Drop Shipping & eCommerce Blog | Doba

Doba’s API Integration Strategy and Custom Data Exports for Shopping Cart Consumers

Written by Doba on October 31, 2012 in Doba Features and Policies


Doba has been aggregating, categorizing, and standardizing drop ship inventory from suppliers and wholesalers who are willing to drop ship for over 10 years. We have made many improvements to the retailer’s interface to this virtual catalog to help online retailers easily narrow our database of 1.5 million SKUs to just the products that are relevant to their selling strategy online.

Doba has found that our most successful retailers are those who already have a webstore, have multiple product sourcing strategies, and add Doba to the mix to expand and test product categories without the risk and expense.

Doba’s Product “Inventory Lists”

Doba’s application has a similar metaphor to iTunes. For example, you may have a million songs in your iTunes account, but you create playlists based on your music preferences or activity. With Doba’s application you do the same thing, but you create “Inventory Lists” of the products you want to sell. You can even create multiple inventory lists if you are selling on different marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Facebook, or even different web stores. Once you have created an inventory list of the products you want to sell, webstore owners have two ways to get the product data on to your webstore.

Custom Data Exports for Shopping Cart Providers

The first method is Doba's Data Export Tool, which enables you to quickly move your inventory list of products to your webstore by exporting your list into a .csv file which can then be loaded into your webstore.

Doba has pre-mapped the product export to over 100 industry leading shopping carts which simplifies and accelerates the process of exporting thousands of products from Doba and importing them in to your webstore.

To the right you'll find a screenshot of the Data Export Tool inside Doba’s application. In this example, a Volusion Shopping Cart retailer created an Inventory List called “KidKraft & Melissa and Doug, and selected “Volusion Expanded Format” from the 100s of pre-formatted options.

API Shopping Cart Integrations – The Holy Grail

If a retailer is using a shopping cart that has a certified integration with Doba’s APIs, it literally does the work of a full-time employee and without the overhead. A retailer simply would login to their shopping cart technology, add their Doba Retailer ID, and authorize the two technologies to communicate with each other.

Here is a short list of the advantages a retailer gets when their Shopping Cart technology provider has incurred the costs of integrating and maintaining a Certified Integration with Doba’s ever growing product database of drop ship products from qualified suppliers:

  1. Product Downloads: The shopping cart will reach out to the retailer’s Doba Account, display all the product “Inventory Lists” the retailer has created, and allow them to simply select and download them into the Inventory Manager of the shopping cart. Now the inventory from Doba is part of their products and can be sorted into the appropriate product category. This eliminates any need to manually export data from Doba.
  2. Inventory and Product Updates: Any time there's an update from any of Doba’s suppliers, an API integrated shopping cart will receive those product updates immediately. Doba’s technology proactively sends these product updates to your webstore, ensuring that the retailer always has the latest product and inventory data both inside their Doba account and in their website.
  3. Order Processing: When an order is successfully processed on a retailer’s webstore, the API integrated shopping cart will automatically send an Order API call, passing the order data over to Doba for fulfillment. The order data includes both the product to be shipped and the shipping address. The shopping cart can 1) create the order in Doba Orders and wait for the retailer to login and fund all the orders or 2) create the order and include funding authorization for Doba to immediately begin the process of getting the order shipped. Either way, this bypasses the need to manually enter orders and reduces the risk of typos and mistakes in data entry.
  4. Fulfillment Updates: As a product order is funded, processed, and shipped, Doba will send those order updates to the retailer’s shopping cart. This enables a retailer to see an order’s status both in Doba’s Order Management as well as their shopping cart’s order management. The rules a retailer has created within their shopping cart technology around emailing out order status or tracking information to the end customer will also then apply to any Doba sourced products, allowing customers to receive live shipping and tracking updates for these products.

Hopefully this blog post helped clarify the different options available to online retailers to select, export, and import large amounts of product data out of Doba’s database of drop ship products. Doba will continue to create tools and applications that simplify the life of the online retailer and make them capable of quickly adapting to the ever changing landscape of eCommerce. We will continue to innovate and grow the services we offer to suppliers and online retailers to make Doba’s drop ship services more viable and relevant to online retailers everywhere.

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