Our 5 key points on the benefits of Ecommerce integration:
- APIs unify data and eliminate data silos.
- An API strategy that fits your organization results in measurable change and scalable growth.
- Key performance indicator (KPI) measurements illustrate API value.
- APIs and Ecommerce integration elevate your organization.
- Ecommerce integration is the only way forward.
Question 1: How many tech tools do typical Ecommerce businesses use?
Today's Ecommerce tools generate massive amounts of data. Big Data and Business Intelligence (BI) tools can extract that data. And it has loads of information that's specific to your business. But without taking steps to experience the benefits of Ecommerce integration, there's no easy way to measure it.
Question 2: If you had access — real access — to all the nuggets of truth hidden in those data bytes, what could you do with it?
Maybe your team already spends a ton of time manually entering data multiple times into multiple systems. Maybe you already have so much data, you don't know what to do with the data you have.
Well, the answer a lot of Ecommerce business owners give for the first question is too many. If you agree with that statement, it's possible you don't have an answer to the second question. After all, if you don't know what you're missing, you don't know anything is missing, right? Maybe it's time for that to change. Maybe you haven't yet learned the benefits of Ecommerce integration.
So, consider this: today's average business has hundreds of applications operating in the background — but less than 30% of those systems are integrated.
- There's a huge segment of consumers who prefer shopping online.
- Somewhere, there's a disconnect — a glitch in the matrix of the buying journey that's turning away customers.
Since 2020, the customer journey has taken a road trip — away from home. Consumer buying patterns have evolved and businesses that can see the benefits of Ecommerce integration will be the only ones able to keep pace.
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the lifeblood of Ecommerce.
- An ERP system holds product specs, price information, customer contact information, and purchase history. ERP integration holds the key.
- In addition to ERP, businesses rely on customer relationship management (CRM), point-of-sale, or POS, systems, inventory management platforms, and product info management (PIM) systems.
If your Ecommerce solution is running all these programs in the backend systems — and more — but the programs rely on manual data entry for updates, you're not only wasting valuable time and resources, but you're actually sending customers to your competitors that have already realized the benefits of Ecommerce integration.
Integrate.io offers the best ETL and reverse ETL platform, a blazing-fast CDC platform, and hundreds of integrations for Ecommerce businesses. Reach out to learn more about the benefits of Ecommerce integration for your online business.
The problem many businesses run into, however, is only integrating some of their multiple programs. Experiencing all the benefits of Ecommerce integration requires a fully integrated platform.
Table of Contents
What Does Fully Integrated Mean?
Before we dive into all the benefits of Ecommerce integration, let's look at what it means for a platform to have full integration.
The most important concept of full integration — the best part — is that you can keep every single tool, platform, app, or other solution you currently use. You don't have to sacrifice one program so that another will work.
The benefits of Ecommerce integration — fully integrating your Ecommerce platform — are exactly that: every solution you use remains connected to your Ecommerce site, but now all those solutions can "talk" to each other, and with less human entry or human error (if human input is needed at all).
Ecommerce apps and many business systems are online or in the cloud, so integration is typically achieved with APIs. Integrate.io requires no code and can be set up in minutes. Reach out to learn more about our deep Ecommerce capabilities.
Data integration uses APIs to link applications. This "link" allows for seamless, two-way communication and data synchronization. Businesses can use APIs for all sorts of connections, even internal business systems.
Integrate.io uses no-code solutions to link all your apps and programs. Once you're connected, all these integrations mean one thing: you have a fully integrated Ecommerce ecosystem. Need an API built from scratch? We do that, too!
Key Reasons Why You Need Ecommerce Integration
According to Mulesoft's 2022 Digital Trends report, the following takeaways are more than convincing:
- Worsening data silos are challenging progress. Meeting customer expectations is the number one goal of business. Digitally transforming through full integration is a number one priority. In the past, up 90% of leaders in IT stated data silos as the greatest hurdle to full integration.
