Team meeting to learn more about OPAL from experts.


eCommerce Trends of 2020

eCommerce Trends of 2020

eCommerce Trends of 2020

As eCommerce continues to rapidly evolve and the definition of a new normal with shelter in place, social distancing and closures of non-essential businesses continues, shoppers are forced to embrace the new era of online shopping – for almost every need.

2020 Trends


Retail stores overall have seen a decline of almost 9% since January, with clothing and accessories seeing a plunge of more than 50% and an estimated 15,000 retail stores closing by year end (Forbes). However, odds are that no matter what you are looking for – from socks to furniture to supplies for remodeling – it can be shipped directly to your home in a matter of days by one of the million eCommerce suppliers in the market.  

Grocery shopping has even drastically evolved in 2020, with more than 40% of first-time online grocery shoppers trying services this year to reduce the risk of exposure to Covid. Last year, only 4% of grocery sales were online due to customer preference to select their own meat and produce. However due to the shift with Covid this year, Walmart reports more than 218% growth through its grocery app over the same time last year (CNN).

Commerce as a whole has seen incredible growth this year, crushing its already high 20% growth rate from 2018-19. With increased online access for more consumers and Covid’s shelter in place requirements, shoppers have more time to do research prior to purchasing and more marketplaces than ever to find additional products. (Digital River)

 

Speed and Scalability Required for Success


eCommerce businesses that can handle demand peaks and scale back resources when demand is slow will succeed in this new era of eCommerce. 

Shoppers expect accuracy and speed when purchasing goods online and having them delivered, which leaves your eCommerce business with little to no room for error with inventory reporting and shipping. Do your current processes and platforms set you up for success?

Software automation is the quickest and simplest way to take your business to the next level. Not only does it drive down labor costs and increase capacity to fulfill new orders immediately without having to hire or train additional staff, but it simplifies multiple process and software into one simple solution so that your eCommerce business is scalable and providing on-time deliveries to customers.  

 

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 business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  

To learn how to make your eCommerce business scalable with OPAL, click here!

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

Conflicting Holiday Consumer Predictions Make it More Crucial for Suppliers to be Prepared

Conflicting Holiday Consumer Predictions Make it More Crucial for Suppliers to be Prepared

As we close out summer and begin preparation for the upcoming holiday season, one thing is for sure in this season of Covid – consumers will be spending money for the upcoming holiday season, no matter what.

According to Brandwatch, 44% of consumers think they’ll be spending less on holiday gifts and celebrations this year compared to last year.  However, Net Imperative argues that 85% of retailers believe online sales will increase this holiday season compared to last and are choosing to invest more in eCommerce website upgrades in preparation for this holiday season.

With such conflicting trends, how do suppliers and 3PLs plan ahead to be ready for this holiday season?

Agile & Scalable
Lack of clarity for what’s ahead leaves the burden of preparedness on suppliers and warehouses to make sure that they have not over hired for a slow season, but are ready if consumer spending is strong and requires a quick ramp up. Autonomous processes also allow suppliers and 3PLs to maximize warehouse efficiency to deliver more accurate and on time orders each day.

Simplify with Software
Shifting from manual steps to autonomous processes with software, increases your capacity for more accurate orders without the need to hire additional staff. It also improves order accuracy up to 99% and reduces processing costs to just cents per order. Upgrading with software also optimizes on time delivery to consumers, while managing compliant retailer transactions, real-time inventory and shipping documents. 

Holiday Hires
Implementing software will ensure you’re as efficient as can be, so that hiring additional staff for the holidays is minimal and cost effective. According to Inc.com, stores will require additional staff to meet the demands of curbside pickup and delivery, and recommend staffing up early since the competition will be stiff and the hiring surge could be so significant that it could affect temporary employment statistics for the fourth quarter.

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 business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  

No matter what happens this holiday season – whether it is slower because consumer spending is down or you’re busier than ever drop shipping across the world to meet the holiday demand, OPAL has you covered.

To learn more on how to simplify with OPAL, click here!

 

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

Ready for the Holiday Shipping Rush?

Ready for the Holiday Shipping Rush?

