Icecat Commerce » CASE STUDIES » South African IT Reseller Case Study
Case Study

Icecat Commerce Solution for South African IT Reseller

The first thing you will notice about this reseller case study is that we do not use any company names. This company has been a client for a year. Since then, integration has been working successfully, and their business has grown exponentially. What is the reason for not wanting to share the name? According to our customer, Icecat and Icecat Commerce have been an enormous help for the business’ growth, and due to their competitive advantage, he would like to keep confidentiality on the market. This was more than a compliment to our solutions and team.

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“The last thing I want to do is have our company name used so that our competitors know the secret of our success. We see Icecat PIM and the services that you offer as a strategic advantage on our end.”

However, we still decided to share the characteristics of this case study without revealing business details. In today’s dynamic landscape, businesses are constantly faced with the challenge of adapting to evolving demands. They face complex obstacles when it comes to optimizing workflows, implementing digital strategies, and integrating intricate systems. While the client prefers to remain anonymous, the described solution could serve as a successful case for other players in the e-commerce industry.

How it all started

Our customer’s journey began in 2018. It was in the middle of the endless development of an in-house built PIM when we first got in touch with our client. Apart from that, there were five working on content. Our South African customer specializes in IT products, and the struggle of the team updating, testing, and modifying additional development on their in-house built PIM was unimaginable.

“Our problem was that the in-house PIM development and maintenance were taking up too much time. There were other projects that our business needed to take care of. At one point, we questioned why we should reinvent the wheel when we could make use of an already developed and maintained Icecat PIM that incorporates all the e-commerce best practices.”

Luckily, our paths crossed, and the IT reseller got Icecat PIM and Icecat in one shot from the beginning of our partnership. Recognizing the need for an efficient solution, our client made the strategic decision to embrace Icecat PIM, an offering by Icecat Commerce, while also making use of Icecat’s rich content catalog. With services including e-commerce integrations and PIM systems, Icecat enables resellers to integrate product content in a simple and fast way.

What was the challenge?

The key challenge in our journey was the seamless integration of existing business processes without disrupting the workflow. As the IT reseller was already in business, they already had a Shopify store and an established connection with an ERP system.

“All the product data that comes into our ERP system allows us to purchase products, send purchase orders to our suppliers, send quotes to our customers, and convert those quotes into sale orders in our ERP system. This is the finance arm that links us between suppliers, customers, and debtors or creditors. Next to this, we had a running Shopify store. Icecat Commerce and Icecat services had to fit in between to provide additional value without disrupting the existing operational processes but rather simplifying them.”

Thus, our challenge was to create such a connection with their Shopify store so we would not disrupt the ongoing backend processes they have had. At the same time we had to connect customly with their ERP system taking into account all particularities.

Supplier Connection

With more than 40 supplier connections, manually updating stock and pricing was simply not a reasonable choice for our customer, as it is not practical for any company. Here, the customer used our Icecat Connect connection. With this solution, our client only needs to remind his suppliers sometimes to update stock and pricing information, taking into account that some of his suppliers in South Africa forget to do so. Or to do some work on it themselves to provide the latest changes in assortment. During our cooperation, the client managed to more than double its assortment – from 20000 to approximately 50000. Thus, the Icecat Connect connection allows for exponential growth of assortment without compromising accuracy or timely updates of data.

Content Management

Our client works in Icecat PIM at the content level, utilizing Icecat’s data and making changes accordingly. We match supplier brands and MPNs with the Icecat catalog, instantly enriching the client’s assortment. Instead of starting from scratch with product creation, image uploads, attribute creation, and writing descriptions and titles, the client now primarily focuses on editing specific details based on Icecat’s data. This streamlined process is made possible thanks to automated integration with Icecat.

“Icecat is an integral part of our business. What it does for us is source product data based on our assortment, which would otherwise require months of tedious work to collect, organize, edit, and supply to our shop.”

PIM Solution

Our client did not want to develop something already available, with all the difficulties of the development and testing processes that follow. They decided to become customers of Icecat PIM, where all the needed functions and more already exist. The system is being well maintained, and Icecat PIM releases new versions regularly. Here are some examples of how the customer uses Icecat PIM.

The IT reseller built their own categorization, modifying existing Icecat categorization by changing category titles, moving from parent to child categories, and vice versa.
They use various pricing rules for the products based on the supplier's purchase price. An example in local currency is provided below:
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The client uses a warehouse selector to choose the lowest price among his distributors.
The client uses multiple product statuses to manage his assortment in Icecat PIM. An example is provided below:
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The customer uses Icecat product relations rules and also creates own rules for up-selling and cross-selling purposes.

Icecat PIM is a central place for managing product content and assortment for this customer, making it easy.

ERP & E-commerce Connector Solution

The client’s chosen ERP system, Acumatica, played a central role in managing invoices, finances, quotes, and order processes, serving as a centralized hub for supplier interactions, customer transactions, and financial operations. We gathered the requirements for our integration with the ERP system by collaborating with the client’s development team and using open sources. This involved utilizing API connection documentation and building a connection roadmap, establishing a timeline for the project, and, as a result, seamlessly integrating Icecat PIM with Acumatica. Furthermore, we developed a customized output solution for the customer’s existing Shopify store.

The next steps: conquering European market

The next step for this customer is to launch a European shop. With such a step, we will need to extend the current Icecat Connect connections to suppliers from Europe and implement currency conversion, considering the use of different currencies. This means that one Icecat PIM will be a central place for both South African and European shops. For this customer, it will be convenient to simply add more suppliers and get all the data in one Icecat PIM without using another solution. Otherwise, this would cause the need to duplicate product data and assortment and do the same things twice.

What our partner says about us

Our client acknowledges the huge role of Icecat Commerce and Icecat in their success and considers our solutions an integral part of their business. Through collaboration with us, this South African IT reseller has experienced exponential growth in both their team and assortment within a relatively short period of time. By making smart investments in e-commerce process automation solutions and product data, this customer has gained confidence in their ability to streamline operations, manage their assortment, provide customers with enriched product data, and ultimately enhance the overall customer experience. In a highly competitive IT market, keeping up with trends and being one step ahead is paramount. Our client is committed to safeguarding the secret to their success and appreciates the assurance that Icecat Commerce will provide confidentiality.

“I do not want my competitors to know what we are doing that makes us successful; this is why I do not recommend Icecat Commerce and Icecat to other companies.”

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