- APIs have caught on. If your apps and other tools are the bones of your business, APIs are the connective tissue — and 96% of organizations around the world agree.
- API adoption with a clear strategy is better for business. Any API adoption is better than none, whether it's by-the-project or mandate from leadership. In the future, API adoption and creation will become even easier and reasons for not integrating, fewer. By 2024, 80% of tech tools will be built by non-technology professionals.
- Automation is expanding. Remember when automation was the newest, biggest buzzword? In 2022, automation is a fundamental cornerstone of business. There's almost nothing that can't be automated now, and a lot of businesses are taking it seriously, creating the newest iteration of automation: hyperautomation.
All businesses should, and most businesses are, in a race towards full integration — but other business owners still need that final kick in the pants to make the transition. The benefits of Ecommerce integration can't be fully realized without it.
Why You Shouldn't Ignore the Call to Full Ecommerce Integration
With the world at your proverbial door, a growing Ecommerce business that hasn't implemented some form of integration yet is in risky territory. Each time someone manually enters an order into your system, adjusts inventory, or uploads new product information to your Ecommerce site, that's spending more energy than you need to. Not only is it a waste, but it's prime real estate for errors.
Manual data entry can lead to a host of mistakes, such as:
- Inaccurate product info
- Outdated prices
- Inaccurate inventory numbers
- Misplaced orders
- Incorrect shipping information
These and other mistakes can make your business look unreliable and cause your customers to lose trust. This negatively impacts your customers and your business and could lead to reputational damage.
The logical answer is to enhance your business with streamlined processes and fully integrate to experience the benefits of Ecommerce integration.
How Does Ecommerce Integration Work?
On its face, it might look like fully integrating all your tools, software, and platforms is overwhelming. Fully integrating an Ecommerce platform isn't easy, and it does require certain skills and a little time. In fact, there are four stages of integration:
- Step 1. Explore the nuance of your specific platform and marketplace. Marketplaces typically have their own APIs with their own documentation. Integrating your tools requires a specific skill set and an understanding that every integration process is unique.
Thankfully, Integrate.io has done all the work for you with bespoke integrations that can integrate any Ecommerce website — with no code! To skip these steps and go straight to Integrate.io, learn more about our Ecommerce integrations.
- Step 2. This is the step where you begin developing integrations between your solutions and the platforms they need to talk to. You've got a few options here. You can either hire a development team (or have your in-house development team) manually create APIs and establish the connection, or you can partner with an integration service like Integrate.io to make the connections for you.
- Step 3. At this point, you're ready to start the "conversation" between your data and the tools and platforms you're connecting with.
- Step 4. Now you simply retain ongoing support and ensure your integrations are maintained properly.
If you go in alone, sure — it can be hard work. With an integration partner, it's a lot easier and full integration happens much faster. But speed and ease aren't the only benefits of Ecommerce integration.
Benefits of Ecommerce Integration: How an Integrated Platform Helps Your Business
The benefits of Ecommerce integration fall under two distinct umbrellas:
- Satisfied customers
- Increased visibility and control over your business
Now that you know what integrated means, it's time to learn the specific benefits you can realize — and each benefit either satisfies your customers, helps you run your business more effectively, or both.
Benefit #1. Streamlined customer experience
With all your systems working in tandem, synchronized internally and externally with vendors, shippers, and other logistics partners, customers reap the rewards of a seamless buying process.
Browsing items, product selection, clear visibility into inventory levels, checkout, choice of shipping options, order tracking, and delivery — this makes for happy, loyal customers when it's all completed from the same portal.
In a lot of ways, Ecommerce integration makes the online shopping experience even more intuitive than actually visiting a physical shop — it's much less of a burden on all parties.
And that — convenience — is the biggest draw for so many of today's shoppers. Even B2B buyers and sellers see just how beneficial Ecommerce integration is.
