Virtual Logistics' Ecommerce Data Integration Blog

What We Can Learn From Struggling Canadian Retailers Danier Leather and Le Chateau

Posted by Jessica Thiele on Jul 31, 2015 9:00:00 AM

The laundry list of struggling Canadian retailers continues to grow week by week.

The latest additions to the list of sinking ships: Canadian retail fixtures, Le Chateau and Danier Leather.


While some stores like Sephora are finding new and creative ways to keep their customers loving them (and returning time over time), what possible advice can we at VL give Le Chateau and Danier Leather as they look for ways to stay afloat? Well, keep reading - we've got some interesting perspectives based on the data, the customer, and the absolute need for integration that may be able to save these two Canadian icons from shuttering their doors for ever. And if others in similar situations can learn by example, all the better!

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Topics: Data Integration, ecommerce, big data, omnichannel, customer experience, data movement, retail, customer service

[Presentation] Four Case Studies on Customized Data Integration

Posted by Jessica Thiele on Jul 28, 2015 8:38:00 AM

Sometimes, it's hard to see the benefits of customized data integration services like the one VL provides if you've never experience the benefits first hand - a catch-22 situation, to be sure.

So how can you discover how integration may help your company, without actually having experienced customized data integration? The answer is a lot simpler than you might think: case studies!

Not everyone has time to read the fantastic selection of case studies that VL has on our Resources Page. So we've taken our four most downloaded case studies from, Nemcor Inc., Listen To You Gut, and Bestar and have distilled their problems, solutions, and benefits into an easily-consumable presentation!

Keep scrolling for the full presentation, and the option to download your very own copy!

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Topics: Data Integration, Data, Integration, case study, presentation

[Infographic] Jayne Reddyhoff of Zanzi Digital Talks Ecommerce

Posted by Jessica Thiele on Jul 23, 2015 2:52:30 PM

Jayne Reddyhoff of Zanzi Digital (fomerly of The Ecommerce Adviser) participated in our 7 Questions Series on Ecommerce & Supply Chain Data Integration, and gave some fantastics answers. 

Jayne's interview added extra depth and dimension to our 7 Questions Ecommerce Series in that she was our only participant from the UK - also known as a hotbed for ecommerce activity. Jayne's pedigree and expertise as a business consultant specializing in digital marketing illuminated ecommerce in the UK from both a business and marketing perspective; two disciplines that overlap in more ways than a lot of people assume. As a result of Jayne's illuminating and informative interview, we at VL have taken a quick snapshot of some of the best parts of her interview and have created an infographic!

Jayne's interview as well as our other contributors to VL's 7 Question Series: Ecommerce & Supply Chain Data Integration will be featured in an upcoming and highly anticipated ebook. You can reserve your copy of VL's upcoming ebook, "Ecommerce & Supply Chain Data Integration: A 7 Questions Series Ebook, Volume 1", featuring Janye Reddyhoff of Zanzi Digital and many more by clicking the image or the link below!

Reserve Your Copy of The Free Ebook Now!

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Topics: Data Integration, Supply chain, ecommerce, 7 Question Series, interview, infographic, ebook

Omni-Channel is Here, and Proper Data Integration is Making Customer Experiences Bliss

Posted by Jessica Thiele on Jul 21, 2015 12:37:32 PM

Going to the mall is a chore. Getting there, parking, hunting for that store that you swear was over there last week but is now at the other end of the promenade... none of it screams enjoyment. (Did it ever?)

But regardless of what misery and headaches malls usually bring, I ended up at my local mall (which also happens to be under major construction, adding to the probable misery) with my sister for a bit of therapeutic shopping. Ya since when was shopping therapeutic. It was also an opportunity for me, an avid online shopper and web-roomer, to actually buy some things in person and save on the dreaded Canadian shipping costs.

And you know what? I was pleasantly surprised by my visit. It's often that I go to the mall and get frustrated with the lack of service and neglect of omni-channel outlets and leave empty handed like in this adventure a while back, but a recent experience has brought to light a few new pleasantly unexpected turn of events for my ongoing mall shopping saga:

  1. Actually buying something in the stores I visit sometimes is just enough to change the whole game, and
  2. Omni-channel can turn a lack-luster in-store customer experience into a memorable and awesome customer experience.

So go figure, omni-channel is coming to a mall near me and I love it. Read on for my full account and analysis on my recent mall trip, and how Sephora is breaking the retail mold!

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Topics: ecommerce, Loyalty integration, omnichannel, customer experience, retail, sephora

About VL [Infographic]

Posted by Jessica Thiele on Jul 17, 2015 11:44:26 AM

Getting to know someone takes time; getting to really know a business that you might have around for the next 20+ years not only takes time that you not might have, but also requires a significant amount of trust that this partner is honest, has integrity, and truly cares about your business.

So how to you get to trust a business when you don't have years and years to get to know them?

You look at their current customer base. How long have their clients been with them? (Some of VL's clients have been with us for over 20 years.)

You look at their testimonials and case studies. Do they have a proven track record? (See VL's testimonials here, and our case studies here.)

You can talk to them to see if their corporate culture matches your business'. Do they have the same values as your company? Can you live with this partner for the next x handful number of years or more?

The fact is that when it comes to quality data integration partners, they will be around for a while if they're worth their salt. VL's average customer has been with us for 10+ years, and we're proud to say that we work hand-in-hand to ensure the long-term success of our clients' businesses. But these people have come to know us very well - what about the people who haven't had the chance to see how awesome we are? Well, here's a quick infographic showing some of the history and values of VL. That seems like a good place to start!

Scroll down for the full infographic!

