E-commerce and marketplace integration for book distributor

E-commerce and marketplace integration for book distributor

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For more than six years we have been developing e-commerce systems for Platon, a company responsible for the wholesale distribution of books in the Empik group (a Polish commercial chain selling books, international press and media products). The current largest installation is the platon.com.pl portal with several thousand active users. The portal provides e-commerce services aimed at B2B customers such as bookstores, libraries and schools, and supports cooperation with publishers.

Online application for online sales

Certusoft's solution allows managing several sales channels. For Platon, the main one is platon.com.pl, where business customers, libraries and bookstores can buy.

Our application gives Platon team the convenience of conducting sales over the internet. All the data they need to present the offer on the portal, be it external auction portals or marketplace, are in a centrally managed database. Importantly, the Certusoft solution supports marketing activities and customer relations through newsletters with updates, handling static and dynamic content on the online store page.

The most important element of the overall implementation is a specialized product catalog. The specificity comes from the nature of the publishing industry and the needs of the company. It is not just a simple catalog, but a tool through which information can also be managed by the publishers themselves who cooperate with Platon. Clear windows, the use of a web browser, and the ability to work with multiple open windows are a convenience, but also lower company costs. There is no need to make time-consuming changes to the code of the platon.com.pl website.

Publications and products available through multiple online channels

Our solution allows employees to conveniently manage the products available for sale specific to the publishing industry. The basic functionality is a product catalog prepared specifically for the industry. Dedicatied Certusoft PIM system gives them the possibility to prepare publications, announcements, their editing and version control.

  • Manually add and edit publishing publications.
  • Determination of detailed physical parameters of the product (weight, dimensions, etc).
  • Assigning and allocating product features.
  • Importing product information based on EAN.
  • Automatically convert image files like covers.
  • Determining product availability for online sales.

Managing prices and discounts in online sales

As a complement to the system and product management functionality, the system includes a set of solutions for creating complex price lists, pricing policies, discounts, promotions and sales. All price calculations take place at the ERP system level, and the final result is exported to databases and third-party applications to issue accounting documents and for price presentation in the online sales channels.

  • Management of discounts and mark-ups.
  • Pricing policies for products.
  • Discounts for groups of products.
  • Prices for groups of contractors.
  • Individual prices for customers.
  • Automatic calculation of the final price.

Promotions for online sales

Books, audiobooks, ebooks, toys, stationery, and electronic codes are not only a wide selection of products, but also the promotions that go with them.Our web-based software solution allows the Platon team to create discount promotions and price promotions with prize selection. The types of promotions can be defined according to company needs. Each of the created promotions allows employees to specify many parameters from the basic ones like the name of the promotion, logo, validity time or regulations, to the number of products, series of products covered by the promotion, products activating promotions or warehouses with products to which the promotion applies. Tracking the history of impressions helps even better control sales and shape sales policy.

Selling goods in the online store

Selling is a natural business phenomenon. Our software allows Platon to plan and manage sales. This is more than a simple change of status. Our software empowers the sales team to group, discount and finally calculate the individual price for the end customer with all dependencies according to the methodology adopted by the company.

  • Discounts for a sold-out product.
  • Discounts on outlet product groups.
  • Online store sale.
  • Marketplace sale.
  • Calculation of outlet prices.

Generate advertising and marketing content for online sales

The presentation of an offer is the most essential aspect of sales. Our solution provides the ability to manage dynamic and static content. Ads or banners are easy to configure, including the ability to define such parameters as where the banner is to be placed on the page, the date range when it is to be displayed, the display time of dynamic banners, the type of response to a click (moving to a tab, product, category or content), visibility for clients depending on their login status on the portal.

Online marketing in an online store

Certusoft ERP portals management tools allow Platon employees to add elements to the code of the Platon internet store website for online marketing activities. With no programming required on the part of the company's personnel, the easy implementation of Google Ads and Facebook Ads tools for the online store facilitates online sales support and analysis.

Loyalty program

The company was interested in supporting long-term marketing efforts and maintaining positive business relationships with its partners, including libraries. The loyalty program strategy adopted at the corporate level is fully reflected in the operation of the Certusoft system. Customers can collect points and exchange them for material rewards. Employees can analyze the dynamics of the program.

  • Free shaping of the loyalty program.
  • Defining the target group of the loyalty program.
  • Multiple loyalty programs with varying durations.
  • Products associated with the loyalty program.
  • Collecting loyalty points for purchases.
  • Ordering rewards and fulfillment in one shipment.
  • Analysis of program usage by individual customers.

Product catalog for the publishing industry

As part of Platon's implementation needs, the Certusoft team has prepared a powerful Certosoft PIM system. From the catalog items, employees can manage the parameters and descriptions of all items, as well as check inventory, purchase prices, sale prices and product history.

In addition, the solution has powerful product information management functionalities prepared with the specifics and needs of the publishing industry in mind. In line with industry requirements, the online module has been extended with specialized modules: Certusoft Publishing Announcements and Certusoft Publications.

