Wondering what e-commerce integration is? Here are five things to know:
Your e-commerce business relies on a variety of apps and tools.
Integration platforms are the "glue" that connects all your apps and tools together.
The right integration platform will create visibility and efficiency for your business.
Without integration, your user experience and brand image could suffer.
You can find turnkey integration services, like Integrate.io, for easy implementation.
What is e-commerce integration? It's the next step in creating visibility and efficiency in today's highly connected world. E-commerce businesses that are just starting to explore the likes of e-commerce integration stand to gain a major competitive advantage if they follow the established best practices.
Here's what you need to know about e-commerce integration, why your business needs it, and how to take the first steps toward implementing it effectively. Along the way, you'll find that the lighting-fast CDC and ETL tools provided by Integrate.io will prove most useful. So, let's dive in!
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Table of Contents
- Intro to What Is E-Commerce Integration
- Benefits of E-Commerce Integration
- How To Get Started With E-Commerce Integration
- Using Integrate.io for Your E-Commerce Business
Intro to What Is E-Commerce Integration
If you're in the e-commerce industry, you're probably already well aware of how many tools and services it takes just to set up an online storefront and process transactions. You have your e-commerce solution, like Magento or Shopify, to display your catalogs and accept payment for products. Then you have all the stuff on the backend, like your CRM and ERP system, where customer data is stored across your sales channels.
At a minimum, the backend apps and tools you need to operate a competitive e-commerce business include a customer support portal, order tracking software, and at least a basic email marketing platform so that you can reach out to customers new and old. Altogether, these services can be called your "tech stack," and the modern e-commerce tech stack is growing more complex by the day.
In addition to these fundamental services, you may find that your e-commerce tech stack is rapidly expanding with all sorts of new tools for personalized product recommendations, inventory management, review collection, text message marketing, new sales channels, and so much more.
So, what is e-commerce integration? To put it simply, it's the "glue" that holds all of these different elements together. You may also hear it called "API integration." Integration is short for "data integration," and it's a systematic process (and platform) that can help you connect the various services, data sources, and other components that form your e-commerce business.
With integrated e-commerce, you can streamline business processes and workflows while improving inventory management and strengthening customer relationships. Plus, it's easy if you choose the right integration solution. Integrate.io is one such platform, offering deep e-commerce capability, reverse ETL processes, and a variety of features to simplify e-commerce integration for your business.
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Benefits of E-Commerce Integration
Now that you know what e-commerce integration is, let's talk about why you need it. As you'll see, the right integration platform can positively affect speed, efficiency, accuracy, branding, and the entire customer experience from the initial touchpoint all the way through to their glowing review after they receive their products on time.
Here's a look at the benefits of e-commerce integration, which should also help provide you with a deeper understanding of how it works in a practical sense.
Eliminate Manual Data Entry
How many hours have you spent transferring order information or double-checking your inventory? These are tasks that involve a great deal of manual data entry in the absence of a powerful integration platform, and it's also a surefire way to introduce human delays and errors into your e-commerce business.
While many small online stores start out with a lot of manual processes, sooner or later, you'll find that an integration platform is necessary to save you time, improve accuracy, and increase all-around efficiency. Integrate.io can help by connecting all of your backend systems together, automating order processing, fulfillment, tracking, inventory management, customer support, and more.
Manage Your Inventory Better
Aside from being time-consuming and error-prone, manually managing your inventory also results in having numbers that lag behind reality. There will always be a delay after orders are placed/processed before the inventory reflects the changes, which could lead to all sorts of problems. For instance, you could end up accepting more orders for a product than you actually have in stock.
Not only can poor inventory management lead to a negative user experience, but it can also cause you issues when it comes to trying to order supplies in time. If your inventory systems never accurately depict what you have on hand, you could mistime orders, leading to too much of an under-selling product and too little of a top seller, ultimately costing you money.
Lastly, when inventory levels get out of sync with your actual shelves, it can be difficult to rectify the discrepancies, perhaps requiring you to set aside an entire afternoon just to get things lined up again. So, since you know what e-commerce integration is, the benefits are obvious. An integration platform like Integrate.io can help you achieve synchronization across all systems without the need for any manual input. With real-time product information at your fingertips, you can focus on growing your business.
Improve the Customer Experience
Today's online shoppers want a seamless purchasing experience, fast shipping, and a store that keeps them up-to-date on the process of their order. Without knowing what e-commerce integration is and using a platform to automate these things for you, it's a major chore to keep your customers in the loop. As a result, your customer experience will suffer.
By implementing an integration platform, you can set up your systems so that they trigger customer notifications automatically. With an order tracking system in place, your customer will know exactly where their package is until the moment it reaches their door. You could even sign up a new customer for your drip marketing campaign, which encourages brand loyalty and future purchases.
Expand to New Channels
No matter what e-commerce software you're currently using to run your business, the right integration platform can help you expand to new channels and markets by enabling you to seamlessly integrate new tools. For instance, even Shopify store owners can use Integrate.io to connect to apps like ReCharge, which can turn your store into a subscription platform.
Integrate.io can also help you connect to marketing tools that allow you to keep up with your customers through personalized outreach on social media, via email, and text messages. Once you see how easy it is to connect to new apps and utilities, you won't hesitate to jump on new opportunities to grow your brand.
Ultimately, this means that the right integration platform can help support your e-commerce business as it is now and propel it into the future. That's why integration truly offers a sharper competitive edge for your online brand. So, you have the answer to what is e-commerce integration. The next question is, where do you go from here?
How To Get Started With E-Commerce Integration
After most business owners get the answer to what is e-commerce integration, the next thing on their minds is implementing it. After all, with so many possibilities and the chance to save so much time, implementing e-commerce integration is a very appealing notion.
Fortunately, if you find the right integration platform, you won't even have to spend a lot of time or money setting up the solution. For instance, Integrate.io already connects with thousands of apps using pre-built connectors, minimizing the time you need to spend dealing with backend technical specifications.
In fact, thanks to the low-code Integrate.io platform, you don't even need a lot of technical knowledge to get started. All you need to do is think about the apps and tools your business currently uses, check if there is an API already offered, and then get to work.
In as little as a few minutes, your e-commerce store could be on its way to a fully integrated, automated, and efficient infrastructure. With such a straightforward solution, you'll instantly go from asking, "What is e-commerce integration?" to "What else can I integrate to make my business even more powerful?"
Using Integrate.io for Your E-Commerce Business
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Interested in learning more about how Integrate.io can help your e-commerce business improve accuracy, efficiency, and the customer experience from end-to-end? It all starts with your 7-day pilot. Using Integrate.io, your business will learn just how effortless the integration process can be.
With a wealth of resources and a simplified platform, you won't even need a lot of technical knowledge to bring your e-commerce business to the next level! So, what are you waiting for? When you're ready to take the next step, schedule time with our team for an intro call.