software jargon. .
Before defining eCommerce
integration, we should take a step back and
first explore the term eCommerce.
eCommerce, an abbreviation of electronic commerce,
is used to describe an industry in which buying and
selling products and services is conducted over
electronic systems – most commonly via the internet.
It also refers to the exchange of information
necessary to complete these online transactions such
as inventory and pricing data. eCommerce includes
transactions made online with mobile and tablet
dates back to the 1980s, it continues to evolve
as features such as mobile commerce, group buying,
private sales and social commerce are developed. It
is features like these that have made eCommerce a
realistic option for businesses of all sizes, and
the convenience of purchasing products over the
internet in a secure way, 24/7 is very attractive.
According to Invesp,
more than 80% of the online population has used the
internet to purchase something, and Forrester
Research forecasts that between 2011 and 2016 15%
more US consumers will shop online.
Simply put, eCommerce
the coordination between a company’s eCommerce site
and back-end accounting and inventory (ERP) system.
Proper integration enables the flow of information
bi-directionally between the two systems meaning
data only needs to be entered into one system once.
This results in various efficiencies such as
inventory levels automatically updating at the
back-end as product is sold on the eCommerce site
and at the front-end as product gets received into a
warehouse and added to inventory. (Note that while
many eCommerce businesses currently have one way
integration or batch updates, true eCommerce
integration is achieved by two-way, real-time or
near real-time flow of data.)
Many businesses choose to fully integrate both
systems as it means inventory and pricing
information is available to customers and staff in
real-time and as demand increases the need for
additional staff to handle transactions is