Author: Elliott Rebuck Apr 26, 2023 7 Min READ

Shopping Cart Integrations for Ecommerce Merchants and 3PLs

7 Min READ
Shopping Cart Integrations for Ecommerce Merchants and 3PLs

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In the ever-evolving world of ecommerce, businesses need to streamline their operations and adapt to customer expectations more than ever before. One crucial aspect of streamlining operations is the implementation of effective shopping cart integrations. According to a study by Forrester Research, US online retail sales are expected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2027, making it even more critical for businesses to ensure seamless and efficient order fulfillment. This comprehensive guide will explore the what, why, and how of shopping cart integrations, including the features to look for and the top options available in the market. We will also highlight Extensiv's innovative solutions, designed to propel businesses toward success in the rapidly evolving world of ecommerce.

What Are Shopping Cart Integrations?

A shopping cart integration is a software solution that connects an ecommerce merchant's shopping cart platform with their fulfillment system or third-party logistics (3PL) provider. This connection enables seamless communication and data exchange between the two systems, automating order processing, inventory management, and shipment tracking.

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For brands and merchants, shopping cart integrations streamline order processing and management, allowing them to handle orders from multiple sales channels more efficiently. This results in reduced manual work, fewer errors, and faster order fulfillment, ultimately enhancing consumer satisfaction.  

For 3PLs, shopping cart integrations enable quick onboarding of new clients and efficient handling of their orders. This leads to better resource utilization, improved operational efficiency, and the ability to serve a larger customer base.

Why Do Shopping Cart Integrations Matter in 2024?

In 2024, ecommerce integrations have taken on a pivotal role in the ecommerce ecosystem, connecting shopping carts, marketplaces, systems, and software to ensure smooth operations for merchants and 3PLs. As the ecommerce landscape has grown and evolved, it has become increasingly complex, with a multitude of channels, platforms, and processes to manage. Shopping cart integrations have adapted to this changing environment, offering a range of benefits to help merchants and 3PLs navigate the complexities of modern ecommerce.

  • Streamlined Operations: Shopping cart integrations enable merchants and 3PLs to connect multiple sales channels, inventory systems, and shipping providers through a single interface. This streamlines their operations, reducing manual data entry and the risk of errors, and allows them to manage all aspects of their ecommerce business more efficiently.
  • Improved Order Fulfillment: By connecting sales channels with your order management system (OMS), warehouse management system (WMS), shipping platform, or 3PL, ecommerce shopping cart integrations facilitate a more efficient order fulfillment process. They enable near real-time data exchange between systems, ensuring that orders are processed quickly and accurately and that inventory levels are constantly updated. This leads to faster order processing, reduced cancellations, and higher customer satisfaction.  
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: As consumer expectations continue to rise, the need for fast, accurate, and reliable order fulfillment has never been greater. Shopping cart integrations are crucial in meeting these expectations by automating and optimizing various aspects of the ecommerce process, from inventory management to shipping. This results in a better customer experience with fewer delays, errors, and lost packages.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: In the face of growing complexity, shopping cart integrations have become more adaptable and scalable. They allow merchants and 3PLs to easily add new sales channels, integrate with additional software systems, and expand their operations as needed. This ensures that ecommerce businesses can grow and evolve without being held back by technical limitations or bottlenecks.
  • Data-Driven Decision-Making: By centralizing data from various sources and systems, shopping cart integrations enable merchants and 3PLs to access valuable insights and analytics. This empowers them to make informed, data-driven decisions to optimize their operations, improve customer service, and identify new growth opportunities.

In conclusion, shopping cart integrations have become increasingly important in 2024 to manage the growing complexity of ecommerce operations. They offer a range of benefits for merchants and 3PLs, enabling them to streamline processes, improve order fulfillment, enhance customer experience, and scale their businesses effectively.

What Features to Look for in a Shopping Cart Integration

When selecting a shopping cart integration, there are several key features that merchants and 3PLs should consider to ensure a seamless and efficient connection between their ecommerce platforms, systems, and software. The following key features should be considered when assessing shopping cart integrations:

Order Management

Efficient order management is vital for shopping cart integration. Extensiv Integration Manager seamlessly imports orders from all major ecommerce shopping carts, forwarding them to your OMS, WMS, or shipping platform, ensuring a smooth order processing experience.

