7 Advanced Technologies That are Redefining eCommerce

The global pandemic has changed our way of living, shopping and socializing. We are compelled to shop digitally for most things and mobile phones have made that much easier. Some online sellers have benefited from the global pandemic.

Existing eCommerce businesses are looking forward to infusing their sites with the latest technologies and tools. Startups are eager for the latest technologies and trends to begin their game.

It can be easily said that advanced eCommerce technologies have redefined the online landscape forever and will continue to do so.

What is eCommerce?

eCommerce (electronic commerce) refers to the buying and selling of goods or services VIA the Internet and the transfer of money and data to execute them.

eCommerce is often referred to as the sale of physical products online, but it also describes any commercial transaction facilitated via the internet.

E-business refers to all the aspects that operate an online business and eCommerce refers to transactions of goods and services.

Types of eCommerce Businesses

There are mainly four types of eCommerce models that would describe almost every transaction taking place between consumers and businesses:

  • Business to Consumer (B2C)
  • Business to Business (B2B)
  • Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
  • Consumer to Business (C2B)


Advanced Technologies That are Redefining eCommerce

As the eCommerce industry sees rampant growth with technology at the helm, let’s have a look at seven advanced technologies that are enabling its growth:

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#1. Payment Gateway Technology or Online Transaction Processing (OLTP)

OLTP is an information system that facilitates and manages transaction-oriented applications. With some of the latest and most secure online transaction processing technologies, OLTP  creates secure payment gateways and a myriad of money transfer methods for boosting eCommerce.

Digital wallets are the best and most often used example of advanced OLTP technologies.

Digital wallets make payment transactions quick, simple and secure for everyone regardless of Internet connection (wired, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mobile).

#2. mCommerce

When we talk about mCommerce, it means mobile commerce. mCommerce shopping happens VIA smart devices and is becoming one of the most lucrative eCommerce niches.

Advanced technologies that redefine eCommerce include mobile marketing. Most customers prefer to use their mobile devices for online business.

Competitors may take advantage of mCommerce to acquire more customers who prefer the mobile eCommerce niche. As this niche expands, poor mobile execution or no mobile at all will cause companies to lose out in the market.

Big or small, you can use mobile apps to advance the course of your business. You can provide a seamless experience to your customers by making use of excellent apps. Always use apps that make their shopping easier and fun-loving.

#3. Supply Chain Management (SCM)

SCM has developed over time to support manufacturing and globalization. Today, we live in a specialization era where SCM is available as-a-service.

The role of supply chain management technology is more evident in eCommerce and has given birth to various online portals for B2B, B2C, C2C, and C2B like-business models. SCM influences both pre-production and post-production to ease stressed supply chains.

Manufacturing and blockchain technologies are also emerging as revolutionary new technologies in SCM for eCommerce.

The booming eCommerce industry, even post-pandemic, has led to warehouse and labor shortages nationwide, making it difficult to secure staff and space. As a result, warehousing costs are on the rise, including the prices of 4PL services.

Investing in integrated technologies in the form of cloud-native warehouse management may be helpful. Third and fourth party logistics providers (3PL, 4PL) are highly adaptable and allow you to scale and pivot operations quickly.

Investing in warehouse-as-a-service from an outsourced logistics provider gains access to both employees and state-of-the-art warehouse technology costing a fraction of what it would cost to develop your own warehouse.

#4. Artificial Intelligence

AI or Artificial Intelligence is everywhere, and eCommerce is no exception as sellers strive to give their shoppers personalized experiences. Personalization technologies are highly dependent on AI.

Also, real-time and automated chatbots are a craze in the eCommerce industry. Chat software relies on AI technologies to respond intelligently to consumer inquiries.

#5. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Electronic data interchange technology allows eCommerce businesses to exchange information that was historically shared on paper.

For example, eCommerce shoppers and merchants enjoy automatically placing orders, generating invoices and tracking the entire shipping process.

EDI’s high standards have made the order-making process and receiving goods VIA online shopping stress-free. Now, customers can place orders, receive invoices and goods automatically and hassle-free.

#6. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

EFT technology has seen recent improvements like encryption-like technologies that enhance its security. EFTs have reduced our over reliance on physical banks.

