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A Guide to Ecommerce Integrations to Streamline Your Business Workflow

Unlock the power of e‑commerce integrations with our comprehensive guide. Streamline your operations, boost efficiency, and maximize your online business potential.

Starting a business isn't as straightforward as many entrepreneurs think. Creating a website and listing products is just the beginning; you'll need to invest in similar practices to any retail business, including inventory management, customer service, accounting, and so much more.

The best way to streamline your business workflow is by investing in e-commerce integrations that enable you to run your business from your chosen platform. Every e-commerce company has essential applications they use daily to help them run their business.

Some applications run behind the scenes, while others are customer-facing. For instance, you use email marketing, CRM, inventory management, POS systems, order and inventory tracking, and accounting tools daily.

If these applications aren't integrated with your website, you may not unlock their true potential. With e-commerce integrations, you can run your business from the same place, making getting more things done in a day easier.

The best e-commerce business integrations connect your store to the most important applications to provide shoppers with a seamless experience and improve your productivity and efficiency behind the scenes. In addition, they can help you collect data from multiple sources, manage your audience, increase engagement, and track revenue.

Since we're constantly adding new integrations to our Marketplace, we thought it was important for online business owners to learn more about them and how they can use them to improve their experience. Keep reading to learn more about how your e-commerce business can start using integrations to streamline your internal and external processes.

What are e-commerce integrations?

Every e-commerce business uses software and applications throughout the day. While customers online shopping might not see your internal processes, which include tracking inventory, managing data, and handling customer service requests, they do see your e-commerce store when they're browsing your products and offerings.

E-commerce integrations connect information between two apps. You can connect a POS at a brick-and-mortar store with an inventory tracking system for the e-commerce side of your business to track inventory across channels. You can also connect your e-commerce website to marketing tools like your CRM to build out customer profiles based on shopping behavior and demographics to use advanced segmentation in email marketing with Mailchimp.

When you build a website and begin using integrations, you'll realize just how easy it is to streamline internal processes that directly affect your business and its customers. Ultimately, these integrations synchronize data across e-commerce platforms to help you manage your business more efficiently.

Unfortunately, there are advantages and disadvantages to e-commerce business models. Most of the software you use isn't designed to communicate with other applications, making tracking your overall business performance difficult. Integrations allow different types of applications to communicate, providing you with data you can use to build effective marketing campaigns.

As a Mailchimp customer, you don't have to worry about creating your integrations. Instead, you can visit our Marketplace to find the best integrations for your unique business website. These integrations are designed to expand your marketing capabilities to bring in data to execute your marketing strategy and grow your business.

Fun Fact: Our customers saw an average lift of 21% in their click rates in one week after connecting their store with our e-commerce integrations, proving that integrations can improve your marketing efforts and help you connect with customers.

Different types of e-commerce integrations

E-commerce integrations can improve the online shopping experience for customers while improving internal processes like bookkeeping, order and inventory management, revenue tracking, and marketing. There are several types of integrations available for your e-commerce store that can help you grow your business and become more efficient, such as:

Payment

While website design is crucial, functionality is even more important. Your online business needs to collect payments from customers. Unfortunately, this can be a complicated process if you're new to the world of electronic commerce.

However, with payment integrations for online marketplaces, you can sync customers' order data from your brick-and-mortar store POS and online stores.

Payment integrations can improve the customer experience by sending automated messages to customers who have purchased for you or spent a specific dollar amount. In addition, it enables you to automate marketing based on customer shopping behavior.

With payment integrations, you can also give your e-commerce store shoppers more options for how they want to pay. They can choose to pay with PayPal or a credit card.

As the merchant, you'll also have options like redirecting to the payment processor's website to complete checkout. You can also use an on-site gateway and have customers stay on your website to provide you with payment information to give you more control over their experience.

There are two types of payment integrations: redirect and on-site. With redirect integrations, customers are redirected to a secure payment page on the payment service provider (PSP) website. This is where they'll complete payment.

For example, if you've ever purchased something with PayPal, you may have noticed you were redirected to PayPal to finish the payment process and then directed back to the merchant website to finalize the payment process.

With a redirect payment integration, shoppers already know the PSP, so they might feel like their money is safer. However, you won't be able to customize the payment page since it belongs to another business, so it can affect the overall user experience.

Many large businesses use on-site payment gateways to give them more control. With direct payment gateways, customers enter their credit card details directly on the merchant site for a seamless checkout experience. This gives the online store more control over the checkout process, enabling them to offer specials or add-ons that encourage customers to spend more.

