Here at Virtual Logistics trade show season is in full swing which means that there is a lot of talk around the office about e-commerce integration. This month, Virtual Logistics was exhibiting at the Magento e-commerce world Imagine 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada where we partnered with SmartOSC to demo end to end Magento e-commerce integration. The trade show was a huge success and another great opportunity for Virtual Logistics to discuss with people about e-commerce integration. There is more to come on the Magento Imagine trade show in a future blog article, but, our demo and our partnership got me thinking; what does Magento end to end integration actually look like?
I was able to find out using the demo that our technical team had put together. But before I get into specifics of how the demo works and what it showed me, let me explain what Magento is and how VL can integrate to a Magento web store.
Magento is an e-commerce shopping cart solution used by more than 150,000 businesses, that offers a scalable and customizable web store experience. Not only is Magento an e-commerce industry leading platform but here at Virtual Logistics we are Magento integration experts. In January 2013, Virtual Logistics became a Magento Industry Partner which means that our configurable and proven on-premise and cloud integration solutions will allow you to seamlessly tie your Magento web store to your ERP, WMS, 3PL or fulfillment house. With our solution integrated to your Magento web store you will be able to:
- Manipulate data
- Eliminate manual processes
- Streamline your data flow
So how exactly does this end to end integration work? To test it ourselves, we decided we would sell TVs and smartphones for $0.01 (imagine if you really could buy at TV for ONE CENT?) in our Magento based web store – Chone’s Electronic Emporium.
At Chone’s Electronic Emporium the order is placed as if we were really purchasing the TVs or smart phones through the Magento web store. Once the customer information has been entered, quantities and shipping methods are selected, the order is submitted and the invoice is created then the actual integration begins. Remember, this is a demo so we don’t go out to a payment gateway.
Once the order is received into our system here at VL we pull down from the API the order information in its XML format and take over from there.
All the remaining actions are completed in our system transparently, and the order is sent to the ERP, WMS, 3PL or fulfillment house. Because we don’t actually ship anything we have to simulate the pick pack and ship. Once the invoice has been created we synchronize the system and enter all the shipping information that will be sent to the customer via email from the web store. The shipping confirmation includes order number, shipping method (in this case UPS) and tracking number.
This information is posted through our system and sent up to the Magento web store that then sends an email to the customer.
Once the shipping information has been sent you can see that the order is confirmed within minutes: Both the TV and smartphone have been ordered, invoiced and shipment confirmed in less than 15 min.
Want more information on web store integration? Take a look at this video.