eCommerce platforms in 2021 are built to be compatible with all manner of integrations and apps.
This versatility gives the online store owner, unprecedented power to create an eCommerce store that completely fulfills their needs.
The end result can be confusing, however. Even “closed” eCommerce platforms that provide their own add-ons, provide a wide range of choice that makes it difficult for the beginner to know what they have to include.
In this guide, we will look into this, and give you the definitive list of essential integrations that every eCommerce store should have.
Essential Ecommerce Integrations and Apps
1. Payment Integrations
It goes without saying that when a customer purchases a product, the eCommerce store needs to be able to take payment securely.
Payment integrations allow you to take payment from different sources (credit card, PayPal, bitcoin, etc) and will work across borders, with currencies based on the customer’s locations.
If you do not integrate payment gateways, or use something that doesn’t provide sufficient options and ease of use for your customers, your eCommerce store will suffer.
Finally, secure transactions are a must for any eCommerce store owner. To avoid fraud, a high-quality integration should be employed.
2. Inventory Integrations
Inventory integrations are also very important. The administration of your store will fall apart if you do not have suitable tracking software in place to provide data on your inventory.
The end result of unfulfilled orders, refunds, running out of stock, and disgruntled customers are just some of the issues you will encounter if you do not have a good record of your inventory.
The good news is, that no matter the eCommerce platform you use, there will be an inventory integration available, (unless it is already built-in of course).
And if you aim to scale, and thousands of SKUs are being sold on a weekly basis, your business will come to a stand-still without adequate inventory software.
With the proper alerts, you can ensure your inventory has sufficient stock at all times, as well as track trending products and anticipate seasonal spikes.
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3. Invoice and Accounting Integrations
The integrations already mentioned (payment and inventory), will work hand-in-hand with invoice and accounting software.
Data on product sales and the amount paid will feed into your accounts integrations so that all the relevant bookkeeping can be taken care of.
Budgeting, profit and losses, and taxes can all then be carried out with relative ease.
Automatically syncing your website’s sales and order data to account integrations also means that your customer can access invoices online.
4. Dropshipping integrations
If you are running a dropshipping eCommerce store it is very likely you will use a dropshipping app to take care of important processes.
(They also link with sites such as Amazon and eBay so that you can source products and create relationships with suppliers directly from there.)
This makes dropshipping integrations extremely important for this type of business model.
- Related Content: Why Samples & Test Orders are Important When Dropshipping
5. Shipping Integrations
Shipping integrations can help raise your eCommerce outfit above the competition.
A good app will allow you to customize your shipping rates and options, while also auto-generating shipping labels with your customer’s information.
Not only that, a shipping integration will allow both you and your customer to track orders.
Superior integrations will send automated delivery notifications to your customers so that they remain in the loop during the entire shipping process.
This provides both a detailed paper chain for your records, as well as a happy customer that knows when and how they will receive their package.
6. Email and Marketing Automation Integrations
Marketing integrations are another facet of your eCommerce store that should not be overlooked.
Quality apps here will allow you to automate your email marketing campaigns.
The software will also track user behavior so that customers can be grouped together based on their engagement with the eCommerce store, and the products they have searched and paid for.
This means you can send targeted marketing messages, providing value to the customer with product suggestions and relevant deals.
Essentially, all the important functions of email address capture, management, and communication can be taken care of with the right integration.
7. Analytics Integrations
An analytics app is another essential integration that your eCommerce store will require.
This will provide you information on the number of visitors your website is getting, what pages they are spending most of their time on, bounce rate (i.e, how long they are on your site), and other important metrics.
Analyzing and understanding this data will help you optimize your eCommerce store for higher conversions.
8. Customer Support Integrations
I would argue that customer support integrations such as live chat, instant messaging, and/or chatbots are very important in 2021.
We have written about these extensively on Vault50. Your customers will expect a level of instant communication.
Taking too long to respond to queries can often mean that you lose the sale. Chat services and the power of chatbot integrations will help provide a level of professionalism, while also helping to increase conversions.
There are other integrations such as social links, enabling customer reviews and ratings, and apps that assist with SEO.
While these are clearly important, a lot of this will be incorporated into the eCommerce platform that you use.
The essential integrations listed above may also be part of your platform of choice, (especially in a dedicated eCommerce platform); however, if integrations exist that can take the functionality of your store to a new level, you shouldn’t ignore them.
Good luck with your venture…