Author: Aubrey Eyre May 02, 2023 4 Min READ

Integrating Your Ecommerce Tech Stack Doesn’t Have to Be a Burden

4 Min READ
Integrating Your Ecommerce Tech Stack Doesn’t Have to Be a Burden


It is standard practice for most ecommerce companies today to utilize multiple different tech systems or applications to meet their unique business needs. But with so many system options available to handle different parts of their workflows, ecommerce businesses often end up with a hodgepodge of disparate solutions that don’t connect with one another, leaving a wake of data silos, system errors, and operational slowdowns from manual or duplicate data entry. 

To mitigate these inefficiencies, integrations have become a key addition to nearly every tech stack out there. Integrations are especially useful for ecommerce businesses—and the third-party logistics (3PL) providers that support them—that are heavily reliant on data, both live and historical, for tracking orders through every step of their fulfillment processes and correlating them to customer satisfaction ratings. However, not all integrations are created equal, and neither are their outcomes.

What are integrations and how do they work?  

Most integrations nowadays are created through open application programming interfaces (APIs) that act as an open door for the endpoints of different applications to connect, share data, and communicate with one another. The two main connection types available for integrations are data synchronization and trigger-based systems.  

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Data synchronization copies data from one system to another, essentially ensuring that the data is the same across multiple systems. The primary benefits of this type of integration are the ability to maintain a single source of truth, reducing the risk of errors, and improving access and accuracy for employees.  

Trigger-based systems on the other hand automate workflows between differing systems based on an event or action in one system initiating a succeeding event or action in another system. As an example, a customer making a purchase through a sales channel may trigger an automatic email confirmation to be sent via a marketing/email system.

What integrations matter for ecommerce?

For ecommerce, both types of integrations are useful depending on the systems being used and their roles in managing orders, inventory, fulfillment processes, etc.  

The most common systems ecommerce businesses use and integrate are:

  • Order management systems (OMS) — managing orders from start to finish through the fulfillment process, including order creation, managing inventory levels, and tracking shipments to customers.
  • Point of Sale (POS), Marketplace, and Shopping Cart systems — facilitating the synchronization of inventory data, customer information, and transaction data between brick-and-mortar stores and online sales channels.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems — enabling businesses to gather valuable data and information on their customer preferences and behaviors while improving the customer experience, informing forecasting for demand, targeting marketing materials, and improving overall sales strategies.
  • Shipping systems — connecting order sources, such as online shopping carts or an OMS, to a preferred shipping platform to transfer order information and manage their shipping processes.
  • Accounting and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems — managing money and resources from procurement to services and fulfillment, most ERPs and accounting systems make it possible to track how your money is coming in and going at a granular level when connected to your inventory and orders.  
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems — exchanging electronic business documents and streamlining communications between organizations such as vendors, customers, 3PL warehouses, or other business partners.  

Not all integrations are created equal

Without integrations connecting each moving piece of an ecommerce tech stack, businesses usually end up with major data silos, limited visibility into their products and processes, extra work from duplicative data entry, and, perhaps most importantly, loss of time and revenue. However, inefficient integrations can be almost as big of a headache as no integrations.  

The 2019 State of Ecosystem and Application Integration Report, covered by Businesswire and Supply Chain Quarterly, cited poor integrations of tech systems as the cause for many businesses, ecommerce included, with annual revenues between $100 million and $1 billion to lose $500,000 in revenue annually. Among the businesses included in the report, 38 percent felt their systems and integrations lacked the ability to scale properly, while 29 percent reported lacking the skills and resources necessary to build and manage the integrations needed for their systems.  

Smaller businesses with fewer resources than most $100 million companies undoubtedly have more to lose when it comes to their integrations falling short. Data silos and other integration-based problems can have a ripple effect throughout every system and part of the business that can become crippling over time. So, while integrations are at the heart of successfully managing an ecommerce business, managing the integrations themselves or having several disjointed integrations in addition to disjointed tech systems isn’t reasonable for most business owners.  

If current systems and the integrations that connect them feel disjointed, require continual “workarounds,” or otherwise don’t feel scalable, it’s a safe bet that those connections won’t cut it in the long run. So where does that leave ecommerce businesses looking to scale and outmaneuver the shortcomings of inconsistent integrations?

iPaaS and the future of Integration Systems  

Point-to-point or free integrations can serve as a quick and easy solution for small businesses with one or two main systems that are simple and natively connected. But because they usually only support a basic set of functions and because ecommerce systems and solutions continue to evolve, maintaining those singular connections becomes a burden for the administrators of those systems as well as for the users that depend on them. And chances are that as a business grows, they’ll end up needing integrations that aren’t available natively. By relying on multiple point-to-point connections, businesses leave themselves more vulnerable to intra-system glitches and changes that could be immediately detrimental to their daily workflows because there is no way to centrally manage the entire network of connections.  

APIs and integrations are powerful, but what is behind them is not always easy to manage; they are not a “set-it-and-forget-it" solution and process. Integrations require continual maintenance that most growing businesses have neither the time nor money to maintain. Using a dedicated ecommerce integration platform—or integration platform as a service (iPaaS)—is the best way for growing businesses to manage and maintain their system integrations because it takes the burden off them and transfers the responsibility for ensuring seamless connections to integration experts.  

Integration platforms are rapidly growing in popularity because they offer a fast and affordable solution for businesses to connect their tech stack without hiring a high-salary contractor or developer to maintain their integrations. With customized integration solutions that meet the needs of businesses that have already built up their preferred tech stacks and workflows, integration platforms are paving the way for businesses to use the technology that best suits their needs without compromising on the integrity of their data or the efficiency of their businesses.


Integrations are essential for ecommerce businesses of all sizes, but not all integrations are created—or managed—equally. To get the most out of your integrations, consider utilizing an iPaaS such as Extensiv Integration Manager, an industry-leading platform with thousands of supported integrations, to maximize your tech stack. To get started, register for a free trial today. 

FREE DOWNLOAD The Merchant Guide to Integration Platform as a Service Discover robust, scalable, and user-friendly integration solutions.    

Written By:
Aubrey Eyre

Aubrey Eyre has over 8 years experience writing, editing, and leading strategic brand and voice initiatives. Previously, she worked in the fields of journalism and legal tech. In her current role as a Product Marketing Manager at Extensiv, Aubrey leads positioning and strategy for some of Extensiv’s core products and offerings that are helping to shape the future of omnichannel fulfillment.

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