Running an ecommerce business means juggling a million things at once and remaining hypervigilant to ensure that prices are accurately displayed, inventory is up to date, your payment system is working smoothly, orders are delivered on time, and much more.
It’s exhausting and can get quite messy, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Not when there are so many ecommerce integration partners ready to take the burden off your shoulders.
If your ecommerce platform is relying on a number of software applications such as customer relationship management (CRM), point-of-sale (POS) systems, product information management (PIM), accounting, marketing automation, inventory management, and order tracking, and more, a great integration company can help you save precious time by ensuring they seamlessly sync in with each other.
You’ll also get detailed analytics, so you’ll be able to get the pulse of your business’s health and quickly course-correct it if needed.
Benefits of Investing in a System Integrator for B2B Ecommerce
Before we dive into the “dos and don’ts” of selecting a system integrator for B2B ecommerce, here are some of the things this partnership will enable you to achieve:
- Automate processes that you’re currently performing manually (e.g., order entries, reports, inventory, invoicing data, etc.).
- Provide real-time, accurate inventory information to keep your customers updated on stock levels and avoid displaying the dreaded ‘out of stock’ when they’re just about to pay.
- Eliminate ordering errors so you can easily manage specific shipping options, order limits, and other ordering workflow rules you have in place.
- Perform strategic planning as a result of analyzing your sales figures and noticing patterns around items you keep running out of or unprofitable products that might need to be discontinued.
- Enhance customer experience by delivering a personalized experience (e.g., recommend similar products that they might like based on their purchase history, display customized pricing and offers, etc.).
B2B Development Partner
Here are five things you should be considering when choosing a system integrator:
1. Ensure they’re certified developers.
Study their website to validate that they are well-acquainted with the platform and have experience implementing and configuring connectivity to your CRM, enterprise resource planning (ERP), payment processor, PIM, shipping platform, and any other custom or off-the-shelf systems. Take a look at case studies to see if they built and customized APIs and connectors across many platforms, which is a telltale sign that this partner can handle complex ecommerce needs for B2B customers.
2. Look for a company that boasts a vast partner ecosystem.
Aside from being able to close organizational silos and align your entire ecommerce tech stack, your system integrator should also have strong relationships with companies whose systems you’re already using.
The more robust portfolio of their technology partners, the faster service and turnaround you’ll benefit from when challenges arise.
Popular ecommerce platforms include WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, ROC Commerce, and more. Different platforms require different levels of knowledge and commitment which is why it’s so important to consult with an expert ecommerce partner to ensure you’re utilizing what makes the most sense for your business.
3. Inquire about their integration process.
While different companies have different approaches, you should be able to leave their site with a basic understanding of how the system integrator will help you. Here’s an example:
- Step 1: Integration analysis – the first step should always be understanding what business units will be interfacing with the system and what is the best way to maintain the integrity of your data.
- Step 2: Integration plan – next comes a field-by-field integration plan for how data will be exchanged between various systems and your site.
- Step 3: Consulting and support – the integration consultants should be on standby if you need further guidance
4. Ensure they offer an omnichannel ERP.
Select a vendor with an omnichannel ERP-integrated solution so you can seamlessly sync data and functionalities to your online store. The result? Increased efficiency, reduced operational costs, and a smoother management flow. While you’re at it, check for similar work they’ve done in your industry. The last thing you want is to end up with a Shopify developer who isn’t equipped to tackle complex B2B requests.
5. Ask for referrals.
At Americaneagle.com, we connect prospects with current clients, so they can get an authentic testimonial on what it’s like to work with us. This also helps them decide if we are a good cultural fit and share the same values. If you’re going to spend the next year collaborating with an integrator, you need to look at how well your teams complement each other.
Never compare apples to pears. The cheaper company might be a low-cost option because it only offers development services, while the more expensive one includes graphics, search engine optimization, and more. A wiser move is to ask the full-service entity for development costs only and make a fair comparison.
Work with an Expert B2B Ecommerce Solutions Partner
Taking the next step in your business takes a lot of courage, but growth is easier with the right partner by your side. Americaneagle.com is a web design and website development company that provides clients with a wide ecosystem of ecommerce solutions and expertise to drive sales by building and maintaining their online shops as well as managing their content and customers. With more than 25 years of experience, we’re confident we can help your B2B business reach its goals and exceed expectations.
Get in touch today to see if we're a good fit!