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Smart Merchandising Technology Warehouse Management

If you are going D2C with Shopify, Scale Faster with Increff

Retail started from local stores and expanded nationwide, cross borders, with e-commerce. E-commerce provided a uniform platform business for brands to compete on. The traditional legacy brands, having huge landmark stores and a dedicated customer base, had to wrestle with hip startups that were born in the digital era. As fast-paced technology started transforming the future of retail, it completely changed the way we shop. 

What was memorable about brand stores was the unique environment they created by capturing its essence within the four walls and adding a peculiarity in interactions. This uniqueness and brand memorability get lost in multi-brand marketplaces. Marketplaces are standard platforms having their own purpose, that masks a brand’s individuality. E.g. you become a Macy’s customer or an Amazon shopper but the brand you shop for becomes secondary. Hence, D2C seems an attractive channel to directly communicate with customers and own the relationship. 

Brands selling directly to customers own their most important asset; their customer’s lifetime value. 

D2C is an emerging strategy to disrupt the market. It allows brands to grow at their own pace by eliminating the middleman and earning higher margins. It helps brands:

  1. Directly connect with customers: Having direct access to customer data gives brands the ability to customize every touchpoint. Connect with shoppers whenever they want, through emailers, push notifications, etc. 
  2. Innovate: Data enables brands to understand customers better and improvise basis demand. Manufacturers can optimize existing products or create new offerings by capturing the trend early. 
  3. Build stronger brand loyalty: Using upselling and cross-selling options, retailers can create more opportunities for sale and build brand loyalty. 
  4. Increase flexibility and agility: Having full control over product supply and demand allows brands to become more agile. Gain the ability to read and react to change fast. 

Going D2C is not easy. It’s important to have a D2C specific strategy, which addresses:

  1. Initial set-up – 
    • Building your website – Using the right e-commerce solution, that is affordable, scalable, secure and low maintenance is important. Specialized platforms like Magento and Shopify, serve as all-in-one website builders that are easy to work with. They provide multiple payment options and allow omnichannel delivery. Our web-based WMS solution, Increff Assure, has preintegration with both these platforms and we can be your technology partner. Assure is a multi-channel order fulfillment platform built specifically for fashion and lifestyle brands to improve topline and reduce operational costs. It manages inventory by tracking every piece using Unique Piece Barcode, ensuring 100% order accuracy and improving operational efficiency. Through fast and easy channel integrations Assure can manage inventory across multiple sales channels, online and offline, and display 100% inventory across all channels simultaneously ensuring higher sales and better visibility.
    • Deciding CapEx vs OpEx model of operations – Understanding whether you can support direct orders to your warehouse or do you need a warehousing partner is a next step. Increff Assure can help you manage inventory in your warehouse. Our Warehousing as a Service (WaaS) helps retailers switch from the CapEx to Opex model of operation as we manage anywhere, anytime warehousing through our trusted 3PL partners. Having the right tech foundation at each warehouse helps brands scale efficiently as their business grows with the increasing demand.
  1. Supply chain challenges – 

Inventory management tech-solution like Increff Assure helps optimize inventory across all sales channels to prevent understocking or overstocking at any point in time. Our Regional Utilization model helps distribute inventory intelligently across a network of managed warehouses, based on true regional demand. It helps minimize air shipments, promote surface shipments and reduce logistics costs significantly to facilitate faster deliveries. Our pre-integrations on Shopify with reliable 3PL partners, Shiprocket and Clickpost, ensures complete order traceability and timely delivery. Increff Assure has inbuilt returns management solutions that very few WMS solutions provide. It help in rapid returns processing and makes good inventory immediately available for resale to prevent loss in sales opportunities. 

  1. Usage of data and insights – 

Increff Assure’s 50+ insightful, actionable reports help brands make calculated decisions on inventory and resource management. They help in inventory reconciliation, identifying channels of higher sales for better order management, tracking manpower productivity, and improving efficiency by highlighting, and correcting, loopholes in operations. 

Channel diversification is an opportunity to build a new relationship with customers. It is about giving a reason to customers to buy directly while ensuring the sales on partner channels do not get impacted. Offering unique services, loyalty programs, or subscription services plays a major role. Omnichannel brands can also decide on differentiating inventory across different channels e.g. D2C channel can be used for launching new products, selling premium versions of existing products, or a limited product line. Gaining better control over consumer data empowers brands to cater to changing needs by providing personalized, authentic service, and making it memorable. 

