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Order Fulfillment and Shopping Carts

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

So you have a successful store and maybe a website, and now you want to sell some products from your ecommerce store. Taking a brick and mortar retail presence and building a scalable ecommerce delivery solution can involve a few different resources to accomplish some success.

Here is a breakdown of the different functions that make up a complete ecommerce order fulfillment solution beyond just hosting your company’s website (and of course assuming you aren’t interested in creating all of this on your own).

From a process standpoint the website continues to act as the electronic billboard and hopefully it is capturing potential buyers and telling the world about what your company has to offer.

In a complete solution, your website will connect to an Ecommerce Software package. This logistics software will house product information, the shopping cart functionality, provide reporting, etc. It will then connect to a merchant account provider and your order fulfillment operation.

All your products available for purchase will be uploaded and maintained as part of the ecommerce software by you or your company’s designate, although appear to be on the your main site from the customer’s perspective.

At this point the process for communicating orders from the ecommerce software provider to your ecommerce order fulfillment provider would be established. This will be set up to be transparent to you and is straightforward to accomplish. Depending on the provider there may be some minor programming costs to automate the process.

Customers will look for and choose products, place them in a shopping cart similar to any other website. The work flows are standard and you should assume the integration for this part of the process will work seamlessly for the customer and be transparent to you.

Handling the payment transaction will possibly bring another party (the Merchant Account Provider) in to the process. To handle payment at the point of check out, you will either need to designate a separate Merchant Account Provider that will connect to the ecommerce software to handle the payment, or many software providers will provide the service.

Most systems also provide CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Tools that will provide you with information on its site users, which may be of value from a marketing perspective.

Social Media for Logistics

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