When getting started with an e-commerce integration platform, here's what you need to know:
- An e-commerce integration platform is a software-based solution that offers a variety of pre-built data integrations for e-commerce businesses.
- Using an e-commerce integration platform dramatically simplifies the time, knowledge, and effort required to integrate your IT environment.
- E-commerce integration platforms can connect with third-party applications such as CRM, ERP, marketing tools, and more.
- Connectors, ease of use, and pricing are three critical factors when looking for an e-commerce integration platform.
Whether you choose Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, or WooCommerce, your e-commerce platform generates massive amounts of customer data. By collecting and analyzing all this information, you can glean valuable insights that help you improve the customer experience on your e-commerce website.
However, this is easier said than done. If your online store's e-commerce integration strategy is a mess, you're not alone. With the number of e-commerce integrations available growing every day, it can be challenging to choose the right e-commerce platform for your needs. In this article, we'll offer tips and best practices on how to get started with an e-commerce integration platform.
Looking for the best e-commerce integration platform for your business? See the benefits of Integrate.io for yourself with our 7-day pilot.
Enjoying This Article?
Receive great content weekly with the Integrate.io Newsletter!
Table of Contents
- What Is an E-Commerce Integration Platform?
- Why Do You Need an E-Commerce Integration Platform?
- 3 Tips to Get Started With an E-Commerce Integration Platform
- How Integrate.io Can Help With E-Commerce Integrations
What Is an E-Commerce Integration Platform?
In the field of IT, an integration (also known as a connector) is a link between two unrelated apps or services that allows them to communicate and share information. Integrations are essential to modern enterprise IT environments, which may use dozens or hundreds of systems and software.
For example, you might want to integrate your e-commerce store with third-party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. With an e-commerce solution for data integration, you can easily sell your products in multiple locations and even keep all this data (e.g., for pricing and inventory management) automatically synced and up to date.
Ideally, these two different apps will make it easy for the other to access information through an API (application programming interface). In this case, creating a connection between them is fairly straightforward. However, if APIs aren't available, you'll need to build a manual connector, which is both highly technical and time-consuming.
There's another concern as well: a single connector is all very well and good — but what if you need more than one? You can use individual connectors to link your e-commerce business with third-party apps, but this approach is a nightmare to manage and scale. Instead, it would be better to use a different approach where all of your integrations are handled under one roof.
That's exactly the goal of a dedicated e-commerce integration platform. An e-commerce integration platform is a software-based solution that offers a variety of pre-built integrations for e-commerce businesses. When it runs in the cloud, this kind of application is also known as an iPaaS (integration platform as a service) because it helps standardize the integration process across your organization.
Why Do You Need an E-Commerce Integration Platform?
Using an integration solution for e-commerce dramatically simplifies the time, knowledge, and effort required to integrate your IT environment. Many e-commerce integration platforms come with drag-and-drop functionality, letting users define their own data workflows with a couple of clicks.
Just a few integrations you might need for your e-commerce website include:
- CRM (customer relationship management): CRM software helps you manage all of your customers' interactions with your sales, marketing, and customer support teams. CRMs use a multichannel or omnichannel approach, tracking interactions across sales channels such as phone, email, social media, website visits, and more.
- ERP (enterprise resource planning): ERP systems are used by companies that need to manage their core business processes and functions. Depending on your needs, this all-in-one functionality may include everything from payroll and accounting to supply chain and operations.
- Marketing tools: To compete with brick-and-mortar stores, small business e-commerce websites need robust marketing campaigns to drive customers to their storefront. E-commerce marketing tools may include software for SEO (search engine optimization), email marketing, content marketing, social media, and more.
Integrate your Data Warehouse today
Turn your data warehouse into a data platform that powers all company decision making and operational systems.
7-day trial • No credit card required
3 Tips to Get Started With an E-Commerce Integration Platform
By now, you should know what an e-commerce integration platform is and why your business needs one. Below are some tips and best practices for how to choose the right platform to integrate your e-commerce data.
The primary concern for your e-commerce integration platform should be whether it supports the connectors you need for your IT environment:
- Of course, your platform of choice should be able to work with your e-commerce solution, whether that's Shopify, Magento, or BigCommerce.
- In addition, your e-commerce integration platform should be able to link up with third-party software that could benefit from using your e-commerce data. As discussed above, these applications include CRM, ERP, marketing tools, and more.
- Finally, the platform should be able to send this e-commerce data to a centralized data warehouse. These massive data management systems make it easier to establish a "single source of truth" for the e-commerce data in your organization and also to analyze this data for hidden trends and insights.
2. Ease of Use
User-friendliness and learning curve are also crucial factors to consider with an e-commerce integration platform. Whereas some tools are powerful and technically challenging, others prioritize ease of use in order to encourage user adoption and business agility.
Thanks to Integrate.io's visual drag-and-drop interface, even non-technical users can get started connecting their e-commerce data. The Integrate.io platform allows users to quickly and easily connect the various steps in their data pipelines, from the extraction stage all the way to data transformation and loading into your target location.
Of course, some e-commerce integration platforms are more expensive than others, but that's not the only pricing consideration. For example, whereas some integration tools charge based on the amount of data you consume, others charge based on the number of connectors you use.
Integrate.io falls into the latter category: users are charged according to the number of integrations in their data pipelines, not the amount of data that flows through them. This makes Integrate.io the perfect choice for growing businesses that expect to increase their data consumption in the future.
How Integrate.io Can Help With E-Commerce Integrations
Enjoying This Article?
Receive great content weekly with the Integrate.io Newsletter!
We've discussed what an e-commerce integration platform is and its benefits for your business — so how should you actually go about selecting the right e-commerce integration platform? The good news is that you can't go wrong by choosing a tool like Integrate.io.
Integrate.io is a powerful yet user-friendly solution for ETL (extract, transform, load) and data integration that has been built from the ground up with e-commerce in mind. The Integrate.io platform comes with more than 140 pre-built connectors and integrations. These include e-commerce software like Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce; CRM and ERP systems; marketing and analytics tools; databases and data warehouses; third-party websites and files; and more.
What's more, Integrate.io's FlyData CDC (change data capture) functionality will automatically detect which data has changed since your last integration job, making your data pipelines much faster and more efficient. Integrate.io also offers reverse ETL capabilities so that you can transfer information out of a centralized data warehouse and into third-party applications where more users can access it.
Ready to learn how Integrate.io can help streamline and automate your data integration pipelines? Get in touch with our team of data integration experts today for a chat about your business needs and objectives or to start your 7-day pilot of the Integrate.io platform.