Are you ready for the holiday shipping rush?

As your business begins to slow from this first phase of shelter in place for Covid and summer shipping rush, have you taken a moment to think ahead to what you could improve now to be ready for this upcoming holiday season?

According to Salesforce, in 2019 more than 50% of the entire season’s revenue was complete by December 3rd, with the majority of that buying frenzy occurring the week before, during and after Cyber Week 2019. 

With less than 4 months until this holiday craze begins and officials unclear on if there could be a second lockdown with the second wave of the pandemic, OPAL is here to help you prepare now for the next shipping craze ahead.

 

Automation Simplifies
This year has seen supply chains and logistics disrupted in nearly every major industry due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. With safety measures like social distancing reducing the number of employees able to prepare shipments in a day, to the couriers scrambling to deliver the excessive number of packages, ultimately the time between ordering the product and the consumer receiving the product became challenging if not impossible to meet with so many restrictions.

With OPAL, automation shifts your business from manual steps to an autonomous process, increasing your capacity for new orders without the need to hire additional staff and maintaining social distancing and safety requirements in your operation. 

Strengthens Relationships with Sales Channels
Retailers take their brand seriously and look for reliable suppliers who are able to keep up with the ever-changing demand. OPAL optimizes on time delivery to consumers, while managing compliant retailer transactions, real-time inventory, shipping documents and much more.

Up & Running Quickly
The lull before the holiday rush is the best time to make changes to your operations and processes and OPAL requires no downtime to setup and syncs to all accounting and ERP systems without customization required.  

 

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 business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  

OPAL is the only touchless, self-driving drop ship and order fulfillment software solution in the market today, working 24×7 even when there’s no one in the office.  It processes your orders and gets them ready for when your warehouse personnel arrive in the morning and optimizes the pick, pack and ship process to increase warehouse productivity by 25%+.

 

It Is incredibly difficult to predict anything with certainty during a pandemic, but to learn more about simplifying your processes this holiday season, click here! 

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

Ready for the Holiday Shipping Rush?

Considering hiring more people to keep up with your orders?

Considering hiring more people to keep up with your orders? 

As a business owner, you face challenges every day like how to grow your product line, should you hire additional staff, or how to keep up with the ever-increasing demand of consumers and retailers. 

Pressure on ecommerce businesses to dropship products within the two-day shipping guidelines several retailers provide, may have you questioning your efficiency and considering the option to hire additional employees to keep up.

Have you Considered Automation?
Automation through one comprehensive software package drives labor costs down and increases your capacity to fulfill new orders immediately, without the added burden of hiring and training new staff.  This shifts the focus away from backend processes to your team’s capacity to pick, pack and ship products to consumers.

 

As you can see, OPAL is directly connected to your retailers and automates all of the backend of the business, from custom packing lists and shipping labels, to invoices for your accounting system, to sending tracking numbers and invoices back to the retailer when shipped. 

What used to take your team 5-10 minutes or more, now takes less than 10 seconds to automatically process – leaving your team expand its capacity to pick, pack and ship products to more customers.

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 business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  

OPAL is the only touchless, self-driving drop ship and order fulfillment software solution in the market today, working 24×7 even when there’s no one in the office.  It processes your orders and gets them ready for when your warehouse personnel arrive in the morning and optimizes the pick, pack and ship process to increase warehouse productivity by more than 25%.

To learn more about how OPAL can increase your team’s efficiency, click here!

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

EDI 101 for Today’s eCommerce Business

EDI 101 for Today’s eCommerce Business

As the world of ecommerce has shifted away from a few bulk shipments to retailers to drop shipping small parcels for retailers directly to customers, EDI compliance has increased in both importance and cost.

What is EDI?
Electronic data interchange (EDI) provides a standard method of communicating data between businesses, also known as your EDI trading partners, with the purpose of making this data transfer more efficient and accurate. Different types of business systems that use EDI include eCommerce solutions, ERP, WMS, CMS, accounting software and many more.  EDI replaces old fashioned paper and fax transactions with processes that automate and simplify.

