eCommerce Order Processing System

  • Website Development

Manual, time-consuming approval process

We built a website application to manage a clients website orders that directly links into their eCommerce system. This system saves their staff/business hundreds of hours per week. Below you can see how it works and how we planned and built it.

A company needed to find a solution to help streamline their order process after a sale had been made. They sell customised products and came to us asking if we could help find a solution to streamline their current order process. Because the products they offer have a lot of customisation options, they needed to provide mockups for their customers to review before finalising the order and sending it out, the process was like this:

  • Customised order comes through the website.
  • A mockup is produced and emailed to the customer.
  • Wait for the customer to come back, with amendments or approval.
  • Once the customer has approved it, the order is sent off to the manufacturers.
  • When the order has been made, it is dispatched straight to the customer.

This process is done for hundreds of orders each week, as you can imagine, this took a lot of time, then add in the fact that they have multiple sources where they receive orders from, including Magento websites, Ebay and Amazon. Then split the process over different team members dealing with the orders, depending on who is available. All of these elements add to the chance for human error when creating these orders, either from customers or staff.

This drastically increases the amount of time it takes to get an order complete and they needed a more efficient way to manage all their orders and easily obtain feedback for bespoke orders before being manufactured and shipped.

Planning a solution

We met with the client to run through their existing process and talk about building a system that would help automate this process. We discussed the key features required and the timeline to put together a spec sheet of what the automated system (an eCommerce order processing system) would need to do.

From this, we started to create a structure, looking at what tools we would need to build an eCommerce order processing system, what parts would be complex or need a workaround. We decided that an eCommerce order processing systems would be built-in Laravel and CSS, using Linux libraries to accomplish some of the functionality.

We put together some wireframes and concepts of how the new eCommerce order processing system would work for the customer and confirmed how long it would take to build.

Simplifying the bespoke order process

From our meeting, we worked the basic steps of the process the eCommerce order processing system would need to run through.
  1. An order is placed on the website
  2. The orders are pulled through a custom API to the eCommerce order processing system.
  3. Staff can access the eCommerce order processing system to view and organise the orders by priority and status such as new orders, waiting on a customer, ready to print.
  4. The manufacturers can log in and download all orders that are ready to print via a single zip file.
  5. Once the order is marked as complete in the eCommerce order processing system, it triggers an automated message to customers, notifying them that their order is being manufactured and will be with them shortly.
The eCommerce order processing system let them manage the whole process through the system, with staff able to send emails to the customer and customers able to respond and approve. Then the manufacturers, who have their own login area, can download and start work on the approved orders. This not only helps speed the process up by making it easier to know what state an order is, but also keeping all communications in one place, where all of the staff can access and deal with them.

Prioritising the more urgent orders

Some orders that came through need to be automatically flagged as a priority, such as orders with express delivery or because certain items are more time sensitive.

So we built an eCommerce order processing system to be able to detect a time sensitive order or if express delivery was part of an order, marking those orders as higher priority. The staff can then better organise what they work on by filtering these orders and ensure those are worked on first.

Upgrading and beyond

The eCommerce order processing system was originally built to work on the customer’s Magento 1 websites. Since then, we’ve designed and developed their Magento 2 websites and helped migrate their data from Magento 1 to the new Magento 2 website. This required meant we needed to upgrade the API to run on both Magento 1 and Magento 2 websites. eCommerce order processing system now helps them manage orders from 3 different stores, two are built on Magento 2, one on Magento 1 as well as orders from Ebay and Amazon. We still support their eCommerce order processing system and their websites, ensuring any changes and upgrades are taken care of to keep the order process running as smoothly as possible.
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