E-commerce Data Automation
I recently had a discussion with another E-commerce store owner about how we were able to manage our inventory across multiple marketplaces. We currently manage 20,000 skus across three marketplaces and are continually adding new products to our storefront. It was a great discussion and I thought it would be an interesting topic for a blog. This also allows me to step away for a minute from writing about healthcare and nutritional supplements.
We researched many data automation platforms and finally decided on ChannelApe, ChannelApe allowed us to create a custom integration with our supplier's product feeds, and they gave us the ability to create business rules, thus allowing for complete control of our inventory across multiple markets.
The starting point was to build an integration to our supplier product feeds, our supplier offered XML files via an API, the developers at ChannelApe built this integration which allowed us to pull inventory and push orders back to our warehouses for fulfillment. We also get fulfillment data back from warehosue and the end customer is then updated. This process is fully automated and reduced our order workflow time by a third.
Once our product data was pulled from our supplier, we had the ability to create business rules and apply them to the data. These business rules gave us complete control over how we sold items and where.
Our next step was to install the shopify app within ChannelApe so that we could send the xml file from ChannelApe to shopify and update our inventory across our dot com store. Once we had an order on shopify we could submit that order back to our warehouse via an automated fashion. This was all possible because ChannelApe is fully integrated with Shopify.
We were looking to expand our reach and sell on another platform, we chose Amazon. ChannelApe already had an integration built to amazon so it was as easy as installing an app and now we had 20,000 items for sale on the largest marketplace in the world.