With a finite capability to meet the demands of today’s “I want it now” consumers, retailers need to consider what matters most - is it speed, convenience or free delivery?
According to a recent report from eConsultancy, systems integration remains to be the biggest challenge when expanding an Ecommerce business, 43% of the respondents and 39% of supply-side recipients claimed that integration with current / legacy systems remains the biggest challenge and is one of the top three tech barriers to business growth.
Integration of technology platforms and software is crucial within today’s retail (and distribution) landscape. If done well, integration can provide your business with the flexibility to adapt and change as it grows - done badly and it will become a major barrier to growth.
If you, as an Ecommerce or pure-play company, want to be able to run an efficient business, provide an excellent customer experience and stay ahead of the competition, integration matters!
Adoption of Systems Implementers, Integrators and Integration Platforms
There is a variety of approaches to systems integration – you may decide to take a piecemeal approach, integrating various functions step-by-step, or you might prefer to integrate everything in one go. But many multichannel businesses that have invested heavily in their IT infrastructure, don’t always want to replace their entire infrastructure in a drastic way. Many feel that the disruption of replacing their whole infrastructure in one "Big Bang" is too much of a risk and therefore decide to integrate elements of their existing infrastructure in a phased approach, as new systems are rolled out.
It should come as no surprise then, that many companies are turning to integration specialists to help remove these barriers to growth. By having a powerful integration toolset and an expert partner in integrating multiple technologies, you gain the major advantage of being able to replace legacy solutions in a step-by-step manner. This enables you to be more strategic and realise an ROI faster.
Do you or your clients use (or have you / they used) a systems implementer or integrator?
This graph from the Technology for Ecommerce Survey Report shows that a quarter (27%) of organisations have used a systems implementer or integrator, and that a further 9% plan to. The report highlights that there’s a correlation between those investing more in their Ecommerce technology use a systems integrator.
According to eConsultancy, all client-side respondents based in the UK who spend more than £2m on Ecommerce technology are currently using or have used an implementer / integrator, compared to only 6% of those who spend less than £100,000.
Similarly, more than three-quarters (78%) of those with an annual revenue from Ecommerce of more than £100m use or have used an integrator, compared to only 12% of those earning less than £1m.
The Monolithic IT System is No More
Monolithic IT systems are no longer fit for purpose. The modern business utilises a large diversity of computer systems and devices, all of which need to be integrated. But despite the obvious need to successfully join up Ecommerce with other parts of the business (e.g. ERP, call centre, POS, CRM) and an endless list of third parties (e.g. parcel carriers, payment gateways, social feeds, online marketplace etc) it would appear that most businesses are struggling to deliver integration projects at the speed they require.
For decades solution providers have been encouraging businesses to move away from disparate systems and to consolidate their operations on to a single solution. The objective being to reduce the cost of managing and maintaining different software packages and provide “one version of the truth”.
Though in an ideal world a single solution that caters for any business requirement is optimal, it is an unrealistic expectation. Organisations, regardless of their industry, have different functions and facets unique to them that cannot be catered for by a single packaged product. Therefore throughout the lifetime of most systems, and especially monolithic software such as ERP or Financials, one can expect the introduction of some new systems, and the retirement of other existing, allied business applications.
With this endless list of channels, solutions and third parties, it’s unlikely that a standard all-encompassing solution would be able to cater for all these unique requirements. For this reason, the use of an Integration Platform is becoming ever-more popular. The Integration platform can become a strategic, enterprise-wide solution that that can often save time and money, as well as improve business performance.
For retailers – big and small – for whom success depends on growing online, we provide what it takes to sell better online. We do this by delivering class-leading Ecommerce websites that drive online growth and sales fulfilment solutions that facilitate next day delivery and customer service excellence.
We are independent and technology-agnostic but with close partnerships to several leading technology companies so we can always recommend the most appropriate platform for our customers' needs.
With a 20-year heritage in technology implementations, we take pride in helping our customers achieve long term benefits from the solutions we provide. We can do this, because we've done it before, for people just like you.
Key findings from Episerver’s recent survey of 4,500 consumers about their online shopping habits and expectations.
Download our easy-read checklist to help you decide whether you’re ready to take your online business to the next level.
Considering moving to Magento 2? In less than 5 months Magento 1 reaches its end of life. If you're wondering which version is the best fit for your business, download our guide to weigh up the pros and cons.