Helping to Prevent Order Fraud and Chargebacks - Now integrated with the Shopfiy Order Risk API

Starting today the Spark Shipping automated order fulfillment process is now integrated with the Shopfiy Order Risk API. This feature will go live today for all of our Shopify users.

What does this do?
When Shopify marks an order as "High Risk" based on merchant the fraud checks Spark Shipping will then automatically place the order fulfillment to an On Hold status, not send this order to any vendors and email you an alert to notify you.

What does this mean for you?
Merchant fraud is an unfortunate part of the ecommerce business. Shopify's fraud check does a great job to help identify fraudulent orders. With this integration you'll now have an even better chance to stop fraud before it happens.

Have any questions about this? Contact us at info@sparkshipping.com




Choose What Orders Route to ShipStation Using Spark Shipping

Many users depend on Spark Shipping to automate their drop-shipped orders, but what about orders they want to fulfill internally? Spark Shipping is now able to connect with your ShipStation account, to help you process your in-house orders and print shipping labels fast and easy.

Your ShipStation account is created as a Vendor in Spark Shipping. You can then choose what products are routed to ShipStation and which are routed to 3rd party vendors.

Spark Shipping will appear in ShipStation as a custom store after completing the integration in few steps. Orders will be sent to ShipStation as they come in from the user’s store through Spark Shipping, and Tracking data will be sent back from ShipStation through Spark Shipping and back to the user’s store, your store then notifies your customer their package has shipped, it’s all automated!

If Spark Shipping receives an order with items for both ShipStation and a 3rd party vendor, Spark Shipping will split this sending the correct items to ShipStation and correct items to the 3rd party vendor. This way, the vendor does not see your ShipStation inventory and only the correct items are included in orders inside of ShipStation.

This works great for dropshipping or when you’re vendors already use ShipStation for their fulfillment. Using Spark Shipping you can select exactly what products & orders are sent to each ShipStation account. You control what orders are sent to each account without vendors seeing products and orders from other vendors. For vendors that already use Ship Station then can now see orders they need to fulfillment right inside their current ShipStation account.


New Dashboard Widgets

We've just added enhanced visuals to the Spark Shipping Dashboard!

The orders graph has been upgraded to better display orders over the past 30 days. Also, a pie chat has been added to help visualize SKUs mapping across vendors.

These new visuals will go live today for all Spark Shipping accounts!

Spark Shipping Dashboard Widget


Even More Complex Vendor Fulfillment APIs are Now Supported

To date, Spark Shipping has made a single API to a vendor for each order.

For example:
<add_order>
            <order_id>101</order_id>
            <order_items>
                        <item>Item 1</item>
                        <item>Item 2</item>
            </order_items>
</add_order>

We’ve excited to announce that we can now make make multi API calls to a vender for a single order.

This now comes in the form of:

  • Order Header API Call (once per order)
  • Order Item API Call (once for every item in the order)
  • Order Footer API Call (once per order)

This now allows us to handle even more complex APIs like never before!

This new feature can be easily enabled in Vendor -> Fulfillment Settings

Are Multiple Request Required to Create a Single Order

If you need any help enabling this please contact us at Spark Shipping Support.


SOAP v1.2 Support Has Been Added

Dropshiping automation SOAP 1.2 SupportIn addition to SOAP v1.1 we’ve now added support to use SOAP v1.2 for vendor API calls.

You can update your SOAP version in Vendor -> Fulfillment Settings


Include a Custom PDF Packing Slip with Each Order

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve added the ability to automatically generate PDF packing slips to be included with each order.

This feature can be enabled under Vendor -> Fulfillment Settings

Enable PDF Packing Slip

Once enabled a PDF will be generated and emailed to your vendor with each order. Each packing slip will only include items that are fulfillmented by that particular vendor.

Also, you’re able to further customize this PDF by adding your logo to the top of each packing slip.