Benefit #2. Reduced admin and staffing costs
When you streamline all your applications, it substantially reduces your operating costs. You can eliminate a lot of unnecessary staffing hours because no more manual entry is required. Data is transferred seamlessly between applications.
Not to mention all the time and money you'll save by not needing to cleanse your data anymore. When your staff inputs data manually, multiple times into multiple programs, it creates data redundancy and is a breeding ground for costly errors.
On top of all these savings, you give a boost to your customer service reps, too. Your CRM remains updated with all the most recent information about calls, purchase history, customer names, and contact information, leaving your customer service agents better prepared to assist clients when needed.
Benefit #3. Improved order tracking
And while we're talking about customer service, it's necessary to mention how the benefits of Ecommerce integration affect order fulfillment and shipment tracking, too. A lot of today's popular shipping partners offer real-time "Your package is five stops away" kind of tracking updates. That wouldn't be possible without integration.
Shipment tracking is one of the most essential features of Ecommerce — customers and businesses alike benefit from knowing where an order is being shipped, when it will arrive, and when it's been delivered. Customers feel a sense of relief when they are able to check order status and get updates that show:
- Order packed for shipment
- Shipping partner facility has the package en route
- Where packages are on a map
- Delivery status
And while this is great for consumers, businesses consider this functionality crucial for keeping their own customers in the loop.
Benefit #4. Takes mobile phone shoppers into account
There will always be shoppers who'd rather physically go to a store to see and touch what they're about to buy. But online shoppers are here to stay. Even traditional brick-and-mortar customers may order online from time to time.
Homes might have desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones for tech. But in today's world of convenience, meeting your customers where they are is quite literal. If they're on the couch, scrolling Twitter, and see an item they want, they just might not feel like getting up from the couch. They'll buy that product from their phone.
This means your entire Ecommerce platform needs to be mobile-friendly. The less flipping through multiple platforms a customer needs to do, the better.
Benefit #5. Lets you deliver targeted content
This is one of the greatest benefits of Ecommerce integration. Sure, all the above are pretty profound, but the idea that all of your programs are chatting with each other means:
- You can send an abandoned cart message to gently nudge a purchase
- You can email links to blogs that pertain to a specific subsection of your customer base
- You can target loyal customers with special discounts
Full Ecommerce integration means your CMS keeps tabs on your customers with full, 360-degree insights, and you can personalize and send the most relevant, timely messaging across all your channels.
Benefit #6. Manage inventory levels
Managing inventory is one of the most challenging aspects of Ecommerce stores. As a business grows and scales, keeping tabs on inventory levels becomes even more complex.
Take brand-name clothing stores, for example. We won't call anyone out, but there are clothing stores that haven't fully integrated their Ecommerce platforms.
If a customer places an order and makes a payment but doesn't receive their order, they're not happy — even if you refund their money. If your website shows you have an item but two minutes ago someone bought the last one, you'll likely lose that customer.
Ecommerce Integration Benefits Businesses of Any Size
The benefits of Ecommerce integration across your entire business's ecosystem are many, from satisfying customers to keeping track of inventory and streamlining business processes.
But, even with all the advantages, you might wonder — is this really something I need for my business?
The reality is it doesn't matter whether you're a solopreneur with a small Shopify online store or a multinational corporation. Full Ecommerce integration can help your business even if you only have one app, tool, or program you currently use. With an API that links your business systems, you immediately gain the benefit of never having to manually enter or transfer data between your platform and another ever again.
If there's already an integration API for what you need, it's as easy as accessing it. For more unique businesses, though, you might need a native API built just for you. If you can see indications of strong ROI, then it's a worthwhile investment.
For All the Benefits of Ecommerce Integration — Partner with Integrate.io
The more diverse applications, tools, and other programs you have running in your business, the more data you generate — hence, the more insight proper, full Ecommerce integration can offer. And the best part of partnering with Integrate.io is you're not limited to just the programs you currently run. To realize all the benefits of Ecommerce integration, schedule an intro call.