoppers stating that they’ll buy from a competitor if the desired shipping option is unavailable.

Source: The 2017 State of Shipping in Commerce – United States, Temando

Bottom line, how you handle shipping and the options you provide to your customers can be the difference between an order and an abandoned cart.
However, what prevents merchants from offering multiple and cost effective shipping options to customers is the operational effort required to support multiple shipping carriers. From identifying the right shipping providers, negotiating with them, to integrating the shipping method with the e-commerce store all require a lot of time and effort. In addition to this, the choice of popular shipping provider can vary by product, customer, and location.
How Temando helps drive Efficiency
What if there was a solution, which could take care of all your shipping needs – from identifying the right shipping provider, negotiation, to integration with an e-commerce store. That would allow you to focus on your customers and service them in best possible way, leaving the operational challenges to someone else.
Temando’s shipping solution integrates directly with your e-commerce store and enables you to offer multiple shipping options (like free, express, overnight, etc.) from a wide range of shipping providers across countries. More so, it gives you control to curate shipping promotions to help you boost customer experiences for better conversion and retention.
In addition to this, Temando gives you access to additional features like auto calculate shipping price based on zip code, create shipping rules based on items in the cart, the cart value (like say offer free shipping if the order value goes beyond a threshold), etc. and even flexibility to use custom rates or Temando negotiated discounted rates. All driving operational efficiency, while improving the customer experience, to your e-commerce business.

Scene 3: Order Fulfillment
About the scene
The customer is happy having placed the order and is eagerly waiting for the product to arrive.

Behind the scene – The Operational Challenges
With the order placed, most businesses have this feeling of triumph and lower their guard. However, order fulfillment can be an operational nightmare for any businesses. There are so many things, which could go wrong. Like,

  • delays in fulfillment because of lack of communication (or inefficient communication) with the warehouse management system,
  • routing the order to a wrong warehouse,
  • picking and packing the wrong products,
  • shipping the order to a wrong address,
  • items getting damaged in transit because of poor packaging,
  • customers getting annoyed because of lack of transparency and communication about order status and shipping tracking number, etc.

Also Read: How to Identify if you Need Automated E-commerce and ERP Integration?
In addition to this, businesses run the risk that their profit margins will get negatively affected because of the inefficiencies in their order fulfillment process. Like,

  • using manual resources to transfer orders from e-commerce to ERP systems,
  • taking more time to pick products,
  • incorrect packaging (using larger boxes, etc.),
  • shipping with wrong shipping provider (that costs more, etc.), etc.

Imagine the impact this could have on your customers. One bad experience and the customer may never come back and even advise against your brand.

How i95Dev and Temando help drive Efficiency

i95Dev and Temando together can help merchants take their order fulfillment process to the next level by automating bulk of the order fulfillment process. With i95Dev’s e-commerce ERP integration and Temando’s shipping solution merchants can automatically

  • sync orders to the ERP system for fulfillment or split orders and route them to the right warehouse (or physical store) for fulfillment
  • select most efficient shipping carrier based on shipping option selected
  • generate and print carrier compliant shipping labels
  • sync order status and shipping tracking number to the e-commerce system
  • send emails keeping customers informed about the order status and shipping tracking number
  • update customer, order, inventory, and invoice information across systems
  • maintain consistency in accounting books ensuring tax and regulatory compliance, and more.

By combining the powers of i95Dev and Temando, merchants can not only improve customer experience and drive customer loyalty but also improve the operational efficiency of their e-commerce businesses.

This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg. i95Dev and Temando have worked with clients across industries helping them build and drive some of the most amazing customer experiences in the most efficient way possible.

Are you ready improve the operational efficiency of your businesses while taking your customer experience to the next level?

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