Important eCommerce Integrations for Better Processes
eCommerce websites have continuously grown in popularity over the past 20 years, from small to large, eCommerce website’s have provided business owners with an avenue to sell products to a much larger audience and in a more automated manner. eCommerce stores have proven to be a very profitable sales medium for small and large businesses alike – Although not all eCommerce stores provide the same level of customer experience or process automation. Platforms which make it easy to create your own eCommerce website such as Shopify and WooCommerce have empowered businesses with the tools they need to get started quickly and easily – but there’s a number of extra 3rd party integrations you should consider to achieve the best results for your online store and your customers.
Customer Relationship Management
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software integrates with your eCommerce website and manages different details which users enter in your system. For example, if they subscribe to your newsletter, submit a contact form or purchase a product, their details are sent across to your CRM system which manages their details and help you contact them through marketing channels or otherwise.
Popular CRM systems include:
These platforms allow for email automation which provide information to your customer base such as sales, news, events, new products and more. By adding email automation to your marketing suite you improve interaction, drive brand awareness and encourage sales.
An ERP system such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage and many more provide a suite of functionality to help businesses manage their products, sales, stock etc. When integrated with an eCommerce store, it acts as a critical management and planning system and builds robustness and processes. From inventory management, sales order & customer management, stock takes, data analysis, reporting, accounting and more.
Shipping / Freight Providers
Integrating with shipping providers is a must in today’s eCommerce landscape – it greatly reduces admin work while allowing for accurate pricing to be billed to customers. When integrating with a shipping provider, generally you have two choices: integrate directly with the shipping provider themself or integrate with a “middle man” which considers multiple shipping providers (often choosing the cheapest option). These integrations allow for direct connection with the shipping providers systems so the pickup of the item and/or the shipping label is generated at the time of sale.
Alternate Payment Providers
All eCommerce website’s include options for making payments which in most cases is provided by a 3rd party payment gateway such as paypal or stripe – This is an essential integration to accept payments online while mitigating the risks of taking customers bank card details. The rise of “Buy Now, Pay Later” services have provided other, alternative payment options to users which is a great service for them and helps secure more sales for the business. These types of payment options integrate alongside your payment gateway to provide multiple options to end users and you can have more than one as well.
Popular payment methods for online stores include:
- Zip Pay
- PayPal – Pay in 4
Accounting Software Integration
An integration with accounting software such as Xero or MYOB helps boost your eCommerce end-to-end automation and reduces admin time and human error. Accounting software helps manage business transactions which would include sales made through your eCommerce website, helping you manage your day to day accounting. With this integration, you can easily sync transactions, track sales, manage inventory, and generate comprehensive financial reports with just a few clicks. This not only saves you valuable time and effort but also provides you with real-time visibility into your financial health, enabling you to make informed decisions and drive business growth.
Point-Of-Sale (POS) System
Popular Point of Sales systems include Square, Vend and Lightspeed which allow brick and mortar businesses to take payments in person and then feed that information back into the eCommerce store. With features such as multi-store support, deducting inventory, customer management, receipt generation and more, POS systems which are integrated with an eCommerce platform act as a bridge between physical and digital transactions, making management easier between each medium.
In summary, an online store is only one part of a complete digital architecture which is available to modern business owners. By integrating other online systems, more robust processes, better functionality and top tier customer service, your eCommerce store will have a better chance of success and growth.