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The benefits and challenges of a fully-integrated eCommerce system

How integrated commerce matters

At this point, you already know that the modern digital commerce ecosystem is driven by product experiences and not product quality. Your digital commerce system is a work in progress. It changes every second as per the market trends, consumer demands, and competitive scale. The actual administration of eCommerce requires constant attention and efforts. From online catalogs, product pricing, availability to order fulfillment, picking, packing, shipping, billing and collection, even follow-up to ensure customer satisfaction, all these steps, when properly implemented form a well-oiled fully-integrated eCommerce system. 

And let’s not forget that today’s digital ecosystem is data-empowered. It is why it has become increasingly imperative to capture insights from customer interactions and learn the most you can about your customers, their perspective about your products, and the experiences they wish to receive. All this data will help you optimize your product design, promotional campaigns, customer experiences to improve sales, conversions and stay on top of the competition. 

True that the entire digital experience encompasses many different touchpoints, but there are few must-have areas that customers want to access: product information and training, transaction history, product issues, order tracking and management, personalized product pricing, and inventory status. Optimizing these areas adds efficiency to your business processes, leads to higher customer satisfaction, and decreases time-to-purchase. And this is where integrated Commerce technology comes into play. 

What is integrated commerce?

When an online merchant or retailer connects their eCommerce store to other third-party systems like ERP, POS, or CRM, it is called integrated commerce technology. Such integration with backend information system in eCommerce leads to a bidirectional flow of data and eliminates the need to enter the same information into each system individually. 

Explain the integration in ecommerce

To explain the integration in eCommerce, let’s consider an example. A business might have a physical store, an online retail website, a social store, a mobile store, etc., and an standalone ERP system to manage their orders and inventory. When you sell a product online or offline, the inventory has to be updated within the back-end ERP system to maintain order quantities. Without a fully-integrated eCommerce system, you would have to update the inventory count twice, first in the ERP system and then in the eCommerce platform to maintain the right count. 

This system unification is one primary reason why complex businesses opt for efficient and seamless integrated commerce solutions in real-time.

Why does integrated commerce technology matter?

So, why should you invest time and money in fully-integrated eCommerce technology?

Because the seamless integration with backend information system in eCommerce fuels the customer journey and improves omnichannel sales numbers and experience. It is how you ensure that all your sales channels- browser websites, mobile apps, social stores, and brick and mortar stores provide a consistent, relatable, and connected shopping, purchasing, and integrated commerce experience to a customer. 

In today’s competitive ecosystem, you don’t know where your customers could shop for your products. They might come to your online store via social ads or through Google listing or via some other eCommerce platform. It is why you need to be omnipresent. Your eCommerce store, regardless of its platform, cannot function alone. It must be merged with other supporting channels to effectively combine customer engagement, browsing, shopping, shipping, and return expeditions. In order to go truly omnichannel, you need a strong, fierce, and fully-integrated eCommerce solution that treats all your channels with equal efficiency. 

And remember, the most successful eCommerce sites do more than simply offering impeccable physical and online shopping and buying experience. They deliver additional information, convenience, and choices to make it more pleasant and unique. Your eCommerce store is only the welcome sign for your business. To keep pace with customer satisfaction, you need a connected and combined integrated Commerce system. 

The most common omnichannel commerce integrations

There are several integrated eCommerce technology types, the most popular ones being:

CRM: Customer Relationship Management

These integrations handle marketing and sales systems. It also includes tools for managing storefront activities and order and shipping systems. Integration with backend information system in eCommerce like CRM helps with:

  • Automatic data entry to eliminate manual errors
  • A 360-degree view of your customers across all breakpoints 
  • Customer segmentation based on profile
  • Automated sales, revenue, and conversion tracking and reporting 

ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning

ERP systems like SAP and NetSuite help with accounting, inventory, customer and order data management. Commerce integration with ERP platforms help with:

  • Automatic data entry that removes the need of manual data entry
  • Updating inventory and order details real-time
  • Personalized promotional activities based on a customer’s behavior and user profile 
  • Order fulfillment and management made transparent 
  • Automatic handling of increased demands on selling channels 

PIM: Product Information Management

Such omnichannel commerce integrations help with marketing, sales, and data management. A fully-integrated eCommerce stack offers multitude of benefits like:

  • Easy management of all digital assets at one place
  • Connect dots between products and upselling 
  • Organize data for different product types and demands 

Other popular commerce integrations include eCommerce shipping integration, punch-out integrations, business intelligent systems, tax compliance systems, accounting systems, warehouse management systems, payment gateways, and marketing platforms. 

Know more about the best integrations for your eCommerce store

The top 7 benefits of fully-integrated eCommerce system

Integration with backend information system in eCommerce offers a wealth of benefits that connects your physical and online stores and dramatically streamlines your online business for higher value. Integrated commerce technology not only supports your customer’s needs and market goals, but significantly boosts business growth. 

The benefits of integrate commerce technology

The following are some benefits of integrated commerce solutions: 

Benefit #1: Integrated commerce automates manual data entry

An fully-integrated eCommerce platform allows retailers and merchants to eliminate the manual and duplicated data entries. Since there is no need to input the same data into two different systems manually, the speed of data exchange increases astronomically. With data entered in a single integrated commerce system, any user can access and read this information, anywhere, any time, and from any device. Therefore, integration with backend information system in eCommerce reduces human involvement, manual errors, and redundant data entries. 

Benefit #2: A fully-integrated eCommerce system streamlines operational processes

Cost-saving and efficiency has become critical for business sustainability. With commerce integration, you can easily automate back-end processes like online sales, inventory management, and order fulfillment. Moreover you empower customers to self-service their needs like order tracking, available inventory, delivery tracking, returns, etc. through omnichannel commerce integration. All such activities reduce operational costs and elevate customer satisfaction levels. 

