Does anyone else check their website in the morning, and randomly decide they need to redesign the entire thing?
Or is that just me?
Hey guys, Where I live, none of the popular payment gateways are available. I found one payment processor which is solid but it requires my personal name to be on the checkout, along with my address and phone number. All of this since I dont have a registered company. Ive contacted with them several times, since this is unacceptable I think, but I dont have any other choice than use this provider.
How comfortable would you guys be if your name was on the checkout? Thanks
Hi fellow Redditors! I'm looking for advice on applying for Authorize.Net's Enhanced Credit Capabilities feature. In a nutshell, I work at a large University where we recently switched to Authorize.Net to collect deposits for keys instead of using an old school credit card terminal. This change was driven largely by the pandemic, but also by a desire to modernize our operations and reduce the reliance on our old credit card machine. Long story short: we collect a deposit from students in exchange for providing physical keys to the building. The deposit it charged against the student's credit card using Authorize.Net. Upon graduation, this student returns the keys in exchange for a refund of said deposit. Here's where we run into a problem: normally Authorize.Net only allows merchants to perform what's called "linked" refunds; that is, a refund on a customer's credit card has to be linked to the original "charge" transaction. Moreover, the original charge transaction must have happened within 180 days of the refund. Our students, however, stick around for a lot longer than 180 days, and as such, we need to be able to refund their deposits years after they'd paid them. To be able to issue "unlinked" refunds (that is arbitrary refunds not linked to a charge transaction that happened in the last 180 days), one needs to apply for ECC (Enhanced Credit Capabilities), a free feature that needs to be enabled on one's Authorize.Net account. While the feature is free, an application and approval from Authorize.net is required before it can be enabled.
I understand why credit card companies have policies re: refunds, however, at the same time, I think we have a legitimate use case here that I think warrants ECC (Enhanced Credit Capabilities). Therefore, I wanted to reach out to this community to see if anyone has had any experience applying for ECC, and if there are any caveats/gotchas we should watch out for… Any other pointers in general?
I'm working on an app that will allow for monthly subscriptions, and where people will sell goods through my app and receive their money into their account, at first Stripe looked good but they charge 2$ monthly for each merchant (Stripe Connect account), afaik Checkout.com offers merchant accounts with no monthly fees.
Any experiences or suggestions about their service? Is it possible to activate merchant accounts easily and programatically?
Hey guys! My cousin has a bigger clothing shop in a third world country. They do not have paypal or credit cards and cannot use their bank accounts for online banking. Since he gets many requests from europe and the US he asked me if I could help him integrate a payment solution. Unfortunately I do not know how and he does not use smth like shopify where theres a built-in solution. Any ideas on how we could solve this?
With more and more companies rushing to move from offline to online, we find ourselves in a modern-day gold rush. But just like the gold miners, there are winners and losers when finding success online.
While sales and marketing are critical pieces to online omnichannel success, there’s an often-overlooked piece missing from the equation — operations. Because if back-end operations aren’t included as a pillar of your omnichannel strategy, you risk burnout and declining sales.
Today, many businesses use a combination of spreadsheets and legacy software to manage back-end operations: tracking inventory, planning, ordering, etc. However, these manual processes and disparate systems fall apart quickly.
So what should you do? How can you manage inventory, plan for product demand, and get the right product to the right customer? The answer, of course, depends on what you’re trying to do.
In this post, we’ll review the different types of back-office systems to help you determine exactly which one you need — and get you on the path to automation.
4 Types of Ecommerce Back-Office Systems
The most popular back-office systems for managing ecommerce operations include:
- Order management systems
- Inventory management systems
- Warehouse management systems
- Enterprise resource planning software
Each one has a specific functionality that can drive efficiencies, and selecting the right one, hinges on the needs of your specific business.
1. Order Management Systems (OMS).
Let’s kick things off with order management systems (OMS). At its most basic level, order management means how you handle orders from the moment the customer completes checkout until they receive their item (and sometimes when they send the item back to you). And the system is whatever method, or methods, you choose to complete the process.
This means your OMS will manage the processes tied to orders and their fulfillment, such as:
- Allocating orders to the appropriate warehouse for shipping
- Processing the orders
- Providing a record of data on the status of orders and the inventory they contain
Brightpearl does an excellent job of breaking it down even further if you want to get more granular details on what an OMS does. They also highlight the different types of systems for order management, including:
Manual order processing: This might look like printing a CSV spreadsheet, then, placing an order with your warehouse, printing a shipping label, and finally, picking and packing the order for shipment.
Managing orders through your ecommerce platform: If you only sell direct-to-consumer through your website, you can use your ecommerce platform to keep track of orders. However, if you’re selling on other channels, such as Walmart, or through social media, like Instagram, this can lead to trouble.
Order management software: For smaller businesses who don’t have a large tech stack, order management software can work well, especially if you can integrate it into your existing ecommerce platform. Some great examples include SureDone and Sellbrite.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that OMS software, unlike manual processes and ecommerce platforms, will help you automate. And automation is key when you’re looking to sell more and grow your business.
2. Inventory Management Systems (IMS).
Now, let’s move on to inventory management systems (IMS). Inventory management (sometimes called inventory control) is about monitoring the quantities and locations of your products. It accounts for the entire product lifecycle — whether it’s sitting on a warehouse shelf with your distributor, currently being fulfilled, or in the process of being returned by a customer.
