Ecommerce relies on a robust tech stack — but that stack must communicate effectively.
Our Key Points:
- Communication with your customers and vendors requires seamless pathways, which require a comprehensive guide to Ecommerce integration.
- Ecommerce integration consolidates business information, and it's continuously updated with real-time data.
- Manual data entry is prone to errors; integration significantly reduces reporting errors and delays.
- Ecommerce integration lets you manage your business in one dedicated space.
- Integrate.io offers the tools to make it happen — and you don't need to write a single line of code.
Ecommerce integration. Those two words together encompass an entire aspect of online commerce — online stores can't function without it (or without an Ecommerce integration guide). Taken separately, however, these words have standalone meanings of their own.
Ecommerce is online business. Whenever a consumer purchases something on the internet, they're engaging in Ecommerce. Currency and data are transferred during a transaction.
Integration refers to combining data housed in various locations, such as software programs and applications. Data integration puts all this information into a single, cohesive source, making it easier to review and use the data.
Together, Ecommerce integration is the aggregation of all the data for every aspect of your online store, collected, reviewed, and updated from a single viewpoint. In this guide to Ecommerce integration, you'll learn:
- What Ecommerce integration is
- Types of Ecommerce integrations
- Examples of Ecommerce integrations
- Benefits of Ecommerce integration
- Backend integration, now
- How to get your business ready
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Table of Contents
- What Is Ecommerce Integration?
- Ecommerce Integration Guide: Types of Ecommerce Integrations
- Benefits of Ecommerce Integration
- Guide to Ecommerce Integration: Subscription Business Example
- Greatest Barriers to Ecommerce Integration
- Guide to Ecommerce Integration: Backend Integration
- Ecommerce Integration Guide: Realize Your Ecommerce Potential with Integrate.io
What Is Ecommerce Integration?
An Ecommerce store is much more than just the website where it lives and the products or services it sells. It has several elements that work behind the scenes. When these backend elements aren't integrated, they function as a disjointed collection of data. You have social and communication channels, inventory, payment processing, accounting, enterprise resource management (ERP), and customer relationship management (CRM) tools, all of which create their own data streams. When these programs remain disconnected, the data within each program is an island. No changes are reflected anywhere but in the program in which the change occurred.
Each time you make a sale, that product is physically no longer a part of your inventory. But if your inventory management program isn't connected to your Ecommerce site, someone must manually enter the information. This is bulky and error-prone. And this goes for every aspect of your business, from inventory to accounting.
With a comprehensive guide to Ecommerce integration, you'll see how synchronizing all sales information creates a seamless and accurate flow of data between all programs and intuitively presents, updates, and maintains it in one place.
For instance, integrating your Ecommerce site with your ERP lets you create information-sharing across systems while entering and receiving data in one location. Ecommerce integration eliminates the need to enter and re-enter duplicate information across all the tools you currently use because all sales data becomes automated, such as real-time inventory updates.
Ecommerce Integration Guide: Types of Ecommerce Integrations
No guide to Ecommerce integrations would be complete without an explanation of the typical types of integrations available, such as:
- ERP integrations
- CRM integrations
- Payment processing integrations
- Accounting system integrations
There's a wealth of data in your ERP software, like customer information, orders completed, inventory levels, and accounting information. Ecommerce integration with your ERP creates a flow of information between these systems. It improves customer experiences and streamlines backend operations. Bi-directional ERP integrations facilitate two-way communication and provide such benefits as:
- Eliminating tedious manual entries that can result in forgotten data and costly errors
- Updating inventory in real time
- Changing prices without multiple data entries
- Personalizing promotional materials according to the customer
- Increasing the transparency of inventory, orders, and fulfillment to improve customer purchase experiences
- Supporting the addition of sales channels as necessary
CRM integrations align your Ecommerce site with your marketing tools. Site visits and orders on your site are synced with the ship-to information in your CRM, helping your sales team address customers' needs more efficiently.
Some of the benefits of a CRM Ecommerce integration include:
- Automating sales processes, which eliminate data entry errors in orders
- Providing total visibility across systems, social channels, and all other touchpoints within your Ecommerce platform
- Segmenting customers by purchase history and other site activity, such as an abandoned order
- Sales pipeline reporting for prospects and conversions
In addition to the above integrations, Ecommerce integration guides you toward greater success when you integrate all systems with your Ecommerce site, including these:
- WHM system. Integrating your warehouse management system offers increased accuracy of warehouse inventory levels, orders, and shipments.
- BI system. A business intelligence system offers a glimpse into the very heart of your business. When analyzed together with other data, the data derived from BI helps companies make better, more informed decisions, improving overall operational efficiency.
- AI system. An artificial intelligence system, like an AI chatbot to assist customers or a program that sends product recommendations to customers based on previous product searches and purchases, is a valuable tool when integrated with your Ecommerce store.
