Consumerism in the modern age dictates that businesses need to have an eCommerce solution in place to stay competitive and satisfy the demands of customers. Although most businesses have been adept at implementing solutions, if they fail to integrate online stores with other business functions, such as accounting, inventory control and order fulfilment, challenges can arise. Customer orders hitting back-office operations could trigger out-of-stocks or backlogs, whilst sales and marketing teams may not have access to real-time data regarding availability and pricing.
eCommerce API integration issues
eCommerce stores provide many businesses with feature-rich platforms that offer flexible, scalable solutions designed to help exploit online sales channels. Most businesses usually experience a significant increase in traffic, conversion rate and annual sales growth following their deployment. Although this is great news for the business, it can also generate new challenges.
As any organisation will know, dealing with administrative duties simply detracts from the planned objective. Efficiency suffers, decision making can be affected and costs can rise. Ecommerce processes and workflow therefore need to be constantly monitored and evaluated, as these are the functions that, if improved, can help increase revenue streams and working capital.
The main cause of this is repetitive data processing between systems – the rekeying of data to and from an eCommerce platform to other systems and applications. It’s simply bad time management and a waste of resources.
If the online store isn’t fully integrated with existing systems and admin is dependent on manual processes, a sudden increase in demand can easily overwhelm staff and stretch resources, leading to errors and a poor consumer experience.
Challenges can arise when customer orders hit back-office operations and trigger out-of-stocks, backlogs and duplicate entries. Order processing can also be affected, resulting in disruptions to cash flow and turnover, and customer relationships can suffer as a consequence.
The benefits of integrating eCommerce
Integrating eCommerce solutions with existing systems can give businesses a competitive edge. Automating admin tasks, giving employees on-demand access to critical real-time information, as well as improving workflow, can result in cutting costs. These new resources can then be used to develop new products and services and exploit all sales opportunities.
eCommerce API integration will ultimately lead towards better efficiencies and help employees make better business decisions. With this automation in place, all departments, from accounting and the warehouse, will have real-time, correct information available, improving insight into company data and enabling them to process orders and distribute more efficiently.
The business will also be able to handle many more orders, fewer mistakes will be made and transactions will be quicker and more reliable. As a result, this more streamlined process will help improve the customer experience.
The removal of many admin tasks will also enable the business to reallocate resources to other functions within the business – ones that can actually make a difference to the bottom line, such as sales and marketing or customer management.
Data collected by the online store can also be automatically pushed into existing CRM systems to assist sales staff with cross selling and upselling. A significant sales tactic that can lead to improved cash flow and an increase in turnover and profit.
Achieving significant ROI
Automating many manual processes and streamlining efficiencies through eCommerce API integration can greatly enhance an organisation’s chance of success. Costs can be reduced to provide valuable new working capital and resources can be reallocated to concentrate on developing and expanding the business.
With an integration solution in place, it also means that there are no restrictions for future expansion and growth. Any new business system introduced will be able to easily integrate with the eCommerce platform and vice versa.
For more information on the benefits of eCommerce integration download the eBook below or call us on +44 (0)330 998 8700.