3 Companies, Many Challenges, 1 Solution

3 Companies, Many Challenges, 1 SolutionKeyBar.us: Key organizer and multi-use tool
Founded: 2013
Tech Stack: QuickBooks Enterprise, Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce
Challenge: Sync sales data and inventory into QuickBooks to and from multiple stores

Michael and Jessica Taylor’s patented key holder works like a multi-tool for keys. They sell globally at several locations, on a BigCommerce store, a Shopify store, and through wholesale distribution. In 2014, they implemented Unify into their workflows, and since then they have accurately and easily downloaded e-commerce orders into the appropriate QuickBooks accounts. With 1,400 sales each month, they’re now able to process orders within 24 hours.

With Webgility Unify, Keybar:

  • Saves 40 hours/month in data entry

  • Increased sales by <100%

  • Processes orders in < 24 hours

Loving Guidance Case StudyLoving Guidance: Educational materials
Founded: 1997
Tech Stack: QuickBooks Enterprise, ShipStation, Shopify
Challenge: Sync sales data and inventory

Founded in 1997, the educational company Loving Guidance now uses
Unify to automate their Shopify online and POS sales data into QuickBooks and
reduce order processing time. And they even integrate Unify with their ShipStation account. Now they’re much better equipped to handle busy times and accurately predict sales. With better visibility into their finances, Loving Guidance is able to see how they can reduce fees and expenses and make more educated decisions about the future of the company.

With Webgility Unify, Loving Guidance:

  • Keeps timely and accurate inventory

  • Maintains clean and up-to-date accounting

  • Reduced order processing from 2 weeks to 1 day

Club Ride Apparel case studyClub Ride Apparel: Cycling clothing
Founded: 2008
Tech Stack: NetSuite, Square, Amazon, Shopify Plus
Challenges: Inaccurate inventory, over-selling, and manual data entry
between systems

Selling on Amazon, Shopify Plus, with Square, and to more than 300 retailers across
the U.S., mountain-town retailer Club Ride Apparel needed a big-city solution to sync data together and into NetSuite. Without integration between sales, NetSuite, customers, and inventory, their brand equity was suffering. In fact, with no real-time visibility into inventory, partial fulfillment had become an issue for Club Ride. Now with Unify in their toolkit, they feel great about the trail ahead.

With Webgility, Club Ride Apparel:

  • Saves > 50 hours/month on data entry

  • Increased order volume by 20%

  • Processes orders in 1 hour (including pick/pack)

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Summer Prep for Profitable Holidays

Summer Prep for Profitable Holidays4 Simple steps to creating peaceful, efficient, and lucrative peak selling season

It’s summer, which means it’s time to batten down the hatches for holiday sales. But if you’re like most sellers, you might never be fully ready. Truth is, busy SMBs just don’t have time to project and plan for additional holiday inventory and fulfillment or even streamline workflows and minimize shipping costs. At best, sellers are just guessing at the expected velocity of sales. It’s no wonder that, although online retail continues to grow at an exponential rate, profits continue to diminish. Why? Because selling on multiple channels online is inefficient without the right tools. Sellers try desperately to increase order volume, but quickly become overwhelmed by confusion around both finances and logistics when sales do surge. And there’s a price to be paid for all that incongruity—for every dollar made, businesses could be spending more than a $1 on shipping and fulfillment.Not-so-fun fact: For every dollar made, businesses could be spending more than a $1 on shipping. @Stamps.com #HolidaySales Click To Tweet

Imagine an online retail world where all of your stores, marketplaces, and business applications actually work together to optimize workflows and profit margins. An order—or even a whole batch of orders—comes in from a store or marketplace and syncs directly with a central shipping hub. You instantly compare and choose a carrier based on price and delivery date, seconds later, you click to print a branded shipping label, then confirm and send the customer tracking information. Meanwhile, all that sales data—including customer and product information—syncs with your accounting software, so you don’t have to type in jack diddly squat. Your inventory quantities update accordingly, all fees, expenses, and sales tax are recorded, and you go enjoy some coffee and a glazed donut.

Taking into account time limitations, there are four simple things you can do right away to get ready for the coming surge.

