If you’re wondering why we’ve started with a jumbled set of ‘I’s and ‘W’s, then look a little closer. Because this acronym defines the modern-day customer that your business needs to connect with.
Yes—“I want what I want when I want it” is the mentality of the average shopper browsing your web store right now.
And this presents a number of headaches for businesses. Namely, what areas of eCommerce to focus on, what to prioritise and how exactly to go about delivering what customers want. What’s certain, though, is that businesses must take proactive steps to keep up with this trend.
Consumer expectations are rising. Businesses that are able to adapt, innovate and offer exactly what their customers crave will be rewarded. Those who fail to keep up will simply be left behind.
Luckily, integrations equip merchants with the means to address this challenge head-on. By coordinating your eCommerce store with your ERP, POS, OMS, CRM (and many more backend systems), integrations lead to the automation of processes, increased business efficiencies and enhanced customer experiences.
Let's take a closer look at how integrations work in action...
Automation, automation, automation
The overriding benefit of integrations is that they automate your processes.
Just imagine life without integrations. A customer places an order—it then needs to be processed, sorted through inventory, packed and shipped, manually. Data relating to order processing, stock updates and product information then needs to be passed around various teams and individual systems, risking the chance of errors, delays and slow responses.
Integrations, however, allow for the real-time bi-directional flow of information between systems. This instant process reduces the time involved and eliminates the chance of error. This is then passed onto your customers through accurate inventory updates, exact shipping details and a quicker service.
Plus, with the time saved, your staff can focus on adding value in other areas of the business. And without the risk of human error, you’ll also be saving on costs.
Trust and credibility
A big worry for businesses running on legacy systems is the risk of inaccurate inventory.
If a customer makes an order on your site only to be told the next day that the item is not actually in stock, it leaves a bad impression. Or what about the customer who eagerly goes to make a purchase on your site only to find out the item isn’t in stock, without any indication of when it might be?
The problem here is not only the lost sale—it’s the knock-on effect in terms of your reputation. Twenty years ago, a customer may have told a couple of friends about the poor experience on your site. But now, with a global social-media audience at our fingertips, this negative feedback can be broadcast to the world.
To avoid such a scenario being acted out, consider implementing integrations.
Having an integrated, single source of data means that inventory levels are consistent and accurate at all times across channels and locations. This then means that your web store is up-to-date, your customer service employees have a full overview of inventory status and your supply chain has the knowledge to re-stock as needed.
The end result is that you’ll instil trust in your customers.
At Vaimo, we integrate a number of our partner's platforms to drive success for our clients. Download the Vaimo Partners Guide today to learn about how these platforms boost conversions and revenue!
Through integrations, an order placed on your site is transferred directly to your ERP system. As well as minimising manual error, it also means that your fulfilment cycle can start right away, speeding up delivery.
Not only do your customers benefit from quicker and more accurate delivery, but in certain circumstances, they’ll also have the chance to make edits to the order. For example, they may have entered the wrong apartment number on the delivery address. But through self-service, they can update this as it will be automatically adjusted in your ERP system.
Fulfilment is a key part of your overall customer experience. And with deliveries getting speedier (same day is now common) and more accurate, integrations provide you with the tools to offer your customers a better fulfilment experience.
See how Vaimo worked with BAUHAUS Sweden to deliver a native app to support the store's own logistics and fulfilment solution.
Insight and strategic decision making
Integration with your customer relationship management (CRM) system opens up a wealth of opportunities to drive business success. By providing an instant overview of your customers’ purchasing behaviour and other data, you’ll have the power to offer optimised and frictionless experiences.
Having one single source of customer data, integrated with your eCommerce store, allows you to identify trends to which you can respond to immediately. And given how rapidly the eCommerce environment is changing, having the agility to quickly respond to customer demands will set you apart from the competition.
You might not be able to read your customers’ minds completely. But with CRM integration, you’ll certainly have a better understanding of their motivations and habits.
In turn, this allows you to finetune the customer experience for increased conversions.
Interested in hearing about the big eCommerce trends for 2019? Get the thoughts of our CEO, David Holender, who looks at the big topics for this year.
Scale up and offer more
The possibilities with eCommerce integrations are endless.
Not only can you improve internal efficiencies by integrating your ERP, CRM or OMS, but you can also offer customers new, exciting and useful features through a whole host of other integrations.
Take payment gateways.
When a customer hands over a sizeable chunk of their budget to purchase from you, they want the process to be secure and want to pay through their preferred method. They also want the process to be smooth, safe and without any nasty hidden surprises (don’t we all!).
The integration of intuitive and easy-to-use payment systems gives your customers the confidence to purchase from you. At Vaimo, for example, we work with a number of payment platforms including Klarna, Adyen and Vipps, so that our clients are equipped with the tools to offer seamless payments.
Along with payments, there are countless other platforms which can be integrated to drive user experience. These include such areas as marketing automation, personalisation and search.
With everything they have to offer, integrations are your gateway to creating compelling 360-degree customer experiences for long-term business growth.
At Vaimo we have over 10 years' integration experience, connecting Magento to industry-leading platforms to benefit our B2B and B2C clients. Contact us today if you'd like to learn how we can accelerate your online sales!