Although EDI is already fairly old in terms of technology, it remains a key component in e-commerce and retail in general. In fact, this essential technology will help you connect and collaborate with major distributors and marketplaces, in response to customer needs.


Born in the 1990s, electronic data interchange has never ceased to evolve and transform over the years, in line with modern technological developments. EDI made the most of the arrival of Internet and online commerce to reinvent itself, and used the XML metalanguage as a basis for most communication.


A scalable technology that lives on in step with innovation

Of course, alternative solutions focusing on API or collaborative platforms have boomed, but have not yet reached the point of overtaking electronic data interchange in companies. After all, companies are looking for a reliable, secure and cost-effective way of exchanging their digital data – and EDI offers just that. 


Moreover, changing an entire ecosystem is no easy feat. Companies have been using EDI for several decades now. For newcomers, the easiest option is to choose this older form of technology that have proven its worth and enables users to exchange data with thousands of suppliers and distributors.


Within the framework of a partnership with e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, EDI plays a primary role. It is used to import orders made elsewhere into the company’s management system, then trace them at all times and make sure available stock levels are sufficient. Once stock levels have been verified, the right information can be sent off. 


Later on, once accounting teams take over, EDI orders can easily be transferred via FTP and translated into an easily-understandable language (CSV). This fluidity also means customer data can be analysed for sales strategy purposes.


Satisfying trade-specific goals comes before all else

Whether in a physical shop, an online store or as part of an omni-channel approach, the customer is always the top priority. The goal is always the same: meeting their needs and expectations more accurately, complying with required delivery deadlines (growing constantly shorter), whilst reducing the risk of errors made during transport and logistics.


As it so happens, EDI contributes to improving the service rendered to consumers, by providing them with accurate and reliable information (updated in real time) about the goods they wish to purchase, by offering an optimal purchasing experience on all platforms, and by ensuring quick delivery. This system is also used to better manage stock levels and fine-tune product traceability.


Regarding retail and e-commerce companies, meeting all these goals will always remain a priority when faced with the temptation of resorting to the very latest technology.

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