ERP and e-commerce functionality have been continuously growing in importance because online businesses are flourishing, and brick and mortar retailers have become less prominent. It is easy to see the benefits of integration in light of the growth of online stores. For example, integrating your BigCommerce platform with HubSpot can help your online business increase productivity, retain more customers and boost revenue.
The Importance of a Project Blueprint
There is no doubt that integrating your e-commerce store on a platform like BigCommerce with HubSpot can provide numerous benefits for your business. However, it is crucial to plan for this integration.
If you want to complete the integration internally, you should allocate resources strategically and judicially or hire more people to create a smooth workflow and save time.
You should also determine if your online business has a technical resource available that fully understands the nuances of your storefront.
Create an Integration Team
There is no doubt that integration projects are often successful when everybody involved is on the same page right from start to end. Keep in mind that a shared understanding of your project goals, objectives, and action plan will help ensure that there are no delays and cost overruns.
If you do not have an educated and experienced resource in-house, you should work with an integration provider that can offer you the skills, expertise, and knowledge to successfully execute the integration. For example, third-party stakeholders could potentially include e-commerce developers and integration solution providers.
Keep in mind that these third-party stakeholders provide their expert advice during the planning phase, identifying the various intricacies and nuances of systems integration that the internal stakeholders may not be aware of.
Select the Most Suitable Integration Solution
There are several integration solutions and tools available today for an e-commerce business. These solutions come in many types and sizes. For instance, some are geared toward the SMB market while other solutions are enterprise-level.
And while these considerations are an important factor, the integration solution your business chooses should be the one that best meets and satisfies the business requirements and needs of your integration project.
Defining Use Cases
Did you know that every e-commerce integration option has its unique benefits and drawbacks with the best use cases? Note that any method that you choose must provide a high degree of integration as well as flexibility without a massive investment in costly solutions or training programs.
When considering various integration needs and preferences, common patterns emerge. Keep in mind that patterns are the most logical and rational sequence of steps that can solve a specific kind of ERP problem. These patterns are established from use cases.
It is important to understand all options available as you gradually develop your integration strategy. You should start with a simple-to-implement method like a manual or SFTP sync in order to evaluate how data flows between platforms and whether or not it achieves desired results.
Prototyping is one of the cornerstones of creating a project blueprint. And establishing a strong and effective feedback loop early on in your integration journey and then adjusting this prototype according to users’ needs and preferences is much more affordable than making changes in an e-commerce platform that has been implemented.
You will be happy to know that wireframing can solidify your online store’s functionality and layout. This is why you should study the wireframe and then determine whether the important store functions are prominent and simple to use.
Wireframing involves creating the skeletal structure of user interfaces. And mockups are better-dressed wireframes. Designers can add UI design details like content and typefaces on each screen.
Prototype Creation before Coding
Regardless of the platform (Shopify or BigCommerce) that you use for your e-commerce website, it’s beneficial to develop online store prototypes before website development. The main goal of prototyping before coding begins is to uncover any potential problems or issues with your proposed solution or design before you invest time and money in creating it.
This means you should consider and identify what part of your online store lag (or fall short) of their intended business goals. This way, you will be able to plan, pivot, and readjust your online store design and functionality before writing a single line of code. This will save you both money and time.
It is clear that fully integrated e-commerce and online stores are the way of the future. Keep in mind that the choice isn’t whether to adopt integrations – it is which integrations you have to adopt first. While online store integration is complex, it is an essential element in growing and expanding your e-commerce business.
Planning effectively and strategically for an integration project will lower the complexity and increase the odds of being delivered on budget and on time.