Zumasys recently helped a customer navigate through the Amazon direct fulfillment process, leveraging the power of open APIs and a customer’s PICK MultiValue application.
We sat down with Elvin Wytko, Senior Software Developer at Zumasys, to talk through his experience building this integration with Amazon’s Direct Fulfillment API.
Senior Software Developer
What is Amazon Direct Fulfillment?
Also known as Dropship, the Direct Fulfillment program is available to select Vendors. A Direct Fulfillment connection allows Vendors to provide real-time inventory via EDI (electronic data interchange) feed for an entire catalog.
Selling through Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) not only opens up access to 150 million paid Prime members around the world, but it can help your business scale by leaving the shipping, returns, and customer service to Amazon.
How does Amazon integration work?
- A customer places an order, and Amazon determines if that item goes to a direct fulfillment vendor. Our “get Amazon orders” API is called and can bring in up to 50 Amazon orders at a time. These orders show up directly in the ERP as entered orders.
- After the orders are created in the ERP, we send an API call back to Amazon acknowledging that we received the orders.
- Orders then go through the distribution center from which they will ship. Each item is scanned with an RF gun and sent to a packaging area for processing.
- We determine how many boxes are needed and send an API to Amazon with the height, length, width, and weight of each of the boxes, and Amazon routes the orders. We then print the Amazon shipping labels with the tracking number for each box.
- If the order is a gift or a packing slip is required, we use an API call to print the packing slip on Amazon letterhead.
- We confirm and post the shipment of the items in each box back to Amazon using the submitShipmentConfirmation API call.
- Once the Amazon order has been submitted and posted back to Amazon, we provide an API to create the invoice to Amazon.
Why is this so cool?
With the new APIs, the opportunities are endless. You can connect to anything you want within Amazon services. The details and Amazon signatures are all handled behind the scenes so that anybody can do it.
“I’ve been creating APIs for less than a year, and I would have never dreamed that I could do something like this so quickly. It’s really opened up the application in ways I never thought were possible,” said Elvin.
As new business requirements come along, Zumasys can tailor highly effective processes at a minimal cost. We recently worked with a customer to implement API calls with their payment processor. They’re using GraphQL API calls that have an eCommerce website. When orders are created, they come into the application and are then pulled with an RF gun. They ship the order using a popular shipping automation software, and once the order has gone through, we automatically send the shipping information back to the application. The order automatically invoices and bills the credit card through the payment processor’s API call.
An employee should only need to touch an order once when it comes in and gets directed to the distribution center for shipping. Once an order is packaged, there’s a 10-minute interval to ensure no other changes are needed; from there, everything else is automated. The order will be invoiced automatically out of the system and bill the customer’s credit card. It decrements the inventory, sends the customer an email that their order’s been shipped, and provides a tracking number.
Benefits beyond Amazon.
“More than half the units sold in Amazon stores are from independent sellers. Third-party sellers sell more than a billion items during the holiday season alone, and in 2019, nearly 225,000 Amazon sellers eclipsed $100k in sales.”
While Amazon has its own website for customers to purchase from, you can also integrate with other marketplaces like Walmart, Target, eBay, etc through an aggregator. Using API integration, you can start accepting orders from any of these marketplaces. It only takes about 15 minutes to set up a new marketplace. Before, you might have had to draw people to mycompany.com; everybody already goes to Walmart, Amazon, Target, etc. Your products are listed in these stores without a customer having to find your website directly. This is huge for SEO and a big competitive advantage over companies that only sell through their own sites or brick-and-mortar stores.
Zumasys has spent the last decade building the most experienced, capable bench of MultiValue professionals in the industry. Have an idea of how you could leverage APIs in your business? We are here to help.