Posted: December 28, 2016
Selecting the right multichannel management platform for your retail business is not easy, and not something to take lightly. There are a lot of options out there, with new vendors seeming to come out of the woodwork all the time.
We'd like to help make your decision easier by walking you though the factors you will need to consider, and the questions you should be asking the vendors you are interviewing.
1) How many SKUs do you actively list? How many SKUs would you like to list once you have a channel management platform? Some systems are not built for high SKU counts. Much to our dismay, we recently learned that a popular low-end system for connecting with Jet and Walmart has a 1,000 SKU limit for new SKU uploads and feeds being sent to Jet. What's more, in order to send updated product data feeds to Jet and/or Walmart, the user needs to manually select which SKUs to send.
2) How many warehouses will you be using and how do you fulfill your orders? Believe it or not, not all channel management platforms support multiple warehouses. If you have inventory in multiple warehouses (FBA, own warehouse(s), dropship supplier, 3PL), you need to make sure your channel management platform can segregate these inventory levels and route orders to the correct warehouse.
3) Which channels does the vendor integrate with, does the vendor have official partnerships with these channels, is the vendor well capitalized? Most of the vendors in our space are neither employing world-class software engineers, nor experienced online retailers. As a result, there is an all-too-common situation where vendors hit a breaking point where poor architectural frameworks and the burden to maintain existing integrations becomes overwhelming and innovation and progress is halted.
4) Price. Does the value you are receiving justify the value you are paying? As is true with most things in life, regrets arise when you underpay and overpay for necessities.
5) What customizations do you require? What value-added services would help you achieve your goals? Do you use an ERP, accounting, warehouse management system that needs to be integrated? What pain points could be cost-effectively addressed by a feedback friendly technology partner? Few vendors are willing or able to integrate your data systems and take action on your feedback.
Is Zentail the right channel management platform for your business?
Contact us if you're interested in learning more about multichannel management platform selection criteria.