E-commerce platform integration refers to software as a service (SaaS) solution many online companies use to run their businesses. It connects and facilitates smooth data exchange between their e-commerce storefront and various back-end business solutions. These include enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, customer relationship management (CRM), and inventory control systems. This ensures the bi-directional processing and transmission of information between business solutions without human intervention.
Need for an e-commerce platform integration solution
Online companies find it difficult to conduct their commercial operations with independent, stand-alone business solutions. The volume of data their employees need to enter from the e-commerce site to these systems is overwhelming. These include online sale orders, customer details, product descriptions, remittance acknowledgments, inventory updates, and shipping information. Moreover, these corporate enterprises even face issues monitoring the activities of sales channels constituting their e-commerce site. As a result, companies cannot:
- Get access to the accurate real-time data relating to their business performance,
- Maintain customer loyalty among buyers constituting their targeted audience,
- Minimize the cost of processing their customers’ orders,
- Reduce pay-to-order time cycles,
- Shorten the time it takes to reconcile different business reports the various sales channels to generate, and
- Provide high-quality service to their customers and resolve their disputes promptly.
Companies should consider implementing an e-commerce platform integration solution for their businesses when:
- The individual capacity of independent business solutions is inadequate to process online commercial data,
- The existing business processes are unable to match the corporate enterprises’ scalability needs,
- They are struggling to meet the demands of their existing customers in the market, and
- Real-time information on business performance is not accessible to managers to take important decisions,
The advantages of implementing and operating an e-commerce integration platform for online companies are as follows:
- Minimizes clerical errors resulting from manual data entry significantly,
- Boosts the speed of data transmission between multiple business solutions and the e-commerce site,
- Improves the accuracy of the real-time business data available to top managers for making important decisions,
- Synchronizes inventory details across multiple sales channels making up their e-commerce site,
- Streamlines and automates the workflow across multiple business processes to boost operational efficiency,
- Insert new sales channels to the e-commerce site whenever the need arises, and
- Automates notifications for customers so that online buyers can keep track of their orders instantly.
The salient features companies should look for in a reliable and user-friendly e-commerce integration platform are:
- Compatible enough to support multiple business solutions like ERP, CRM, or EDI,
- Contains a web-based e-Portal application for managing and archiving vital business documents,
- It does not require an on-premise software application to handle cloud-based data connectivity, translation, and compliance, and
- Contains facilities sharing business rules eliminating the need for data mapping to minimize ownership costs
Operating a user-friendly e-commerce platform integration solution allows online companies to expand their commercial operations. The platform boosts data connectivity between their e-commerce site and various business software systems. This increases revenue and profits. However, the solution they choose should be within their budget and capable of incorporating the latest technology. Above all, the vendor offering it should be a good reputation and client reviews in the market.