The importance of integration for e-commerce businesses...

Jigar’s take on the Importance of integration in ecommerce and our approach to it
The importance of integration for e-commerce businesses...

As e-commerce experts, we know about e-commerce business needs through years of experience. Not all businesses have the same requirements, they are all unique in their own way. To fulfil the operational needs of a business, it has to employ various software platforms and solutions. These systems help their staff to manage day-to-day business activities, effortlessly, over the many business departments. They can be accounting related, ERP, an e-commerce website, market places, warehouse management systems, reporting suites, business intelligence tools, etc. If all of these different software solutions do not interact with each other where necessary, a business can incur a resource overhead that, if implemented efficiently, they are designed to reduce. Manual intervention is time-consuming and prone to human error.

Over our many years in the industry, we have successfully implemented a number of integrations for our customers. Our approach to integration is quite simple, effective and time tested. Whenever we receive any integration related requirement we try to understand the high-level picture from the businesses point of view. Once we understand the end goal, we sit down with all stakeholders and devise a detailed plan of action. The result is an in-depth specification document that sets out how the systems will communicate, what kind of data will be passed between them and when and with what frequency the data should flow.

We usually adopt either batch processing (based on TSV/CSV/XML/Excel files) or an API-based integration to enable the systems to communicate with each other. Some platforms support API and some platforms offer other ways of integrating.

Some integrations to third-party platforms like payment gateways, accounting software etc demand that we use their APIs (these could be web services, REST API, or libraries), we are essentially bound to use what they provide, there is no flexibility. For these kind of integrations, we follow their developer guidelines.

Some of the various integrations we have provided over our many years in the business are as follows:

ERP: SAP, NetSuite, MintSoft, CefaSoft

Product Content: Etilize

Marketplaces: ChannelAdvisor, Amazon, eBay

Enterprise On-site Search: Endeca, Fact-finder, Lucene

Shipping Solutions: MetaPack, RoyalMail (Click and Collect)

Personalisation: Nosto, Fetch, Predictive Intent

Reviews:, Trustpilot, Power Reviews, TestFreaks

Accounting: Xero, Sage

Finance: Hitachi Finance

Payment Gateways: Sage Pay (with subscriptions), Braintree (with subscription), Paypal, Amazon Pay, ePDQ, Worldpay, Klarna

Email Marketing: MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Bronto

Others: Dropbox, Creative A/B Testing, Facebook pixel & feed, Google shopping feeds & tag manager, Shop Socially, Adobe E-Signatures, NHS Content API, Clarity & Success

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