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In today’s world, “apps” are available for your phone, your PC, and of course ecommerce. These serve a particular function, has its own package that solves a task or mission for your needs. It can be difficult to choose the right app for the right task, and while a designer/developer may have experience with some of these, it is the interaction between various apps together that can destabilize your ecommerce operation.
App Integrations require development planning, verifying and testing in order to adapt the app to fit the current environment. The environment keeps changing over time as these apps undergo updates over time for bug fixes or feature enhancements. This means that scheduled maintenance of your store in order to bring apps up to date is a necessary activity to ensure quality and continued stability.
While you gain time to deploy reliable software with industry best practices via apps, app development cannot predict all the various permutations and environments it may be deployed in on that particular platform. Therefore the store owner, who defines their particular needs on presenting, merchandising, accounting and running their business; ends up having to tie any loose ends on their integration for a strong delivery to their clients and their ecommerce operation.
Below we have the 5 key points on the benefits of app integrations which clearly define the benefits of having such a process in a store’s development.
- Saving money and time
Integration is not all about making the apps “play nicely” with one another, it is also about streamlining your processes, and automating data flows between “apps” and “Applications” where your business needs to take information from one end of the spectrum to another.
On many occasions our clients comment on how they appreciate our work which continually saves them lots of hours and manpower in doing tedious data entry and copying information. This applies to a wide range of organizations, such as marketing agencies, SaaS vendors and the like.
One example is when TheGenieLab built a custom app which enhanced the refund and shipping update/ tracking number sync between Shopify and ChannelAdvisior.
- App integration reduces errors in missing data and duplicates
One cannot ignore the human error aspect of manual data entry. Missing fields, internet interruptions in submissions and duplicate entries are all symptoms of repeated and tiresome mundane tasks. Traceability of an order from being placed all the way to your reporting/financial statements ensures data integrity – when it is integrated in an automated way.
In addition, tracking marketing when orders are tagged by advertising/promotion based activities, it allows your reports to show your supply/demand, price sensitivity of clients and ultimately your ROI.
- Making your Apps smarter and more insightful
With the speed of integrated apps, your ability to real-time and up-to-date reporting becomes possible. As an example: this applies to inventory control and projections so as to order in a timely manner. Or, you can use sales data to better target your leads with relevant promotional information. Data mining now becomes your playground for your business.
- The best app integrations are customizable
Most business share the same generic processes and needs when it comes to basic functions such as accounting, inventory control, email marketing, and the like. For most businesses however this is not enough to get to the particular details of the questions, needs and reports required to make good decisions. Therefore, a key aspect of the integration effort is to add customizations to make the tools adapt to your business, and not making people/business processes adapt to the tools.
Part of the benefit is having employees adapt to new streamlined tools when usability is considered part of the integration. Some integrations are behind the scenes, however, some still require human intervention where the integration UI can be customized such that it speaks to the users.
- App integration can be affordable and straightforward
Thanks to standards required by the platform, the app community, and user input – the industry has brought a reasonable standard to interface, customizability and inter app communication. With this in mind, exploring your needs and getting engaged in well defined integration activities should be an easier process due to better engagement with the development communities.
In many cases, development agencies who have carried out many integrations in the past, leverage their experience from previous projects. Once an agreed upon specification is produced for your application integration, a plan is produced for you to follow the execution and data flow. This now becomes your architecture and electronic nerve-centre for your business for which you can build and improve on when you see the opportunity.
At TheGenieLab we specialize in app integrations and API integrations amongst all major ecommerce platforms, namely Shopify, Magento, Bigcommerce and Wordpress.
We have strong API experience amongst leading ERP systems which integrate into various ecommerce platforms.
If you would like to discuss how we can assist you with your requirements regarding your implementation, your business processes or automation – give us a shout!