A seamless integration between your eCommerce platform (like Adobe Commerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, etc.) and an ERP system (like SAP and NetSuite) facilitates connection between the frontend and backend of your digital store, synchronizing every process- accounting, inventory, payment, shipping, and logistics to a single fully-integrated eCommerce system. It allows users to track every step of the process from any touchpoint and device, reducing order delays and ensuring timely deliveries.

Benefit #3: Easy inventory control with synchronized and speedy updates

When changes to an un-integrated eCommerce store are to be made manually, it becomes a time-consuming and tedious process. A rapid sync between every part of your integrated commerce system allows for timely updates and inventory control through bi-directional flow of information. Customer records can be updated instantly, which means if a customer cancels an order before its processed, the inventory data can be adjusted immediately, and the logistics team can be informed before the order is dispatched. 

Benefit #4: Enhance omnichannel customer experience

A happy customer is an asset for a business, which is why omnichannel eCommerce integration becomes imperative. An integrated commerce system maintains up-to-date information of product inventory, price, quantity across several warehouses, available variations, etc. It also allows real-time order tracking, boosting customer satisfaction standards and fulfilling expectations speedily and seamlessly. 

A fully-Integrated eCommerce system, especially when using an AI-personalized platform like SFCC, can provide real-time suggestions and recommendations based on a customer’s order history throughout their journeys. Even with marketing campaigns like online ads, emails, etc., with integrated commerce technology, you can adjust activities based on user location and profile. 

Benefit #5: Improved after-sales customer service

With a single unified, easily accessible, and fully-integrated eCommerce system, you can handle and solve issues that might arise during a customer’s journey. With an integrated commerce-CRM unit, you can manage RMA requests and other after-sales services. All in all, omnichannel eCommerce integration allows you to service customer needs quickly and efficiently while reducing the stress that comes from the need of ensuring positive post-sales customer engagement. 

Benefit #6: The power of data-driven business functions

Undeniably, customer data is a goldmine for commerce brands. However, to gain insights from this raw data, you need to ensure its safety, easy mining through multiple applications, and seamless implementation to existing operations. With a fully-integrated eCommerce system, you can easily study  all kinds of data-  financial data, consumer data, product data, inventory data and make intelligent and future-driven business decisions faster. Integrated commerce technology boosts your business’ productivity more than you can imagine via data adoption and automation. 

Benefit #7: Resolve product and order-based issues via a fully-integrated eCommerce system

Another added advantage of a fully-integrated eCommerce platform is its ability to add issues cases to the order. This saves the customer service reps from the hassle and time associated with having to call the customer in case of service request. Instead, they can view the case in a minute by logging in their account and connecting the use case to the right order. This helps them gain a holistic 360-degree view of all your relevant customer and product information, increasing process efficiency and saving time. 

Challenges to an fully-integrated commerce network

Your website functions as a conduit between your brand and your customers. Products, services, and solutions that add value to your customers’ online journey and omnichannel experience always grab the front seat. And a fully-integrated eCommerce platform is  one way to ensure that all your actions point to the right direction, the right customers, across the right breakpoints and devices, at the right time. 

Challenges to a fully-integrated eCommerce system

However, the urgent necessity of an integrated commerce platform prefaces in its successful implementation. Oftentimes, stakeholders overlook the need to integrate their eCommerce platforms with ERP/CRM/PIM/etc. systems because of the cost or the concern that altering their existing legacy systems might disrupt current productivity and performance. 

To create a well-oiled commerce integration network, there are a few obstacles that retailers must overcome. These include:

Challenge #1: Understanding the omnichannel commerce integration requirements

A big obstacle that companies encounter when trying to centralize their commerce integration platform is being unsure about how to begin. The process can become overwhelming when you don’t understand the requirements for a fully-integrated eCommerce system. The concern also lies with data migration that might result in errors, security threats, or the risk of losing valuable data. 

Therefore, to counter such problems, companies must create an internal strategy on what they’re trying to achieve with this commerce integration, what challenges they wish an integrated commerce technology to address, and which systems they are planning on integrating. They also must figure out the data synchronization procedures between the integrated commerce systems. 

Challenge #2: The modernizing of legacy systems

Companies are concerned with updating their legacy systems because it might make them miss a few orders or customer requests. However, you forget that the current legacy technology does not provide holistic visibility of every order due to lack of an end-to-end commerce integration. 

It is why you need a modern and fully-integrated eCommerce platform that consists of all the necessary tools and technologies to meet today’s demands and that of the foreseeable future. With a well-connected eCommerce integration network, you can migrate apps to the cloud, use data to drive meaningful insights, bring new partners and merchants on board, and keep a keen eye on every order initiated across any touchpoint. 

Challenge #3: Lack of visibility and real-time business decisions

To make better business decisions faster, you need a transparent and unified integrated commerce system that takes into account customer behavior and purchase histories. By consolidating legacy eCommerce platforms, you can establish a centralized control over every data byte and gain end-to-end visibility about every single order. In terms of omnichannel commerce integrated, this unified view of all your orders across all touchpoints lead to enhanced business processes and higher profit margins. 

Unlock digital transformation with a fully-integrated eCommerce system

Utilizing our years of experience and expertise, we’ve helped several clients integrate their eCommerce platforms like Adobe Commerce and Salesforce Commerce Cloud with ERP, CRM, & OMS, PIM systems through our eCommerce integration services. Our unique and award-winning approach removes data silos and manual data synchronization, helping our clients to deliver better results, spend less time managing their disparate systems, and gain a holistic view of all their orders across multiple intersection points.

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