The top electronic commerce payment gateways are PayPal, Stripe, and Square. Square is preferred for brick-and-mortar stores, but it provides a seamless online checkout experience. On the other hand, PayPal is easier for e-commerce companies that want an easy solution, and Stripe is best for capturing online sales for businesses with developers since it comes with comprehensive customization tools.

Inventory management

Supply chain management and logistics are crucial for every e-commerce business. To run your business effectively, you must track orders and manage your inventory to ensure you never run out of stock. An e-commerce company must have real-time inventory tracking that automatically updates its product listings when they're out of stock.

Your software should also tell you when it's time to reorder inventory and communicate with customers when an item is in stock again. Integrating your inventory management system with online stores gives you real-time visibility into your products. In addition, you can synchronize data across online and brick-and-mortar stores.

By integrating your e-commerce store with inventory management software, you can track items sold, when to replenish stock, and identify your best-selling products while preventing lost sales and improving forecasting.

In addition, your inventory management solution should have shipping functionality that ensures accuracy and transparency for customers. Integrating your e-commerce site with inventory management software can help automatically update product listings to tell customers you're out of stock.

In addition, integrating inventory management systems with email marketing platforms enables you to automatically send shipping confirmations and tracking information once orders are processed at your warehouse.

Reporting and analytics

Your e-commerce business relies on data to learn more about its customers and create more effective marketing campaigns. With analytics integrations, you can get access to insights to understand your marketing performance and create custom reports.

As a Mailchimp customer, you can access data from Mixpanel, Google Analytics, Firebase, and much more to easily analyze your data and get insights on sales, open rates, and click rates.

E-commerce analytics integrations also give you insight into your website performance to find bottlenecks in the customer journey and poor-performing pages and determine what percentage of customers are adding items to their cart but not completing the checkout process. In addition, you can understand how your audience changes by tracking the source of your website visitors and other details about them.

By integrating reporting and analytics applications with your website and email marketing platform, you can learn more about your website visitors and more specific pages on your website to uncover insights you may not have noticed. You might find that a product page isn't performing well, which can help you brainstorm reasons why and find the best solution.

Social media

Your customers are on social media, giving you a unique opportunity to communicate with them more personally. Every online store should engage in social media marketing strategies that enable them to attract more customers and influence their purchasing decisions.

Integrating your social media management software with other marketing and e-commerce applications can help streamline communications and ensure you deliver consistent messaging throughout all your marketing campaigns.

With Mailchimp integrations, e-commerce businesses can drive engagement by adding social media content to email campaigns using Canva, Facebook, and LinkedIn and sharing social media profiles with subscribers.

You can also integrate follower data from your e-commerce company's social media platforms to learn how much of your website traffic comes directly from social media.

In addition, your social media profiles can integrate with customer support software. While a physical store has salespeople who can help customers, an e-commerce business must have the right tech stack to appropriately support its customers and encourage sales.

Many businesses use social media as an extension of their customer support strategy, so your software must integrate with customer support software that keeps all open tickets and inquiries in a single, easy-to-use dashboard.

Customer support software: Live chat & Help desk

Speaking of customer support software, you should have an e-commerce integration that allows customers to communicate with your business in various ways, whether they're on mobile devices or desktops.

As an online retailer, you must think about all the various ways customers will communicate with your business online. When customers are shopping online, they want to be able to seamlessly contact your business if they have questions or concerns.

Customer support software, which includes live chat and help desk integration, can help you more effectively serve your customers whether you sell physical or digital products.

Live chat e-commerce integrations allow your customer support agents to connect with customers immediately and in real-time to improve the overall customer experience by providing them with a direct channel, helping you better serve your customers quickly and more efficiently while improving internal processes and reducing the time it takes to solve customer issues.

Whether you sell products or services online, integrations can help streamline internal and external processes while improving the overall customer experience and making it easier for you and your employees to accomplish more in a single day.

Whether you use a business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce model or have a brick-and-mortar business alongside your online retail store, choosing the right integrations can improve your marketing, customer support, and inventory management practices, making it easier to grow your business.

Here are a few tips for choosing the right integrations for your e-commerce company:

Assess your business needs and goals

Before using integrations, you should assess your business needs and goals. Every e-commerce site needs a payment processing system.

However, does your particular e-commerce site also need to integrate with other marketing tools like email marketing software, CRMs, social media, and other sales tools? If so, you should make a list of all the ways you want your marketing applications to communicate with one another to ensure you have data synchronized across channels.

For instance, with e-commerce integrations from Mailchimp, you can connect marketing and sales data to drive more traffic using Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Squarespace.

These integrations also enable you to send relevant messages to engage repeat buyers by recommending top-selling products and promo codes in emails. This is just one example of how your email marketing software can integrate with your website to drive performance and growth.

