An explosion in online sales over the past couple of years has seen thousands of UK businesses adopt ecommerce for the first time whilst others have witnessed an exponential rise in activity through existing platforms.
Whilst many organisations welcomed this sharp upturn in online sales, it quickly became apparent to others that a lack of integration between their online stores and accounts or warehousing systems was presenting a new set of challenges.
So how well is your ecommerce site faring in a post-pandemic world and could your business benefit from the functionality gained by integrating your website with Sage?
An explosion in online sales since 2020
For the past decade, ecommerce sales had been rising steadily in most Western economies but then the Covid-19 pandemic supercharged that growth.
Government imposed lockdowns forced many businesses to close for extended periods and when they reopened, concerns over the use of public transport contributed to reduced numbers in traditional shopping locations. Needless to say, consumers quickly adapted their behaviours and began purchasing considerably more goods online than they have ever done before.
In Europe, many reports place the UK at the forefront of this digital revolution with estimates that online sales accounted for 28.9% of all retail sales by the end of 2021 (up from 19.2% in 2019). Elsewhere, this rose from 15.3% to 23.9% in the Netherlands and from 14.2% to 21.9% in Germany over the same time period. (Source: estimates by CCR, reported by the Centre for Retail Research).
How does M2M integrate Sage with ecommerce websites?
M2M offers many years of experience working across a variety of industries to integrate Sage 50 and Sage 200 with Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify and other ecommerce platforms.
In some cases, the standard API (application program interface) offered by the ecommerce vendor will suffice to transfer basic information to your accounts system. Additionally, the Sage 200 extended API is available as a means of enabling this communication between your website and your Sage 200 accounts software.
However, M2M has found both methods to be somewhat limited for certain applications. So, as a Sage reseller specialising in the customisation and development of Sage, we took the decision several years ago to create our own API to provide greater flexibility. Today, it is our own Sage API that we use in the majority of ecommerce integration projects we undertake for clients.
The benefits of integrating Sage with your ecommerce website
M2M clients who entrust a Sage ecommerce integration project to our development team are looking to achieve a more seamless customer experience through the bidirectional flow of information between their online stores and their accounts package.
By enabling a more personalised shopping experience for customers (e.g. unique pricing, order history) with access to real-time product data (e.g. stock availability, product descriptions), they are more likely to recommend your website to others and return to place repeat orders of their own.
What functionality will Sage ecommerce integration achieve?
In terms of the functionality that M2M can bring to your ecommerce process, our highly flexible API can be customised to your precise requirements, whether this be in the area of order processing, stock, product data or shipping.
With order processing, the M2M Sage development team can enable new orders that are placed online to be transferred straight into SOP (Sales Order Process), thereby removing the need to re-enter this data and avoiding any risk of human error such as typos on customer details. Up-to-the-minute stock availability can also be presented to clients browsing your online store to prevent products that are unavailable from being sold. Alternatively, you may wish to display the dates when stock is due to arrive and enable the ability to place a backorder.
The synchronisation of product details and specifications to your website means you’ll only ever need to manage this information in one place. With product codes, product descriptions, RRP and promotional prices being pulled through in real-time, you can guarantee customers will have everything they require to make a simple and informed purchase. Furthermore, the complex shipping options you may have designed in Sage, based on weight, volumetric weight, value, number, postcode or other criteria, can be synchronised seamlessly with your online store.
Thanks to M2M’s Sage API, the only limit to the ecommerce and sage 50/Sage 200 customisations we can achieve are your imagination (and of course the data being held in your database). So please contact us on 01245 494847 to discuss your own requirements or to arrange a demonstration.