6 benefits of an integrated eCommerce marketing platform

Few technological advancements and innovations have affected the world of commerce as deeply as the advent of eCommerce. One cannot overstress the profound ease of doing business online, especially in an increasingly mobile-friendly digital era. In turn, this development has motivated brands and businesses to adapt their marketing strategies accordingly. Inevitably, many seem to have come to the data-driven conclusion that an integrated eCommerce marketing platform is both necessary and lucrative.

The most fundamental benefit of such a platform should be immediately obvious in this context. An ever-growing, vast, tech-savvy, often international audience should allure any brand or business. However, tapping into such a sizeable audience entails a notable practical burden, unprecedented for many. Fortunately, such platforms tackle this burden by providing tailor-made solutions to each of the challenges at hand. However, to analyze such solutions in-depth, one would need to carefully examine the emerging challenges alongside the benefits such platforms offer.

The benefits of an integrated eCommerce marketing platform

Arguably, the most fundamental challenge that comes with such a volume of transactions is strictly practical; handling and processing transactions themselves. Concurrently, the need to handle back-end jobs remains, while their scope and intensity only increase. Furthermore, such a volume of data can hamper marketing efforts due to fragmented data, and thus inhibit sales and growth. To consolidate such challenges, one could identify them as the following core issues;

  • Miscommunication between incoming orders and internal accounting systems
  • Siloed data which can hamper team/department cohesion  
  • Mismanagement of potential leads and engagement opportunities
  • Time mismanagement
  • Worse customer experience and service

By definition, all of the aforementioned factors can have a visible adverse effect on any brand or business. Increased strain, especially for the less prepared, can range from mildly disorganizing to borderline catastrophic. Therefore, an integrated eCommerce marketing platform can be an invaluable asset towards tackling these challenges and ensuring growth, simply because such platforms strive to tackle those same challenges. Most significantly, they aim to let brands and businesses streamline their operations, optimizing their time, and ultimately delivering a concise, enticing customer experience.

If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.

Jeff BezosFounder of Amazon.com

The exact benefits of an integrated eCommerce marketing platform can be numerous and worth exploring individually and in-depth. In the interest of time and consolidated information, however, one should safely distill them down to 6 key benefits.

1

Eliminating human errors and duplicate data entries

The very first challenge of sustaining a vast ERP system for eCommerce ventures lies, expectedly, in human error. Processing large quantities of orders manually lends itself to oversights and mistakes such as the following;

  • Duplicate data entries
  • Transposed numbers
  • Wrong or misspelled data entries
  • Lost orders
While such mistakes may not incur immediately visible damage, their effect and quantity only scale with size. As one’s backlog expands, the room for such errors naturally increases as employees struggle to manage the added strain. Furthermore, potential mismanagement of data and orders can deteriorate brand loyalty and jeopardize growth in the context of eCommerce. Online avenues and retail sites offer public, visible customer reviews as a testament of quality – which can conversely amplify even the slightest imperfection.
As such, an integrated eCommerce marketing platform can overcome this challenge by automating data entry. It can process any volume of orders with the same efficiency and swiftness while providing a nearly error-free process. While it may not be absolutely infallible, as no software solutions truly are, it can certainly offer more confidence than manual data entry.

2

Automated order cycles and timely data updates

By the same token, manual order cycles and data updates also offer room for error. Moreover, they become increasingly inefficient in terms of time investment on a scale. On both accounts, manually updating data can be inefficient, error-prone, and needlessly time-consuming. An integrated eCommerce marketing platform can address both through similar yet distinct functionalities.

An integrated eCommerce marketing platform can automate order cycles
Traditionally, sizeable volumes of orders may require manual management, exporting and importing them into back-end accounting systems. The massive potential volume of eCommerce orders can encumber employees regarding this task, slowing down order processing speed and shipping. In response, such platforms can automate this process and enable seamless data entry.

An integrated eCommerce marketing platform can update customer and inventory data in a timely manner
Similarly, manual data updates can present a challenge and entail errors. One needs to update inventory after each incoming order, and customer data changes fairly regularly. Needless to say, errors on either front can damage operations and one’s image. Furthermore, both of those processes can demand unreasonable effort and precious time that one could invest elsewhere. As such, these solutions address this challenge by automating data updates; bi-directional integration can keep inventory and customer data synchronized and up-to-date.