Packing Slip Example


Second Generation Spark Shipping Data Processing Engine is Released

We’re happy to announce that we’ve officially released the second generation of the Spark Shipping Data Processing Engine.
 
The Spark Shipping Data Processing Engine is the core of Spark Shipping that processes inventory, orders, tracking, etc. This does all the heavy lifting and makes Spark Shipping tick.
 
Over the past few months, we’ve been releasing the engine in incremental releases. With each release we’ve been getting closer to completing the second generation engine… and today marks that day it’s complete.
 
Our “secret sauce” is our highly scalable distributed architecture. Processing is distributed over multi processes/multi machines… This means when the load increases, Spark Shipping goes even faster.

What does this mean to our users?

Spark Shipping users can now process large datasets (such as inventory updates) faster than with any other ecommerce automation company.
 
Enjoy!

Welcome to Spark Shipping

Audio Transcript:

Welcome to Spark Shipping my name is Charles I’m the founder. At Spark Shipping our gals provide full end to end e-commerce automation. Let me tell you a little bit more. What that does it starts with auto formative. For all you drop shares out there you know this is one of your first parts of your business day quite should be automated. What we’ll help you with is when an order comes in we help you process that order with the correct supplier, vender, 3rd party filming house. We’ll get that order to determine where it should be processed and who should be contacted about this order. We then send out the crack e-mails, sent if they have to go to multiple venders we speak about the order we know it where it goes to and we send out those for you on your behalf. We can also copy on these e-mails so you know that the crack e-mails went out to the crack place. All this happens in Virtual real time so you know this is happening as quick as possible if it’s a Sunday night at 1 am you do still want to send out so you are first in line mind in mind to have your order full filed. Second we help you with pricing some of the most difficult time is knowing what exactly to price your product and the ecommerce business margins them then and pricing means everything. We determine based on unit’s height, size of product, weight of product we can contact shipping companies such as UPS we’ll even work with negotiator rates. We then know what market you’re selling into and the cost of these markets whether that’s a credit card fee on your side or 3rd party like the Amazon where you pay a commission. We then crunch all the numbers in over each product what is the breakeven price that you should be selling. Also you could specify desired margin and we tell you what the price to hit the margin is and also the possible breakeven price that way you know you’re not going to lose mindless products and you know if you can compete. Third we scan mark at searches Amazon and let you know where there are prices that you could beat the current competition. So if you’re selling an item for $10 and you know you can drop the price and you can beat everyone on the Amazon market down to $8 but still make a profit we send you alert, these alerts could be seen on a dashboard but also we give real time e-mails you can then go to Spark Shipping see your breakeven price, see your targets and know exactly your cost and you can feel confidence setting your prices. Our goals are one at the time much more but this is where we’re starting and we hope that we can help you automate e-commerce business. If you have any questions at all please feel free to e-mail me at Charles [at] sparkshipping.com. We’d love to work with you so give it a try any questions please feel free to e-mail me Charles at sparkshipping.com and I hope to hear from you soon. Have a great day. Thanks!

Update 01/01/14 - Please note that we no longer offer a 30 day trial but we do provide free setup and support on all accounts.


Spark Shipping now Supports WooCommerce

Today Spark Shipping is very excited to announce that we now officially supports WooCommerce!

WooCommerce is a rapidly growing platform and we're very happy to be part of helping site owners automate their stores. WooCommerce users can now enjoy the same automated order processing and inventory automation that our other users do. Also, as with all our users, we’re now processing inventory and orders for our WooCommerce sites in near real time.

For WooCommerce (same with Magento) we do not require any plugins or third party code to be installed on your system to work with Spark Shipping. We connect to the WooCommerce core API which makes installations and upgrades a breeze.

By now supporting WooCommerce we hope to help even more eCommerce sites increase their business though automation.

If you would like to see how we can help you just checkout Spark Shipping free for 30 days.


