Online store using common carrier
For an online store to satisfy customer orders, it is important for the store to have fully integrated systems, including systems to take and fill orders, deliver products, handle billing, resolve customer complaints, absorb product returns and purchase products from merchants. On top of integrating such systems, one major challenge faced by many online stores is delivery. For an online store to build up and manage its delivery fleet can be very difficult and expensive, particularly when the store is relatively small.
Our proprietary solution provides an online store with fully integrated systems, including a customer interface subsystem, an order fulfillment subsystem, a delivery subsystem, a billing subsystem, a merchant interface subsystem and a purchase subsystem. In addition, our systems are tailored to deliver customer orders via a common carrier.
The customer interface subsystem provides a conventional browser for customers to access product information and order products, including scheduling delivery times. Once an order is placed, the order fulfillment subsystem can automatically interact with a warehouse management subsystem to prepare products for delivery.
The warehouse can include specific areas to package products for a common carrier, such as UPS, Federal Express and the US Postal Service. Also, the warehouse can have multiple zones, such as different temperature zones for different products; and a fill-to-order section for customers having special orders.The billing subsystem can automatically generate billing data for orders, while the delivery subsystem can automatically contact a common carrier to arrange for delivery. The online store can also keep track of customer interactions to help store representatives to better service customer requests. For example, the representatives can issue credits to dissatisfied customers, such as shorts in delivery (delayed shipment), or issue credits in view of product returns.The online store can keep track of returned products, making them available for subsequent customer purchase. The returned products can be made available once they are received at the warehouse. Alternatively, the returned products can be inspected before they are made available for subsequent customer orders.In addition the online store can also provide a merchant interface subsystem to allow merchants to input their product information directly to the online store's product catalog. The online store can restrict making such products available for ordering before a purchasing subsystem has placed a purchase order to the merchants for the products.