It’s pretty straightforward for a retailer to set up an eBay store. But each new sales channel adds another layer of logistics. How can you set up online shopping so you can enjoy extra sales with minimal effort?
This week’s workflow comes from OneSaas, a cloud integration company that transfers information between applications in a business. With eBay as the starting point, a retailer can set up a workflow that stretches all the way to delivery to the customer’s door.
Here’s how it works. A customer buys a product from an eBay store. OneSaas sends the customer’s details such as address, email and the products ordered to two places – the retailer’s accounting system and a fulfilment service.
The accounting program automatically generates an invoice to the customer based on the purchase information from the eBay store. The retailer then approves the invoice and emails it to the customer. The accounting program would then update its inventory and OneSaas would send the updated inventory amount to the eBay store to show in real time how much stock was available.
The fulfilment service turns the customer’s order into a picking form for its warehouse, retrieves the order and sends it directly to the customer. Fulfilment services such as NextLogistics included managed warehouses so a retailer never needs to see or touch the stock customers are buying.
OneSaas takes the tracking codes and courier company details from the fulfilment service and sends it back to eBay, which updates the order status to “Shipped”. If the retailer is relying on the fulfilment service to track inventory, then OneSaas updates stock levels in eBay from this source.
Updating eBay is important for two reasons, says OneSaas CTO Corneliu Tusnea. High-volume retailers can avoid the finicky job of updating statuses for each customer. And by constantly updating the amount of stock a retailer can avoid selling products that aren’t available, an error which attracts penalties from eBay.
One question retailers need to answer is which program will hold the master inventory. Tusnea says it largely depends on the size of turnover. A retailer who sells unique items such as handmade furniture tends to make on order. The accounting program is the simplest place to track low amounts of stock.
High-volume retailers prefer to use a fulfilment service or dedicated inventory program because accounting systems can’t handle negative stock, which is how pre-orders are commonly displayed.
“It’s a matter of preference to what the customer wants. If the stock goes very fast they don’t want to track that in their accounting program,” Tusnea says.