In 2020, around 2.05 million people shop online out of roughly 7.8 billion of the global population. That’s an amazing number. When over a quarter of the world’s population is shopping online, it is evident for businesses to also sell online.
However, you can’t take your business online by just launching an eCommerce website. You have to develop an eCommerce integration platform so that you can smoothly run your online business.
Unfortunately, many businesses don’t know exactly when and which integrated eCommerce solutions to use. That’s a shame, but no worries, as we are going to address this issue today!
What is eCommerce Integration?
eCommerce website integration is the process of connecting your eCommerce portal to other sales channels and backend solutions, including ERP, POS, or WMS systems. Integration defines the bidirectional flow of data between all your online business management solutions.
eCommerce integration solutions eliminate the need to enter the same data into different business software. The integration ensures data will automatically flow from one system to another. Integration can reduce down all the manual data entry hours with a smooth data flow.
For instance, when you make an online sale, you have to adjust inventory and the ERP system with outgoing and incoming entries. Without integration, you have to change both systems manually, which is time-consuming and prone to errors. On the contrary, when you have used eCommerce integration services, the inventory count will automatically change across both systems after the sale.
When to Use Integrated eCommerce Solutions? – 5 Signs
eCommerce integration has the power to smooth your many business operations, but unfortunately, it is hard to tell when you should use it. However, if any of these signs are visible in your online business, you should think about eCommerce website integration now.
Super Fast Digital Growth in your Industry
The future demands digital businesses, but the speed of digitalization is different for each sector. For example, the fashion industry is one of the most booming eCommerce industry with an expected $665,629 million revenue in 2020. At the same time, labor-intensive sectors like agriculture and construction aren’t yet much focused on digital growth.
So, you need to understand whether your business industry is shifting to eCommerce or not. If there’s a shift, you have to anticipate the speed of the shift. And if your industry is rapidly transitioning to eCommerce, it’s your sign to look for eCommerce integration solutions.
Define your Technical Infrastructure
If you are using multiple technologies and tools to streamline your business operations, you need eCommerce integration to align all of them. It is ideal to use the latest tools to improve your productivity and efficiency, but you might create a mess when your tools aren’t moving in sync.
Therefore, if you have a rich technical infrastructure, you should opt for integration. The common business management tools that you can integrate with your eCommerce website are –
- CRM – To provide a good customer experience.
- ERP – Easy collection, storage, and management of your business finances.
- POS System – Simplify the checkout and payment process.
- WMS – To support and optimize warehouse management and distribution services.
- Social Networks – You can stay connected with your customers by integrated your social networks with your eCommerce website.
Availability of Adequate Resources
You might be tempted to take your business online, but you can’t make a move if you don’t have adequate resources. A considerable cost is required to develop eCommerce integration solutions.
Foremost, you have to invest in hardware devices and then on supporting services like delivery services, high-speed internet, etc. Additionally, you might have to hire professional eCommerce integration services. If you have a sufficient budget to integrate your eCommerce system, you should get integration work done soon.
Nature of Your Customers
The nature of your customers is also an eCommerce integration deciding factor. Online shopping revolves around technology and innovation; it is no surprise that 10.8% of online shoppers think high tech eCommerce platforms are better. Today, online shoppers want fast and technology-oriented services including –
- AI customer support
- Instant solutions by chatbots
- Product recommendations based on history, location, preferences, etc.
Overall, if your customers want high-quality technical services, integration is the only solution for you.
Stay Ahead of Competition
According to G2, there are 370 eCommerce business platforms available across the globe. Plus, many new businesses are entering the digital market daily; thus, you need to create a unique brand identity to beat the competition.
Furthermore, you have to help your customers understand your brand’s philosophy, what thrives your business, and what makes your products or services stand out. You need to offer your customers something that no other eCommerce platform provides.
Now, if you are busy manually dealing with a database, you can’t dedicate time to develop result-driven marketing campaigns. So, you need to free up your time via eCommerce website integration and divert your attention to building your online brand.
Different eCommerce Integration Solutions
Merchants have a variety of technical options to integrate their eCommerce platforms. As per your budget, business needs, and structure, you can pick the right integration solution. However, the most preferred integration formats are –
- Point-to-Point – This is a quick and fast integration solution provided by eCommerce app stores. Under this integration, your platform is pointed at your backend system, so it is a good system to start with.
- Multichannel Management – It is an expensive cloud-based integration system where pre-built connectors sync data between your multiple systems. However, you can configure your integration solution as per your requirements.
- Custom eCommerce Integration – It is always recommended to develop your custom integration platform so that you can meet business requirements. You have to hire a professional IT firm to customize your integration platform and grow your business.
Taking your business online is a complicated and sensitive task. Before you digitalize your business, you have to gather all the right information and facts. Once you have correct business information with you, deciding when to integrate your eCommerce platform will become clear like broad daylight.