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Topics: Data Integration, EDI, infographic, history, about VL,, customer service

7 Questions Data and Venture Capital Series: David Hornik

Posted by Robin Smith on Jul 14, 2015 8:40:22 AM

The 7 Questions Interview Series: Data and Venture Capital

The 7 Questions Interview Series: Data and Venture Capital "The 7 Questions Series" is an investigative content series where we seek out key leaders in a specific industry and/or subject matter expertise area and ask them 7 key questions that inquiring minds want to know in terms of how they view data as part of their investment process. However, there is a twist to these questions: we provide the interviewee with a hypothesis for each question to help frame and set context for their answer.

Data and Venture Capital Series Objectives

The objective of this series is to establish direct connections with venture capital organizations, angel investors and M&A specialists across the globe and ask them the same set of 7 questions regarding their orientation when looking to invest or investing in companies. We want to derive insights from their direct experiences and expertise that will help companies, both B2B and B2C, at all stages of their evolution. We are also curious to see if their answers are similar or different. These interviews will be featured on their website as part of an ongoing series.

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Topics: 7 Question Series, Venture Capitalists

[Infographic] Thea Earl of Shopify Talks Ecommerce

Posted by Jessica Thiele on Jul 10, 2015 8:33:58 AM

Not too long ago, Thea Earl of Shopify participated in VL's 7 Question Series on Ecommerce & Supply Chain Data Integration

Thea gave great insight from her perspective as a Business Development Manager at Shopify, including illuminating thoughts on ecommerce in Canada past, present, and future. But we at VL understand that not everyone has time to read an interview, even if it's as chalk-full of information as Thea Earl's was. So we turned some of the most poignant snippets into two infographics! 

Tailored to how much time you have and how much reading you like to do, we have an infographic featuring snippets of the best of the best from Thea's interview, and a twin infographic with the full quote if you're into context and breath. So one short and one long !

You can also reserve your copy of VL's upcoming ebook, "Ecommerce & Supply Chain Data Integration: A 7 Questions Series Ebook, Volume 1", featuring Thea Earl of Shopify, and many more!

Reserve Your Copy of The Free Ebook Now!

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Topics: Data Integration, Supply chain, ecommerce, 7 Question Series, interview, infographic, ebook

Thinking About Integrating Your Business? Start With Some Key Terms

Posted by Jessica Thiele on Jul 8, 2015 8:34:10 AM

If you've taken the time to listen to the great interview between our very own Robin H. Smith and FrankReactions' Tema Frank, you already know that when it comes to talking integration with the people who know it best, things can get, well... complicated. And quickly.

There's a lot of industry jargon and terminology that integration experts throw into any dialogue where we're asked to talk about this highly specialized niche we love so well. Just like any good Fandom, we're likely to geek out a little when we have the opportunity to pass our extensive knowledge on to any interested party. But if you're new to researching your data integration options, it's always good to come prepared to any discussions with experts by doing your own research first!

And to help you in the process of becoming data integration literate, here's a short list of some terms everyone should be familiar with! 

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Topics: API, Data Integration, EDI, XML, Digital Literacy, JSON, customer experience, FAQ, definitions,, scalability,

Integration as a Service: Integration in the Cloud FAQs

Posted by Jessica Thiele on Jul 3, 2015 10:07:14 AM

The days of installing programs you buy at your local Staples or BestBuy are quickly fading.

When was the last time that you installed a program you bought in-store? When was the last time you installed a program on your computer from DVD-ROM? Does your computer even have a CD or DVD drive?

I'd wager a guess that in either case, it's been a while. And just like how B2B and B2C are converging thanks to the growing popularity of ecommerce, you'd likely answer these two statements identically from the perspective of a private consumer and a business. It's almost happened over night: people and businesses everywhere are silently switching from on-premise applications to hosted (or cloud) applications. Although some pundits are claiming they see s shift back to on premise, we don't.

And guess what? VL's here to support your business in whichever way you do business. While on-premise solutions are still going strong, we're noticing more and more requests from our clients for our Hosted Integration Service which is fully run through the cloud. Its a true SAAS offering. Because our cloud offering is still comparatively new, here's a few FAQs you might have about VL's Integration as a Service - Integration in the Cloud.

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Topics: Hosted EDI, Integration as a Service

[Podcast] FrankReactions Interviews Robin H. Smith of VL on Systems Integration

Posted by Jessica Thiele on Jun 30, 2015 10:26:00 AM

Click here to listen to the full podcast by FrankReactions


In episode 33 of FrankReactions' podcast series, Tema Frank interviews Robin H. Smith of Virtual Logistics Inc. on the importance of systems integration in improving the overall customer experience.

Tema hit a home run when she started the podcast with the statement;

"One of the biggest barriers companies face in improving their customer experience, especially now that everything's going omni-channel, is the challenge of integrating all their systems and data so that 'everyone's singing off the same song sheet'. It's really tough, and although there are integration companies out there to help you do it, unfortunately they often don't do themselves a lot of good because they tend to speak very technically, which can be very intimidating and off-putting to people who really need their services.

If you are seriously interested in improving customer experience in your organization or in improving your marketing in your organization, you really owe it to yourself to listen to this interview."

This timely interview is well worth the listen, as many pertinant points are made around the subject of barriers to integration as well as managing and effectively running a business in an increasingly digital and automated world. Click through to go directly to the podcast, or keep reading here for the highlights of some of the great discussion had in the interview, and then you should go listen to the podcast anyways.


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Topics: Data Integration, Integration as a Service, Marketing Automation Integration, data mapping, customer experience, data movement, interview

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