Why integrated ecommerce is critical for your business
From capturing a customer's attention to delivering a product, an intricate balance of systems and processes must exist.
However, the fragmentation of these processes across disparate ecommerce platforms often leads to inefficiencies and errors that hamper development.
Integrated ecommerce is a great solution to this complexity, combining online stores, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools.
This article discusses the impact of integrated ecommerce, shedding light on its significance and showing how it enables businesses to prosper in the face of digital challenges.
What is integrated ecommerce?
An integrated ecommerce system is when you have an online store that is linked with other essential back end programs to create a unified and streamlined environment.
For ecommerce sites to function properly, systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Content Management System (CMS) are required. But if you use these programs independently of each other, you're likely to face a disjointed technical setup.
On the other hand, if you try to use a single program that runs your front and backend, you're likely to miss all the benefits that come with a headless commerce setup.
How does an integrated ecommerce setup work?
Application process interfaces (APIs) play a crucial role in facilitating the passage of data between your online store, ERP, CRM, and other systems.
For instance, when a customer purchases a product, the online store's API initiates real-time inventory updates and order processing by communicating with the ERP system. Adjust a product once; the integrated platform will handle it across all platforms and applications.
This synchronization guarantees all information is accurate and current.
Which software can help you achieve ecommerce integration?
Marketplace integration software offers an innovative solution for integrated ecommerce. The platform seamlessly connects backend systems (such as ERP, Product Information Management (PIM), and Warehouse Management System (WMS)) and front-end systems (like webshops and marketplaces) through API connections. Businesses need a single link to the platform, establishing all the essential relationships and streamlining the ecommerce process. The platform acts as a central hub instead of integrating into each system.
The benefits of integrated ecommerce systems
Integrated ecommerce offers an array of tangible benefits that have the potential to reshape how businesses operate online.
Streamlined ecommerce operations
Operational efficiency is at the heart of integrated ecommerce. Uniting your various systems eliminates manual data entry and reduces the risk of errors. Orders placed on your webshop can be automatically transferred to your ERP system, triggering seamless inventory updates and streamlined order fulfillment. This integration significantly reduces administrative burdens, allowing your team to focus on strategic initiatives rather than routine tasks.
Low chance of overselling
Maintaining accurate stock information is crucial in ecommerce. With a robust integration between your Warehouse Management System and sales channels, such as marketplaces, you can ensure real-time visibility of stock levels. This minimizes the chances of overselling products that are not available in your warehouse. Customer satisfaction increases when they receive accurate information about product availability, which leads to improved trust in your brand.
Recent research reveals that 68% of consumers would have a more negative opinion of a retailer if they attempted to purchase an item advertised as in stock but unavailable.
Better visibility and reporting
Integrated ecommerce enables comprehensive business operations insights. You can access real-time data to monitor sales trends, inventory turnover, and consumer behavior. This data-driven strategy facilitates well-informed decision-making, allowing you to optimize your processes and respond quickly to market movements. Brands can produce comprehensive reports on their online retail performance, opening the way for data-driven growth.
At the start of 2023, 62% of ecommerce companies said real-time data collection was their primary focus. Integrated ecommerce helps them to facilitate their objectives.
Personalization and customer experience
A fully integrated ecommerce solution enhances the customer experience beyond transactional efficiency. When all systems operate in unison, offering customers personalized experiences tailored to their preferences and purchasing patterns is possible. For example, if a consumer frequently buys a specific product, the integrated system can suggest complementary products, increasing the likelihood of upsells.
77% of consumers, according to Forrester, have purchased, recommended, or paid more for a brand that offers a personalized service or experience.
In addition, integrated data facilitates order tracking, returns, and proactive customer service. By delivering a consistent and personalized experience across all touchpoints, you establish a solid foundation for long-term consumer relationships, fostering trust and loyalty.
Embracing integrated ecommerce
Businesses can elevate their online operations with integrated ecommerce. The synergy between ecommerce platforms, ERP systems, and other vital software ensures a smooth flow of information, leading to increased efficiency, reduced errors, and enhanced customer satisfaction.