Marketplace Integration - Logistics - Inventory Management
Integration platform for marketplace connectivity
Our services also include the technical integration of the marketplaces into the logistics system. This is often a major challenge for our retailers and brands, because each marketplace specifies exactly how product and order data must be exchanged and made available - and this becomes even more important if several marketplaces or different country versions of a marketplace are to be used. Connectors are usually commissioned for the interface connection, but they only cover certain marketplaces. If companies want to sell online worldwide, they have to use several integrators. At Arvato, we have significantly reduced this connectivity complexity for our e-commerce customers and designed our own integration platform as a global fulfillment solution that connects all integrators to the marketplaces via a standardized interface.
Complex specifications for logistics
Marketplace use is an important aspect of the internationalization strategies of brands and online retailers. This is impressively confirmed by the current White paper "Internationalize Your Brand: A complete guide to cross-border e-commerce" from Arvato. In this way, they can gain access to new, sometimes rapidly growing online markets worldwide without having to set up their own local branches right away. However, the more international your business is and the more marketplaces your company uses, the more complex the supply chain and fulfillment requirements become. Each marketplace has its own specific features that need to be reflected in logistics - for example, different and often very ambitious service level agreements.
This also applies to the "fulfillment-by-marketplace" offers of the marketplace operators. Comparable to a B2B delivery with other partners, there are very detailed delivery conditions for the collection of goods, which vary considerably and are sometimes also strictly monitored. For example, some marketplaces allow mixed shipments in incoming goods, while others accept shipments at the ramp exclusively by item or type. Consistently high service levels must also be met in the case of "fulfillment by merchant", i.e. marketplace processing under its own management or by the logistics service provider. This often involves managing very large quantities of single-item orders.
Omnichannel requires transparent inventory management
The brands that additionally use premium programs of the marketplace operators must also fulfill orders from online shoppers with a specific lead time, transmit track & trace information or use specific carriers. These are all requirements for which we at Arvato have designed a specially tailored service offering to meet all marketplace-specific requirements for delivery speeds, processes, packaging and standard to premium shipping options with them as customers. To this end, Arvato invests in innovative warehouse technology and automation to handle large volumes at peak times with high throughput. However, an important prerequisite for efficient marketplace logistics is highly transparent inventory management. It enables efficient omnichanneling and ensures that the right item is available from the central inventory in the right channel at the right time. In view of the increasing focus on end customers, this is an important aspect of logistics in order to be able to meet the expectations of online shoppers at all times.