You may ask, isn’t integration just integration? You connect two endpoints so that they can share data and you’re done, right?  Well, not really.  Ask yourself if using a walkie-talkie to talk to your friend is the same as using your cell or LAN line? Not even close. We’ve all experienced issues with communication using either VOIP or Skype, so if we compare a bad phone connection to a bad integration, it’s very easy to understand that there are differing levels of quality that can hold back or enhance the effectiveness of the integration. To make matters worse, it’s not just the connectivity or communication of the integration that can affect quality, it’s the data that’s shared, the business logic or processes, reports, forms and people that need the data that can be affected.

 

A tight site-to-back-office integration is designed to enhance and to improve your business processes versus just sharing data, and is designed to be individualized and specific to those processes. Focus is on the value and affect that having the data can make to your business, which will help you to increase sales, customer service or whatever the process is that you’re trying to improve (i.e. automate sales order to invoice creation, automating shipping logistics and tracking status collection, improving the refund process, custom ecommerce integration, etc.).

 

Another great value of a tight integration would be to gain insight from the data, commonly referred to as “BI.” An increase in BI (business intelligence) is achieved through deeper integration by diving into metrics that can provide data points that can help to make better business decisions. Having a user who’s registered on your website sync with your CRM is a “nice to know” piece of data. However, additionally reporting to their sales rep that they not only downloaded a white paper on product X, they also spent 47 minutes researching another three products that they haven’t purchased yet, and this was the fourth time within the week that they came back to the site is much more valuable data. It can provide the kind of intelligence needed to know what your users are interested in before they tell you and exactly the kind of information that can turn a normal sales rep into a great one. It can provide the opposite too.  Knowing that six of your top clients haven’t logged in or made a purchase in the last 90 days my be devastating news, but it’s better to know so you can act on it than not knowing that you’re losing some top clients.

 

A tighter integration also automates and improves efficiencies. We all know through industry studies that labor is often a company’s most expensive resource.  By converting often manual and time consuming tasks and processes into automated ones, there is a great potential for return on investment. The return can be both in savings realized from lower labor costs, and additional work that those freed-up labor hours can now be spent on.

 

This same type of tight integration allows Clarity, in their eCommerce platform, to report on the lifetime value of each client or partner, which product lines produce more revenue, how many times a product was viewed, compared with how many were added to a cart and finally purchased.  Taking it one step further, what if had a report that could tell you which products were either generating more revenue or more net margin? That would be great. Where the tighter integration comes into play, would be using that data to tell your eCommerce platform to automatically showcase or promote those products instead of ones chosen by marketing.  The bottom line is, that data is great, but real data that can drive business is better.

Enterprise eCommerce

Don’t get stuck with a platform that limits your range, Sell everywhere all the time with Clarity eCommerce.

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