How do I integrate my ecommerce systems?
Integration between website platforms and other retail technology can often be the most under-estimated part of delivering an eCommerce site and potentially the most debilitating if you get it wrong. Frequently the issue is that the eCommerce site may have been set up in isolation but needs links into systems such as Product Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Payment Gateway, feedback engines, warehouse management and delivery services.
The reality of Omni-Channel is that a customer demands that their order, placed anywhere, can be delivered anywhere and that, however they contact you, they can get service from anywhere. The good news is that there are a number of bridges that can help:
- Application programming interface (API) integration. This common way to pass files between systems has meant that there is a reliable method for systems integration to be built on.
- Plug ins. Common interfaces between platforms and key services such as payment gateways have already been written so you can benefit from a simple link without having to pay for it to be developed.
- Full service solutions. There are some high-end website platforms that come with a more extensive range of built-in services that are pre-fabricated.
- Aggregators. There are a number of services to simplify data management for Affiliate networks, Marketplaces etc. that make data calls much easier to manage.
Our recommendation is that you make sure that any such integrations are mapped and fully documented by the supplier or yourself so that development is time efficient and you have control over future work.
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Often eCommerce technology conversations are focussed on the web platform, however today we need to look at the whole infrastructure of technology that supports it.