Team meeting to learn more about OPAL from experts.


Running Lean and Efficient to Survive the Ripple Effect of SVB

Running Lean and Efficient to Survive the Ripple Effect of SVB

March of 2023 has definitely been a month of peaks and valleys for eCommerce and small business owners, as they navigate declining consumer demands (as discussed in our last blog) and now the ripple effect of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapsing.

As we have read over the past few weeks – SVB framed its actions as a necessary repositioning due to constantly rising interest rates and startup funding levels falling in 2022. Simply put – the bank had overextended its investments in comparison to the lower than estimated deposits coming in. Then as
word began to travel, many were advised to pull their cash from the bank sending it into a tailspin.

Traditionally, eCommerce businesses require much smaller amounts of venture capital funding than a SaaS startup, so it was thought that many eCommerce businesses would not be impacted by the US government shutdown of SVB because they had their money in other banks.

Unfortunately, not all of eCommerce was immune to this collapse.

Payment and Payroll Complications

Merchants on Etsy were impacted immediately by delayed payments due to the SVB collapse. Of its 5.4 million accounts, roughly 2700 merchants were impacted when Etsy had to delay the remaining account payments due to the collapse. Most were paid on the following Monday, either by their SVB account or
from other payment partners, but it left many questioning how delicate the system is?

Out of caution, many merchants quickly shifted their accounts to vacation mode to freeze purchases and minimize financial losses to allow Etsy the opportunity to sort everything out. Many merchants complained that they wish there was more transparency from Etsy on how it plans to help prevent this in the future, but several are still waiting for the original missed payments to clear in their accounts.

Other startups got ahead of the issue by launching a sale online to facilitate an increase in sales that would be deposited into a different account with a different bank, ultimately allowing the company to have cash to pay overhead expenses and payroll.

Cash is King

Watching the impact SVB has had on eCommerce through thousands of marketplace sellers and small businesses who supply retailers still ties back to the top lesson – cash is still king.

While many have quickly begun diversifying assets across multiple banks of different sizes, others are thankful for their diversification so that they were not forced to scramble for funds to purchase new inventory or cover overhead expenses like payroll or warehouse payments.
Should this ripple continue further into 2023 and impact other banks or marketplaces, it will be more critical than ever for eCommerce businesses to be as efficient and lean as possible.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.

As your business looks to be proactive to improve processes and become more efficient, OPAL is here to partner with you and have you ready for your next season of growth.

To learn more about how your eCommerce business can thrive this new year, click here!

Declining Consumer Demand Impacts Logistics

Declining Consumer Demand Impacts Logistics

As consumers continue to navigate the rising costs of everything right now, retailers and eCommerce businesses are beginning to notice the effects of slowing consumer demand.  

Many retailers began pulling back on massive investments in warehousing and distribution capacity following the 2022 peak holiday season, knowing that data suggests we may be nearing the never-ending growth of online shopping that the Covid era brought for eCommerce and retailers.

February is traditionally a slower month, but the warehousing and storage industry has cut 5,500 jobs in the past month— one of the largest drops in employment in the past decade in an industry that has added more than 600,000 jobs since February of 2020. 

Trucking employment fell by 8,500 jobs in February, also the most significant drop since April of 2020, but executives at many trucking companies have anticipated freight demand will rebound in the second half of the year.

With many experts thinking we have a challenging few months ahead, how will you make the most in of this slower time to improve processes and be prepared for when it picks back up again?

Automation Simplifies your Fulfillment and Shipping Processes 

As eCommerce ebbs and flows with consumer demand, the slower market is an excellent time to make adjustments.  Errors are more costly with the logistics industry reducing in size to weather this and automation in fulfillment and shipping will drastically reduce costly mistakes.

When looking for a software solution—many of our clients are seeking options that are customizable to their individual needs.  A supplier of Kitchen & Bath Décor, as well as an OPAL fanatic, was seeking a software solution that focused on automation of their biggest bottleneck – fulfillment and shipping.

They were manually processing orders – a process that is very time consuming because the fulfillment team would consolidate orders from different eCommerce channels, manually generate shipping labels and then manually upload tracking into each partner’s vendor portal.  

Manual processes provide a large margin of error because the team is human and mistakes happen that unfortunately result in shipping wrong products and/or to wrong addresses.  

Upgrading their automation and processes with OPAL improved order processing by automatically generating labels and pick lists, as well as made the fulfillment process more efficient.  They were able to process more orders in less time with drastically reduced errors.

To learn more about how OPAL provided peace of mind as their team was able to clean up processes and become more efficient click here and scroll to case study #6.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  

As your business looks to be proactive to improve processes in this potentially slower season of 2023, OPAL is here to partner with you and have you ready for your next season of growth.

To learn more about how your eCommerce business can thrive this new year, click here!

Benefits for Automation as eCommerce Continues Breaking Records

Benefits for Automation as eCommerce Continues Breaking Records

The past few years have been a rollercoaster ride for eCommerce. But thanks in large part to mobile (also known as digital commerce), eCommerce has passed the $1 trillion mark in a single year for the first time ever.  

Of the top five fastest-growing categories, apparel and accessories claim almost 40% and home and garden claim 25% of the growth.  As we approach spring, home and garden projects are top of mind as consumers think ahead to what they want their outdoor space to be.  

Whether it’s entertaining in your backyard or looking to be more eco-friendly with sustainable planting and a vegetable garden, knowing the trends and what consumers are looking for is half the fun (and stress) in eCommerce. The flip side to those looking to stay home and enjoy their gardens, are those who are looking to travel and will desire new apparel and accessories for their trips ahead.  

Either way, setting your business up for success in a year that has consumers facing challenges left and right will be critical for your success.  Has your business done what it can to stay competitive as we approach the spring and summer shopping season?

Remaining Competitive


In today’s rapidly changing market, it is critical to make the most of the quiet phases between holiday rushes.  With the spring and summer rush ahead of us, if not already upon us, it’s a great time to look at successes and weaknesses from this past holiday season and seek ways to make systems and processes more efficient.

If your eCommerce business has yet to automate through software, there are several benefits that may help push you towards selecting one soon.  Remaining flexible is made easier through automation with a software package because it shifts from manual steps to autonomous processes that not only increase your capacity for additional and more accurate orders, but may do so without the need to hire additional employees.

Your eCommerce business will also have accurate real-time inventory reporting across multiple sales channels and retailers.  This prevents over and underselling across the multiple channels to consumers, as well as simplifies the buying process for your team with access to which products are flying off the shelves and which should be retired.

Automation through software also improves order accuracy up to 99% and reduces processing costs to just cents per order. Maximizing warehouse efficiency is also a benefit that ultimately increases the number of shipments per day and allows your business to ship to customers faster.

Improved data and analytics are additional benefits to automation. Manual processes and multiple software packages make it difficult to compare apples to apples and capture accurate data.  However, having reliable data will not only improve processes, but understanding the top performing areas of your business so that you can continue to scale and understand the return on investment.

eCommerce with its record banner year this past year will most likely see another record year, especially as companies like Target invest $100 million in hubs to speed up delivery to consumers.  As this financial investment continues to grow throughout the industry, suppliers who have processes in place to scale and grow quickly will be entrusted by retailers in this growth and expansion.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  

As your business looks to improve its processes and efficiencies through automation to keep up with the ever-growing market, OPAL is here to partner with you in your season of growth.

To learn more about how your eCommerce business can thrive this new year, click here!