Everything You Need to Know About eCommerce Integrations

27 July 2022
by Cieron Bradbury

eCommerce Integrations and Online Sales

The digital nature of online stores should make them easier to run than a traditional brick-and-mortar business. But that’s not always the case. Without the right tools and processes in place, it’s easy for your staff to waste time manually copying large swathes of sales, inventory and delivery data from one application to another in a desperate attempt to keep business moving.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

You can use eCommerce integrations to automate almost every part of the online sales process, saving you time and money. Integrations can also be used to significantly improve the customer experience.

But what exactly are eCommerce integrations, and how does the integration process work? Here is everything you need to know.

What are eCommerce Integrations?

An integration is an API, app or piece of software that connects two or more business systems. In an eCommerce context, this usually involves connecting your consumer-facing eCommerce platform with a back-end operation like accounting, warehousing and delivery.

An integration allows data transfers to happen in real time. So as soon as a customer makes a purchase on your store, that data is reflected in your accounting software or inventory management platform.

How do Integrations Work in eCommerce?

Most eCommerce integrations will be application programming interfaces (APIs) that automate data transfers between two apps. APIs will either be one-way integrations — sending data from one system to another — or two way integrations — which allow two different systems to communicate with each other and send data back and forth. Most APIs will also send data in real-time, but that’s not always necessary. Certain updates like invoicing can be sent in bulk via SFTP.

What are the Benefits of eCommerce Process Integration?

Incorporating eCommerce integration into your online sales process comes with a heap of benefits, including the following:

Eliminate Manual Order Entry

An eCommerce integration all but eliminates the need for manual data entry. This time-consuming task is replaced with an API that instantly transfers data in real-time with no errors.

More Accurate Data

Eliminating manual data entry improves data accuracy. Asking humans to transfer data from one platform to another is a recipe for duplication and mistakes. Assuming your integration is set up correctly, these kinds of basic errors are impossible.

Process Optimisation

Every process becomes much smoother when you start using eCommerce integrations throughout your business. Employees get to spend less time on repetitive tasks, and businesses can reduce costs. Because everything happens in real time, the speed of your operations rapidly increases, too.

A Better Customer Experience

eCommerce integrations put customers at the heart of the experience. No longer do they have to wait for an employee to manually send out a confirmation email or get an update on the status of their order. Instant data transfer means they get the most optimised customer experience possible.

Reach New Markets

Improved data flows make it easier for your brand to sell on eCommerce marketplaces or enter new markets without risking your operational efficiency. New sales channels can be automated using integrations, allowing you to scale at will.

Breaks Down Data Silos

Silos are data sets that are only available to one department in your business. If present in your organisation, they keep valuable information hidden from employees who could use it. Integrations break down data silos, making information accessible to everyone across your business.

What Are Common Types of eCommerce Integrations?

There’s an integration for almost every part of your business. For instance, you can automate the transfer of sales data from your eCommerce platform to your accounting software or the transfer of analytics data to your marketing tool.

Other common eCommerce integrations include:

  • Sales and CRM integration
  • Shopping carts and payment gateways
  • Inventory and warehousing
  • Tax and customs duties
  • Shipping

The Value of an eCommerce Shipping Integration

First and foremost, an eCommerce shipping integration makes it much easier to offer multiple delivery options. Brands can offer faster or slower deliveries, depending on the customer’s preferences, but they can also offer delivery to different destinations. In some countries on the continent, for instance, many customers prefer to collect parcels from storage lockers. A shipping integration that connects your store with multiple carriers makes it possible to achieve such a comprehensive delivery offering.

A shipping integration also makes it easy to provide accurate delivery costs and taxes at checkout. While these can be built in as standard when shipping to your own country, it becomes much more difficult when you ship across borders. An integration will be able to automatically calculate shipping costs and duties as soon as the customer enters their address, meaning there’s far less chance of them abandoning their cart or having to pay additional fees on receipt of their delivery.

Finally, shipping integrations make it easy to offer international delivery. Without a shipping integration, stores would have to manually create shipping schedules for each package depending on the destination. Automating this via an API removes that manual work since labels can automatically be created based on the data entered during checkout. Parcels can get picked and shipped faster as a result, and there’s far less risk of a package going missing.

Integrate Your Store With Pro Carrier

Pro Carrier is the easiest way for UK retailers to sell internationally. Our solution takes the complexity out of cross-border commerce, allowing you to sell into Europe and beyond with little to no additional stress or hassle.

And it’s all powered by our eCommerce shipping integration. We’ve built integrations with every major eCommerce platform, including Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento. With just the click of a button, your storefront can connect to our systems, allowing you to offer accurate delivery costs at checkout while automating back-end processes.

Even if there isn’t an integration for your eCommerce platform yet, you can still use the Pro Carrier API to integrate your store into our back-end systems with ease.

To find out how you can make shipping one less process to worry about, speak to one of our consultants today.

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