Grouping products for multiple sales channels

Certusoft PIM system allows the Platon team to create multiple product groups and subgroups. Grouping provides a clear structure for product information. It is also used in many other mechanisms that extend the functionality of PIM. Groups are used to create pricing and discount policies. Each group can have different descriptions, in different languages, for e-commerce, SEO, multiple sales channels, and marketing activities. Groups can exclude or combine products, product groups, suppliers, or customers. Grouping is used for dynamic menu generation in the online B2B portal for Platon's customers.

Integration with digital content providers

With the publishing industry and product information distribution in mind, we have carried out integration with digital content providers for the book market. The Certusoft system provides full communication for downloading product data for all types of products offered by Platon (books, audiobooks, ebooks, toys, and board games). All information in the product database is automatically updated. New product information is exported to an external ERP system, where, if a product is missing from the catalog, a corresponding product symbol is assumed. The product symbols are then imported into the Certusoft PIM catalog. Further administration is already done in the Certusoft system.

Software that supports cooperation with publishers

Platon, as one of the largest book distributors on the Polish market, cooperates with numerous publishers. For this purpose, an additional communication channel was created. It is a special system for the management of the product base, which takes into account the handling of warehouse processes and provides the possibility of the current control of their stocks.

Publication announcements and publisher portal

The publishing process requires the creation of publishing announcements, which are presented on platon.com.pl. This allows for an increase in future sales of the product, which is desirable for both Platon and the publisher. It is also an additional communication channel between the publisher and the distributor.

The Publisher Portal implements several key requirements. Publishers have their accounts with a dedicated workspace. The application allows them to keep records or view sales reports. It provides communication between publishers and the Platon team, allowing them to set up, edit and maintain tasks and issues, which are automatically saved in the communication history.

Dedicated panel for publishers to manage product information

Increasing the comfort of cooperation with publishers by providing the ability to edit their publishing items is the main added value of the system. Publishers have access to an online tool, accessible via a web browser, through which they can manage their publications and publishing announcements, and inform about promotions for their products. Extremely helpful is the information on sales, which can be tracked in real-time on the publisher's dedicated user account.

  • Self-management of the publication by the publisher.
  • Preparation of the publication announcement.
  • Determining the time of publication and the possibility of purchase.
  • The ability to make a correction to a release.
  • Labeling of products in a promotion.
  • Analysis of sales of own products.

Inventory management capabilities

Selected publishers use Platon's warehouse services. For such customers, their accounts on the portal are extended with such warehouse inventory management functionality. The publisher has the current stock of his products stored in Platon's warehouses. Thanks to our application, he can place orders for the release and receipt of goods.

Cooperation with libraries and distribution of Empik Go codes

The portal cooperates with several thousand libraries across Poland. Being part of the Empik group, the company has become a distributor of Empik Go codes. Our system provides an opportunity for libraries to purchase a pool of codes, thereby expanding their reading offer. The codes allow readers of a given library to gain 30-day access to the database of e-books, audiobooks and podcasts in the Empik Go application.

  • Empik Go codes distribution.
  • Control of the number of available codes.
  • Automatic validation of validity of codes for purchase.
  • Control of the possibility of using the code after paying for it.

Integration with other ERP systems

For the entire implementation at Platon, the Certusoft team prepared an integration with an external ERP system. A set of Certusoft ERP modules expands the capabilities for managing documents, product database, product pricing, warehouse inventory, as well as discounts and promotions.

  • Establishment of new product items in the external system.
  • Sending final price information for the generation of financial documents.
  • Downloading financial records for electronic invoicing.
  • Exchange of state information with the WMS system.

One solution to communicate with other systems and applications

The Certusoft Connector module is a custom solution that provides the ability to exchange data with external IT systems. The data exchange between Certusoft and other systems is carried out using RestAPI or Web Service. The program can retrieve, unify, systematize and transfer data between specified databases. It is used to exchange data between databases, import product images with a generation of their thumbnails, update information on the status of electronic payments or generate marketplace auctions (e.g. Allegro).

Integration with other ERP systems

For the company's entire implementation, Platon provides integration with an external ERP system. Certusoft's set of modules expands the scope of possibilities for managing documents, product database, product pricing, warehouse inventory, as well as discounts and promotions.

  • Establishment of new product items in the external system.
  • Sending final price information for the generation of financial documents.
  • Downloading financial records for electronic invoicing.
  • Exchange of state information with the WMS system.

What are the benefits of modern software for Platon?

The Certusoft system, along with all its modules, creates one consistent tool to support Platon's business. Integration with external digital content providers helps to keep the product information base as up-to-date as possible according to the adopted functional and business models. Customers, business partners, publishers, libraries, and also Platon's employees received a convenient solution that increases their ergonomics of work. At the same time, it does not require lengthy training in its use. Users can access the system via a web browser, anywhere, anytime.

Platon's employees are provided not only with a sales tool but also with the ability to conduct marketing and promotional activities following their sales assumptions and business plans. The entire solution is complemented by integrations that support sales while ensuring the correctness of financial settlements and stock transfers and updates.

Certusoft's solution runs on a SaaS model, is scalable, subject to ongoing updates, and modified as needed. Platon is assured of constant and reliable access to the solutions implemented for its needs. Certusoft guarantees data availability, quality, and security based on an SLA. Such a solution directly translates into the flexibility and availability of Certusoft tools, and consequently, the certainty and convenience of doing business for both Platon and its business partners.

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