The 21st century is said to be the ‘era of eCommerce’. With the current pandemic situation, it is evident as well, as most of the businesses had to get digitized considering its benefits and because of the necessity to do so.
There is massive growth in the eCommerce sector globally. If we take a closer look at the statistics of eCommerce’s growth from the year 2014 to 2021 it has always been steadily increasing which marks eCommerce as a hotspot of business.
eCommerce comes with a bunch of different responsibilities and functionalities. The approach of each differs in the way to be dealt with. For example, when you have an eCommerce venture you have a ton of different things to take care of like the finances, customer relations, quotations, procurement, the management of the orders and related data, so on and so forth.
But what if we tell you there is an easy way out where all this can be managed for you and you can have a hassle-free journey?
Yes, you heard it right. It is possible by eCommerce integration, we have covered in detail all the things you need to know about integrated eCommerce solution and its benefits, how it can help your business flourish.
What is eCommerce integration?
eCommerce integration can be explained as a bridge that connects the eCommerce’s front end (website or other platforms) and back end system such as the CRM, CPQ, ERP, procurement, etc. It binds your eCommerce store together as a robust platform to grow business and gain profits.
When an eCommerce application is connected to CRM or ERP, it has plenty of advantages. For instance, eCommerce ERP integration ensures a two-way junction and creates a smooth workflow. The whole data is entered and stored in a single platform. This information can be accessed from different systems or software solutions that are integrated with the main platform.
With the use of eCommerce integration, businesses save time and money. Also, the data is secured, updated, and consistent. The scope of human error is reduced due to the reduction in manual entry.
It gives a wonderful user experience to the customers and also increases the productivity of the employees and the organization as a whole. Through eCommerce integration, the accuracy, efficiency, and productivity of the business are achieved.
Types of eCommerce integration
There are various categories of eCommerce integration technologies with different functions and abilities available in the market. As an eCommerce retailer, you need to have a clear understanding of your business requirements, priorities and take decisions accordingly, keeping in mind how your business will have sustainable growth.
Broadly categorizing the types of integrations – to name a few popular ones will be :
- Manual (CSV File Upload)
- Real-Time (API)
- Scheduled (SFTP or API)
Manual (CSV File Upload)
In this method of integration, as the name itself suggests the process revolves around manual entering of data into the system. This method is highly affordable provided your eCommerce store generates limited data.
If your business scales up with the increase in sales of your products or you expand your product catalog, this method fails to be useful since the security and accuracy of the data are threatened in such conditions.
It also requires import and export engines during the file uploads.
API’s are a popular and most used way to connect two systems. The data transfer takes place between the eCommerce application and the integrated one, automatically.
There are two ways in which real-time API integration takes place- one way and two-way integration respectively. In one-way integration, data is sent from one system to another while in two ways it is a little more complex since both the systems are allowed to interact.
Scheduled (SFTP or API)
Most of the time eCommerce traders prefer real-time sync of the inventory and the order’s data considering the fluctuation in prices and stock positions. These two factors are crucial and at times, urgent to close the deal.
The other functionalities that come with it may not have the same amount of urgency but they help in the quick decision-making process. You should proceed with this type of integration depending on the parameters of your requirements in the business however, be careful with the customization option.
What are the advantages of eCommerce integration?
Now that we have had a look at what eCommerce integration is and its types, let us see the different benefits it has on the business. These are a few advantages the integration has on the business:
- Efficient maintenance of all the data presented in the business without any manual control
- Data remains consistent, accurate, and secured
- Prompt replies to all the information enquired or placed by the customers due to automation of the process by integration
- Saves time and money
- Improved and better customer experience
- Increases productivity of the organization
- Huge reduction in the scope of error due to the replacement of the manual system
- Easy adaptability to the frequent changes in the market or even while expanding
Why is integration essential for your business?
Using an integrated system has plenty of benefits. For instance, QuickBooks eCommerce integration in your business saves a considerable amount of time that is otherwise wasted in manual systems. It increases your efficiency and business growth. As the whole process is automated, you use fewer resources and less money. These also contribute to the productivity of the business.
The data is the most significant part of the eCommerce business, and with integration coming into the picture not only does it become consistent and secured but it also gives you visibility over the statistics of the data consumption.
This visibility plays an important role in analyzing and scaling the business. It shows the analytics of your product or service consumption such as which one is the most popular among the customers, their likes, dislikes, experiences, etc.
This gives you a clear understanding of the areas of improvement and the direction to proceed in your business. It also helps you in scaling your business to its next level.
As the integration is easily adaptable to changes, even after scaling the integration continues to help and uplift the business even more, basically in every stage of the business. The data is maintained wherein it is verified and updated up to date which makes it consistent and it is also secured.
The Final Word
From the eCommerce website to the sales, finance, CRM, quoting software, etc., all the tools of a successful business are managed with absolute ease by the integration. Looking at all the tremendous benefits of the integration and the firm control that it provides the owners of the business, it should be considered and used by all eCommerce owners.
The actual question is which integration to adopt for your business in particular, and that question is something that requires you to analyze your business needs meticulously. The process gets simpler thereon.