by Michele Nachum
Published on 28 November 2012
Any retailer knows that whether you are running your business on premise or in the cloud - you are probably using a number of tools manage all the different aspects of the business.
Perhaps you have an accounting software program; an online eCommerce solution or an inventory application; a credit card reader and more. Switching from application to application can be very time-consuming - if not confusing.
So the trend these days have been companies such as Stitch Labs to take advantage of open API's in order to "stitch" or aggregate various applications together so small business owners have only one place to go to perform multiple tasks. That is efficiency at its best and is what makes Stitch Labs such a robust application for a product just a year out of its beta.
Stitch Labs is an online solution for small businesses and retailers that allows sellers to manage their inventory, orders, contacts and expenses in one place. The solution works well for those online sellers that are currently using Shopify, BigCommerce, Storenvy or Etsy - as those are the major online retail partners that Stitch currently offers. In effect, Stitch helps a retailer manage all of their business operations in one place. In addition to its online retail partners, Stitch also integrates with SAIL and PayPal for payment processing. Stitch has most recently included e-commerce giant Amazon - integrating with both FBA and Amazon Marketplace - to their list of integrations. This opens the gate to hundreds of thousands more businesses for Stitch Labs to help.
For retailers that are not online, they too may get a lot out of the solution as Stitch allows retailers to enter in their inventory and orders manually as well.
Stitch Labs is a product for smaller retailers - though the application can scale to perhaps the mid-sized businesses. But the sweet spot is for smaller and start-up businesses that need a virtual helping hand. As Jake Gasaway, co-founder of Stitch Labs says, "We tell our retailers - sell anyway you want - online or offline, no matter what, we will help you."
Stitch Labs offers a streamlined interface that is easy to use. In addition, the solution does a nice job of leading the user through the various steps with tips and tutorials that "follow the user" says Gasaway, so no one gets confused.
Stitch Labs, as mentioned earlier, is designed to help retailers combine (or stitch) their main applications together for a more cohesive experience. As such, the features below such will demonstrate how a retailer can use Stitch Labs to streamline their inventory, order, expense and other processes.
The heart of Stitch Labs lies in its Inventory tools - as most retailers will attest that inventory tracking is one of the most important aspects of running a store - be it online or brick and mortar. The good news is, if you have an online store on Shopify for example, you can have Stitch Labs pull all your information off of your online store and have that at the ready as your organize all of your inventory. The process is simple - and takes a few minutes to do. By clicking on Shopify for example (see graphic above) - and typing in your email and password, all of your products will seamlessly be at the ready for you to begin tracking. Stitch Labs will literally pull in your SKUs, names of the products, whether the product is in stock or not, and any other information you deem important.
If you do not have an online store - you can still build your inventory manually by entering in your products and describing them so you have them at the ready. One very nifty feature here is that if you manually enter in a category called "t-shirts" for example, Stitch will help you by loading in areas for sizes, colors and more so you do not have to.
Orders, Contacts, Dashboard and More
In addition to integration with popular retail applications and an inventory tracker, Stitch Labs provides users with additional tools for running a business. For instance, the Orders tab allows retailers to track all of their orders - whether they come from Shopify or Etsy or from a brick and mortar business.
If a user has their contacts stashed in long Excel sheets or stored in a number of different places, Stitch Labs offers users the ability to host all of their customer and business contacts in the Stitch application application (and if you have your contacts on a .CSV file they can be uploaded into Stitch). This allows users to organize, search, sort and access details about customers from anywhere. Users can also attach agreements, licenses, POs - so that any information related to that customer is centralized and easily accessible.
Other features also include the ability to track expenses as well as a dashboard so users can get a high-level overview of their activity including updates regarding inventory, orders, new contacts, and more.
Stitch Labs is very affordable which makes it easy for newer businesses and start-ups to afford the solution. The application is free for those businesses that need to link one Stitch Lab channel partner such as Etsy, Shopify, SAIL, Bigcommerce, Store Envy as well as to unlimited wholesale, consignment and non-integrated channels. For those retailers that need to link to two or more channels, then they will pay $25.00 per month. At both levels, a business gets use of all the tools from tracking inventory, orders, customer contacts and more.
Stitch Labs is for retailers and small businesses that sell through various channels from online to wholesale, brick and mortar, street fairs, etc. That said, any small business retailer should most likely enjoy the solution as it does aggregate several applications under one roof or platform. For those businesses that are new to retail or those getting started out, Stitch Labs offers an awful lot for its pricing and its current list of partners is impressive for a young business. Now that Amazon is joining their list of partners, I think Stitch Labs is availing itself to a whole new audience of retailers who need tools to manage their business as well.