Inventory Synchronization  

Maintaining accurate inventory levels across multiple sales channels can be challenging. Extensiv Integration Manager synchronizes your inventory across all channels, helping you avoid overselling and stock shortages.

Tracking

Providing customers with prompt and accurate tracking information is essential for a positive shopping experience. Integration Manager automatically sends tracking numbers and updates the shopping cart platform, making it convenient for consumers to monitor their orders.

Customization

Each business has unique needs, and a shopping cart integration should offer the flexibility to adapt accordingly. Choose a solution that supports data transformation, such as creating custom rules and settings to tailor the integration to your specific requirements.

Pricing  

Be cautious of expensive shopping cart integrations that might include unnecessary features. Instead, assess your business needs to ensure you're investing in a solution that provides the right capabilities without overspending.

Scalability

As your business expands, it's essential to have a shopping cart integration that can grow with you. Select a solution that handles high order volumes and accommodates multiple sales channels and warehouses.

Extensiv Integration Manager encompasses all these features and more. By prioritizing these must-have shopping cart solution features when evaluating shopping cart integrations, merchants and 3PLs can select a solution that best meets their needs, simplifies their operations, and helps them thrive in the competitive world of ecommerce.

How Do Shopping Cart Integrations Work Using Extensiv Integration Manager?  

Integrating shopping carts with other ecommerce systems can improve order management, inventory control, and customer data management across multiple platforms. Extensiv Integration Manager is crucial in this process by linking shopping cart platforms and other systems, such as OMS, WMS, or shipping platforms. Here's a step-by-step overview of how shopping cart integration with other ecommerce systems works using Extensiv Integration Manager:

  1. Sales Order Download: Integration Manager obtains vital order data from the shopping cart platform, including order ID, customer specifics, item descriptions, pricing details, payment info, shipping options, order status, and any additional custom fields. This data retrieval ensures seamless processing and order completion across multiple ecommerce systems.
  2. Sales Order Upload: Integration Manager sends the sales order information to the relevant order destination, such as an OMS, WMS, or shipping platform. This step promotes consistent and prompt synchronization among all systems, ultimately enhancing the order fulfillment process.
  3. Shipment Tracking and Inventory Level Download: After an order is handled and dispatched, and stock levels are modified, the order destination shares the shipment tracking data and revised inventory levels with Integration Manager.
  4. Shipment Tracking and Inventory Level Upload: Integration Manager updates the shipment tracking details and inventory levels within the shopping cart platform, informing all involved systems about the order's progress.

By utilizing Extensiv Integration Manager, businesses can ensure seamless communication and data synchronization between their shopping cart platforms and other ecommerce systems. In addition, this integration simplifies backend operations, enhances inventory management, and delivers a consistent consumer experience across all sales channels.

Six Best Shopping Cart Integrations

Shopping cart integrations are critical in streamlining and scaling online stores, making it easier for merchants and 3PLs to manage their operations efficiently. For 3PLs, these integrations can also help attract and quickly onboard new customers. This section will explore the most popular and essential shopping cart integrations, highlighting their unique opportunities and the types of sellers and customers they cater to.

Shopify

Shopify is a leading ecommerce platform known for its ease of use, extensive features, and vast app ecosystem. It suits businesses of all sizes, from small start-ups to established enterprises. Shopify's enormous user base includes various sellers, ranging from fashion retailers to tech companies. Integration with Shopify allows ecommerce businesses and 3PLs to reach a broad customer base and efficiently manage their orders, inventory, and shipping processes.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a powerful, open-source ecommerce platform built for WordPress, allowing merchants to create customized ecommerce websites tailored to their unique needs. It is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses and those with a WordPress website. WooCommerce integrations enable ecommerce businesses and 3PLs to take advantage of the platform's flexibility, manage orders and inventory more efficiently, and access the vast WordPress ecosystem of plugins and themes.

Magento

Magento is a robust, open-source ecommerce platform known for its scalability, customization options, and extensive feature set. It is best suited for medium to large-sized businesses with in-house development resources or the budget to hire external developers. Magento's rich integration capabilities allow merchants and 3PLs to connect with ecommerce fulfillment systems efficiently. Additionally, the platform's diverse user base presents a significant opportunity for ecommerce businesses and 3PLs to serve a wide range of industries and customer segments.

CommerceHub

CommerceHub is a cloud-based ecommerce platform that connects retailers, suppliers, and carriers to streamline order fulfillment and inventory management. It's prevalent among large enterprises and retailers seeking to expand their product offerings and reduce fulfillment complexities. Integrating with CommerceHub allows ecommerce businesses and 3PLs to streamline their order, inventory, and tracking processes.  

