About the Client:
Alpine’s client was utilizing Amazon and Ebay stores to sell non-prescription orthotic products to consumers. This worked well, but the manual process of getting the orders into the ERP and updating the order status in Amazon/Ebay was unwieldy and time consuming. This process required a team of individuals who manually entered the order data in the ERP, updated the order records in Amazon/eBay, and kept inventory/pricing updated on Amazon/eBay.
The client had an existing B2C Magento 1.13.x store which was already integrated to the ERP for order creation, order status updating, and payment processing. The existing store had some business logic which did not support all requirements for the Amazon and eBay orders but had many of the key elements in place.
Client Challenges and Requirements:
Client needed a solution which:
- Automated order entry for Amazon and eBay orders into the ERP
- Distinguished between Amazon, Amazon FBA, and eBay orders as each had its own workflow
- Automated order status updates with shipping information notifications pushed from ERP to Amazon/eBay
- Automated credit card cash posting for Amazon/ebay orders to the ERP
- Automated updates of product inventory and pricing data from ERP to Amazon/eBay
The Solution – Addressing the Challenges:
1. Automating order entry
- Integration with Channel Advisor to import orders from Amazon/ebay into Magento was configured via API Integration every 15 minutes
- A new website was added to the existing B2C Magento instance to support creation of the Amazon/eBay orders
- The existing order creation API from Magento to ERP was used to automatically push orders from the Magento website to the ERP for fulfillment
2. Distinguishing whether the order was an Amazon, Amazon FBA, or eBay order
- On the new website, three (3) customers were created; one for each marketplace
- As orders were imported, the orders were created on the appropriate customer record in Magento
- Fields were created to distinguish whether the order originated in Amazon or eBay and these passed in the order XML from Magento to the ERP
3. Automating order status updates/shipment notifications in Amazon/eBay
- Existing B2C Magento instance had credit cards payments already setup and configured to receive advanced shipping notices (ASNs) from the ERP
- For the new website the logic for ASNs was updated to push the shipping notice from ERP to Magento for the new Amazon and eBay orders
- Magento received the ASN(s) and automatically updated the order status as well as fill in the shipping carrier and tracking information
- Tracking information was pushed from Magento to Channel Advisor which then updated the orders in Amazon/eBay and triggered capture of funds
4. Automated credit card cash posting for Amazon/ebay orders to the ERP
- Channel Advisor integration setup to export order payment data to ERP to apply cash posting
- Process was setup with client’s SFTP to automate the import of this data
5. Automated updates of product inventory and pricing data from ERP to Amazon/eBay
- Inventory availability and pricing reports were built in ERP
- Process was setup with client’s SFTP to automate the export of this data
- Job was scheduled to run every hour and automatically import via Channel Advisor flat file integration
- Channel Advisor services update the inventory for Amazon and eBay automatically
- Additional logic to handle orders with missing data and validate the SKU is valid in Magento and the ERP
- For orders which need manual review, admin interfaces were created to review and resubmit failed requests
- Error handling was put in place along with email notification when instances occur
- Additional development may still be done to handle returns and refunds processing automatically – RMA is not enabled in the Magento instance so not possible for Phase 1
Alpine was able to deliver a solution which resolved the five (5) challenges presented by the customer which all required manual intervention and costly on resources and time.
The solution provided a 2-way integration which automated the workflow needed to process orders from Amazon and eBay into the client’s ERP. The workflow handled order creation, error handling, and order status updates for shipments with tracking information. Flat file integration was also put in place to handle the inventory, pricing, and cash posting.
Implementing the Channel Advisor integration with the Magento instance greatly reduced the number of manual processes and related overhead. This enabled our client to allocate resources to strategic initiatives at the core of their business.
If you’re looking to increase the efficiency of your ecommerce operations, please reach out!