With online sales increasing around the world and current global circumstances creating the need for many retail operations to expand to ecommerce models, retail companies benefit from a reliable FTP site to manage their business files.
FTP in Ecommerce
FTP is a standard protocol for transferring files over the internet, often used in business to transfer large amounts of data between systems efficiently. In ecommerce, files are transferred to a web hosting service via FTP to supply product and marketing information. Ecommerce operations also share files with distributors, warehouses, and other operation checkpoints using the FTP protocol.
A hosted FTP site allows ecommerce businesses to:
- Utilize FTP for file transfer.
- Manage smaller transfers online.
- Easily keep track of files in a centralized location.
Manage Product and Order Data
Having an FTP site with an easy to use file management interface provides access to files from any device with a web browser. This is ideal for monitoring account activity, sending small files to colleagues, and making sure transfers have completed as expected.
It’s convenient to organize files to keep track of orders, products, customers, and more in an online interface. With ecommerce, it can be vital to set permissions for users, including which folder will be their home folder. Limit or restricted access to individuals while allowing them to perform the duties necessary for their roles in the business.
Upload Files to Web Host via FTP
Another important aspect of running an ecommerce business is having a website — a place to offer your retail wares for people to find and purchase. One common use of FTP in ecommerce is uploading product detail files to a web host. This is another instance where an FTP site comes in handy for online retail operations.
Web hosting provides the customer-facing portion of an ecommerce site. FTP provides the means of uploading files from a secure server to the web hosting service that in turn displays your products. An FTP site is where product files and other business data is stored securely on a remote server, even though the product listings are also hosted and visible on your website.
Maintain a Current Product Catalog
Because FTP is ideal for transferring large amounts of data, it is used to export entire product catalogs with current product listings. Often businesses use file transfer protocol to deliver their product listings to their site. Others use FTP to transfer their entire product catalog to distributors — eliminating the need to print catalogs and reducing the chances of items changing or going out of stock before distribution.
The fast-paced ecommerce world must maintain current product listings. There are many pieces involved in keeping things up to date. Using FTP in ecommerce can help with many of these pieces such as:
- Accepting large image files from designers via FTP.
- Uploading digital assets or product specs from contractors and manufacturers to an FTP site for review.
- Storing your full product catalog on an FTP server and providing access for individuals to view and download.
Building Blocks for Automation
Once you have a hosted FTP site supporting your ecommerce data files, it’s a short step to move to full automation. Webhooks can provide near-real-time notices of orders submitted. Then, follow through with API calls to automate ordering and fulfillment workflows.
File Storage for Compliance and Reporting
A secure FTP server provides a repository for ecommerce to store product and order data. Securely store all your data along with any other business files for compliance and reporting purposes.
As more data and shopping experiences move to a digital format, it’s important to know how to utilize the options available. An FTP site combines the storage and ease of use that retail businesses need to transition to ecommerce. Established ecommerce businesses love the FTP and SFTP support and added functionallity to track and manage files online.