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The world of e-commerce - through the eyes of a supplier

Updated: Jan 18, 2022

E-commerce and the changes it brings to local, as well as global, consumer habits are widely spoken and written about, in various contexts. Most often the spotlight is focused on the end consumer and the stores themselves. this article is dedicated to the supplier and his side of the business.

The most important factor in the supply chain is usually behind the scenes and is not equally appreciated - the supplier, of course, the one that is responsible for supplying the most popular products online through most of the e-commerce websites - simultaneously.

Who are the people behind those products? And how do products get published so quickly and on a variety of sites?

It is tempting to think that by their very nature the behind-the-scenes processes of e-commerce websites (where "dream become reality" at the push of a button) are automatic, fast, and with almost no human input. After all, this is e-commerce...

In practice, the reality is a little less glamorous. It is surprising to discover how much engagement and work manual processes are still carried out using methods that were considered the pinnacle of progress somewhere in the late 1990s — emails, phones, and many, many Excel files. What’s more: Each e-commerce website has its own interface, so many vendors find themselves using several different interfaces and logging in, every day, multiple times a day, to several different systems and web apps. All that and we have not yet mentioned the fact that back-office systems need to get updated daily, such as an inventory management system, distribution interface and shipments, WMS, and more...

This situation naturally leads to general chaos: the supplier does not necessarily know at any given moment how many, in what amounts, and where his products are being published and sold.

This leads to very slow delivery times and poor service to the end consumer.

So what can we do?

To become more organized, and as a result to maximize online sales, earn more and minimize manual work - here are 3 main tips for a supplier who sells/wants to sell on e-commerce websites, in the following order:

1. Make sure there is a uniform and accessible database for the extraction of all the products you sell online. The more information there is about your products, the more efficient your automated integrations will be and the effort needed to publish the products to the marketplaces will be shortened. this includes managing stocks, inventory, updated prices, and products descriptions.

2. Use of a uniform interface that merges all the data mentioned above and is able to "push" it to your vendors' back-office systems (such as inventory and warehouse management, shipping companies, and fulfillment providers).

This interface should enable the following activities to become fully automated -

Commercial activities - product creation, advertising transactions, promotions, and live updates.

Operational activities - handling orders and sending them to happy customers, tracking and managing transactions, and other diverse reports related to sales.

3. After the first two steps have been completed, the 3rd step is all about analytics. When you'll have everything placed in front of you, in one control center, you will be able to analyze the data and decide on an outline for your future online activity.

In conclusion

It's amazing to see suppliers time and time again (many both good and experienced) who discover things about their e-commerce activity that surprise even them...

Managing online sales on a variety of e-commerce websites should be much simpler and easier, and this is exactly the solution offered by ADMONIS.

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