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Integration of tech platforms and software is vital if ecommerce companies want to be able to run an efficient business and provide an excellent customer experience.

But despite the obvious need for successfully joining up ecommerce with other parts of the business, it would appear that most are struggling in this area. 

A new report from Econsultancy, in partnership with Neoworks, has found that integration with current/legacy systems remains the biggest challenge when expanding an ecommerce business, cited by 43% of company respondents and 39% of supply-side respondents as one of the three biggest barriers to success.

Given the difficulties of in this area, it is no surprise that some companies are turning to integrators and implementers to help them customise and integrate their ecommerce tech. 

The Technology for Ecommerce Survey Report shows that a quarter (27%) of organisations have used a systems implementer or integrator, and that a further 9% are planning to.

Further analysis of the data shows that companies spending more on ecommerce technology are more likely to use a systems implementer or integrator.  

All client-side respondents based in the UK who spend more than £2m on ecommerce technology are currently using or have used an implementer / integrator, compared to only 6% of those who spend less than £100,000.

Similarly, more than three-quarters (78%) of those with an annual revenue from ecommerce of more than £100m use or have used an integrator, compared to only 12% of those earning less than £1m.

The chart below shows that 41% of supply-side respondents said that their clients have used a partner for implementation. This higher percentage is to be expected because the supply-side sample of agencies includes integrators and implementers. 

Do you or your clients use (or have you / they used) a systems implementer or integrator?

The Technology for Ecommerce Report explores the most important aspects of ecommerce functionality and integration, and how companies rate the performance of their solutions in these areas.

The research, based on a global survey of more than 500 client-side and agency respondents, also looks at spending trends, challenges, and the use of implementers and integrators.

Selecting an implementer/integrator

The survey also asked merchants which are the most important types of service they look for when selecting an implementer/integrator.

‘Support’ was deemed to be the most critical service (cited as 'critical' by 61% of respondents), closely followed by ‘project management’ (56%) and ‘integration with other systems’ (54%).

It is not surprising to see integration so widely regarded as critical, given the frequency with which it is cited as a barrier to ecommerce success.

When selecting an implementer / integrator, how important are the following types of service?

Extent of integration

The integration of an ecommerce platform with other areas of a business can often save time and money, as well as improving business performance. For many organisations operating in the world of ecommerce, integration isn’t a nice-to-have, it is actually a ‘hygiene factor’.

In order to understand the extent of integration being carried out, wthe survey asked both companies and supply-side respondents to state which areas they are currently integrating their ecommerce platform with.

The two most commonly cited areas for integration for both companies and agencies were email database (56% company, 65% supply-side) and CRM (47% company, 69% supply-side).

Supply-side respondents generally point to more implementation being carried out across the spectrum, with the most notable differences for CRM (22%), CMS (16%) and social media (13%).

David Moth

Published 20 February, 2014 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1674 more posts from this author

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