Our Five Key Points:
- E-commerce platforms offer businesses simple ways to set up an online store whilst ensuring companies maintain payment card industry (PCI) compliance.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) E-commerce SaaS products help manage communication and the customer experience.
- CRMs are only effective if your business data is accurate and up to date.
- Data integration SaaS brings business data from a variety of sources into a single place.
- Integrate.io is a new ETL platform designed to support E-commerce.
SaaS tools are more essential than ever in 2022, especially as more and more aspects of business become digital. Current forecasts show that the SaaS market is set to grow 21.7 percent in 2022. Software as a Service or SaaS means hosted solutions, IT support as standard, low maintenance and fewer requirements for in-house coding specialists. This is ideal for medium or small businesses that can’t afford huge onsite IT teams.
For anyone with an online store, it makes sense that digital, cloud-based tools are an effective way to take some of the complexities out of running your E-commerce business. Here are three essential E-commerce products you need to get you selling online, no matter what type of business model you have.
Table of Contents
- A Reliable E-commerce Platform
- A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
- Intelligent Data Integration Tools
- Conclusion: Integrate.io is the SaaS Your E-commerce Business Needs
A Reliable E-commerce Platform
The first SaaS any online business should look for is an effective, reliable e-commerce or e-commerce platform—both versions of the term are widely used, so it can be worth searching for both when shopping around. An e-commerce platform provides a simple way to create an online store without having to download and install software, as the third-part provider manages everything in the backend. e-commerce platforms may also be called PaaS or Platform as a Service, but they still fall under the SaaS umbrella. Some platforms may prefer to bill themselves as PaaS because they offer more features than a single piece of software.
E-commerce platforms usually bill themselves as an all-in-one offering and may include a website builder, web hosting, content management services such as hosting a blog or SEO tools (search engine optimization), inventory management tools and payment gateways to manage industry-compliant credit card payments or other digital payment processing methods, such as PayPal. Some may offer analysis of sales or the ability to link to other services, such as Salesforce. They’ll usually have a range of templates to allow businesses to create an effective digital storefront with multiple product pages that works both on static and mobile devices.
Some e-commerce SaaS products provide options for businesses that need to host multiple vendors. Etsy and eBay are examples of multi-vendor marketplaces, where multiple sellers can come together under one popular e-commerce brand name to sell various wares. Amazon also offers vending space to multiple types of sellers. Yo!Kart and Shuup are providers of platforms that allow businesses to create their own multi-vendor offerings. Other SaaS businesses simply empower businesses to create a single online store to promote and sell their products or services, ideal for any small business or solo entrepreneurs.
With many e-commerce providers, business owners can customize their stores to match their logo and colors, creating a cohesive brand experience across all their digital offerings.
Examples of e-commerce platforms include:
Even platforms previously associated with content and blogging, such as Wix, Squarespace and WordPress, now offer e-commerce options.
Integrate.io is the data integration platform built with e-commerce in mind. Take a look at the integrations we support for the optimization of your online store.
Pricing for E-commerce Platforms
The price for individual e-commerce SaaS products is often not the only financial consideration when researching the best e-commerce platforms. Not having to hire web developers or coding experts saves businesses money, as does avoiding the cost of web maintenance, hosting or managing a server. Many SaaS providers have bespoke offerings to suits small or medium businesses at all stages of growth. Many also offer a free trial, allowing businesses to create and try out an online store to see if the functionality suits their needs.
Shopify starts at $29 per month and goes up to $299 for an advanced offering with built-in analysis and reporting. There’s also an intermediate offering at $79 per month.
Magento from Adobe, conversely, has a more complex pricing structure. Developers can opt for the open-source software that allows them to build their own platform, but even this requires the purchase of themes, extensions, plugins, add-ons, domain names, hosting and can cost around $5,000 a year. Magento’s fully hosted e-commerce solution can cost up to $190,000 a year, but only for businesses with revenue above $25 million. Store owners should do plenty of research and look at reviews to figure out which is the right e-commerce platform for them
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
User experience and customer support is the key to ongoing sales. With repeat customers spending up to 300 percent more than new customers, ensuring you look after your buyers is vital. That means ensuring your data about them is current, accurate and doesn’t lead to unwanted spam or other retail faux pas. This is why one of the most popular e-commerce SaaS products is the CRM.
A CRM stores and manages customer data from multiple sales channels, allows customers to specify how and when they want to be contacted, which allows businesses to manage the sales lifecycle with customer experience in mind. CRMs manage leads as well as existing customers, making them ideal tools for increasing sales and boosting relationships with customers. CRMs may include marketing tools and multi-channel communication management. SaaS CRMs are managed by third-party providers and often allow the automation of tasks such as email marketing to customers that have opted in for updates or real-time reports on sales projections.
Pricing for CRMs
Popular CRMs include Salesforce, HubSpot and Zendesk Sell. Many offer free trials and a slimmed-down version that starts from around $20 a month. The more customizable and feature-rich you need your CRM to be, the more you should expect to pay. For example, Salesforce CRM’s top-tier offering costs $300 a month.
Of course, no matter which CRM you choose for your e-commerce business, it is only as effective as the data connected to it. Without accurate, regularly updated data that’s pulled from all available business data sources, a CRM could end up being a waste of money.
Talk to Integrate.io about features such as the bi-directional Salesforce connector to get even more out of your CRM.
Intelligent Data Integration Tools
With that in mind, one of the top 3 SaaS every e-commerce business needs to invest in is an effective, intelligent data integration solution. Data integration solutions employ techniques such as ETL (extract, transform and load) to create data pipelines to various business tools. These data pipelines link to social media accounts, monitoring tools, CRMs, databases—basically anywhere that produces or stores data relevant to your business.
Your data integration SaaS can pull all this data into a single destination, like a data warehouse and can often transform it further and upload it into your CRM to keep your customer contacts automatically updated or help you manage leads. Data integration helps connect your data to business intelligence tools. This helps create effective reports, such as shopping cart abandonment rate or causes or click-through rate for blogs.
Look for a data integration tool that has out-of-the-box integrations to popular data warehouse products, e-commerce platforms, your CRM and any other SaaS that you plan to use to manage your online shop.
Conclusion: Integrate.io Is the SaaS Your E-commerce Business Needs
Integrate.io is a new, user-friendly ETL platform designed to make data integration easy for online retailers. Our built-in integrations include data pipelines to e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce, allowing for extremely fast customer data capture (CDC) with ease of use as a top feature. Integrate.io also offers reverse ETL for more multi-directional management of data and deep e-commerce capabilities. As a cloud-based SaaS, Integrate.io offers unprecedented support and resources to make your online retail business run smoothly and expand effortlessly with complete scalability. Schedule a demo today to find out more.