The silver-lining to the dark cloud experienced by retail since the pandemic onset, has perhaps been the rapid rise in the ecommerce industry, with online purchasing behavior possibly changing consumer habits forever. However, ecommerce can be a technologically challenging and highly competitive space.
Within ecommerce, it is essential for retailers to have the ability to integrate with all sorts of different partners, manage various channels, each using different methods, for example using File Transfer Protocols (FTP) or using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Add to the mix the use of Application Programming Interfaces (API) that deal with frontend platforms, such as Shopify or BigCommerce, and/or selling through platforms such as Amazon, eBay or Walmart, and the number of end-to-end permutations quickly multiplies!
And that’s before we’ve even considered sourcing and third-party fulfillment (3PL) facilities, including distribution centers and own warehouse management systems.
With this in mind, Flxpoint was looking for a way to try and solve these complex ecommerce integration challenges, using advanced cloud technology, that could handle high volume with the ability to scale.
Some of the main retail and ecommerce business challenges the customer was looking to address, include:
- Increased Integrations: ecommerce enterprises are shifting towards the use of distributed fulfillment, distributed inventory, and distributed multichannel selling, resulting in a vast number of integrations.
- Nuanced Processes: as described above, each retail partner, vendor, 3PL, or distribution center uses slightly different processes, documentation methods, and systems. Managing this at high volume creates inefficiencies, slows productivity, which hits the bottom line.
- Seamless Updates: as new or updated products or features become available, companies rebrand, purchase prices change, or new marketplaces come online, the ability to provide an uninterrupted consumer experience is vital for customer loyalty.
The key objective was the ability to handle all these nuanced integrations in the retail space – working with vendors with complexities that continue to increase. Addressing these ecommerce industry challenges was going to require a unique and, more importantly, flexible solution, incorporating advanced automation and machine-learning.
Based on proven reliability and track record of working successfully together across both development teams, SourceFuse were approached to participate in developing the product, Flxpoint – named in recognition of its flexibility . The starting point was to build a no-code integration tool, specific to retail and ecommerce, with the goal of creating a custom-built cloud native application that would be highly scalable and agile.
As AWS Advanced Consulting Partner and Flxpoint’s development partner, SourceFuse incorporated a high volume of AWS cloud technology for this agile and rapid application development project. SourceFuse supported the customer in developing the application features and integrations, using containerization and its API-first approach, to overcome the key challenges.
Flxpoint Key Features :
- Connect to any vendor: integrate any vendor using no code integration builder or one of 250+ pre-built integrations
- List products on more channels: sell everywhere your customers are, and set channel-specific rules for pricing, categories, and attributes
- Create better product listings faster: quickly load product catalogs and build rules to merge, prioritize and verify to improve accuracy
- Optimize fulfillment for profitability: automatically send orders to your most profitable supplier, or warehouse and carrier, saving costs and delivery time
- Full inventory visibility: maintain up-to-date, accurate inventory across multiple suppliers, warehouses, and inventory sources
- Leverage Automation: integrate and fully automate dropship workflows from one central hub, including invoice reconciliation in accounting
Working collaboratively with the customer to develop Flxpoint, the end-result was the successful creation of the most flexible and powerful ecommerce operations platform, with SourceFuse providing Cloud Managed Services for further integrations and ongoing scaling.
The flexible nature of Flxpoint makes it industry-agnostic. Currently, it is the solution of choice for a wide range of diverse industries – from medical supplies to marine and boating. Whether you’re a retailer, distributor, or developer, Flxpoint makes it easier and more efficient for everyone to work together in the digital era of retail.