Direct debit, withdrawals and deposits for payments, e-bill payments and instant payments are some e-payment options. They determine our concurrent financial activities.

The annual report of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) supports the visible growth of EFT technology in the economy and its positive impact on eCommerce.

#7. Blockchain

There is a lot of controversy around blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Blockchain technology is gaining trust as a method for online payments and for its concept of a distributed genuine ledger of all digital transactions.

Blockchain ensures transparency, security and decentralization making it an attractive option for accepting online payments. Payments and exchanges with fiat currencies take more time and are costlier; hence cryptocurrencies are becoming popular. You can make shipping ‘smarter’ by providing encryption in deliveries using blockchain.

The future of the eCommerce marketplace will be blockchain-driven and it will transform the industry.

Cin7 Inventory and Order Management Software

Cin7 understands that tracking orders, inventory levels, sales and shipments are critical business phases. Our inventory management software helps your online business eliminate overstocking and stock outages.

We offer attractive features like reorder points, service management, asset tracking, product identification and inventory optimization.

ERP inventory and order management technologies are meant for enterprises. Our inventory management software leverages the cloud and offers several benefits like cost efficiency, data updates, warehouse management and real-time analysis.

Our cloud inventory management technologies enable inventory management across multiple sales channels and multi-location warehouses.

Integration-First Ecosystems: The Future Of Multichannel Selling

The Internet became a mainstream technology that found relevance at universities and corporations in the 2000s and it paved the way for multi-billion organizations like Facebook and Google. Ten years down the line, the online software industry was becoming a part of our daily lives, with eCommerce and cloud software solutions becoming the major disruptors that everyone was very enthusiastic about, at least in silicon valley.

However, despite eCommerce being widely adopted by consumers, very few businesses have realized its vast potential. Today, eCommerce isn’t limited to selling your products on your website – it’s much, much more. We are talking about social selling, online marketplaces, affiliates, resellers, brick and mortar stores and a lot more.

All these various facets of today’s retail landscape benefit from being integrated into one technology stack or ecosystem. In fact, if you are reading this article, you are among the most informed decision-makers in the online retail industry. And that’s the agenda today – integration-first ecosystems for multichannel selling.

At Cin7, we knew this fact first hand and we set out to help our customers remain viable in the ever changing retail landscape. We recently conducted a wide-scale study on multichannel selling. To our surprise, the market’s awareness of what can be achieved by combining a robust ecosystem of interconnected software with data and automated processes was lower than we expected.

Here’s what our study found. An inventory management solution is only as good as the number of seamless integrations it can support. As a result, Cin7 continues to focus on expanding the ecosystem of integrated eCommerce solutions we offer to provide further efficiencies to run your business smoothly.

As a result, we can proudly say that we have over 550 apps onboard Cin7 and this is one of our biggest competitive advantages.

The Role Of Integrations In eCommerce

You, like many others, are working hard to increase your eCommerce sales. It becomes more difficult to control sales volume as you expand and scale. Your eCommerce system needs other 3rd party systems to operate and manage major aspects of your growing business. Getting all these individual systems to communicate with one another is a separate matter.

Consider all of the systems on which your growth plan is based. If they aren’t already connected, think about how this could be influencing your business model. For perspective, let’s consider one of the findings from our study and resulting ebook on multichannel selling: integrating your sales and accounting apps can increase your profitability by 43%.

Is your company ready to get started with a fully integrated inventory control system?

The synchronization of a company’s front end with its backend systems, such as inventory management software or a CRM system, is known as eCommerce integration.

In theory an integration, like an API, allows software programs to exchange data to maintain accounting records, share insights and inform business decisions. Integration centralizes the front end operations and keeps your business processes on the same page. Multichannel selling requires multiple layers of support for different functionalities, be it payment gateways, logistics partners or client servicing methods.

Without interconnecting your front and backend apps, your operations remain primarily manual and exposed to human error. You may undersell or oversell; miship, misquote; and even end up leaving customers unserviced. Multichannel selling sounds very interesting and lucrative, but it can easily turn chaotic if you don’t have the right eCommerce integrations in place.