Best Web Analytics Software for Ecommerce Sites

  • Google Analyticsgoogle.com/analytics/

    What would a list of analytics software be if it did not start with Google Analytics. For a feature rich analytics platform that also happens to be free it's a no-brainer. Install it, setup your goals and let it collect data. It's the gold standard and in my opinion should be installed on every ecommerce in store.
  • Clicky  - clicky.com

    Clicky is a lesser know analytics software but it has some killer features that most of the other's do not.

    Let's start with looking at the scope of how Clickly sees the world... If Google Analytics gives you the 50,000 foot view then Clickly is the 10,000 foot view. It's fantastic to observe today's traffic and drill down the the individual visitor level.

    You can select a visitor, see their location, OS, browser, etc. then follow their click path around the site, time on each page, etc. It helps to give you a feel for what an the individual user is doing on your site. An awesome feature that helps you watch your site in real time is Spy. It allows you to watch user on your site move from page to page as it happens. Spy works very well with their Alerts feature that gives an audible ding every time someone lands on the site or performs a predetermined action. (Trust me, the ding is much better than it sounds)
  • ClickTale - clicktale.com

    ClickTale is the Analytics I would is a must at the very least any time you make a design change to the site. It also works very well in conjunction with Clicky's Spy (above). The killer feature of ClickTale is the recorded visitor playback.

    If Google Analytics is the 50,000 foot view and Clickly is the 10,000 view then think of recorded visitor playback as pretty much standing on the ground with your nose touching whatever you're looking at.

    Visitor playback allows you to actually watch an individual visitor interact with your site as if you were standing in the same room with them looking over their shoulder. You get to see their mouse cursor move around the screen, click on the page, fill in form and move about the site. This really gives your a true feel of what an individual user is doing... and should I even saying thinking when using your site. 

    Your checkout page is not converting as much as you would like? Let's watch some users on ClickTale and find out why!

    The only downside of ClickTale is price, it's a bit expensive but they do have a free plan so start with that and see how you like it.
  • HitTail - hittail.com

    Last but not least is HitTail. The HitTail use case is totally differently than the Clicky and ClickTale. With some work Google Analytics can be adapted to somewhat do what HitTail does but HitTail gives you a much simpler, more actionalble view of the data.

    What HitTail does is analysis your traffic then provides a reports of long tail keywords that are driving traffic to your site. Using this report you can then come up with a highly targeted list of topics for your next blog post. This will help to drive even more organic traffic to your site in the future. This of HitTail as a post mortem for your Ecommerce sites' traffic. 

    In their own words it will help you - Drive targeted search visitors to your website by focusing on the most promising organic keywords in your existing traffic.

Reasons to Automate Your Drop Ship Process

  1. Save Time & Money

    Most drop shippers process orders manually, when an order comes in the store owner or another employee need to stop what they are doing to send time reviewing an order and placing it with the appropriate vendor(s). Depending on who is processing the order this is either costing the store owner time or money... Either way this is a waste of resources that can be easily solved.
  2. Process Orders 24/7

    When vendors fulfill their orders it's on a first come/first serve basis, the first orders received are the first to be sent out. That also means for popular items you have a chance of submitting an order for an item that has recently gone out of stock. For example, if an order comes in Sunday at 8 AM that's not processed until Monday AM, there's a chance that you're vendor will no longer have this item in stock.

    This is why setting up an automated system to processing orders 24/7 is so important. When an order comes in it is automatically sent to your vendor. Whatever time or day, you'll be first in line with your vendor.
  3. Reduce Human Error

    Let's face it, we all make mistakes and in E-Commerce mistakes cost the store owner money. If you have not already, you'll eventually process an order for an incorrect SKU.

    That's going to cost more in return shipping cost, lost time sending the correct item and customer support time.
  4. Give Yourself Freedom

    Freeing yourself from the menial task of processing orders gives you time to work on other parts of your business. Having to constantly be checking for new orders and processing those orders as quickly as possible forces you to stop working on the task at hand. This distraction is totally not necessary, once you setup an automated order fulfillment system you give yourself the time focus on growing your business.