So when you can effectively track your inventory, you know exactly how much of each item you have, which items are running low, and when you need to replenish them.
Brightpearl has another excellent guide devoted to inventory management for more details, but some of the benefits they highlight of effective inventory management include:
- Less risks of running out of stock
- More insights into high-performing products
- Better customer experiences
- Great theft deterrent
When it comes to inventory management systems, they’re very similar to the ones for order management:
Manual systems: This could include keeping track of inventory using a ledger or spreadsheets. However, these methods are very prone to error, especially when multiple people are involved.
Inventory management software: Software systems automate time-consuming manual processes and offer many features, such as low stock notifications and real-time stock reporting. Even better, cloud-based software can integrate with your existing tech stack.
For example, Shopventory can all easily integrate seamlessly with BigCommerce. This automated connection is particularly advantageous for saving time if you’re selling through multiple third-party marketplaces, like Walmart and Amazon, in addition to your ecommerce store.
The only downside to dedicated inventory management software is that it can get complicated for businesses with multiple technology systems that need to work together.
3. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS).
So if you already have an IMS, why would you need a warehouse management system (WMS)? While some people use IMS and WMS interchangeably, there is a key difference in the latter — it’s specific to warehouse operations.
As SkuVault explains, a WMS is an important element of your supply chain that manages inventory, picking processes, reporting and auditing. Your WMS can work with your IMS to track items as they move throughout the process of storage, picking and packing.
Additionally, a WMS can oversee multiple warehouses and centralize the information to facilitate the distribution of goods. Some warehouse management software can also help you automate the kitting and bundling process, which can potentially increase your sales.
SkuVault also shares the core components of a WMS:
- Handling receiving and returns, ensuring you have the right balance of inventory
- Managing warehouse logistics, improving efficiency by reducing labor costs
- Integrating with your existing technology, enabling seamless order processing
- Reporting and forecasting, helping maximize your warehouse space
So when you want to automate the receiving and sending of goods, warehouse management systems, such as the ones offered by SkuVault and Scout TopShelf, are an excellent choice.
Though these days, some inventory management systems also offer this functionality, along with a host of other features including order management, stock visibility and purchase order (PO) generation.
4. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
Finally, we’ve reached enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. ERP systems encompass many of the functionalities mentioned in the systems above — and then some.
In fact, another term for ERPs is business management system, for the very reason that they can manage multiple areas within your ecommerce back-end operations.
ERPs offer a bit everything, from inventory and orders to payments and warehouse operations — and can eventually become the single source of truth for your data. For instance, access to accurate data was a big reason why BigCommerce merchant Saddleback Leather switched to Acumatica for their ERP.
“I find more people are using Acumatica because it’s intuitive, makes sense and is so easy to use. We don’t have spreadsheets flying around and people have access to the same data all the time,” said Dave Munson, Saddleback Leather Founder and CEO.
However, not all ERP systems are the same. Legacy systems with limited functionality can actually inhibit your ecommerce growth. Acumatica provides a helpful checklist to help you evaluate the features you’ll need for your business, which include:
- Does it seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce platform?
- Can you perform critical accounting and business management functions?
- Is it on the cloud so that you can synch and access data from the internet?
- How will you be charged as you grow and scale your ecommerce business?
- Will the system enable you to reduce risk and improve security?
Additionally, due to their scope of capabilities and centralization, ERPs are best for larger companies (both B2B and B2C), fast-growing DNVBs, and complex use cases, such as selling on multiple sales channels, including online and in-store.
Key Takeaway: Automate Your Back-Office Operations
At the end of the day, whether you’re a small business just getting off the ground or a global enterprise, it’s imperative that you automate your ecommerce back-end operations. Because when you do, you unlock the keys to better customer experiences, less wasted time, greater efficiencies and so much more.
I am month/month maxing out my credit card (as well as spending previous months income) with inventory purchases while turning profit. Credit card is paid month/month so there is no debt carried. My wife just asked me the simplest question: where is all the money you are making? The Answer: its all tied up in more/more inventory.
so when do you let off the gas on this cycle? Obviously the more I have the more I can sell. But this seems to be a endless cycle because the market is obviously pretty infinite. So how are you drawing the line between growth and taking a cut of the profit? Asking for the wife….
Bonus question: Do I get a second CC to continue this cycle? a third?
One thing that I don't see enough in the ecom space is follow-up emails after the sale.
It's a simple automation to set up, and your customers will appreciate getting these emails.
Think of it this way, when you sit down at a restaurant and order your food, the waiter doesn't drop your food off and ignore you the rest of the night, right?
(Well, a shitty waiter might)
A good waiter will follow up with you, ask how your food is, and if you need anything else.
And when you finish your meal, they'll typically ask if you want to purchase a dessert.
You need to do the same thing with your customers.
Whenever they make a purchase, send them an email and get them excited about the product.
Then a few days later, once they've had time to use the product, follow up with them!
Ask them how they like the product.
Give them some tips/guidance with their product.
And towards the end of these emails, don't be afraid to pitch an item that will compliment their purchase.
If you sell a consumable, send them an email whenever they should be low on their supply.
Also, you don’t have to make these emails fancy.
Make them human—plain text emails.
For starters, I'd suggest 3 emails for your "follow-up sequence," but feel free to add more.
Hope this was helpful.
If you have any thoughts/questions/criticisms, let me know in the comments!