Demandware, now known as the Salesforce Commerce Cloud, allows you to manage multi-channel sales and a complex supply chain from a single platform. ECommerce fulfillment is a crucial element of your supply chain that plays a central role in improved customer satisfaction. Therefore, a robust Demandware fulfillment integration with your 3PL is paramount to your success.
This article walks through integration options and pain points. Plus it will explore the power of outstanding Demandware Ecommerce fulfillment from a top 3PL like Red Stag Fulfillment.
Enterprise Demandware Integration Options
There are two options to connect a cloud commerce solution like Commerce Cloud with Red Stag Fulfillment’s WMS: middleware or an API. Each choice has pros and cons, and it doesn’t have to be either/or. For example, you can start quickly using middleware and switch later to an API connection.
Middleware is software that provides a connection from well-known web platforms and enterprise cloud commerce solutions to 3PL warehouse management systems. Red Stag Fulfillment primarily uses DropStream, which offers a pre-built Demandware fulfillment connection.
The advantage of middleware is its speed at integration. Once you provide our onboarding specialist with the necessary information, we can take the connection live in as little as a day. It can take longer if you need custom scripts to filter your orders, but the process should still be speedy.
Middleware is the optimal solution if you need to switch fulfillment companies quickly. DropStream can easily connect ERP systems with the Red Stag Fulfillment WMS to get the 3PL services you need fast, even if you onboard at a peak time.
An API connection is the best choice if you have the IT resources to create the integration. Among the advantages of an API integration are:
- Instant access to the status of each order in the fulfillment process
- Real-time inventory visibility
- Full control over your fulfillment connection
- The ability to continuously innovate and iterate to accommodate the growth of your online store worldwide
API programming costs more than the middleware option, and development can extend the time for onboarding. But, for many eCommerce merchants, the advantages outweigh the drawbacks. And, if swift onboarding is crucial for you, you can take a hybrid approach. You can use middleware while developing your API, then easily switch the connection.
Red Stag Fulfillment Sales Executive Cole Sweetser explained the choice: “Do you want a turnkey solution that is managed, that you don’t have to worry about? Then middleware is like going to the dealership and getting an available car that you can drive off the lot.” He added, “If you really want the full power of data transmission between your system and ours, then you should go with an API.”
What to know before integrating Commerce Cloud with your 3PL
Sweetser noted that he sees two types of clients with Commerce Cloud integrations. There are those who understand the complexity and importance of integrations and others who don’t (at least initially).
When a company starts with a new 3PL, the platform integration may not be front of mind. Shipping stock to new warehouses, figuring out which carriers to use, calibrating shipping costs at checkout to new shipping locations, and setting up SOPs for pick and pack order processing may seem more critical. But Sweetser notes that your order handling success could hinge on your integration setup, and it’s a crucial element that deserves attention during the fulfillment process setup.
If you use multiple apps to manage your eCommerce company, your order management system may not be the right place to connect. “Typically, the easiest point to connect is the shopping cart,” Sweetser says. “The best place for us to connect is as close to the cart as possible.”
Of course, the optimal connection point for your company will depend on the size and complexity of your operations. “For companies that use six different 3PLs across the globe, a platform like Shopify might not have the capability to designate orders to different warehouses,” Sweetser says. “You might need to write a script for your OMS and run the connection through that.”
And, for Demandware fulfillment, creating one API or making one middleware connection for all your sales channels can be an argument for connecting directly to your Salesforce Commerce Cloud instance.
Fulfillment for Demandware (Now Salesforce Commerce Cloud)
Many eCommerce brands rely on 3PLs to handle their fulfillment, and even some of the world’s leading retailers outsource their fulfillment. The service offering from a professional fulfillment warehouse is an asset to the brand. And that leads to improved customer satisfaction, which is vital in our consumer-driven world.
Here are just a few of the advantages of outsourced logistics:
- No need to acquire and manage warehouse space or staff
- Flexible storage that you can increase or decrease depending on seasonal needs — you only pay for what you use
- Lower shipping costs due to carrier discounts and strategic warehouse locations
- Expert advice on packaging, order delivery, and supply chain logistics
How a 3PL can help you grow your Demandware online store
It’s hard to overstate the impact of working with a top 3PL on improved customer satisfaction and business growth. Here are just three ways that an outstanding fulfillment company can help you grow and scale your business and expand into new markets.
Increased inventory visibility
If you don’t know what you have on the warehouse shelves, you can’t correctly forecast demand for the next quarter or fiscal year. Many factors can contribute to poor inventory visibility, including:
- Failure to check SKU counts before putaway
- Unrecorded inventory shrinkage
- Too few cycle counts
- Sloppy physical inventories
Accurate stock counts are one of the critical differences between inadequate fulfillment and excellent pick and pack services. For example, Red Stag Fulfillment had 99.991% inventory accuracy in 2021. If our WMS records an item as in stock, you can be sure it’s on the warehouse shelf.
Pick and pack accuracy
Accurate order fulfillment is at the heart of the customer experience. It is the difference between the perfect unboxing experience and a disappointment that can earn you bad reviews. In the near term, accurate fulfillment saves you return shipping costs and customer service time. And it can earn you loyal customers and brand evangelists in the long term.
Red Stag Fulfillment guarantees accurate fulfillment. If we make a mistake, we pay you $50.
OTIF order fulfillment
On-time and in full (OTIF) fulfillment is a core metric to determine the health of your logistics operations. In 2021, Red Stag Fulfillment shipped 99.976% of orders OTIF, demonstrating the power of superior fulfillment services to make you look good.
Advantage of a custom solution for Demandware fulfillment
“Red Stag Fulfillment doesn’t do anything cookie-cutter,” Sweetser says. “From the biggest to the smallest clients, we approach them all as if their business is unique.”
While it might seem more straightforward to take a plug-and-play approach to Salesforce Commerce Cloud integration, at Red Stag Fulfillment, we believe that a custom approach delivers a better result.
“We’re going to make sure that whatever we do as a solution is built with our client to meet their needs,” Sweetser says. He tells prospective partners to expect a lot of questions. “We’re going to be more detail-oriented than you have experienced in your life,” he says. “The more productive work we put in up front, the better the time investment.”
Red Stag Fulfillment partners with enterprises poised for growth and helps them achieve their full potential. The company was founded by eCommerce entrepreneurs who learned the hard way that lousy fulfillment created a drag on their companies. So, they set out to create a 3PL that put the success of its clients at the center of its business model. Today, Red Stag is an industry leader in heavy, bulky, and high-value fulfillment.
Whether you use Shopify, Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware eCommerce), or other order management software platforms, Red Stag Fulfillment can help you take your online store to the next level. Let us tell you how.
More about enterprise fulfillment integration:
- Is Red Stag a Top 3PL for Demandware (Salesforce) Users?
- Order Fulfillment for CommerceHub
- NetSuite Order Fulfillment
- Best SPS Commerce Order Fulfillment