Start up online retailers and small to medium size ecommerce retailers are the types of clients we work with most often. Sometimes these are businesses that are not yet shipping orders, or in other cases are doing the order fulfillment themselves.
As the decision gets made to outsource the order fulfillment function one of the first questions that comes up is how to connect their ecommerce (or shopping cart) software to our system so their customer orders can be fed to our order fulfillment warehouse for packing and shipping.
This can happen a number of ways.
API – Most ecommerce software programs offer an API plug in that will connect directly with our warehouse management system (WMS). The WMS is the system that controls all the operations within the warehouse including inventory, pick tickets, shipping, etc. This is the most hands off approach.
FTP, Email – Order files (as a csv, txt, xml etc) can typically be created automatically from a shopping cart program and placed on an FTP site and then imported into our WMS. The files can also be emailed. This can be completely automated end to end or may involve some manual file handling depending on how it is set up.
Web Portal – For lower volume clients, some prefer to enter the orders manually via our web portal.