3rd Party Integrations That Could Improve Your Supply Chain

3rd party integrations

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You have just started an online business and you want your store to be user-friendly and loaded with great products.

One of the most important things to running a business is to manage your supply chain effectively and consider 3rd party integrations, or partnerships.

What is a Supply Chain 

supply chain is simply the network a company and its suppliers use, through which products will be made and distributed. Typical functions of a supply chain include the development of a product, marketing, distribution, finance, and customer service.

If all of this sounds a little overwhelming, it can be. Many small business owners spend the majority of their time developing and marketing a product without giving enough thought to how they will handle customer questions and complaints, how customers will pay for merchandise, and how products will be shipped. Fortunately, there are 3rd party integrations that you can use to help your online business run smoothly.

Payment Integrations

No business would be worth running if it did not make money. If you sell your wares online, you will need to have a way for your customers to pay for them. When you search the internet, you will find plenty of options for payment gateways. 

A payment gateway is a secure way for customers to purchase a product. When a customer wants to pay for a product, they will click on a payment option. The gateway may offer simple credit card processing, or if it is a service such as Paypal, it may give you the option of paying from a balance or paying through a card on file. There are a few things to take into consideration when looking for the perfect payment integration to add to your site.

  • Security 
  • User-friendliness
  • The ease of use on your e-commerce platform.
  • The fee they charge.

How a Payment Gateway Works 

When your customer clicks “order” the purchase will go through several steps.

  1. The customer is taken to the payment integration companies website.
  2. Their information is verified for security purposes.
  3. The customer is returned to the web store’s site, and they are told if the transaction was successful or not.
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It is important to find a gateway with 24-hour customer service. It is also better to find one that does business in multiple countries.

Shipping and Package Tracking 

The days of waiting 6 to 8 weeks for that Columbia House record order to arrive are over. Nowadays, customers are used to knowing exactly where their package is and when they will receive their new product.

In order to keep your customers happy and know if your supplier is doing its job, you must have a means of tracking packages. There are several integrations you can add to your website that will let you see where a shipment is every step of the way. 

Shipwell is rated as one of the best package tracking integrations for small businesses as it is known for working on all e-commerce platforms. It lets you see where a package is in real-time. It will allow you to compare the rates of various shippers and let your customers select which shipper they would like to use. It also enables you to upload important shipping documents.

Customer Support 

If you ask anybody what the most important thing is when dealing with a company, they will inevitably say, “customer service.” Mass production and the proliferation of internet stores have allowed people to buy and receive merchandise quickly. Unfortunately, if they have questions or complaints about a product, there is often not anyone to help them. 

If you are running a small business from home, you may not have the time to take care of all customer service issues yourself, and you may not have the funds to hire someone to do it. If you sell products from various warehouses, you may not be an expert on every single one of their products. 

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There are several integrations that can help you manage customer problems, questions, and concerns. 

One of the biggest challenges small e-commerce store proprietors run into is prioritizing customer service issues. A good customer service integration can help you organize inquiries. 

The Zendesk integration offers customer service and sales. They offer live chats as well as messaging. They even offer voicemail and customer service messaging.  It can help you analyze where customers are coming from, how long they stay on your site, and what products sell the best. Many integrations will offer a free trial, so you can compare and contrast.

There are some online companies that will handle warehousing, shipping, and payment for you. All you have to do is come up with a great product and set up a website.

On-demand printers will allow you to create a t-shirt, hat, tote bag, or novelty item with the use of a simple online tool. You can then sell the item on your web store. 

The on-demand printer will provide a payment integration that customers can use when they want to buy one of your products. They will pull the product from their warehouse, print your design on it and send it out to the customer. You can read more at printful.com/integrations/shipstation.

You have worked hard on your web store, and you should not have to spend all of your time managing it.

3rd party integrations can help you run your store and let you live your life.

3rd party integrations article and permission to publish here provided by Christoper at On The Map Marketing. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on October 6, 2021.

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