If you know me, you have heard me say time, and time again, that shipping and logistics is the most difficult part of ecommerce. The chief reason Amazon is so dominant is that they tackled and continue to build out the most advanced shipping and logistics operation in the world. Everything they do is centered around how to fulfill orders, perhaps more so than even getting the order in the first place.
For any other online seller, facing the challenges of processing orders quickly becomes a daunting exercise in confusing technologies and integrations.
I can’t go into all the aspects of shipping and logistics in a review, but I can tell you about a system we really like called Ordoro.
Ordoro started out as a competitor to ShipStation. Orders came to the system and you printed shipping labels to put on the packages. Tracking numbers were sent back to the ecommerce system.
But today, Ordoro is so much more. It’s a robust inventory management system, PO system, and multi-channel distribution system. And at a price point that is extremely affordable.
What I also like is that Ordoro continues to innovate and improve their product. I get regular email updates and with almost every email, I find myself saying, “Wow, look what it does now!”
One feature I particularly get excited about that is only found on more expensive systems — and some of those I’ve reviewed do a lousy job of it — is the building of what we call “kits.”
Let’s say you have 3 different posters you want to sell as the “Texas Bundle.” Each a different graphic and you also sell them individually.
Most ecommerce platforms can build and manage inventory for a kit because it’s complicated. If you have 15 of poster A, 25 of poster B, and 35 of Poster C, you can only sell 15 of the Texas Bundle, because 15 is your least amount of inventory for one of the three items. If you sell one of Poster B or C, you still have the availability of selling 15 kit bundles. But, if you sell one of Poster A, then your availability for Poster A is now 14 and so is the availability of your Texas Bundle. Likewise, when a bundle is sold, the individual availability of each component poster should be reduced by one, as well.
Now, many back-end inventory and logistics systems can actually program kits, where they choke is how they communicate with the front end of Shopify, Magento, and the like. To Shopify, for instance, you’re selling 4 unique items: Posters A, B, and C, and the Texas Bundle. Shopify doesn’t connect the bundle to the individual products. If someone buys the bundle on Shopify, the inventory of the bundle is decremented by one, but the individual posters are not reduced.
With Ordoro, as the order for the bundle comes into its system, it properly updates the available inventory of the individual kit items — as well as the kit, itself — and pushes inventory updates back to Shopify so the availability of all four items is properly updated.
I have actually persuaded clients to move FROM NetSuite or SellerCloud or some other much more expensive and complicated system and TO Ordoro. It really does make life so much easier.
Now, despite having a great tool, I will say that if you’re not truly familiar with shipping and logistics, please get some help and advice. I spend a lot of time with clients going over this aspect of their business because it is often very foreign to most. Yet, if done correctly, processing orders can be very cost-efficient and it’s a rush to see a daily report showing that hundreds of orders have shipping flawlessly and within margins.
If you need to improve your shipping and logistics, first get with someone like me to help you map out the very best options and practices. Then, if suitable, check out Ordoro. Seriously. I don’t recommend anything I would or have not used myself.