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Integrating Order Data Across Platforms

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Shipping software must integrate with everything

Shipping software downloads and returns data across the entire eCommerce eco-system to keep all systems in sync and fully up to date. It requests store order information, makes real time calls to carriers for shipping rates, validates addresses with verification software, works with various pieces of shipping hardware to print labels and process orders, communicates with label postage technologies to generate labels, and sends messages to customers with shipment tracking details. All of this information must be synchronized and accurate at all times.

shipping process chart

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Finding a quality shipping solution

To provide maximum value, a shipping solution must be able to integrate with the selling platform, with peripherals in the physical environment, and with other relevant software solutions (e.g., accounting and inventory management) so that order and shipping data can flow seamlessly between systems automatically. Integrations underpin the value of the solution.

 

How the data integration capabilities of a shipping solution affect business environments

 
eCommerce Environments

Selling Environment:

  • An open API to download order and customer data to the shipping system
  • Receive updates back from the shipping system
  • If products lend themselves to calculated shipping costs, accommodate info
  • Support capture of customer data and preferences

Shipping Environment:

  • Receive order and customer data from selling system to be processed
  • Address validation
  • Multiple carrier services including
    • Rate flexibility
    • Live rate quoting
    • Tracking numbers
    • Real time label generation
    • Pay on use labels
    • Delivery udpates
  • Update inventory, accounting software, and other systems.

Physical Environment:

  • Directly integrate peripherals with shipping system, for example:
    • Bar Code Scanners
    • Scales
    • Printers

Related Articles & Resources:

 

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This article was taken from The Definitive Guide to eCommerce Shipping

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