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No E-commerce System is An Island

February 9, 2016

When John Donne penned the words to his great poem “No man is an island” he had a very clear point in mind – we are all connected. Your death diminishes me because we are all connected. In fact, more that he is saying we are the better, the stronger for being united.

And so it is with Magento Ecommerce systems. In concept an ecommerce system is simple – the customer arrives on your site, identifies what they want to buy, securely pays for it and then you send it out to them. If you are running a cottage ecommerce operation, then that maybe exactly when you need to happen.

However, for most bigger businesses, e-commerce systems are never an island – they need to be connected to other systems to make the management of products, customers, payments, orders and deliveries the very best it can be. No customer wants to order their hard-chosen product only to have that order cancelled because there is no stock to fulfil the order. Equally no store owner wants to get an order placed with an incomplete or incorrect address so that the order cannot be sent out. Or worse, the order gets sent and then never makes it to the customer. They get a refund and you have lost the product.

Connecting systems together can help to mitigate those problems and help you make the whole customer experience that much, much better. Magento is an excellent platform because there are plenty of extensions and technologies that can get you up and running quickly and efficiently.

Here at Venture Stream (and our technology division Commvia) we are experts at connecting systems together to create the best possible experience. Let’s look at a typical customer journey and see all the connected systems that can be used to make things the best it can be:

  • Cross site upselling and cross selling – as a customer travels round your site you want to make sure they see the products that are relevant, popular and available. Nosto is a great tool for populating the site with live information about what is selling and what customers like them actually bought
  • Stock availability – often you want to connect a stock feed from a warehouse management system. However, they are so diverse this often means a custom integration of a text or xml feed. You may also need to connect Amazon or Ebay orders to your system to make sure that stock sold on one platform is seen visible on the your Magento system – M2EPro is a great integration tool in that case
  • Store integration – if you have stores around the country can your Magento store see the store stock and create click and collect orders? After looking at what was available Venture Stream wrote a custom integration for one of our clients to deliver online orders in store.
  • Secure payments – Magento has a host of payment options that allow you to securely capture payment without ever having to store card data. Process the transaction live so you get instant fraud scoring to sift the bad orders out too.
  • Correct address informationPCA Predict is a simple way allowing your customer to just type their postcode in and get presented with the correct address. Improves order deliverability considerably.
  • Secure delivery of transactional emails – customers often panic after placing an order – did I order the right thing? did my order go through ok? – an email confirmation in their inbox will allay those fears and answer their questions. However, relying on your ecommerce server to send out transactional emails can be fraught with problems. Mandrill is free for the first 12,000 emails a month and has impressive deliverability stats.
  • Financial integration – need to get your order details into Xero or Sage one? There are extensions to get you sorted.
  • Loyalty programme – there are plenty of loyalty systems, but for one client their combination of stores and online shop meant that none of them seemed quite right. So we created a scheme of them and integrated it with website and local stores – read more

Hopefully that gives you an idea of what is possible with a comprehensive ecommerce system like Magento. Far from being an island, you can make your Magento Ecommerce store the centre of an interconnected network. Live data from round the globe making your customer experience the very best it can be.

If this sounds like something you like to know more about, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Written by Andy

Andy is Venture Stream’s Chief Operating Officer and has over 15 years’ experience in ecommerce consultancy, design and retail marketing.

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