For instance, if your backend isn’t integrated with a particular sales channel, you’ll have to manually update the inventory count in both your inventory system and in the selling channel.

This is where the value of a well-implemented multichannel eCommerce integration ecosystem becomes abundantly evident. Integration ensures that your technology stack is homogeneous, that insights travel smoothly and every program executes its tasks accurately.

Benefits Of Integrating Your Sales Channels With Your Backend

As more businesses embrace online sales and brick-and-mortar storefronts become less important, the demand for multichannel integration has skyrocketed. Here are four advantages of using multichannel integrations:

#1 Ditch Manual Order Input

Connecting your selling channels with your backend system minimizes manual and redundant data inputs and enhances data interchange speed. Since you need to input the same data at multiple locations for every transaction, automation becomes a critical component of successful multichannel selling.

#2 Enhanced Data Utility

With seamless connectivity across different functions of your business ecosystem, accuracy is never a guessing game. Inventory synchronization, real-time tracking updates and pricing; every sphere improves with data pooling. It all results in improved data utility because you can capture data across touchpoints and convert it into utilizable insights that trigger coordinated sales.

#3 Improved the Customer Experience

When your sales channels and backend are connected, your support reps can provide quick problem resolution and handle queries like product availability and shipping updates. You will also be able to reach out to the same user on different platforms according to their preferences and maintain a consistent brand presence.

#4 Expanding Into New Markets

Integrations allow your company to expand into more online markets while maintaining operational efficiency. New clients become available with each additional sales channel. Diversified income sources, greater customer experience and increased operational margins are all icing on the cake when it comes to expanding your brand through eCommerce integration.

Multichannel Selling Integration Roadblocks

Multichannel selling requires a free flow of information, automation and timely human intervention. Integrations can be cascading or real-time synchronous in nature, depending on the type of transaction.

Benefiting from a modern technical stack necessitates a technological workflow that rises above a legacy system.

Organizations frequently ignore the need for a closely-knit, advanced ecosystem of dedicated apps out of fear of high expense. They may also fear disrupting what established mechanisms have already been doing for them.

There are a few challenges that businesses must overcome to build a successful multichannel selling integration platform. Here are four potential roadblocks:

#1 Not Understanding Requirements

One of the most common problems that businesses experience occurs before they have even started to use a centralized integration platform. Many businesses are unsure where to begin.

IT stakeholders are unsure of what their company requires in order to effectively manage trade partners, customers and other internal and external connectors that make up their digital ecosystem.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the decision process. IT managers are concerned about having enough IT employees to support and maintain an integration platform in addition to their usual responsibilities. There’s also the fear that migrating data from one system to another may lead to mistakes, security concerns or data loss.

Companies must first achieve internal alignment before beginning a integration modernization path. They should figure out what they want to accomplish through integration, what obstacles they’ll have to overcome and what systems they’ll be integrating.

Further, businesses must determine whether data should be synced between systems and which procedures and workflows can and should be automated.

With the end goal in mind, the proper eCommerce integration project can begin.

#2 Systems That Are Obsolete Or That Are Part Of A Legacy System

While everything appears to be running smoothly on the service, the truth is that depending on legacy and obsolete technology leads businesses to drop and miss orders. Their technology does not allow them to see every single online order from beginning to end.

Legacy systems are clumsy and difficult to work around when compared to a contemporary integration platform.

Sometimes the tools and processes you’ve relied on for years still work for you and will satisfy your day-to-day company demands for the foreseeable future. When it comes to bringing on new partners and services, migrating apps to the cloud or supporting big data projects, legacy systems sometimes fall short of what your business needs to succeed.

It’s probably time to modernize your eCommerce solution if you’re getting chargebacks from your trade partners or don’t have the technical expertise to fulfill API connectivity needs.

#3 Lack Of Multichannel Management Capabilities

Traditionally, an eCommerce platform has provided businesses with technology that allows them to sell to their consumers on their website using a standard web browser. This disregards two critical considerations:

Call centers, brick and mortar storefronts, mail order catalogs, online marketplaces and other marketplace websites are other ways that retailers sell.

