An organization’s growth today is determined by how well it participates in or creates a business ecosystem, which is comprised of customers, suppliers, partners, and increasingly, applications, marketplaces, and data. The Shopify application, for instance, can play a key e-commerce role in that ecosystem as long as there’s a proper Shopify integration in place. But Shopify integrations don’t grow on trees.
As part of most growth strategies, organizations often identify and deploy new applications consistent with creating new digital business models. Whether it’s a cloud-based CRM to manage leads and contacts, a human capital management application for resource and HR management, or an e-commerce app like Shopify to expand digital sales reach, these businesses will need to integrate those applications using APIs. But they also need to seamlessly tie them into the context of more meaningful business processes, the kind of processes that create value for the organization (such as EDI), without creating yet another data silo.
Integrating the numerous best-of-breed applications into the IT infrastructure and processes, however, is a challenge for most organizations. That’s because business function dictates the need and deployment, while integration is often the after-thought. But what businesses are beginning to learn is that their networks of customers and trading partners, as well as the applications supporting those relationships, comprise an ecosystem that’s foundational to their overall value.
Part of evolving as a modern business, then, means strategically using these applications to support your valuable ecosystem interactions – and vice versa. Underpinning these initiatives are ecosystem integration capabilities, which simplify the processes and ultimately drive growth. In that context, here’s how an integration connector for Shopify helps streamline end-to-end business data flows that drive your operations and support an ecosystem integration strategy.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an online e-commerce platform that provides users with everything required to create a front-end gateway to their business, which includes a website as well as payment, inventory, and shipping tools. The e-commerce application also comes with tooling to help users build a Shopify-Amazon integration or integrate with the Facebook marketplace. Ultimately, people and companies leverage Shopify as a platform to represent what they do and sell and position themselves to reach more customers and enable more business.
How Shopify Works
When a user deploys Shopify, that person has a single cockpit to run the front end, where he can build out the domain, sell goods and services, receive payments, and manage inventory and shipping information. Dashboards also are available to show what sales are and who his vendors are and help identify trends.
Who Uses Shopify?
Large companies like Tesla, Kylie Cosmetics, Budweiser, Red Bull, Herschel backpacks, and Nestle all use Shopify, but the e-commerce application certainly can benefit small and midsized businesses looking to expand their digital reach.
What is a Shopify Application Connector?
Cleo’s Shopify application connector is a built-in wizard from Cleo Integration Cloud that guides users through the initial API connection with the application. The connector not only creates the connection but also creates the foundation required for the Shopify integration, upon which users can build.
Cleo Integration Cloud sits between an ERP and the Shopify application. Using the Shopify API, the e-commerce connector pulls data out of Shopify and integrates it into the ERP, which helps keep front-end and back-end systems aligned. It also provides accurate information to kick off the processes that enable order processing, shipping, fulfillment, and payment. This is especially beneficial for businesses that offer, for example, drop shipping services, where it’s critical to consistently update product info on the front and back ends, so all parties know when inventory is low and whether to manufacture more product.
Why Use a Shopify Connector?
Cleo’s Shopify application connector automates the order-to-cash flow to and from your back-end systems, such as an ERP. Let’s say an online shopper wants to purchase a backpack from the Herschel storefront. She moves the product in the digital cart, and then submits shipping and payment information. The payment info (in a JSON payload) transfers to Cleo Integration Cloud, which transforms the format to fit your ERP (say, Oracle or SAP), and uploads it into that ERP. The warehouse that packs and ships the item follows the same process, where the shipping info is sent back through Cleo Integration Cloud and uploads into Shopify, where Herschel can track it from there. The shopper then gets a confirmation email in near real-time to know the cost and expected shipment and arrival date.
When you have full visibility into the entire order-to-cash process – from when an order is placed, fulfilled and shipped, and paid for – you can provide that same transparency to your customers so they also understand the status of the order, fulfillment and shipment, and payment. The result is bulletproof SLA performance and customer satisfaction.
The ability to seamlessly connect and integrate across a company’s ecosystem is extremely important for growing businesses. This includes integrating partner, storefront, and marketplace data with back-end applications, as well as the synchronization of internal applications, integration of data stores, and connections to big data storage and analytics frameworks.
Thus, supporting the quick, seamless integration of a SaaS application like Shopify becomes that much more important. Companies will achieve greater success when they fortify the edges of their business ecosystem, where multi-enterprise ecosystem participants interact and business processes are extended, with cloud integration technology to enable fluid and frictionless interactions across applications and with partners, customers, suppliers, and other vendors.
Learn more about the Cleo Integration Cloud platform and how to enable end-to-end data integration with the Shopify e-commerce application.