The advantages of fully integrated Ecommerce platforms include:

  • Providing complete visibility into product inventory levels.

  • Streamlining the delivery process from the warehouse to the customer’s doorstep.

  • Reducing maintenance obligations for your in-house technical team or IT partner.

  • Slashing the amount of manual effort required for Ecommerce data migration.

  • Offering a stronger customer experience for the end user.

As an Ecommerce business, your hands are already full enough without worrying about IT integrations. You constantly need to be improving the customer experience, performing inventory management to keep products in stock, refining your predictions and forecasts, and a variety of other activities. Choosing between Ecommerce software such as Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce is already difficult enough without having to think about how it will integrate with the rest of your IT environment.

That’s why the notion of fully integrated Ecommerce platforms has become so appealing. More and more online businesses have decided to use Ecommerce solutions that automatically integrate with other valuable components of their IT ecosystem.

But what are fully integrated Ecommerce platforms, exactly, and what advantages do they have for your Ecommerce website? We’ll answer these questions and more below in this all-in-one guide to fully integrated Ecommerce platforms.

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Table of Contents

  • What are Fully Integrated Ecommerce Platforms?

  • What are the Integrations for Fully Integrated Ecommerce Platforms?

  • 5 Benefits of Fully Integrated Ecommerce Platforms

  • How Integrate.io Can Help with Fully Integrated Ecommerce Platforms

What are Fully Integrated Ecommerce Platforms?

As the name suggests, fully integrated Ecommerce platforms are Ecommerce solutions that have built-in integrations with other software and services in your IT environment. These platforms remove the need to find third-party connectors (or build them manually) between the components of your Ecommerce technology stack.

Instead, fully integrated Ecommerce platforms come with pre-built connectors that enable them to communicate with other applications, usually through an API (application programming interface). An API is an intermediate service that defines a common “language” by which two unrelated platforms can “speak” to each other.

Why have fully integrated Ecommerce platforms become so popular? There are several main reasons:

  • Too much effort: As discussed above, Ecommerce sites already have plenty to do on their plate. Online stores need to generate leads through email marketing, SEO, and social media; track their relationships with customers; efficiently address any logistical issues; and perform crucial financial activities such as pricing, budgeting, and invoicing. Adding to this heap of work by needing to manually integrate your Ecommerce software may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for many companies.

  • Lack of technical skill: You may have the business and marketing savvy to run your online store, but that doesn’t make you a technical whiz as well. If you don’t have the in-house staff necessary to integrate your Ecommerce software with the rest of your tools and services, using fully integrated Ecommerce platforms can be the perfect solution.

  • Simplicity and ease of use: Even if you have the technical chops necessary to build your own Ecommerce integrations, fully integrated Ecommerce platforms are a highly elegant solution. According to a study by Productiv, for example, the average company is now using 254 SaaS (software as a service) applications—and large enterprises are using 364. Using fully integrated Ecommerce platforms can therefore dramatically cut down the complexity of your IT ecosystem.

What are the Integrations for Fully Integrated Ecommerce Platforms?

We’ve gone over the definition of fully integrated Ecommerce platforms—but what kind of integrations do these applications actually have to offer? Although every integration platform is different, below are some of the most popular connectors to look for:

  • ERP system: Enterprise resource planning software helps retailers streamline and optimize a wide range of business processes, often through automation. ERP functionality ranges from human resources and accounting to logistics and project management. For example, by integrating your Ecommerce platform with ERP software, you can more easily monitor product stock levels and proactively stock items before you run out.

  • CRM platform: Customer relationship management software helps businesses track their relationships with customers and potential customers, from their first visit to your storefront to their most recent support call. CRM platforms are tremendously useful because they keep tabs on these relationships in an omnichannel approach, i.e. across sales channels such as emails, social media, SMS messages, and website or in-person visits.

  • Payment gateways: Without a method for customers to pay you, your Ecommerce website would shut down in no time flat. It’s crucial that Ecommerce platforms can integrate with the right payment gateways and payment processors, letting customers complete their purchases with their preferred form of payment.

  • Content management system: CMS software such as WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix helps online retailers get their site up and running—with only a minimum level of technical skill required. Your CMS acts as the back-end for your Ecommerce site, which means it’s crucial that these two distinct platforms are able to share information.

  • Marketing tools: Ecommerce marketing tools are essential in order to gently push online shopping customers through the conversion process, from raising awareness of your brand to the final checkout. Integrating your Ecommerce platform with your suite of marketing software can give you more information on valuable metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators), indicating where you should be focusing your marketing efforts.

  • Customer support software: Although it can be considered part of your CRM, customer support data is important enough that it deserves its own mention as an Ecommerce integration. According to a Talkdesk survey, for example, 49 percent of customers ended their relationship with a brand in the past year due to a poor customer experience. Zendesk, Intercom, Freshworks, and other customer support tools help your online business keep better track of support issues and resolve them in a prompt and satisfactory manner.