Categories
Technology

Opening our Libraries on GitHub

All of us software developers have been using open-source software for many years now. Some of the notable ones (for the Java guys) being:

  • Apache open-source libraries
  • NGINX
  • Apache HTTPD
  • Bootstrap
  • JQuery
  • MySQL DB
  • Jenkins
  • Artifactory
  • Spring framework
  • And many more.. !

Over the last 4+ years, we at Increff have built a repository of libraries to ease up software development. Slowly it became a dream at Increff to contribute back to the open-source community. We are pleased to announce that we are open-sourcing all our internal libraries on GitHub. https://github.com/increff

Here is a brief description of what all these libraries do:

commons-oauth2

OAuth allows providing the authorization required by an Application (the Client) to access some Resource on a Resource Server, on behalf of the Resource Owner. The commons-oauth2 library allows access authorization based on the OAuth 2.0 model. Specifically, using commons-oauth2, Google OAuth2.0 integration can be established in web applications.

commons-lang

The standard Java libraries fail to provide enough methods for the manipulation of its core classes. commons-lang provides some of these needed extra methods through a host of helper utilities for dealing with constructs like Collections, Date-Time formats, and Files among other things.

commons-sheet2

commons-sheet2 is a library for providing a structured way to perform file read and write operations. It is primarily used within Increff’s IMDB library. 

commons-quartz

Commons-quartz is a library for providing a background job scheduling framework in different timezones using cron-based triggers.

commons-printing

commons-printing provides methods to deal with printers and printing tasks. It allows the identification of available printers as well the processing of printing jobs on the printers. Using commons-printing you can fetch a list of all available printing services, select a printing service by name and print a document using a specific printer.

commons-mysql

commons-mysql contains a collection of classes and methods that allow interaction with a MySQL database. Various methods are available for performing operations on the database such as creating and dropping databases, pushing or pulling data to and from the DB, truncating or deleting from tables, etc.

commons-logging

commons-logging provides a custom log4j appender to manage log files. To avoid logs from eating up server disk space and systematically organize the logs, commons-logging provides Log4j appenders that name and manage logs created by running applications. Logfile management can be managed through parameters like max file size and max disk usage.

commons-Gmail

commons-Gmail library is created keeping in mind instances where we might need to consume a file that comes in the mail. With the methods available in this library, you can read the next or all emails from a given address or mark an email as read /unread.

commons-gelf

The commons-gelf library is useful for logging HTTP requests and responses using the GELF protocol to Graylog and to ELK for monitoring. It is extensively used in SaaS-based applications, especially in Increff’s Assure integrations as it provides a structured way to log JSON format messages.

commons-ftp

The commons-ftp library offers functionalities to perform various operations on remote FTPs such as retrieval of a file or a directory, moving files between directories, and deletion and upload of files. It finds usage in Increff Assure’s integrations to interact with client ERP systems.

commons-diff

commons-diff library can be used to compare two directories or files. commons-diff can be used to compare just the set of filenames in the two directories or, for files with the same names in the two directories, it can compare the files line-by-line. 

commons-browser

commons-browser is a library used for Browser automation and web scraping using the Selenium library. Using commons-browser, many of the browser tasks, such as navigating to a page, filling forms, clicking on items, etc. can be automated. It can thus be used for automation testing. To allow the interaction with a browser, Selenium requires a Web Driver. commons-browser makes use of ChromeDriver to simulate a real browser.

commons-template

The commons-template library provides templates for various applications such as invoices, manifests, etc in PDF formats. It is extensively used in Assure. It makes use of the Apache Velocity and wkhtmltopdf libraries for creating templates and formats. It provides methods that take as input the parameters to be populated in the PDF along with the .io.vm template resource files. After this, it can generate a PDF output based on the provided template + parameters.

commons-fileclient

This library is used for storage and retrieval of documents from cloud storage platforms such as Google Cloud Storage, Amazon S3, etc. An abstract class contains the methods to create, read, delete and write objects from any of the mentioned storage locations.