As more commercial operations continue to shift online, eCommerce portals are becoming an increasingly important tool for many enterprise departments, serving as a link between businesses and their audiences. By adopting an e-Commerce portal, an enterprise can not only launch or increase its digital presence but also gain access to capabilities related to order management and marketing automation.
At Itransition, we believe that enterprises can achieve an even greater value and ROI of an eCommerce portal by integrating this software with other corporate data management systems (such as PIM, ERP, CRM, and so on). So, teams can continually accumulate relevant data to make smarter decisions and consequently deliver a better customer experience and boost revenue.
Below there are some more reasons why any enterprise should integrate its e-commerce portal with other elements of its existing digital ecosystem, along with the main options for such integrations.
eCommerce Portal as a key to business efficiency
Such integrations allow enterprises to unify the data received from multiple data management systems and customer touchpoints via a single eCommerce portal. As a result, this may help solve business challenges and gain competitive advantages.
Today, many enterprises operate multiple unconsolidated databases that contain data regarding products, shipments, prices, customers, and teams. Without unification, most of this data may remain unused, and only separate departments of an enterprise may sometimes use this information in their operations.
At the same time, by unifying this data via a single web portal, an enterprise enables its separate departments to see the whole picture in real-time. This way, team members can continuously make intelligent and data-driven decisions. For an enterprise, this may result in increased efficiency and productivity of multiple departments, from marketing and sales to logistics and customer support. This way, an enterprise also improves customer service, reduces operational costs, and increases revenue.
Now let’s list the main types of integrations that can help an enterprise ensure the integrity and availability of critical business data across multiple teams.
Four eCommerce portal integrations to consider
ERP software allows enterprises to track key business processes, so obviously, such information can be critical in business decision-making. For instance, by integrating their eCommerce portal with an ERP, an enterprise can optimize workflows related to human resources, inventory, finance, and supply chain.
In particular, by connecting the portal to an ERP, the team can access the data related to inventory in real-time, as well as filter products by different types and categories. They can utilize this information to improve product management and increase visibility into customers’ transactions.
Considering that PIM systems contain product data, integrating an eCommerce portal with such software can increase product visibility for multiple departments. This way, team members can access all product data obtained from different sources via one central repository and quickly search for the necessary product categories and positions as well as compare them.
If new products are added to the PIM or product specifications are edited, this information is automatically updated across all the related components of the digital infrastructure, eCommerce portals included. Therefore, sales and marketing specialists can always check what products are in stock and use this data when planning their activities.
To increase the visibility of its supply chain, an enterprise may also integrate its eCommerce portal with a corporate logistics management system. This way, enterprise managers can track the product lifecycle from the shopping cart to the customers’ delivery addresses, analyze the fleet performance and availability, optimize routes, track shipments, and receive data about warehouse operations in real-time.
While the integrations mentioned above enable teams to gain insights into the internal enterprise processes, CRM integration allows learning about customers’ behavior across all channels and tracking the most critical KPIs related to marketing, support, and sales. For example, CRM users will be able to see products purchased by a particular customer, sync this customer’s personal data updates with their CRM profile, and use this data for building and maintaining strong customer relationships.
Besides this, CRM data can be used for marketing automation. Marketing and sales specialists can easily research customers’ buying habits to make their marketing activities more targeted and meaningful. For instance, team members can automatically tailor their messages to different audience segments and quickly send personalized emails to thousands of subscribed customers.
eCommerce Portal – Final thoughts
The development of an eCommerce portal has become a natural step for any enterprise seeking to increase its digital presence and establish new channels for interacting with customers. However, the benefits of such a portal extend beyond this, allowing managers to unify multi-source data and access all the information they need to make smart business decisions continuously.
For instance, an enterprise can integrate its eCommerce portal with a CRM system to help the team receive real-time data on customer behavior and use this information when planning marketing and sales activities. Likewise, the portal can be integrated with PIM, ERP, logistics management, and other data systems to significantly increase the transparency of their supply chain and product management.