How We Created Better Customer Experiences with Ecommerce Integration and Automation

by Celigo
October 21, 2022

Editor’s note: This is based on the real experiences of Celigo customers.

In the beginning, our team used to get by with manually entering data and tracking orders for our wellness and consumer beauty products. While that was fine at first, it became spreadsheet and email chaos in recent years as the numbers of SKUs increased into the thousands.

That’s why we adopted an ERP to become the heart of our operations. Then gradually over time, we started introducing more and more SaaS applications.

For example, we adopted SaaS apps for order processing and fulfillment, customer service, and returns management. We’ve added more apps for additional marketplaces and payment gateways, as well as payouts reconciliation.

The list of apps keeps on growing, and if someone asked me today how many SaaS apps we have overall, I’d have to sheepishly admit, “More than expected!” So many apps are disconnected from each other, so IT tried to make them work together using a combination of custom and out-of-the-box integrations. As these integrations’ complexities increased, so did the costs.

The breaking point was during the pandemic with the rise of ecommerce—our order volume grew exponentially especially during the holiday season, so it was hard to keep up and provide the excellent service that our customers deserve.

Our business process challenges

Our company has rapidly grown over the last couple years, and customers are loving our latest products! During what should be an exciting time for our multi-million dollar business, though, my team and I started to feel overwhelmed.

  • We struggled with data silos and data quality issues across multiple platforms, so we lacked full visibility into our business.
  • We were not getting the full value from our growing list of applications, so we needed a scalable solution that would grow with our business.
  • We could barely keep up with processing, fulfilling, and shipping the increasing volume of orders.
  • After originally starting with a few dozen SKUs, we now have hundreds, so they’ve been difficult to keep track of and manage.
  • Last but certainly not least, the customer experience needed to be as smooth as possible from the time that our customers place their orders to when they receive them. Returns and exchanges should be seamless, too. In this day and age of social media and online reviews, making our customers really unhappy can hurt our business.

Questions we asked ourselves

  1. Do we always have the correct inventory levels for our products?
  2. How does our business deal with incorrectly placed orders?
  3. Do we have insights into customer support time, labor cost data, support costs, acquisition channels, and other customer service KPIs?
  4. What is our volume of transactions, and are we outgrowing our internal resources?
  5. How does our business handle a peak volume of transactions, such as Black Friday Cyber Monday sales?
  6. How many employees work with data entry, repetitive tasks, and error management
  7. How many technical resources are focused on low-level technical work versus more strategic, revenue-generating initiatives?
  8. Do we have access to real-time marketing and operational data?

When we tried to ask ourselves these questions, we quickly realized that we didn’t have the data in the right place at the time to answer them accurately. That’s when we knew we had to search for a solution.

Discovering iPaaS

While our team was evaluating potential solutions, we came across a partner who specialized in ecommerce integrations and was familiar with our ERP. We shared our struggles with one-off integrations, and they introduced us to the idea of integration platform as a service (iPaaS).

The idea of having one platform for standardizing and managing all of our integrations excited us. With an iPaaS, we would be able to quickly add new SaaS apps, connect them to our existing ones, and even automate business processes that span across multiple apps and teams. IT would also be able to provide governance to ensure our integrations met security and privacy regulations.

What we looked for in our ideal solution

  • Easy to use and powerful: We needed something that IT can implement and oversee to effectively meet the needs of our overall business, but it should be an approachable tool for people throughout the company. Instead of bogging down IT with every little request, everyone should be able to manage the day to day.
  • Enable us to be more efficient and strategic: Our business has been growing and so has our team. However, we needed to make sure that we’re using our current resources in the best way possible while continuing to plan and strategize for the future.
  • Ecommerce expertise: We wanted to work with someone who’s familiar with the ins and outs of ecommerce businesses and the challenges that companies like ours face.

Celigo goes beyond simply connecting our apps—they offer end-to-end process automation with built-in best practices and business expertise that guide our teams, allowing us to detect new opportunities for automation.

They full manage their prebuilt solutions, so we don’t have to worry about support for new use cases or updates. There is no need for technical skills or coding with the Celigo platform, so the platform allows our business teams to manage integrations and automations independently.

For more unique use cases, Celigo also offers robust developer tools. Plus, IT is able to oversee all integrations across the company, all on one platform.

Now with Celigo, I can easily track inventory, orders, and payments across all of our marketplaces. We’re able to do more with what we have, especially in this day and age of economic uncertainty. We have better visibility into our inventory, warehouses, and 3PLs. Our SaaS applications are integrated, so sales orders and invoices are created automatically every 15 minutes, no matter where we are or what we’re doing. Ultimately, this will enable us to give our customers a wonderful experience.

Celigo is more than just an integration solution! They offer a complete integration-driven automation solution.

About Celigo

Celigo is the leading enterprise-wide iPaaS company for the mid-market and beyond. Celigo’s unique process-centric approach to automation enables IT and business users to discover, automate, and continuously optimize every business process, freeing teams and individuals to innovate at scale.

With over a decade of experience, Celigo is the only iPaaS with a comprehensive library of prebuilt solutions with embedded business logic to support process automation end to end. The Celigo platform enables ecommerce companies to seamlessly scale their business, use resources efficiently, improve customer experience, and avoid lost revenue.

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