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a comprehensive ecommerce platform designed for businesses of all sizes, offering a wide range of features and customization options. Its user-friendly interface and extensive app marketplace make it attractive for merchants looking to build and grow their online stores. BigCommerce's robust integration capabilities enable merchants and 3PLs to connect seamlessly with their OMS, WMS, shipping platform, and other systems. In addition, the platform's diverse customer base provides a unique opportunity for ecommerce businesses to reach a wide audience and cater to various industries.

Square

Square is a versatile ecommerce and payment processing platform that caters to small and medium-sized businesses. Its simplicity and ease of use make it a popular choice for merchants looking to set up an online store quickly and efficiently. Square's integration capabilities allow seamless connections with OMS, WMS, shipping platforms, and other tools, enabling merchants and 3PLs to streamline their operations. The platform's focus on small and medium-sized businesses presents a unique opportunity for ecommerce businesses and 3PLs to cater to a growing market segment.

By integrating with these popular shopping cart platforms, ecommerce businesses and 3PLs can access new markets, streamline their operations, and scale their online stores more effectively.

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How to Get Started with Shopping Cart Integrations

Embarking on shopping cart integrations is a simple process for brands, merchants, and 3PL warehouses looking to streamline their operations and improve their online selling capabilities. The objective is to seamlessly connect the ecommerce shopping cart with an OMS, WMS, or shipping platform, allowing for efficient management of orders and inventory. To experience the advantages firsthand, consider starting a free trial with Extensiv Integration Manager to see how it can transform your ecommerce business. Here's what you need to know and how it works:

  1. Choose a Shopping Cart and Ecommerce Platform: First, you'll need a shopping cart platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce for your online store and an OMS, WMS, or shipping platform where you want to send your orders. The systems should be compatible and support integration with each other. Research ecommerce solutions that best suit your business needs and offer shopping cart integration capabilities.
  2. Find a Shopping Cart Integration Solution: Once you have your shopping cart platform and backend system in place, you'll need an iPasS (Integration Platform as a Service) solution, such as Extensiv Integration Manager, that facilitates communication between the two systems. Integration solutions help automate the flow of information, ensuring data consistency and minimizing errors.
  3. Connect Your Systems: After selecting the right shopping cart integration solution, connect your shopping cart with the OMS, WMS, or shipping platform. This may require setting up API keys or other authentication methods to establish a secure connection between the systems.
  4. Configure Your Workflow Settings: Next, you must set up and configure the data workflows between your systems. Define how and when data, such as order details, inventory levels, and shipment tracking, should be synchronized between your shopping cart and the OMS, WMS, or shipping platform.
  5. Test and Monitor: Before fully implementing the integration, test the data workflows to ensure they function correctly. Continuously monitor the integration to identify any issues or discrepancies and adjust as needed.

Integrating your shopping cart with an OMS, WMS, or shipping platform will streamline your operations and provide a seamless shopping experience for your ecommerce customers.

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Shopping Cart Integration FAQs

Can I customize my shopping cart software?

Yes, most shopping cart software platforms offer customization options to match your business needs. The extent of customization varies depending on the platform. Still, it's essential to choose a solution like Extensiv Integration Manager that allows for easy integration with various shopping carts to streamline ecommerce fulfillment operations. 

What payment gateways are compatible with shopping cart software?

The compatibility of payment gateways depends on the shopping cart software you choose. Most popular platforms support a wide range of payment gateways, such as PayPal, Authorize.Net, and Stripe, making it easier to checkout and process transactions securely. Ensure the shopping cart software you select is compatible with your preferred payment gateway(s).

How can I ensure my shopping cart integration is secure?

To ensure the security of your shopping cart integration, choose a reputable integration solution like Extensiv Integration Manager and follow best practices for authentication, such as using API keys or other secure methods. In addition, we can help you monitor and update your integration to keep it secure and compliant with industry standards.

Written By:
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Elliott Rebuck

Since 2007, Elliott has been immersed in ecommerce, warehousing, and omnichannel fulfillment. With 14 years of in-house experience at pioneering skate, surf, and snow brands, he is now a Marketing Manager at Extensiv, committed to empowering brands and 3PLs with cutting-edge technology for enhanced efficiency and growth.

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