A recent blog post from digital marketing and e-commerce expert Hans-Petter Nygård-Hansen gave some interesting insights into the state of e-commerce in the Nordics. The article looked at a range of issues affecting the industry, including several related to software integration.
Integration of physical and online shops
Today, integrating a webshop with an accounting / ERP system such as Visma, Xledger or 24SevenOffice to automatically transfer orders is something every e-commerce business should do, no matter how big or small. With the availability of easy to use and affordable integration tools, if you are still manually typing or importing web orders into your accounts you are literally throwing time and money out the window.
However, Hans-Petter also touched on the growing trend of combining a physical retail presence with an online store. Traditionally, this was common where an established retailer set up a webshop to complement their shop, but more and more businesses that started as online retailers are now also opening physical retail stores.
So where does integration fit in? At ConnectMyApps we’re seeing a growing number of requests for integration between Point of Sale (kasse) systems such as Vend, and webshops, such as Shopify, Mystore, 24Nettbutikk, Magento or WooCommerce, which are then connected to other business systems, such as accounting software or CRM.
By connecting your webshop and Point of Sale system, you ensure stock levels are accurate and save time entering web orders and sales from your cash register each day into your accounts.
Seamless customer journey
Another point raised in the article was the need for a seamless customer journey, including sales, customer service and marketing. Integration again plays an important role by connecting CRM systems such as SuperOffice or Salesforce, and email marketing software like MailChimp with your webshop.
The benefits of this are:
– more precise email marketing lists resulting in better response rates
– better understanding of what your customers have bought in the past, leading to more repeat business, which is much cheaper than getting new business
– enables you to send relevant, targetted offers to your customer, increasing the effectiveness of your marketing
One of the biggest obstacles to buying online is uncertainty over product returns and customer support. For some webshops, helpdesk software such as Zendesk or Freshdesk can help you organize and manage customer support issues. These should be integrated with your CRM system so that your sales and support team have a full overviw of customer interactions.
Pressure on margins
As Hans-Petter mentions in his article, many webshops are experiencing pressure on their margins. A webshop is a business like any other, and with the high cost of staff in the Nordics, you should be automating as many processes as possible to save costs and at the same time, help make your sales and marketing more effective.