Why Warehouse Integration is Critical to Shopping Cart Selection

attachment (3)There are many decisions that need to be made when selecting a shopping cart program for your website. Oftentimes, companies choose a shopping cart based upon cost, ease of use, and ability to meet the design needs of the business, among other popular considerations. However, while these are all important, many businesses fail to consider a critical aspect of the integration process – how effectively does the shopping cart integrate with warehouse systems and operations? Whether integrating with an in house warehouse system or outsourced 3pl companies, the extent to which the shopping cart integrates will have a significant impact on overall expense, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. Warehouse integration is critical to shopping cart selection. Keep these tops tips in mind when considering the best shopping cart to use for your business.

Are Orders Automatically Transferred to the Warehouse?

It is important to transfer order information automatically to the warehouse when your client places an order through your shopping cart program. If this process is not automated, then it will have to be performed manually. The result of manually transferring orders to the warehouse is inefficiency, added expense for additional manpower, and customers possibly having to wait longer for their order. Providing warehouse staff with a simple and easy way of downloading order information will streamline the entire picking and shipping process and minimize order processing time. Make sure the shopping cart program you choose has this capability.

Is Tracking Information Automatically Sent to Customers?

When a customer places an order through your shopping cart they will probably expect the information for the shipping and tracking of their order. This needs to be considered when choosing your shopping cart program. If warehouse integration is part of your shopping cart it will most likely also be able to automatically send your customer shipping and tracking information. Customers that don’t receive shipping and tracking information are more likely to contact or call your business for updates which is not cost effective or efficient. This seemingly small detail can save you money and promote customer satisfaction.

Is Inventory Synced?

When your customers browse your website, they’ll rely upon your inventory data when making purchase decisions. If actual inventory levels are not synced with the shopping cart, then the potential exists for errors to take place. For example, if actual inventory is lower than inventory stated on the website, then customers may place an order even though insufficient product exists to fulfill the order. This will result in customer dissatisfaction and potential lost sales. Make sure that the shopping cart offers the ability sync appropriately with actual inventory levels.

What Are the Integration Costs?

The cost of connecting your shopping cart to your warehouse management system can vary. Some of the more popular shopping carts have pre-established connections with many of the warehouse management systems, which lowers the overall cost of integration. As an alternative, there are third party software programs that can help integrate the less popular shopping cart programs with your warehouse, depending on the needs of your business. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons, costs involved, and time required to integrate for more popular shopping cart solutions versus less popular options.

As you can see, there are some very important warehouse related factors to consider when deciding which shopping cart system to use for your business. Because the warehousing and shipping processes are so important in delivering a positive experience to your customers, be sure not to overlook the extent to which each shopping cart solution addresses these critical success factors. In doing so, you’ll not only reduce operating cost but also increasing customer satisfaction.

 

Guest post written by Will Schneider, President of insightMedia, Inc., a company that helps businesses find reputable pick and pack and fulfillment companies.

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