In our transactions today, we all expect flexibility, ease, and consistency. And most of us don’t understand — or care about — the complexity that makes this possible, whether connecting backend systems or ensuring both the local offerings and consistency of a franchise. The good news is technology keeps progressing, making it easy for you to meet the expectations of today’s consumer-driven marketplace.

With its new-features release (available July 27, 2021), Sitecore OrderCloud® has more marketplace flexibility than ever before. Using these exciting new features, implementers can build a vast array of flexible e-commerce solutions from traditional marketplaces (such as Amazon) to multi-location retailers, and everything in between.

The release focuses on these e-commerce features:

  1. Order routing flexibility: Select where to send an order for fulfillment (retail stores, external suppliers, or warehouses).
  2. Supplier empowerment: Suppliers and retail locations can now own and manage promotions, catalogs, products, and price schedules. They also get the ability to share product management functions from a single, headless platform.
  3. Pricing flexibility: The same product can now be sold by multiple suppliers, each at their own unique price.

E-commerce providers will find a lot of flexibility with the interaction between these new features. Let’s explore some example scenarios below, which these changes support.

Multi-location retailers

Each location of a multi-location retailer may have products and pricing unique to them. When a customer selects the location they want to shop at, they’ll see the products and pricing for that particular location. This feature is especially great when customers are buying online and picking up in-store. It ensures neither the store nor the customer is surprised by a mismatch in price or product availability during the completion of the transaction.

Traditional marketplaces

Like Amazon, a marketplace catalog is composed of products from many different suppliers. When building a marketplace, you can choose if submitted orders get routed though the selling entity before being forwarded to the suppliers, or if you want them sent directly to the supplier for fulfillment. Whatever the case, the selling entity will always have visibility into all products, orders, and customers.

E-commerce with dropshipping

Some retailers partner with suppliers to provide products online that they’re unable to store and ship from their warehouse. Enter dropshipping. These new features now offer the ability to route an order to a dropshipping partner for direct supplier fulfillment.

Franchise e-commerce

A franchisor often wants to control a product catalog that all of their many franchise locations can sell from. While each franchise location will want to sell these products, they operate independently and may have different pricing based on their specific business needs. The newly released features enable each franchisor to grant access for franchise locations to set their own pricing and product visibility. They also enable each franchise location to create and run promotions specific to their store.

For technical details on implementing these new features, read the documentation.

Ashley Wilson is the Senior Manager, Business Analysis at Sitecore. You can follow her on LinkedIn