  • Clean it up. What inventory do you have in stock that needs move? Don’t delude yourself that it will finally sell this holiday season—go ahead and make room for what you know will sell this holiday season and focus on what products are most profitable for your business. To move large amounts of overstocked product quickly, you’ll likely need to take a hit on margins. Go ahead and use Amazon as a clearinghouse or create a separate Amazon store that acts as your virtual sale rack. Even better, donate what you can to nonprofits that can use the products and be sure to get a receipt for your tax deductions.
  • Break it down. Low-tech as it may sound, make a list. Write down how you spend your work days and include how much time you typically spend on each activity. Put a star next to those tasks that you find most annoying or time consuming. If you have employees, ask them to complete the same exercise. If there are inefficient workflows or bottlenecks in your business, they will be revealed here. For example, if your manual pick, pack, and ship processes are taking up 85% of your day, consider the benefits of shipping automation and batch processing. Or if you spend your day spinning between several different sales channels to ensure your inventory is up to date for each one, find a tool that connects all channels together and syncs them your master inventory list instantly. Streamlining your workflows and operations now will clear time in your schedule—and your mind—so you can better manage your business during the holidays and thereafter.
  • Sync it. Take a typical online order and walk it through its lifecycle, both literally and figuratively. The order comes in and that data needs to go in several different operational directions: shipping carriers and tracking, fulfillment and logistics, inventory management, bookkeeping and accounting, customer lists for marketing, and business analytics—and that’s just one order! Ten years ago, you’d be hard pressed to find ways to automate and sync all of that data. These days, integration is the only way to go, especially since ecommerce selling, by nature, is so disjointed. Build your business model around tools that automate one set of sales data from your stores throughout the entire workflow, and you’ll be amazed by improvements in efficiency, accuracy, and speed that affect your entire business.
  • Count it. Make another list, this time write down your business’ biggest expenses to see where you might increase your profit margins and streamline your business model. What do you pay in marketplace fees each month? Make sure you’re moving enough product on marketplaces to justify those fees. Are you easily able to compare shipping carrier costs for each order based on delivery location? And now that you’ve been in business for a few years, maybe it’s time to renegotiate your contract with your payment processor. And what about data entry? Could the time and money you spend on entering sales data into accounting, inventory, and shipping be done for less money (and more accuracy) by an automation software? Hint: Yes.

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How Small Data Drives Ecommerce ROI

How Small Data Drives Ecommerce ROIThe power-packed metrics that will have a big impact on your bottom line

Data is a hot topic lately. If you sell online, you know that order information from your marketplace stores enables the massive big data feeds of Amazon and the like to predict broad consumer behavior and seasonality, manage prices and fees across the channel, and control their interests in the inventory and fulfillment industries globally. While you’re powering someone else’s data, it also seems like every day you’re told to climb aboard the big data bandwagon where you, too, can ride into the sunset of freedom and happiness of higher sales, profit, and success.The power-packed #ecommerce metrics that have the biggest impact on your bottom line #profits #Unify Click To Tweet

But when it comes to practical application of collecting data and understanding the insights they offer, you draw a blank. You’re not alone. Turns out, 94% of companies across all levels have experienced internal challenges when trying to improve their data quality. One could theorize that this dissatisfaction may stem from sheer size and that big data has just become too big. Case in point: The fact is, every second of every day we create new data. To understand the scale, 40,000 Google search queries are performed every second, which makes it 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year. Each of those, at a minimum, creates new keyword and search ranking data. On a more relevant note, while it’s wonderful that Amazon has 304 million active customer accounts worldwide, what can you learn about tapping into that fire hose, or more specifically, why does your store suddenly and inexplicable have a following from Stanley, Idaho? Continue reading

Online Marketplaces in North America

Online Marketplaces in North AmericaAs published in Internet Retailer

This holiday season, some of the biggest online retailers are ready to give Amazon a run for its money. Giants like Wal-Mart, Jet.com, and Costco, along with Facebook Inc. and other social media platforms have created alternative channels for marketplace sellers. These new channels are not only creating more avenues for listing products, amd pushing promotional offerings, but also an expansive marketplace to get more exposure.

“Online sellers should be selling on at least one online marketplace to increase reach,” says Parag Mamnani, CEO of Webgility, a provider of ecommerce automation software for multichannel ecommerce companies. “But in order to compete, merchants really must be selling on several different channels at once.”

According to Mamnani, online retailers are often intimidated by the prospect of selling on these different channels. But he says there are several steps they can take to fully leverage the different channels available to them. First, they should firm up their entire technology stack. “Stress test your operational workflows, make sure you don’t have any break-points in your orders management, inventory tracking, shipping or bookkeeping,” he says.Solid advice for multichannel sellers this holiday season. #ecommerce #unify Click To Tweet

Then, Mamnani recommends, online retailers and their teams should discuss replacing any inefficient tools or processes. “Now’s the time to clean up that inventory spreadsheet and create a better system to organize it,” he adds. “Is someone doing full-on forensic research every time there’s a return or exchange? Examine your return system and do a bit of research on return optimization and automation. I promise, trimming those inefficiencies now will pay off during peak selling season.” Continue reading