Customers want to buy using their own devices, whether it’s an iPhone or a personal laptop, so acquiring master data that can sync with the other systems connected to those customer contact points is a continental consideration.

#4 Lack Of Visibility

Product sellers that have yet to update their technical stack suffer from a lack of visibility, which prevents them from making real-time, performance-based choices. Companies may consolidate the amount of control they have over a piece of data and get end-to-end visibility by combining outdated integration platforms to improve business operations.

Companies may begin to obtain total visibility for every online order after completely adopting a modernized integration platform. Consider the benefits of having comprehensive omnichannel integration visibility. With full EDI and API connections, you can see all of your online, retail and wholesale orders in one place.

Getting Ready For Multichannel Selling Integration

Many firms put off multichannel integration because it seems complicated and they are concerned that projects will go over budget or take too long. However, integration is easier than you may think. The trick is to plan and prepare ahead of time and choose a solution provider with extensive onboarding services.

Begin by determining which of your manual procedures are prone to mistakes. When you find sluggish, complex or superfluous procedures, you can employ integration methods to eliminate them so that your team can focus on more important and high-value work.

The next phase in the planning process is to consider your customer’s journey. You may find areas that can be simplified with eCommerce integration by reviewing consumer shopping behavior.

Then you should think about how data travels between your systems. Examine how your data is transported, how you maintain customer information and how your accounting system manages payments, among other things. You may then determine which functions can be merged or automated.

You may choose the proper integration technique via APIs after knowing which areas might benefit from integration. As long as the appropriate functions are included, you will be able to meet your present and future eCommerce demands.

Summing Up

Your eCommerce business may become considerably more productive if you employ integrations in the right manner. You may obtain insights from integrated data that can help you make wiser decisions that are in line with your business goals. Increased demand may also be handled more easily with an eCommerce integration platform without the need for extra staff.

A modern technical stack also aids in the elimination of mistakes and allows your company to improve the customer experience. As a result of all of these advantages, your eCommerce operation will generate more income and minimize costly errors.

At the end of the day, the eCommerce industry is saturated, so making your firm stand out requires a lot of effort. Thus, integration-first inventory management ecosystems are the first step into leveraging the capabilities employed by the biggest players in your sectors.

Read the detailed report on “How Product Sellers Adapted to Change and Sold More” to know how other players in your industry are making integrations in multichannel selling work for them.

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“How Cin7 saves us $130,000 a year.”

Jennifer Xidias on how Cin7’s inventory management integrations saves Peta+Jain time and hundreds of thousands of dollars, every year.

One of the most quantifiable things in my decision to go with Cin7 as my software choice was not only its futuristic focus, but also the amount we could save on our IT spend.


Most companies allocate a spend for marketing or IT improvements. We spend a lot of money on marketing. As one of Australia’s fastest-growing fashion companies, we have to keep relevant with competing brands. Unfortunately, because of Covid-19, everything was postponed.

So, when I was looking for an inventory management solution, I needed a good IT product that suited what we did and was great value for money.

Cin7 is that product. It has seriously saved us about $130k this year alone, through not having to employ extra warehouse and admin staff. And when it comes to time savings, with our Shopify, The Iconic and Starshipit integrations now operational, it saves hours every day not having to key in the data manually or create spreadsheets to import.


Over the last 12 months, orders through our own website (powered by Shopify) and the Iconic Marketplace have steadily grown, from around an average of 50 orders per week to well over 200 per week. At sale times, this can reach around 100 per day.

Before Cin7, we were manually entering the shipping details into Australia Post and Excel to create consignments and picking lists, and then updating the tracking numbers in The Iconic and Shopify. As you can see, this was extremely labour-intensive during peak volume times!

We then moved to downloading the orders and creating spreadsheets to upload into Australia Post and update the tracking numbers. This was less labour intensive, but still a time-consuming process. It would still take at least one hour of time twice a day for the warehouse to just do the paperwork. The other downside of this system was that someone would generally have to then key all of the Shopify and The Iconic orders into MYOB to remove the stock and record the sale. This could then take at least another hour of time per day or if 100 orders, several hours.

The last issue that we had was that we would then have to remove The Iconic invoices every two weeks, and re-key their invoice to align with the actual statement from The Iconic, so that our records matched with what we were getting paid.