Is EDI required to work with retailers?
According to B2Bgateway.net’s blog, the top 5 advantages of EDI include:

  • Accuracy and efficiency, eliminating the need to re-key data and reducing human error to provide accurate, real time data to all parties;
  • Integration of all aspects of your supply chain;
  • Quicker order and transaction processing;
  • Faster payments with shorter order to payment cash cycles, allowing your business to get paid much faster from your customers;
  • And, environmentally friendly, since all communications are electronic.

The most impactful benefit of EDI to your eCommerce business is EDI compliance; an expectation that is quickly being adopted by many retail partners to increase accuracy of data as well as maintain their brand reputation and customer experience.

Of the over 100 major retailers that currently partner with OPAL, less than 5% require the use of a 3rd party EDI Company.  This percentage continues to drop as retailers recognize software solutions that are more comprehensive; similar to OPAL’s 4-in-1 solution that includes EDI for eCommerce businesses to simplify the need for multiple software systems, as well as reduce overhead costs.

How does EDI work?
EDI transaction files contain data and pertinent information in a standardized format unique to its purpose.  For example, it may contain who’s the carrier, what/ how many/ when items are shipping, and how they will be transported.  

EDI providers, including VANs (Value Add Network), integrate with ERP / Accounting software to process orders between your eCommerce business and your sales channels, making your transactions EDI compliant with them. 

Did you know OPAL eliminates the need for a third-party vendor?
Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 software solution, your solution for EDI, order management, warehouse management and shipping needs. OPAL connects to all retailers, suppliers and warehouses without the need for third-party document charges, allowing your eCommerce business to focus on how efficiently your team can pick, pack and ship.

To learn more and set up your customized demo today, click here!

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

How to Succeed as Ecommerce Levels Up Through Covid-19

How to Succeed as Ecommerce Levels Up Through Covid-19

One thing is for sure, during this time of Covid-19 ecommerce has been expected to level up its customer experience, requiring teams and business models to evolve rapidly. What was once a cumbersome process, suppliers are now able to partner with new sales channels in a matter of weeks and reach an entirely new group of consumers. But with all of this rapid expansion, how does your team continue to meet the heightened expectations of consumers and retailers (sales channels)?

Partnering with New Retailers
Retailers are constantly looking to partner with new suppliers to diversify and provide more choices to their customers. Your sales channels are looking for ecommerce sellers who are:

  • Established.  Your business has a US Business Tax ID (EIN) and a proven ecommerce track record.
  • Accurate and dependable. Whether it’s real-time inventory to prevent customers from over purchasing, or quick and consistent shipping practices to ensure timely delivery, you have efficient processes in place.
  • Unique.  Product offerings help make both your ecommerce business and your retailer competitive in the market.

Focus on the Customer Purchase Experience
The new norm is a mix of warehouse and dropship fulfillment from retailers, which provides a wide array of products but requires your ecommerce business to be quick and efficient with drop shipping to their expectant consumers.  Customers today expect a seamless purchase experience; one that is quick and provides a high-quality product with little to no room for error on your part. 

When partnering with new sales channels, your unique product line may make you competitive, but if your drop ship is poorly executed, this damages the customer experience and potentially eliminates the repeat business.  Building trust through consistency and dependability will be crucial for a fruitful long-term relationship with retailers (sales channels).

How to Succeed in Ecommerce
As your ecommerce business continues to grow, finding a software solution to automate and simplify your small to mid-sized business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world is a necessity.

OPAL provides you with an innovative 4-in-1 software solution to simplify your EDI, order management, warehouse management and shipping processes into one platform.  This reduces the cost of multiple software packages needed for your order processing and fulfillment needs, as well as drives labor costs down to fulfill additional orders immediately without the hassle of hiring and training new staff.

One comprehensive software solution also strengthens your relationships with your sales channels because it builds trust through your consistency.  OPAL requires little to no downtime for setup, syncs to all accounting and ERP systems without customization required and optimize quick delivery to customers, while managing compliant retailer transactions, real-time inventory and shipping documents.  

To learn more about how OPAL is partnering with other growing and successful ecommerce businesses, click here!

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!