In a reality as technological as the one we are living in, the level of automation and efficiency that can be achieved in an eCommerce depends on ourselves. In the world of programming and platforms, there are two major factors, the front-end, which is everything the client can see on their screen, and the back-end, which consists of all the programming and configuration behind that same platform so that what the client sees really works, and for many years, the most important thing for brands at a digital level was the front-end, looking good, giving a good image. However, with the passage of time and the adaptation of technology to the commercial world, it is time to focus on the foundations and architecture of what keeps the brand's platforms functional.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, after all, it's all about the sturdiness that your site and business model require. The amount of (smart) integrations and the quality of integration that one has, is what really defines how sturdy an eCommerce is. For that reason, today we will study 7 key integrations in the eCommerce universe.
1. Payment methods:
Without discussion the first and most necessary. We cannot say that we have an online store if what is shown to the customer is an informative catalog in which only the products and price can be viewed. Whether the page is used to quote by other means (such as by telephone) or simply so that the client knows the products, that is not an eCommerce it hurts who has to hurt. What we want as a store is a site that sells without the need for human resources, and what the customer wants is to be able to buy without interaction, so without a payment method none is being achieved.
There are many solutions to include payment methods on our site. However, as I always mention, customer trust towards our site is everything, so we must ensure that these payment methods are truly reliable for our consumer or otherwise sales through the platform may be affected.
2. Shipping method:
It is what ends up giving the customer the sense of eCommerce, since what they want is to be able to buy without having to leave their comfort or routine. Now, this is where the concept that I mentioned earlier about the back end begins to emerge. Your site could simply request the delivery information from the customer and that when the order is received a courier must read and verify that address from the purchase in order to go and deliver it. But what we want is to avoid manual work that becomes expensive and risky.
Integrations with shipping methods allow us to have an established and efficient product delivery process. Either through a third-party company specialized in logistics and shipping or through our own fleet.
3. Search engines:
To finish with the front-end integrations that can give more value to the customer and help us sell more, we will talk about search solutions for eCommerce. Something important when implementing an eCommerce is to understand that the digital consumer has consumption habits that can help us sell more easily. For example, over the years it has been shown that the consumer who uses the search bar when visiting a site is more likely than if they only started to search through the categories. Now, the reason why I include this point as an integration is because like everything else, there are solutions and tools that can help us optimize and improve the way our site searches based on keywords or phrases.
4. CRM and Marketing Automation:
If we want to sell more, we must think more about the customer and not just our brand. The client is the one who allows us to continue selling and that is why it is important to have a tool to get to know him and keep in touch with him, so it is important to always be aware of him. A CRM consists of a tool that, when integrated into eCommerce, gives us access to the information of customers and users of the site and through this data helps us maintain constant communication with our various customers, whether in case of requiring assistance with a purchase made or simply to feel that we are a close and trustworthy brand. .
In the digital world, data is the most valuable asset for brands, but if we cannot do anything with that data, we are wasting an invaluable asset. Through CRM we can carry out massive campaigns, personalized shipments, customer segmentation according to behavior or interests, and many more. This without forgetting that being a communication channel with the client, it allows us to offer a fast and intelligent service to the consumer, in which we have all the history and information of the client and his orders.
In addition, a good CRM includes Marketing Automation, so that also with this data we no longer have to have human material to send campaigns and emails one by one, but these tasks can be automated according to the customer's behavior within the site , either by wish list, shopping carts, answered campaigns, purchase history or many others. This allows us to be proactive and not reactive with our sales because we can contact the customer and offer him what he likes without having to wait for him to realize by some other means that we have the solution he needs.
This integration is also part of what helps the CRM get to know the customer better. Through analytics what we obtain is a better understanding of the patterns and consumption habits of all our visitors and clients of the site. We can understand what steps you use to buy, which are the most visited pages and products, in which they last longer by observing, among other valuable data.
Now, as part of the analytics tools, the need for integration will depend on the eCommerce platform you have, since there are quite complete platforms that do not require external analytics, but by default include their own just as complete .
6. POS or ERP:
This integration consists of an immediate communication “channel” between what happens in eCommerce and the inventory or billing systems that are in place. You want to integrate the eCommerce with the ERP to avoid errors and above all save time when managing the inventories of my virtual store, since by “connecting” the information of the site with the ERP, sales and restocking will be reflected automatically on-site via two-way, real-time inquiries.
Now, there is also a way to carry out said integration in a similar way but through the POS. The POS is called the billing and inventory system that a store may have at its point of sale (Point Of Sale), so if you have a highly complex ERP and it is very expensive to perform a direct integration, and the POS is already integrated into the ERP, the eCommerce site can be included through this route and the results are also obtained in real time.
It can be confused that because they are tools or integrations that the client does not see on the site, they are of little importance. This is a very big mistake, starting with the fact that there is an internal client that also benefits from the back-end integrations and ending with the detail that they also help us make the client feel comfortable on the site and therefore buy more.
All physical stores need certain types of assets such as counters, dataphones, mannequins, speakers, tablets, among others. Now, just as we understand and value all those assets to generate more sales, it is important to begin to understand the value that these integrations can have in our digital sales.