Integration – what to expect

Stock2Shop is a powerful tool that can streamline your business and reduce human error. But just like any tool, it needs to be used properly to be effective. If you look after your data and follow the correct workflow for your particular integration, you will get tremendous value out of integrating your systems.

If you often need to travel significant distances, you might consider buying a car to help you do so more easily. However, you would still need to properly drive your vehicle, otherwise you may not reach your destination. The same applies to Stock2Shop. A systems integration can not replace you, but if you ‘drive’ it properly, it will make your life a lot easier.

It is impossible to run a successful online enterprise as a side hustle with zero human intervention. Many have tried, and all have come to realise that ecommerce is hands-on. However, Stock2Shop can handle a lot of the day to day workload, leaving you more time to market your business, deal with fringe cases and occasionally knock off early for an afternoon surf. If you are thinking about getting your systems synced up, we have written this article to help you embark on such a project with eyes wide open.

Implementation turn-around time

This is a common question and is one that is impossible to answer with any degree of accuracy. There are a number of factors that can affect the turnaround time of a Stock2Shop integration, such as the complexity of the requirements, but the main factor is you, the client.

The actual deployment of an integration doesn’t take long, but before that can begin you will need to ensure that your data is prepared and ready to be synced. Although one of our technicians will advise on the best way to do this, the ‘heavy lifting’ will be your responsibility. If you have many thousands of products in your database, or if you simply don’t have enough time to dedicate to this task, it can take months to get to the point where we can schedule the implementation. If however you’re able to complete it quickly, it’s not impossible to have you synced up in a handful of weeks.

Product configuration needs to happen somewhere

For most companies, the way the data is captured in the ERP does not present well on an ecommerce store, so you are left with two choices on how to present your products effectively online:

  • Adjust the product data in the ERP by adding fields with codes that accommodate multiple variants, web-friendly titles, and other marketing material to help sell your product. If required, you can also add enrichment information to your products before they are sent to your channel.
  • Configure the products directly on the sales channel, and limit the integration to update the price and stock quantities of these products.

While Stock2Shop will reduce your workload by eradicating the need for duplicate data capture, it will not replace you. You will still need to configure your products somewhere, but with Stock2Shop you should only have to do it once.

Garbage in garbage out

It is vital that you are accurate when capturing your data, especially when it comes to item codes. Stock2Shop’s job is to pass data back and forth between your systems, so if you’ve made input mistakes, you’re going to get output errors.

We sell the car, chauffeur not included

We do not manage your Stock2Shop integration. It is a tool that you use to ensure your data is syncing, and it is your responsibility to address integration errors, as well as add, enrich and delete products on your sales channels. Of course we do offer email support (with the option to upgrade your support plan at additional cost) should you need help resolving an issue, and you will receive email alerts when errors arise, but it’s up to you to make sure your integration is running like a well oiled machine.

Two steps backwards, twenty steps forwards

There is no way to sugarcoat it – an integration project is going to require some work on your part. How much effort this will require depends largely on the state of your data, but in the end, when you’ve reduced human error and eradicated the need for duplicate data capture, you will no doubt see the value.

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