- Additional systems. Imagine all the collectible data ripe for analysis if you connect your payment gateway, accounting, compliance, and financial systems with your Ecommerce site.
Integrate.io is the no-code answer to your integration needs. We offer Ecommerce integration solutions for every aspect of your business, such as:
…and more with blazing-fast ETL, ELT, and CDC capabilities. Schedule an intro call and see how we can change how you do business.
Benefits of Ecommerce Integration
The overarching advantage of Ecommerce integration is having all of your business's data in one spot. But that alone allows for an extensive list of other benefits, like:
- Individualizing experiences across all sales platforms and social channels and optimizing the experience by device
- Customizing website navigation so customers can find items easier
- Offering streamlined payments with multiple payment methods accepted
- Customizing prices, offers, and discounts by targeted segment
- Automating the customer registration process
- Giving business customers an effortless way to order and reorder items as needed
- Using APIs for customer data integration from an ERP or CRM program
Learn more: 5 Tips for Success in Ecommerce with ERP
But there are even more benefits of Ecommerce integration. Having a physical store for customers to visit isn't as crucial as it once was. Beginning in 2020 — and especially by 2021 — people weren't leaving home as often and began ordering products online more than any other time in history. Implementing Ecommerce integration guides you to the following additional benefits:
- No more duplicate manual data entry. Gone are the days of manually entering customer information into systems. This eliminates potential errors while also speeding up the data exchange itself. Integrating Amazon, Shopify, and other apps with your ERP modernizes your Ecommerce site and improves your efficiency and customer satisfaction.
- Always-accurate inventory. Data accuracy at today's speed of business isn't negotiable. Any data you enter manually has the chance of inaccuracy due to simple human error. Synchronizing your inventory management system with your Ecommerce site makes inventory updates automatic and with real-time accuracy.
- Automated customer notifications. When your front-facing Ecommerce site and your backend apps work together, automating customer notifications is simple. When customers make a purchase, they receive an immediate email to thank them for their business and another message when the order ships — having to track and send these notifications manually would eat up precious time and resources.
- Easily update pricing. Whether it's a holiday season and you're offering discounts or your prices need to fluctuate according to your cost, updating your prices is simplified. Enter the updates in one system, and prices automatically adjust and populate across all systems.
- Grow your business. Any guide to Ecommerce integration will tell you — integrating your systems frees up so much time and resources that you have the opportunity to actually focus on your business! You can grow, scale, pivot — without losing any operating efficiency. As you grow and add sales channels, you effectively bring in more business, diversify your revenue streams, enhance your customers' experiences, and watch operating margins improve and expand.
And these are just the icing on your Ecommerce cake. Integration lets you handle increasing demand with ease and no additional resources. Businesses that have already adapted to Ecommerce integration understand that technology has modernized the entire business landscape.
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Guide to Ecommerce Integration: Subscription Business Example
For an Ecommerce subscription business, an ERP system is a must to maintain intuitive business operations. Integrating your ERP with your Ecommerce site seamlessly syncs the data from both and keeps it organized. It improves efficiency because it reduces manual workloads for staff across departments.
For an Ecommerce subscription business, integrating ERP with the business's website is a game-changer. In fact, it's the most important integration — it helps the subscription business maintain an effective ERP. If you use Oracle's cloud stack and you maintain your subscriptions using Zuora, integrating Oracle with Zuora makes perfect sense.
Other popular use cases for Zuora integrations include:
- Migrating Zuora data over to Redshift
- Loading Zuora data into BigQuery
- Using Integrate.io to ETL your Zuora data into Snowflake
Greatest Barriers to Ecommerce Integration
Needing to integrate your Ecommerce tools also brings to light one glaring issue: Do you have any idea how to write the code that can make this happen? Do you have a dev team? Creating pathways that actually work requires technical functionality that's far advanced compared to legacy solutions. Legacy solutions won't work. You need a modern Ecommerce integration solution.
Often, key decision-makers have objections to or simply gloss over the need to integrate, and not just ERP — all of it. They look at Ecommerce integration as an expense they can't afford or a modification that will interrupt business. But the cost of ignoring the need to integrate is much greater.
Creating a smooth transition to a completely integrated Ecommerce system does have its obstacles. But this guide to Ecommerce integration can help alleviate the four major barriers:
- Lack of understanding
- Outdated hardware, software, or other systems
- No management across channels
- No visibility
So, let's take a closer look at these — it's all about overcoming these obstacles:
Lack of Understanding
This is perhaps the greatest of all potential barriers to integration. Most businesses just don't know where to start. The IT team might not be clear on exactly what's expected — there are many moving parts in a digital ecosystem, and it can feel impossible without proper visibility. But we'll get to visibility in a moment.