3

Data integration and customer segmentation

Moreover, still on the subject of data management and analysis, data integration is an irreplaceable asset. Siloed data inaccessible by specific employees or departments can hamper internal cooperation and thus jeopardize the final customer experience. Additionally, fragmented data can prevent proper lead analysis, which can, in turn, lead to multiple shortcomings;

  • Poor lead acquisition and profitability analysis
  • Disjointed marketing efforts
  • Lower ROI across marketing and sales endeavors
An integrated platform can address such challenges by providing centralized, cross-channel data accessible by multiple devices. Additionally, it offers powerful insights into customer behavior, interaction history, and specific touchpoints. Thus, brands and businesses can use such data to segment customers according to their demographics and other characteristics, behavior, and profitability. In turn, they can provide highly personalized marketing campaigns and purchase funnels, which yield significantly better results.

4

Improved customer experience and customer service

With the aforementioned benefits of consolidated data and optimized internal cooperation, another benefit of an integrated eCommerce marketing platform lies in customer satisfaction. In the digital age, customers expect a seamless experience and impeccable customer support. A consolidated, detailed database can facilitate both to a significant degree.

In terms of customer service, swift access to customer interaction history and past inquiries can expedite the process. Common and frequent inquiries can be identified more easily, and the appropriate agents for each incoming communication can be notified more effectively. By the same token, such a trove of valuable, actionable data can significantly improve customer experience. Consider the following data-driven initiatives;

  • Optimal lead acquisition and conversion through well-timed communication
  • An increased volume of user-generated content, such as public comments and reviews, through post-purchase requests
  • More engagement and loyalty incentives, such as tailored content, loyalty points programs, and referrals
An integrated eCommerce marketing platform can facilitate the above, and more, to holistically improve operations. In turn, such efforts can unclog the back-end of any brand or business, and by extension, improve the customers’ final experience.

5

Reduced operational costs

Furthermore, automated accounting processes can help reduce operational costs. Eliminating human error can be beneficial by itself, as outlined above, but it also has the byproduct of reducing labor costs. As such, fewer employees and administrators need to take up the burden of manual data entry and management.
Simultaneously, outside of accounting automation, data-driven choices can reduce marketing costs as well. With more data in hand to inform focused marketing decisions, one can reduce the costs of misplaced or mismanaged marketing efforts.

6

Time efficiency

Lastly, the data, automation, and overall operational efficiency that an integrated eCommerce marketing platform can offer can only conclude with time efficiency. Time is a vital, valuable resource that can dictate growth rates and even sustainability. From reducing the administrative burden of accounting to streamlining data entry and collection, automation can indeed streamline one’s time investments.

In turn, time saved from redundant, automatable tasks can be invested in more productive activities, such as producing high-converting marketing content. Lead analysis can highlight the most valuable marketing platforms, content types, and lead generation strategies for one’s intended audience – equally time-intensive but arguably far more productive tasks to focus on.

Beyond an integrated eCommerce marketing platform: business software solutions

Finally, it is equally noteworthy that further business software options also exist. As long as one can guarantee integration, such options are not mutually exclusive; rather, they can function as complementary assets. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is likely among the most prominent holistic solutions, but various business software solutions can handle different vital tasks;

  • Word and spreadsheet processing software
  • Asset management software
  • Accounting, billing, and payroll software
  • Internal communication software

All such solutions, as well as myriads of others, bespoke or packaged, can help streamline operations and guarantee longevity. However, since many such solutions may overlap or lack integration, one needs to research thoroughly and make an educated decision to avoid redundancy and incompatibility.

Conclusion: an integrated eCommerce marketing platform can be invaluable

In light of the aforementioned, it should be safe to argue that the benefits of integrated eCommerce marketing platforms are numerous and substantial.Automation, centralized data, and data insights can offer an invaluable advantage towards improving eCommerce operations. Additionally, multiple business software solutions can expand on such advantages and ensure continued success. Businesses small and large alike can opt for such innovative technology and adapt to eCommerce’s evolving landscape.

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Author

David Dorr, Head of eCommerce

David is the Head of e-Commerce at CodeCoda where he is responsible to lead several teams of eCommerce specialists. In his previous role as a data scientist for London Metropolitan Police, he was developing deep learning NLP algorithms as part of the Crime Prediction initiative. He then switched over to combine AI with e-Commerce.
He received a B.Sc in Physics from the University of Surrey, Guildford in 1996. With this scientific background, he switched relatively early in his life towards Neural Networks and e-Commerce and has ever since been fascinated with what AI and Machine Learning can do for Online Commerce.