Ecommerce integrations are an important element of any successful ecommerce business. They create the opportunity to share and transfer accurate data to and from digital eCommerce systems. In order to attract new customers and organize processes in cost-effective ways, integrations are vital.
What Are eCommerce Integrations?
Modern eCommerce companies require dozens of apps and tools. These include:
- Point-of-sale system
- Marketing tools
- Inventory management database
- Interface platforms (logistics and shipping)
- And more
Generally these apps will be provided by different vendors. Tying them together can be tough, and can bring complications with it. Customer data is spread over many platforms, which can detract from customer service, visibility and marketing purposes.
Integrations are the glue that brings all of the different apps, tools and functions together. It connects the fundamental business systems, resulting in a smoother eCommerce experience for you and your customers.
Benefits Of Integrations
Once your business starts to use more tools and services, you will be distributing customer data across different systems, vendors and platforms. Integrations between backend businesses means that any relevant data will be shared in a way that benefits your business.
For example, your CRM system data might contain information that could help personalize marketing campaigns. Combining data from your site search could help your inventory management. Merchandising could be helped through understanding click-profile data.
Integrations mean that no data is left unused. Through connecting your different systems, visibility is increased. It’s clear what’s useful and important, and what’s not. This streamlines your business process, directing attention to where it’s needed. This reduces time and money expenses.
Integrations allow you to connect, understand and control data flow from your business. At a time when data security is more important than ever, being able to manage your data in a way that suits you is crucial. Integrations allow you to protect your data over different systems.
They also mean that you’re able to offer greater transparency to your customers about how you are using, collecting and keeping their data. When it comes to data, customer trust is key. If your customers know you are protecting their interests, this will have great effects on your business.
Through knowing and understanding your data better, this can help you grow your business in the right way for you. Some benefits you may find are:
- Better Inventory Management: automated inventory management reduces human time and error. Real-time updates keep you on top of stock levels, and knowing customers’ wants and needs.
- Automated Order Tracking: every stage of the sales process can be relayed to customers, improving customer trust and satisfaction.
- Personalization: understanding customer data means more effective personalized outreach either by SMS or email. It can also allow for audience segments to be created.
Tips For Successful Integrations
Despite the benefits that eCommerce integrations bring, they can also be tricky to navigate. In order for them to work smoothly, there need to be a few clear points considered. Let’s take a look at some ways to ensure that everything goes your way.
Clarity To Avoid Misunderstandings
As with all areas of eCommerce, clarity is the best way forward. Integrating requires staff to maintain and handle the integrations and data flow. Stakeholders need to be aware of how the customers, partners and integrations will be handled. The ecosystem requires upkeep, and things should always be as clear as possible.
Clearly define what needs to be integrated:
- Product data
- Order and shipping information
- External database integrations
- Third party logistic applications etc.
Focus On User Experience
Since eCommerce is so omnichannel nowadays, the integration should not be affecting your customers’ ability to shop how they desire. Review customers’ typical journeys to look for ways to reduce friction within the integration process. Make sure that your integrations will help streamline their processes. The purpose of the integration is to improve their experience, so this should always be in the forefront of your mind.
Integrated eCommerce is the way of the future. The question isn’t about whether to use integrations or not; it’s about which integrations are best to use for your business. If you keep your customers’ interests at the forefront of your considerations, your integration will bring your business many benefits.