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How to streamline your ecommerce store via Whiplash integrations

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Coordinating a seamless ecommerce experience in today’s landscape involves a LOT of moving parts. 

First, orders need to be transmitted from your online store to your WMS. Inventory levels need to be adjusted in real-time to prevent over-selling. Orders need to undergo a speedy fulfillment process to meet customer expectations, then passed flawlessly onto your shipping provider for rapid delivery.

For everything to go according to plan, merchants have little room for error. They need to be able to trust that information will be passed easily from system to system without mistakes, or your relationships with customers can quickly crumble.

World-class ecommerce integrations are the key to running a thriving online store – and Whiplash is here to help with our extensive list of integration partners. Whether you’re a Shopify merchant or a fan of returns management tools like Happy Returns, Whiplash is here to smooth the way to faster fulfillment and enhanced customer experiences.   

Why seamless integrations are vital for successful ecommerce

Imagine that if every time you wanted to send an email from your phone or log into your Instagram account, you had to set up a complex program to make this happen. It’s safe to say that there wouldn’t be many apps in existence. 

Without integration between your management systems and ecommerce platform, these are the sorts of inefficiencies your ecommerce business must grapple with. The ability to connect seamlessly with your technology toolkit not only means faster, more effective fulfillment but more satisfied customers:

Getting orders out the door faster

Today’s consumers have high expectations for shopping online. They want to navigate between touchpoints in the shopping journey easily and not be surprised by unexpected shipping fees. But most of all, they want their orders fast. A full quarter of consumers won’t buy from a brand unless their order is shipped in two days or less. 

To meet customer expectations, time really is of the essence.

Delays in order processing and fulfillment rarely come from one stage of the process. They’re made up of many smaller inefficiencies that can add hours or even days to dispatching parcels. For example, if there’s a delay in orders placed via your online store being submitted to your WMS, your lead times will quickly increase.

Ecommerce integrations help to break down the silos that can develop between different business systems and parts of the fulfillment chain, which increases efficiency and helps to highlight pain points in the overall process.

Eliminating costly errors

We’re all human. That means mistakes can and do happen. They’re even more likely when we’re coordinating repetitive and time-consuming fulfillment tasks that could easily be automated using the right software.

When your staff is tasked with manually transferring or duplicating order and inventory data across multiple systems, there’s massive scope for costly errors. Inventory levels in your online store might not be updated correctly, resulting in stockouts that require careful handling by your customer care team. There’s also the worst-case scenario of data being lost altogether. 

Ecommerce integrations help eliminate these adverse situations by transferring data automatically from system to system. Orders are forwarded to your warehouse. Tracking information is released to your customer. Status updates come through to your interface in real-time. You’re not just preventing errors; you’re also saving valuable time that can be dedicated to growing your business.

Providing customers with a cohesive end-to-end experience

As customers move through the shopping journey, they’re interacting with different facets of your brand. But it shouldn’t feel this way from their perspective. Whether they’re browsing product pages, shopping in-person, or going through the checkout, every touchpoint needs to be consistent to foster confidence and trust in your brand.

Delivery anxiety is a real and damaging trend in ecommerce and usually occurs when customers have received inconsistent experiences between different parts of the shopping journey. In its worst form, delivery anxiety drives negative feelings towards your brand – or even persuades them to cancel their order altogether.

Ecommerce integrations enable your business to facilitate more seamless omnichannel retail experiences, no matter whether your customers are buying through your online store or a physical storefront. By ensuring consistent experiences both online and offline, you’ll be much better positioned to retain customers for future purchases.

Lift your ecommerce game with Whiplash integrations

Whiplash uses open API programming to connect seamlessly with a variety of ecommerce platforms and management tools. This enables merchants to access real-time information about orders, shipping information, inventory levels, and returns – all from one easy-to-use interface.

Whiplash currently offers native integrations with the following ecommerce platforms and management tools:

Ecommerce Platforms

Big Cartel

Returns management tools

Happy Returns
Loop Returns

EDI tools

SPS Commerce

4 problems caused by a lack of integration (and how Whiplash can help)

1. I don’t know what my inventory levels are

A lack of SKU visibility across warehouses and store locations causes all kinds of problems for merchants. Wish lists, pre-orders, and cart abandonment are just a few of the actions that consumers can take concerning inventory. If your WMS and online store can’t speak to each other to update inventory levels in real-time, it’s hard to get an understanding of consumer demand. 

This also means that your business will need to hold extensive reserves to prevent over-selling, making it difficult to capitalize on short-term promotional opportunities.

With the power of Whiplash’s two-way integration, merchants’ inventory is automatically updated across selling channels in response to customer activity – no manual data transfers required.

2. I’m getting too many customer inquiries

Your help desk is ground zero when problems occur. Anxious customers asking for shipping updates or order confirmations takes up a huge amount of service time, with representatives having to search through CSV files or shipping dispatches to find the relevant information. In the meantime, your time to salvage the relationship with your customer is ticking away.

Yet many of these service requests are completely avoidable when automated workflows are in place. With Whiplash ecommerce store integrations, merchants can set up custom order confirmations and email updates that are sent automatically to customers. This strengthens customer confidence while also freeing up more take for your service representatives to focus on bigger operational issues.

3. I don’t know the status of my orders

Knowing the status of your orders is the key to understanding whether issues have arisen during the fulfillment process that could cause delivery delays. 

If insufficient inventory or a failed transaction has caused order processing to lapse, you want to identify this before your customer does. Without this information to hand, your business is stuck in a position of being reactive, not proactive to customer service issues.

Whiplash ecommerce integrations allow you to view and filter the status of all outstanding orders at one glance across all of your selling channels, enabling you to manage your orders at the granular level.

4. I’m struggling to process returns effectively

Having an efficient workflow for processing returns is critical to the health of your ecommerce business. If products can’t be quickly prepped for resale to meet demand, you’re missing out on valuable sales opportunities.

An easy returns process has become an increasing priority for consumers, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Invespcro, 58% of consumers expect a ‘hassle-free’ return policy, while 92% will purchase from a retailer again if the returns process was easy.

Whiplash offers seamless integrations with three of the top returns management tools; Happy Returns, Loop Returns, and Returnly. This helps to streamline your reverse logistics and handle returns quickly and effectively, increasing both customer satisfaction and your bottom line.

How Whiplash integrations work

So, what is an open API?

Open Application Programming Interfaces provide public access to the proprietary software for a platform or system. This allows developers (like the clever people here at Whiplash) to design a connecting program that shares important information back and forth between platforms – and even create unique value-added services. 

For example, let’s say you’re a merchant who wants to find the fastest, cheapest shipping option for sending orders from the East Coast to the West Coast. Without open APIs, you’ll be spending hours combing through parcel carrier’s websites searching for the best deal.

But with the support of the right integration, you can compare carriers to choose the optimal shipping strategy for your brand. This is exactly what our SmartRate selection tool achieves for Whiplash customers, giving them access to cost-effective shipping that meets customer expectations. 

How to install Whiplash integrations

Setting up an integration with Whiplash and your ecommerce platform couldn’t be easier; all you need to do is to install the corresponding app on your Whiplash account to begin syncing your inventory in real-time – no advanced know-how required.

illustration of a person loading logos into a machine with boxes on the other side

Once the integration has been installed, all new orders through your online orders will be automatically fulfilled and shipped by Whiplash. Your store’s inventory will be updated automatically, and order tracking information added. That’s all there is to it!

Find out more about the process for installing specific integrations here.

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