An Ecommerce integration can feel overwhelming for IT. IT managers might worry about having enough hands on deck to support the integration. And once implemented, do they have enough support to maintain the integration? What about regular IT duties? And what if, during the migration, errors or security risks are introduced, or worse — data is lost?
All departments in a business must be internally aligned. There needs to be an understanding of exactly what the company hopes to achieve through integration and a discussion about what integration can achieve. If there are obstacles, what are they? What are the challenges presented? And what systems will be integrated?
Additionally, company goals, systems, and processes should guide the Ecommerce integration — what data will they sync, and which business processes can be automated? The best Ecommerce integration plan will begin with an end goal in mind.
Outdated Hardware, Software, or Other Systems
In the course of business, when everything seems to be running just fine, relying on outdated tech can cause your company to miss out on orders. Some legacy platforms are incompatible with today's technology, and without end-to-end visibility, your programs won't work as you intend. Legacy programs are, in a word, wonky. And there aren't any workarounds. You just have to update.
In some cases, the systems that have gotten you by for years might continue working — it's hard to say. Maybe they can continue meeting the needs of your specific business. It won't be until you're ready to make a move up, merge with another company, or attempt to add in some of today's functionality that it'll hit you. Legacy systems simply don't work with today's cloud applications or data analysis platforms. And those are what you need for success now.
If your current platform can't handle the requirements for API integration, it's time for you to seriously consider modernizing your tech stack.
No Management Across Channels
Most Ecommerce platforms offer all the tech a merchant needs so they can sell products and services to their customers on their site. While this is a lot better than the options available just a decade ago, there are two aspects of this approach that remain overlooked:
- A merchant's website is typically not the only place they're selling merchandise these days. Today, retailers have multiple sales channels on top of the traditional brick-and-mortar store, call center, or catalog. Merchants also sell on other websites, landing pages, and online forums like Facebook Marketplace and Etsy.
- Customers make purchases from anywhere, with any device. Part of the appeal of Ecommerce is a literal ability to reach uncountable customers anywhere in the world and on the device they choose — seamlessly. Whether your customers like shopping from their iPhones, laptops, desktops, tablets, or other internet-connected devices, an Ecommerce integration helps solve the challenges of making sure sites appear correctly across devices. Plus, no matter where it originates, all data syncs properly and matches any customer-facing system at all possible touchpoints.
As each of the above issues has pointed out, this — a lack of visibility — is the greatest barrier to Ecommerce integration (if you go it alone, that is). A business still operating with outdated systems simply can't see what it can't see. No visibility into all the business's moving parts keeps you from making informed decisions based on real-time data. Ecommerce integration helps consolidate systems, enhance processes, and improve control with a clear vision into all those moving parts.
Once you embrace a modern business model, Ecommerce integration guides you toward total visibility into every aspect of your online business. Every order you receive, every sale you make — whether at your physical store, on your website, or via a social media promotion — is channeled into one unified viewpoint. A guide to Ecommerce integration with Integrate.io makes this transition simple for any type or size of business in as little as five minutes.
Guide to Ecommerce Integration: Backend Integration
Now it doesn't matter if your Ecommerce store sells subscription apps, jewelry, clothing, or consulting services — you still need your ERP connected to your entire system at every customer touchpoint. Ecommerce integration guides you toward success.
Whether your chosen Ecommerce platform is Netsuite, Shopify, Magento, or BigCommerce — it doesn't matter. Ultimately, every program you use needs to be able to "speak" to every other program you use. Modern backend integration lets you deliver to your customers on time, every time, and sometimes even faster than that.
The events of 2020 and the years since created a new reality for retail. The uptick in online ordering means having a guide to Ecommerce integration on your side is more important than ever.
In the coming years, integrating your backend processes won't be just an option — it will be fundamental to adapting and keeping pace with your competitors who've embraced the new normal. Whether due to the ongoing exclusion of the proverbial "middleman" or because Ecommerce exploded overnight in 2020, today's companies need to understand just how necessary agility is to their future growth.
Reviewing a guide to Ecommerce integration and implementing the changes suggested is the most important step you can take to support your entire organization. It seamlessly streamlines everything from shipping and logistics to product manufacturing, sourcing, and distribution. Modernizing your Ecommerce capabilities will prove to be the most profitable decision your business has ever made.
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Ecommerce Integration Guide: Realize Your Ecommerce Potential with Integrate.io
If you've yet to integrate your Ecommerce platform, all the information in this guide to Ecommerce integration might be overwhelming. But with Integrate.io as your integration partner, you can conquer any challenge you might encounter. Simplify operations, improve efficiency, and remove manual processes. Inspire your team with a fully integrated system. Schedule an intro call and realize deep Ecommerce capability.