Every retailer’s business is unique. From their products, to their customers; there are always specific details that need to be addressed during the fulfillment and transaction processes that are required to complete the order correctly and in a timely manner. Likewise, each online ecommerce site requires specialized connections to properly connect all aspects of a retailer’s website. Shopify, a Retail Dimensions’ provider, simplifies the process with an easy to use application programming interface (API) that is built right into their ecommerce platform.
Shopify; Born from a Need to Simplify
Since its founding in 2006, Shopify has become one of the most widely used, most active ecommerce platforms in the world. Founders, Daniel Weinand, Scott Lake, and computer programmer Tobias Kutke created the company when they wanted to grow their business online with an ecommerce store that could connect them to customers around the world. Their search to find an ecommerce platform led them to the conclusion that there was a need for an easy to use, quick to learn open source web application framework for online retailers. They found the platforms that were on the market at the time were complicated, time consuming, and didn’t offer all they could envision for their store. They further theorized that most retailers might not see the missed opportunities in creating an intuitive online store and, therefore, lose out on the advantages that could be offered through a responsive, automated ecommerce tool like Shopify. Fourteen years later, Shopify has developed into a full-service ecommerce platform that offers more than one million retailers’ access to the most active sales channels on the internet.
Today, with the ability to work with multiple point of sale software systems, Shopify can safely and securely connect retailers with shoppers across the globe. However, the way they connect with each POS partner is an individual endeavor worth its own consideration. That is why we have collected a few of the most frequently asked questions we hear from clients who are considering building an online store and how the POS to ecommerce integration is affected by using the ecommerce platform Shopify.
Does data driven decisions drive the integration design between Shopify and Retail Pro Point of Sale Software?
There is a basic structure to follow when mapping data between Retail Pro and Shopify. Retail Pro offers mid-market retailers a cross platform, cross channel POS and retail management software that is intuitive, adaptive, and robust. It is also a very straight forward system for users, however, there are a couple of specific details that must be addressed when integrating Retail Pro’s POS software with Shopify, and no consistent place where that data will be found between installations.
RD-Ice, an integration solution that is tailored made to address these gaps in the data flow, creates a flexible mapping system that will tag corresponding data elements in Shopify’s platform with those occurring in Retail Pro’s POS software. These tags act as alerts for the web developer so they can identify and make use of those same custom elements on the retailer’s Shopify ecommerce site. The result for the retailer is a seamless connection that links multiple streetside stores and an online store together into one business framework that can meet all the unique needs of the business. With a RD-Ice integration tool, retailers find they can respond to their customers in a timely manner, with less chance of mistakes.
“With its ability to adapt to varied business processes, work with multiple sales channels, and cover the fulfillment process from start to finish, Shopify gives the retailer options in how they run their business. A Retail Dimensions RD-Ice integration extends that same flexibility to the entire business.”
How does an RD-Ice integration make my company more competitive in the Shopify marketplace?
When a retailer can see their business as one entire entity, instead of several disconnected, independent businesses it provides them with the oversight necessary to streamline every process needed to make the business run smoothly. From inventory, to processing the transaction; having a continuous, customized integration tool that is created with insight between the retailer and the developer, is key to building a business that is transparent and instinctual for the retailer, the employees, and also the customer.
For instance, when a popular product has run out the inventory is updated automatically so the employee will know that it’s time to make another purchase order. That same real time information is reflected online to the customer through an up to date inventory count and the retailer has the ability to oversee all these changes, from order placement to restocking and shipping, any time it’s needed with data that gives them round the clock updates of the health of their business.
Does an integration between Shopify and Counterpoint allow for both manual and automatic actions when changes to either platform occur?
NCR Counterpoint is designed to be a great point of sale tool for mid-sized retailers who want to add an online store to their business. Retail Dimensions’ web developers have created an integration solution to match the needs of Counterpoint customers, with an extremely flexible platform and features that include customizing the timing of updates and choosing whether the data input happens automatically and/or through manual entry.
Typically, a RD-Ice to Counterpoint integration is run automatically on a schedule. We work with each individual retailer to set a schedule that adheres to the timing that makes the most sense for the retailer. For most, the best option is setting the automatic updates to coincide with the opening of the store and stopping them for the night. Often, there is no need to continue to run processes when there will be no changes to the POS when the store has closed.
However, the integration can also be run manually when needed. Our web designers work closely with each retailer to determine which style of updating integration works best with their business process. As part of a RD-Ice integration, we will provide standard training to the retailers when the installation phase is complete. This way, they understand which actions to take and have the assurance that the data is accurate and available, giving them the confidence that they are getting the most out of the manual data entry process and no questions are left unanswered as their online business begins to grow. With this training, some retailers find they can rely solely on the manually entered data they have always preferred, while others find the scheduled automated updates work best for their business.
Shopify is undoubtedly one of online retailing’s best ecommerce platforms. Its ability to adapt to the varied business processes, work with multiple sales channels, and cover the fulfillment process from start to finish, gives the retailer options in how they run their business. Retail Dimensions’ RD-Ice provides that same flexibility, with the made-to-fit, customized integration package that addresses the needs of the retailer with Shopify’s many nuances.