Our Cin7 implementation has removed all these issues. With our new, automated workflow, we’re saving at least 30 hours a fortnight. Also, with Cin7 integrating directly with The Iconic, reconciling orders from that channel only requires a two-second journal, each fortnight, to take up the commission amounts as all orders and stock are automatically taken care of. This makes for an additional saving of three hours a fortnight.

As well as the colossal time saving, we’re also saving $130,000 a year on not having to hire employees to do hours of tedious work. If we hadn’t used Cin7 to integrate our systems to deal with our rapid growth, and replace those manual processes, we would have required an additional two employees (one in the warehouse, and one admin person) to assist with all of the paperwork. Shopify and The Iconic are only part of our business, and we’d still need to deal with all of the other wholesale customer orders each day, and pack and ship their orders too.

The cost of each additional employee is approximately $65k per year, which gives us a cost saving of $130k a year.

The Cin7, Iconic, Shopify and Starshipit integrations give the warehouse manager and I approximately two day’s worth of time per week to concentrate on other parts of our business, without having to get other staff. I love Cin7. I think it’s a fantastic product.

Cin7 Rolls Out the Cin7 Supply Chain App Store

Cin7 this week officially rolled out the Cin7 Supply Chain App Store.

We’ve been developing the Cin7 Supply Chain App Store to make it easier for our customers to quickly and easily set up and scale their Cin7 integration according to their business needs.

The Cin7 Supply Chain App Store is a centralized, easy-to-navigate catalogue of Cin7’s core production, warehouse, POS and B2B capabilities and the 100+ integrations to the popular accounting solutions, eCommerce platforms and marketplaces, retailers, logistics and shipping providers, and sales, marketing and payments applications that businesses use to efficiently sell their products.

“Our goal is to give customers integrated control over inventory across their entire supply chain,” says Cin7 Founder and Chief Architect Danny Ing. “The App Store takes the complexity out of implementing Cin7 to give customers even more time to focus on their core business.”

New App Store Features

Companies don’t have time or resources to spare merging the connections to their sales channels, logistics partners and software solutions they use to produce, store, market and deliver their products.

The Cin7 Supply Chain App Store gives customers the ability to easily incorporate every facet of their supply chain to a single interface that unifies their supply chain operations.

Improved Interface and Navigation

Cin7 customers can easily browse or search for the integrations they need.

Detailed Integration Descriptions

Each App includes details on how that integration works with Cin7 and a link to useful technical documentation.

Click-and-Connect Implementation

When you find the App for the integration you need, simply click-and-connect. The integration will be live and incorporated as part of your Cin7 solution in a matter of minutes in most cases.

Dedicated App Dashboards

Cin7 customers can view their installed apps directly from their central dashboard. And each app includes a dedicated dashboard with reports on sales, orders, and other data to easily monitor performance.

More Apps, More Categories

Cin7 continues to add more integrations across all App Store categories and new categories designed to let Cin7 customers incorporate other solutions they need to manage their supply chain.

Will Amazon New Zealand Be Next?

Amazon took significant steps recently to get up and running in Australia. Now, word on the street is the eCommerce giant has set its sights on New Zealand.

It may not be a question of if but when the company launches Amazon New Zealand.

Amazon Activates in Australia

Amazon has now leased a distribution center in Melbourne. It is also close to leasing a fulfillment center in Sydney.

The Australian Financial Review reported Amazon’s Melbourne location is a 24,000 square meter site that Bunnings once used as a distribution center. Amazon could potentially double the size of that facility. (Bunnings left that site for a larger facility in 2014).

Another report indicates Amazon is close to a deal on a Sydney facility, a roughly 50 drive west of the central business district. Amazon has worked with Goodman Group, which owns the site, to develop fulfillment and distribution centers in the US and Europe.

Amazon will likely spend the next few months preparing the warehouses (reportedly with automation and robotics) for an Australia launch next year.

News over the past 12 months suggested Amazon would be up and running this year. However, later reporting points to a 2018 launch date for Amazon prime and an Australia Marketplace.

So is an Amazon New Zealand next?

