Drop Shipping & eCommerce Blog | Doba

The Future of Product Sourcing is in the Cloud

Written by Doba on February 2, 2017 in Strategies & Tips

Harness the Power of Data Automation to Slash Overhead, Increase Speed to Market, and Propel Your eCommerce Sales

ecommerce data automation

What an exciting time to be an eCommerce retailer! With sales in the United States expected to go from $384 billion in 2016 to $534 billion in 2019, according to eMarketer, there’s a lot of room for growth if you can find the right opportunities and navigate changing consumer trends.

In fact, expanding your product offerings and jumping quickly on product trends may be the key for tapping into this growth. According to Statista, the fashion, electronics, media, food, personal care, furniture, appliances, toys, hobby, and DIY sectors are all expanding, with electronics and media expected to grow by the greatest percentage in the next 5 years.

Yet finding the right suppliers and onboarding new products is still a laborious and time-consuming process. While eCommerce platforms keep getting better at providing an excellent customer experience to consumers, suppliers and manufacturers haven’t kept up with retailers when it comes to automation and integration.

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What's the Problem

the problem with product sourcing

Your customers expect a streamlined experience. But as every eCommerce retailer knows, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to make sure the process is flawless.

And while technology and mobile integration continues to advance, suppliers and wholesale manufacturers are stuck in outdated technology. Around the globe, suppliers rely on a multitude of data languages (EDI, XML, Flat File, CSV, XLSX, API, etc.) to integrate their products with retailers’ websites.

In order to expand their product offerings and onboard new suppliers, eCommerce retailers are forced to go through a 3 to 6 month process of data integration, troubleshooting, and custom developing. Even after a new supplier is successfully onboarded, continual monitoring of the data feed is necessary to ensure product descriptions, pricing, and dimensions are accurate and up-to-date. All this hassle adds to your operational costs, but there’s more.

The Hidden Opportunity Cost


When it takes multiple months to onboard a new supplier and expand your product offerings, you’re inevitably missing out on enormous opportunity costs. For example, 2016 trends in electronics took us on a rollercoaster ride with augmented reality, virtual reality headsets, virtual assistants, and the proliferation of drones, culminating in a holiday blitz of gadgets. A year ago, most of this technology was unheard of. If you hadn’t jumped on the VR bandwagon by September, you likely missed out entirely (or arrived too late).

With a months-long delay in onboarding products, whether it’s electronics or fashion, retailers may entirely miss the window of opportunity for delivering a popular product to consumers, leading customers to shop -- and potentially build buyer loyalty -- elsewhere.

The Reality of Working with Multiple Suppliers

In the world of eCommerce, everyone is looking for an edge, for the next best thing, and to deliver more and more products faster and cheaper than their competitors. Everything from user experience and promotional strategies, to distribution and customer service has been hyper-optimized through innovations in technology and process.


The true leaders in eCommerce, though, are the companies that also demonstrate excellent agility in sourcing new products. To stay ahead of the game, you have to speed up the process of  integrating with multiple suppliers from all around the world. In addition, you have to speak all of their data languages and standardize them swiftly and reliably for your own system. While many retailers are making their own customized API solutions, the onboarding process continues to be lengthy.

So, what can you do about it?

The Opportunity


Obviously, by shortening product sourcing and onboarding times, you can better position your online retail company to take full advantage of seasonal trends and fads, like the virtual reality example above. But it’s more than that.

The key is staying one step ahead of your competitors. If you can feature brand new products your customers love, before anyone else, they’ll keep coming back to you. You’ll retain customers for life, and win many new ones in the process, just by having a wide, up-to-date, cutting edge inventory of products in your online store.

But let’s not forget the importance of data accuracy. If you’re cutting down on the onboarding time, doesn’t that create the risk for overlooking costly errors?

Well, that’s where Doba comes in.

Doba Connects Suppliers & Retailers


Doba offers cloud-based sourcing solutions that connect suppliers with retailers. Our platform takes all the data feeds from virtually any retail supplier, no matter what data language they’re using, be it EDI, XML, CSV, etc., and pipes it into your store via API.

This enables you to better integrate with the suppliers you’re always using, and find new ones to expand your product offering, all without worrying about coming up with a clunky process to share data. We just seamlessly pipe it into your online store and other marketplaces.

Translate Digital Content, Pricing, & Shipping Logistics from Any Supplier

The beauty of Doba’s platform is that it’s cloud-based and provides a centralized process for all your product sourcing needs. Instead of juggling the unique technical integrations of multiple suppliers yourself, you can pipe all your suppliers through Doba. Don’t worry, the vital product data will come out nice and clean on your end, with everything you need to sell and process orders effectively, including:

  • Digital content: images, descriptions, and titles
  • Pricing: MSRP, MAP, and street price
  • Shipping logistics: weight and dimensions
  • Order tracking
  • Order status
  • Invoice services
  • Purchase orders for the supplier
  • Fraud protection

Sound pretty good so far? It gets better, because we can do all of this with a new supplier in a fraction of the time you're probably used to.

Onboard New Suppliers In 15 Days

product onboarding

Doba will cut your onboarding process from 3 to 6 months all the way down to an average of 15 days. Plus we can connect you with virtually any supplier world-wide, enabling you to seamlessly integrate their data into your online marketplaces.

When you can expand your product offering quickly and onboard suppliers faster than your competitors, you’ll be able to:

  • Free up capital you used to be spending on the longer onboarding process.
  • Discover new products to add to your assortment.
  • Manage all your suppliers and inventory through a single cloud-based platform you can access from anywhere.
  • Stay ahead of seasonal trends and product fads.
  • Consistently increase orders year over year.

See Doba In Action

To learn more about how you can benefit from Doba’s cloud-based sourcing platform, request a personalized demo today.

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