Research available e-commerce integration options

After assessing your needs, you can research the available e-commerce integration options available to you. If you're a Mailchimp user, you can head over to our integrations Marketplace to learn about all the integrations we offer to help you improve your marketing campaigns and measure their performance.

When browsing e-commerce integrations, consider the software you already use. In most cases, there's no reason to change software providers just because one integrates with your website or email marketing platform. Mailchimp offers several different types of integrations, including:

  • Platform-to-platform: These integrations enable real-time data sharing between applications.
  • "Powered by Mailchimp": These integrations augment Mailchimp's native capabilities, allowing Mailchimp to manage platform actions via integration, and you, as the user, only need to access Mailchimp to see the data.
  • White-labeled solutions: White-labeled solutions augment with Mailchimp's native capabilities and appear as a native feature within our platform.
  • Mailchimp extensions: With extensions, you can purchase integrations or third-party extensions and install them within Mailchimp to act as an add-on.

Evaluate customer reviews and feedback

You can read reviews about integrations in our Marketplace or find feedback online from existing customers. E-commerce integrations should provide you with an extension of a particular application. You can integrate your social media channels with your CRM and schedule posts directly from the CRM instead of logging into each social media channel every day.

To ensure the integration is what you're looking for, you should learn everything you can about it. The integration you choose will be based on the applications you're already using.

If you're already using Stripe as a payment processor, you'll search for the Stripe integration to learn more about how it works and determine whether it's the right option for your business based on its functionality.

Steps for successful integration

Integrating applications to improve your marketing strategy can be a long process. Ultimately, you have to decide the best way to integrate various apps to ensure you can sync data across channels and systems. Here are a few steps to ensure your integrations are successful and help your business grow:

Assess your existing systems

Make a list of all the systems that need to be integrated. This might include applications like inventory management software, payment processors, customer data from various marketing channels, and so forth.

Unfortunately, your e-commerce site can use outdated legacy systems that won't integrate with the rest of your tech stack. If this is the case, you'll need to modernize your website to integrate with new applications.

Set up accounts and configure integrations

Once you've chosen the integrations you want to use, you can set up accounts and begin configuring them. If you already use a specific technology, you won't have to set up an account again. Instead, you'll sign into your account during configuration to begin using the integration's features.

Test and troubleshoot

When integrating your website and marketing tools with other applications, you should test and troubleshoot them if you run into problems. Mailchimp makes it easier to integrate your website and email marketing campaigns with other marketing and sales tools to grow your business online. However, we recommend testing your campaigns to ensure they're working properly.

E-commerce integrations can streamline business operations, but there are a few issues you can run into that can cause bottlenecks, such as:

Compatibility issues

Many businesses use outdated applications and tech to run their businesses. Unfortunately, legacy systems may be incompatible with newer applications, so they won't integrate. The solution to this is to update those legacy systems to newer technologies.

Data synchronization and accuracy

E-commerce integrations can cause quality issues with duplicate or inaccurate data. Your business gets data from multiple sources, including your CRM, email marketing software, lead gen and sales tools, customer service, and so much more. If you're not managing this data properly, integrations can lead to duplicate or inconsistent data.

The best way to avoid inaccuracies in your data is to properly train any staff members relying on manual entry. Hopefully, you're using technology that helps you avoid manual entry and the human error that comes with it, but mistakes can happen.

If you integrate customer data from multiple sources, you might see duplicate customer data in your system, which can cause you to send emails twice. Email marketing programs like Mailchimp safeguard against this to help you more effectively manage your email lists, but it's crucial to pay close attention to the data you sync.

Security concerns

E-commerce sites are at an increased risk of security breaches because they operate online. There are potential security concerns when integrating multiple applications. Ultimately, you want to make sure any software and integrations you use are safe, especially when dealing with customer data. The more places you store customer data, the more opportunities hackers have to steal personal information like credit card numbers.

The best way to avoid security concerns is to only use software you trust. You should choose a payment gateway provider allowing data encryption that protects customer data.

Unlock your company's full potential with e-commerce integrations

The right tech stack can help your business succeed in a competitive e-commerce marketplace by increasing customer engagement, managing customer relationships to maximize sales, and improving efficiency throughout the business.

Running a successful online store isn't easy, but integrations can help you accomplish more by syncing data across multiple channels, streamlining workflows, and automating tasks, helping your business scale.

The right integrations can improve the customer experience throughout their journey by improving inventory management, marketing, and sales processes. Visit the Mailchimp Integration Marketplace today to find the best integrations for your online business.

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