So with Amazon starting up in Australia, could an Amazon New Zealand be far behind?

It would make sense. This week, a financial firm made headlines by making that very case. Sort of.

As reported in the New Zealand Herald, a Forsyth Barr research report stated that “Once Australia is bedded-in, New Zealand presents a logical extension to Amazon’s investment in the region.”

While the report sees an increased likelihood of an Amazon New Zealand, it hedges on how that may look. Amazon may launch a separate New Zealand marketplace, establish a fulfillment center in New Zealand, or simply ship from Australia.

How Will Kiwi Businesses React?

Even if Amazon stays in Australia, its regional presence will impact Kiwi brands and retailers. At the very least, Amazon Australia makes shipping more affordable. Consequently, kiwi consumers will likely purchase more than they once did when buying on Amazon’s US or UK marketplaces.

However it shakes out, if you own a kiwi business, what is your Amazon strategy? Will you stick with your existing channels? Will you become a seller to make stock available to more customers? If you haven’t thought about it, now is the time to decide.

What is Pull Strategy and Does it Benefit eCommerce?

Inventory is a delicate balancing act, and eCommerce doesn’t make things any easier.

Carrying too much stock drives up your costs in warehousing and expiration of goods. Carrying too little loses you sales.

Getting inventory just right is the Goldilocks tale of commerce, which is why so many strategies have emerged over the last 50 years (especially from the manufacturing sector) including Agile, Lean and Just in Time processes. Companies most certainly employ a combination of these various approaches depending on what they sell, what customer service levels they’ve set, and what sales channels to which they are applying a strategy.

The nature of online sales, whether that is direct to customers or B2B eCommerce, may benefit to some degree from the pull inventory strategy.

(Bear in mind that the terms used in this article are generalized. Supply chain management as an academic discipline encompasses a much more technical and nuanced comprehension of push, pull, agile, etc.)

What is Pull Strategy?

Pull strategy is inventory management that responds to actual customer demand in realtime. It is often contrasted with push strategy, which builds inventory in advance of anticipated customer demand based on forecasts, seasonal demand planning and historic trends.

Pull begins with the customer’s order, which is why it is sometimes referred to as “demand-driven inventory planning”. A company using a pull system maintains inventory based on what is happening right now, which means they don’t keep a lot of that item in stock, if any at all. It will maintain inventory at that level by procuring or manufacturing the item only after it has been sold, or by replenishing a sold item with only one more item.

A pull strategy works for products you can manufacture/replenish quickly, products with an uncertain demand, or products that do not benefit from economies of scale (ie, making a lot of it doesn’t reduce the cost of selling it).

While a pull strategy does not require the comprehensive historic data that a push strategy calls for, it is still essential to track sales of that item on a daily basis across all sales channels.

Does Pull Benefit eCommerce?

The first advantage to pull strategy is the ability to sell without the associated cost of carrying inventory. If you can deliver on promise without that cost, you lower the cost of goods sold and increase your profit margin. The margin increases when taking into account the low cost of eCommerce versus the high overhead of running a retail store.

The benefit of pull to eCommerce goes beyond that, particularly if you’re not selling complicated products (electronics or machinery) or if you are selling and managing inventory (fashion, for instance) that is subject to quickly changing tastes.

eCommerce gives you have the potential to attract a wide, global customer base. A pull strategy can work when you’re selling a highly specialized or individualized product that may not move in volume in a small market, but may attract appreciable interest worldwide.

The pull strategy here requires more lead time to gather components from your suppliers (such as a particular pattern or fabric, for example), so it is important for you to emphasize to customers that their order may take longer to fulfill.

The pull strategy may also come in handy for smaller organizations that have low inventory budgets but that want to provide more options to far reaching customers through their website.

The truth is, however, eCommerce will most likely require a company to adopt a combination of strategies: a push strategy for high volume SKUs that you know have sold well based on forecasting; and a pull strategy for special items that you can’t afford to keep in stock, but that you have reason to believe will appeal to your customers.

Regardless of your strategy, you will need an inventory management solution that can track and report your sales.

Click to find out how Cin7’s reporting capability lets you see your sales in realtime and in historic contexts to help you focus your eCommerce strategies.