High volume eCommerce sellers tend to experience the same growing pains. There comes a point where you can’t keep up with order volume. You start to lose orders, sell inventory you don’t have, or start shipping orders wrong or late. You can try to hire more people to focus on data entry, but that isn’t going to help your business in the long-run.
Without taking care of these issues, many retailers start to ruin their customer experience and make mistakes that cost their bottom line. Selling across multiple touchpoints like mobile apps is only the first step in providing a good experience. Once you’re able to bring in more sales, how do you ensure that you keep your new customers? You must be able to deliver to them and keep your promises!
The next step for your eCommerce business is to integrate your systems so you can improve operations, save time, and retain your customers. In this article, learn what eCommerce integration is, the benefits of automation your business, and how to pick the right integration solution.
What is eCommerce integration?
eCommerce integration is the process of connecting your eCommerce platform(s) with your backend systems such as an ERP/accounting, POS, or 3PL so you can automate your business processes. It’s helpful for all those selling online, whether through traditional or mobile eCommerce sites.
When a person hits the “submit order” button on your website, there’s a lot that must happen for your team to process and fulfill that order. Many companies rely on manual data entry to pass order, inventory, item, and customer data between their eCommerce platform and fulfillment systems.
Instead of entering data manually, eCommerce integration allows for the automatic bi-directional flow of data between your business systems to ensure efficiency and accuracy.
Why You Should Consider Multichannel eCommerce Integration
Your team shouldn’t spend hours manually moving data for order processing, inventory updates, pricing updates, or product information between systems. This slows down your processes and is error-prone. Instead, many turn to eCommerce integration for benefits like these:
Save Time and Money through Automation
Integration between your eCommerce platform and fulfillment system eliminates the need for manual data entry. Some companies have whole teams who spend several hours a day and week just on entering the same data back and forth between systems. Integration can save you several thousand dollars a year in staff time from manual data entry.
eCommerce integration can provide a real-time sync of inventory quantities on web storefronts. Not only can you display inventory levels online, but this prevents you from overselling. You can ensure to remove items or list them out-of-stock before you oversell.
Nothing is worse than having to tell a customer that an item is on backorder or unavailable when they thought they bought it. And, if you sell on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, they’re quick to prohibit sellers from their platform who routinely oversell.
Spend More Time Growing Your Business
When staff members aren’t spending all their time on manual data entry, they can now focus on enhancing products and your customer experience. You won’t waste money on manual data entry but can find new ways to grow your sales.
Reduce Time Spent on Customer Service
Without integration, your business is at-risk for costly mistakes. A mistyped address or SKU number can easily lead to order shipped to the wrong address or with the wrong item. When this happens, frustrated customers are quick to pick up the phone to call customer service or leave a bad review on social media.
With integration, you can virtually eliminate data errors to typos and other mistakes. You’ll spend less time on customer service fixing your own mistakes.
Speed Up Order Delivery Times
When you spend hours processing one order at a time, you can’t keep fast delivery times. eCommerce automation can reduce order processing down to milliseconds. This means that you can ship orders same-day and guarantee faster delivery times.
We’ve seen merchants reduce their delivery times for goods by 25%!
Display Accurate Product Descriptions
Product descriptions are vital to online shoppers. It’s how they search and find your products. Rich descriptions also give customers confidence that they’re buying the item they want.
On the other side, product information is difficult to manage for merchants. Automation helps you push product catalogs to your webstores quickly. You’ll be able to push updates automatically so your product descriptions always stay fresh and accurate.
How to Pick an eCommerce Integration Solution
As you can see, there are many benefits to automating your business. Once you decide you’re ready to integrate, then you need to start researching what integration solution is the best for your business. The problem is that integration solutions range in functionality and price tags.
When you’re comparing approaches, you’ll want to consider:
- Price: What can you afford relative to what your investment will return?
- Complexity: Do you have the resources and tolerance to deal with the complexity and risk of new technology?
- Support: Who’s going to support you through the process? Will it be an internal IT person, a contractor or a vendor?
- Growth Potential: What is your business’s growth forecast? Are you satisfied as a smaller, lifestyle business or are you planning to be the next big name?
No two businesses are the same. Consider upfront all the unique needs you have.
When it comes to choosing solution, we recommend using a middleware integration platform like nChannel over custom or point-to-point integration approaches. A platform like this works as an operational hub between your endpoint systems. These platforms also typically utilize pre-built connectors for your systems. It’s usually a cost-effective way to automate your business in a timely manner.
Picking an integration solution comes down to your unique business needs. Just know that deciding to integrate your systems is the first step in improving your operations and providing a better customer experience.
About the author:
Jillian Hufford is a Marketing Analyst for nChannel, provider of the simplest integration software to automate multichannel processes. Using both her writing and analytic skills, she assists the Marketing and Sales teams. Jillian performs competitor market research, provides analysis of key sales metrics, and writes informative posts on multichannel commerce trends. She holds a BA in Marketing from Otterbein University. You can connect with Jillian on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jillian-hufford-a2173888/.
Tags: eCommerce Business, eCommerce Mobile App, mobile app, Mobile Commerce, online selling platform