  • Inventory management software: Inventory management, too, is important enough to be mentioned separately from the ERP entry. One study found that 15 percent of Ecommerce customers bought from another website after discovering that a product was out of stock; what’s more, Ecommerce marketplaces could capture $22 billion in lost sales by ensuring products remain available. Integrating your Ecommerce platform with your inventory management software will provide real-time visibility into product stock levels, so that you always know when you need to reorder.

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5 Benefits of Fully Integrated Ecommerce Platforms

As you may have already guessed, fully integrated Ecommerce platforms come with a variety of advantages. In this section, we’ll discuss 5 major benefits of using fully integrated Ecommerce platforms.

Real-time inventory management

When products are out of stock in stores, customers assume that they can simply find these items online. If your Ecommerce site has out-of-stock products, however, a significant percentage of customers will simply leave your store for a competitor offering the same or equivalent items.

Being able to update your product inventory levels in real time is essential to avoid disappointing customers at checkout and offering a negative experience. For example, by integrating your Ecommerce platform and inventory management software, you can immediately update stock levels as soon as a customer places an order. Inventory management integrations also help you make more accurate predictions and forecasts about future capacity and potential shortages.

Faster, streamlined delivery

The online shopping experience isn’t over when people click on the “finish order” button. Shipping delays and missing or incorrect items can seriously harm your audience’s opinion of your Ecommerce website, damaging your credibility and losing you a steady stream of customers.

Fully integrated Ecommerce platforms can communicate with your third-party logistics software, tracking the flow of products from the warehouse all the way to last-mile delivery. Buyers have real-time visibility into the status and location of their order at any given time, improving the customer experience and helping reduce the flow of questions to your customer support team.

Easier maintenance

Without fully integrated Ecommerce platforms, many Ecommerce business owners will struggle to deal with the breadth of their IT environment. From website outages to guarding against data breaches, Ecommerce stores already have enough technical problems to deal with. Needing to monitor, maintain, and update your third-party integrations with other software and services adds an additional layer of complexity.

That all changes when you use fully integrated Ecommerce platforms. Support and maintenance of these Ecommerce integrations become the responsibility of the platform provider, rather than an obligation that you yourself assume.

Less manual effort

Without an automated way to transfer data between your Ecommerce platform and third-party services, your employees would have to spend a great deal of manual effort moving all this information from place to place. Clearly, this is a waste of time for everyone involved—and also a highly tedious and error-prone process.

By automatically exchanging data between your third-party systems and fully integrated Ecommerce platforms, you can slash the amount of manual labor that you spend migrating information between different systems.

Better customer experience

Integrating all your third-party Ecommerce software and tools under one roof doesn’t just benefit your employees; the advantages ripple out to your customers as well. Convenience is one of the greatest selling points of online shopping vs. brick-and-mortar retail. This means that removing as many roadblocks and barriers as possible, and smoothing any bumps in the road, will pay major dividends for your Ecommerce profitability.

From browsing products and adding them to their shopping cart, to selecting their payment and shipping options and tracking their order, customers enjoy a stronger user experience from end to end thanks to Ecommerce integrations. By making online shopping a highly streamlined and simple activity, you’ll be more likely to delight your audience and convert them into loyal returning customers.

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How Integrate.io Can Help with Fully Integrated Ecommerce Platforms

Using fully integrated Ecommerce platforms is an excellent solution if you can find the right software to fit your needs. However, it’s not always possible to find a comprehensive Ecommerce platform with all the integrations that your business requires.

Instead, many Ecommerce websites make use of a dedicated third-party data integration platform with the right connectors and integrations for their IT environment. The difference here is that rather than coming with the necessary integrations itself, your Ecommerce platform is treated as one end of the connector, with the other end linking to a wide range of software and services—everything from data warehouses to business intelligence and analytics tools.

Integrate.io is a powerful yet user-friendly platform for data integration and ETL (extract, transform, load) that was built specifically for the needs of Ecommerce businesses. It couldn’t be simpler to get started with Integrate.io’s no-code, drag-and-drop visual interface—even the most non-technical users can build sophisticated, production-ready data pipelines.

To simplify the onboarding process, Integrate.io comes packed with more than 140 connectors for the most popular third-party software and services. Naturally, the list includes fully integrated Ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce, so that you can get started integrating your Ecommerce data in just a few clicks.

In addition, Integrate.io provides several useful features designed for Ecommerce data. For example, Integrate.io provides reverse ETL functionality that exports information out of your centralized data warehouse and into third-party software like your Ecommerce platform. This makes it easier for business users to access valuable data and insights. Integrate.io’s FlyData CDC (change data capture) feature also helps you save time and effort by only integrating the records that have changed since your previous job.

Ready to learn more about how Integrate.io can help with your Ecommerce data integration requirements? We’re here to help. Get in touch with our team of Ecommerce data experts today to schedule a chat about your business needs and objectives.