The best eCommerce store integrations

2022-05-23

Written by David Renwick

If you’re selling online, chances are your eCommerce platform is key to the success of your business. It’s your digital shop window, and the tool that handles everything from payment processing to store management.

These platforms are set to become even more critical for retailers.

Across the globe, eCommerce is surging. One study found that in 2019 alone, around 1.92 billion people purchased goods or services online. In the years since, these numbers have only continued to climb.

With eCommerce platforms so key to business success, they need to be supported with the right integrations. This means links to the other software used by your business – like bespoke shipping apps. Doing so will help to remove potential bottlenecks, automate common tasks and make your operations much more efficient.

In this article, we’ll break down some of the best integrations for your eCommerce store and explore how they can take your online sales to the next level.

Understanding Shopify integrations

There can’t be a discussion of eCommerce store integrations without talking about Shopify integrations. In the US alone, Shopify has the largest market share of any eCommerce platform, with nearly 32% of online businesses using the platform to power their online storefronts.

Given just how big Shopify is, it’ll be no surprise that the platform also has a staggering number of integrations available. Users can integrate existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) tools and numerous other apps – including some of the best shipping apps available.

But what about other eCommerce platforms? Glad you asked. WooCommerce (which closely follows Shopify in usage), also has many integrations available.

Shipping apps: One type of integration you may want to consider

With so many possible integrations available, where do you start? Beyond the various CRM, warehouse management and analytics platforms available that you can link into your eCommerce platform, there’s one type of app that you need to consider.

By adopting a powerful shipping platform – and integrating it with your eCommerce platform – you can introduce efficiencies from the moment a customer purchases a product through to when it arrives on their doorstep.

Consider the many ways in which an eCommerce platform simplifies your online retail operations: They reduce admin and labour costs, improve customer service, allow for easy selling via mobile channels and enable targeted content delivery.

A bespoke shipping app works in much the same way. These apps integrate and automate shipping, streamlining every step of the fulfillment process. In turn, you’ll see reduced handling time, minimise human error and generally improve the customer experience.

Here are some of the most common shipping challenges – and how a shipping app can solve them.

Logging into multiple eCommerce and courier platforms

If you’re selling online, chances are you’ll need to switch between different eCommerce platforms to fetch order details. You’ll also need to switch between multiple courier systems to manage orders. Shipping apps give retailers one platform where they can manage all orders and select the best courier.

  • Invalid addresses – The time-consuming challenge of invalid addresses can result in expensive non-deliveries and bad customer experiences. The best shipping apps for Shopify contain features that correct invalid addresses automatically, so customers always get their orders, even if they enter incorrect details.
  • Managing returns – This is a costly and time-consuming part of online shipping. Typically, businesses need to devote time to managing the returns process. Shipping apps let retailers set up dedicated returns portals, relieving staff of a significant amount of administration.
  • International shipping – It can be puzzling to work out how exactly to go about shipping to other countries. Bespoke shipping apps take the stress out of international shipping by automating a lot of repeatable administration. These apps can also automate customs documentation and other types of paperwork.
  • Customer choice of courier – Customers expect to be able to choose couriers based on their time and price preference. Starshipit lets retailers offer different options at checkout, including same day, express or international, so your customers can choose the delivery option that suits them best.

5 eCommerce store integrations you should consider

Hopefully we’ve given you an idea of just how useful integrations can be for an eCommerce platform – and the value of using a powerful shipping app. Now, let’s look at 5 specific eCommerce store integrations in detail. We’ll explore what each of these solutions offers individually below, but you’ll see just how powerful they are when used together.

1. Xero

An all-in-one accounting platform, Xero is primarily designed for small to medium-sized businesses and integrates with well over 1,000 different apps. This makes it an ideal choice for businesses looking for a flexible solution that can easily grow with them.

It’s also easy software to learn, with excellent support documentation and training content. It's fair to say that Xero is a great tool for eCommerce businesses looking to better manage the financial side of their operations.

2. Starshipit

We’ve already touched on Starshipit in this article. Remember those shipping challenges we explored earlier? Starshipit was designed to solve them. This bespoke shipping app integrates with major couriers as well as other eCommerce tools (like the others on this list), making switching things up extremely easy.

Overall, Starshipit streamlines the shipping process, reducing handling time and improving the end-customer experience.

3. Cin7

A cloud-based inventory management system, Cin7 connects products, stock locations, sales channels, warehouses, orders and more into a single automated solution.

You can start to see the compounding effects of using solutions like Starshipit, Cin7 and Xero together. Having a single view of these complex areas of your business is game changing.

4. Abel

Abel is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool capable of managing multiple areas of a business. It’s all about visibility and simplifying complex oversight into a single view. Abel can manage everything from supply chain operations to reporting, manufacturing and human resource activities.

5. CartonCloud

Rounding out our list of solutions is CartonCloud, which is an integrated transport management system and warehouse management system. While this understandably is quite a loaded solution, in simple terms it’s designed to reduce the need to spend hours allocating jobs and filing, and can give you control over your stock

Note: We’ve tried to recommend broadly applicable integrations for most eCommerce businesses, but these still might not be applicable for your business.

Wrap up

When it comes to setting up your eCommerce tech stack, keep interoperability in mind. Try and pick solutions that can easily integrate with each other, as what works for your business now might not necessarily work in five years' time.

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of using the best shipping apps too. If you’re interested in trying Starshipit free for 30 days, reach out to our friendly support team and they’ll be happy to talk through options with you.

David Renwick

David Renwick

David is Starshipit's Content Marketing Lead. When he's not whipping up a fresh new product update or chatting to customers for an exciting case study, you'll typically find him scoping out coffee spots and talking about what's on at the movies.

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