B2B SaaS Integration with eCommerce Platforms — A Unified Approach
SaaS (Software as a Service), which once seemed a futuristic concept, is now a successful business model that allows businesses to evolve their operations. In fact, 38% of companies depend almost entirely on SaaS for their business operations. However, SaaS alone cannot meet business needs. Earlier, SaaS providers used to direct their clients to third-party vendors to bridge the functionality gaps but today, most of them are looking forward to adding SaaS integration capabilities to their system itself.
SaaS companies trying to upgrade their software capabilities are your competitors, and to outperform your competitors, you need to be better. SaaS integration eliminates the need to send your clients to other software providers for desired functionality. It makes your SaaS software capable of performing all essential functions on its own.
If your SaaS company works in the eCommerce industry, then integration with shopping platforms and marketplaces is the baсkbone of your functionality. Let’s take a look at how eCommerce integration impacts any B2B SaaS company.
Measuring the Value of eCommerce integration for B2B SaaS Companies
B2B SaaS integration with eCommerce platforms is crucial for SaaS software vendors because it enables the software to provide its basic functions to the online store owners. It also provides them with additional features so that they can facilitate their business operations.
Below are some of the essential features that some popular SaaS solutions offer with the help of integration with eCommerce platforms.
Shipping management software
Every online store owner depends on shipping software to pick, pack, and ship orders to the appropriate customers. Apart from this, shipping software also helps in order processing, updating order status, shipment tracking, and inventory control. This makes the software fully automated and efficient for software vendors.
However, the features of shipping software depend on the online store data of eCommerce platforms, and accessing this data is only possible through eCommerce integration. It connects the shipping software with the shopping platforms and enables them to get data from all the desired platforms to provide the required features.
Not only that, after the integration, the shipping software also provides other features like printing shipping labels directly from the dashboard of their online store and sending tracking numbers to the customers so that they can stay updated about the shipping status of their orders. This way, you can gain a competitive advantage over other shipping software providers who have not integrated their software with eCommerce platforms.
Inventory management system
An inventory management system is a must of every business, whether it is a brick-and-mortar or online store. It allows merchants to keep track of all the orders, inventory levels, deliveries, and sales, making the process of inventory management much easier.
Moreover, the data from the inventory management software helps the retailers to process and ship orders, update lists in the system and manage inventory. It also prevents store owners from being out of stock or having too much in stock so that the reputation of the business is not at stake.
All operations of inventory management software are based on store data available on eCommerce platforms. The software can access this data using B2B SaaS integration with eCommerce platforms. The integration not only facilitates the basic functionality of the software but also enables it to perform functions like:
- Track and import orders from multiple platforms into your system
- Update orders across all sales channels from a single location
- Sync inventory across multiple platforms
- Retrieve order updates and notify your customers in the shortest time possible
- Compile reports
Marketing automation software
Marketing automation software allows businesses to stay connected with their customers throughout the buying cycle and beyond. Since retailers can’t communicate with all of their customers in person, these systems automate and customize marketing messages and send them across the customer base.
One such software is email marketing automation software that automatically sends emails to customers regarding new items, discounts, and special prices in the store. It also notifies customers of order status, imports contacts from stores, builds segmented lists, and detects and tracks abandoned cart owners for incomplete purchase actions. Then, the system sends tailored messages to these cart owners to complete their purchases.
Marketing automation software could perform all these functions after gaining access to order, product, and customer data from eCommerce platforms. For this, eCommerce integration is an important step that connects the software to the shopping carts and enables it to perform the necessary functions.
Repricing systems have made it easier for the merchants to make changes to their product prices. They can quickly track their competitors’ price changes and adjust the price of their products in stores accordingly. This can be a single item or a group of products undergoing a price change.
Other features of the repricing system include updating prices, standard and custom reports, tracking products, and creating coupons. If you are wondering how this system can perform all these functions, access to store data is the answer. Repricing systems need data on products, customers, orders, and categories from online stores and this data is available through eCommerce integration.
Apart from the basic functions, integration also features the following functions via repricing system:
- Sync prices across all sales channels
- Retrieve product lists along with prices, images, descriptions, etc.
- Access to order history
- Create coupons based on a set of conditions
- Import contacts from stores and build segmented lists
- Generate smart reports
Product information management (PIM) system
A product information management system is a valuable asset for eCommerce store owners. It helps them manage all the information related to products, including images, descriptions, listings, price, quantity, stock, and much more. Enabling the merchants to display all the product information at one screen, these systems have already automated much of the tasks of online store owners.
PIM systems can perform their basic functionalities with the help of store data accessed from eCommerce platforms. These platforms contain all the data related to products without which PIM systems cannot provide their features to the merchants. Further, access to such data is possible with PIM systems integration with eCommerce platforms. It even comes with additional benefits, such as:
- Import products lists along with prices images, descriptions, attributes, variants, categories, etc
- Send product info to marketplace listings on eBay, Etsy, Amazon
- Add and update product info on web stores
- Retrieve and update customer info
- Get store info such as name, timezone, language, currency, country, etc.
B2B SaaS integration with eCommerce platforms is indeed important for SaaS software vendors but it’s not a piece of cake for them. It comes with several challenges when done in-house. Some of them are as follows:
- Integration is a time-consuming process. It takes 4–12 weeks to develop an integration, and if you want to connect to more than one eCommerce platform, it will take even more time. You’ll also need to build a development team for in-house integration development. Hiring, training, and employing developers for the project will definitely take more time.
- SaaS integration with a shopping platform is a complex process. Each eCommerce platform has its own architecture and API. You will need advanced developers to code the integration and set up an infrastructure to facilitate the process. Also, eCommerce platforms are constantly updating their APIs, so you need to update the integration with each new version of the shopping cart. This increases the maintenance tasks associated with the integration.
- Integrations are very expensive. On top of the setup costs (up to $4,000 per integration), there are the costs associated with hiring, training, employing, and paying advanced developers, setting up infrastructure, and overseeing upgrades and maintenance throughout the lifecycle. Forget about revenue if you want to connect your software to more than one eCommerce platform since your customers have stores on many of them.
You need to look for an easy and affordable way to integrate your software with shopping carts. Isn’t there a unified approach to integration?
A unified Strategy for eCommerce integration
The only way to easily, quickly, and cost-effectively establish SaaS integration with eCommerce platforms is to follow a unified approach. A unified integration strategy is one that allows connecting eCommerce software to all the shopping platforms and marketplaces in one go.
No separate integrations are required, so no additional time, money, and resources consumed with each additional integration. All a unified API does is combine third-party APIs into a single data set and enable data transfer through a set of methods specific to each data category.
API2Cart provides such a unified API that allows software vendors in the industries like shipping management, inventory management, order management, warehouse management, marketing automation, product information management, and many others to connect to over 40 eCommerce platforms and marketplaces at once.
This way, software vendors don’t have to invest in separate integrations. API2Cart is an integration solution for all types of B2B SaaS companies, be it a startup or a B2B company with high sales volume. In addition to the standard pricing plans, there is a special option for companies that want to make API integration with eCommerce platforms a part of their strategy.
The main advantage of Enterprise On-Premise pricing plan is that it can be implemented into your business infrastructure, and no one, except your company’s specialists, controls the integration process. It guarantees high reliability of the service and complete security of the data you receive from your customers’ shopping platforms.