Using website integrations has many benefits for your business, providing efficiencies that help optimise your brand and decrease your website spend. For your users, it improves the customer experience. For your developers, it automates their workload. And for you, the business owner, it saves you time and money spent on repurposing systems and online content. The increased time and money you save from integrations can be reinvested back into making both your website and online business as cost-effective as possible.
However, there’s a multitude of website integrations out there, which can make the process of choosing website integrations very overwhelming. Especially if you’re an SME just setting up their eCommerce website or haven’t heard of this term before. Based on our first-hand client experience, we’re going to be breaking down what website integrations are, the most commonly used website integrations and the many benefits for e-commerce businesses. So, we can help find the best integration(s) for your online brand.
What are Website Integrations?
Website integrations are applications that allow your website to communicate with other platforms. This means you can manage a snippet of your website data on a set platform, and either edit, analyse or publish on the platform. Some common website integrations include:
- Content Management System (CMS)
- Product Recommendation Systems
- Email Marketing Automation
- Shipping Calculations
- Analytics / Tracking
- Address Lookups
The main type of integration we install for our clients are Content Management Systems (CMS). These help E-commerce owners to publish digital content, modify online store design and provide content personalisation for each user. For example, a must-have for any CMS Integration is the ability to generate SEO-friendly URLs. This includes adding more metadata to your information and alt tags on your website for accessibility. Both increasing your local SEO ranking and overall user experience.
This creates user-friendly content that supports the increased use of voice search and makes your content more attractive to search engines; that helps your online business gain higher positions in search results, and grow your consumer base. If you would like to learn more about choosing the right CMS for your business, follow this link.
Now you know what website integrations are, here’s some popular integration products used on e-commerce websites. So you can edit, optimise and publish these add-ons on your website, to create a positive customer experience:
Product Recommendation Systems
Product recommendation systems collect website visitor data and use automated algorithms on your website to generate item suggestions that may interest the user. The data it collects includes potential past purchases, recent searches and demographics to determine this; through tracking code or cookies that the user consents to on your website.
Having a reactive product search catalogue provides users with relevant content that they are more likely to engage with. Converting them from prospective visitors into long-term customers. The use of this advertising personalisation can also increase Average Order Value (AOV), with more users likely to spend more on relevant items, which in turn increases the number of items per order, securing a strong return on investment for your business.
It’s important to say that this automatically discounts products that are listed as ‘out of stock’. You can add your inventory control directives to this system to avoid featuring products that are either: not on stock, on clearance or overstocked items. So you can showcase relevant, featured products that are personalised to your website visitors but are also in line with your e-commerce goals. E.g clearing a specific item off your inventory list.
An address lookup is relatively self-explanatory. It’s a mechanism where users can type their postal code and/or the first line of their address; to automatically find their address when checking out. The most commonly used service in the UK is the Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF).
The biggest benefit: it reduces cart abandonment rates. This rate hit a whopping 77.13% globally in 2019, making it harder than ever for any business to combat. However, this system makes the checkout process smoother and faster. As the system automatically generates their location address, meaning they don’t need to manually add these details, which drastically reduces cart abandonment rate.
It also helps to reduce fraudulent activity and stops your business from becoming a victim of an attack. With an Online Address Lookup, customers need to verify their identity and current location. After they have inputted this data the software cross-examines these details to see if they are accurate. If these aren’t accurate it will alert the user to correct these and bar them from continuing the checkout process.
Shipping is a part of every e-commerce transaction. It’s vital to properly measure this shipping information to ensure both your business, chosen couriers and customers aren’t losing out. For example, not taking into account VAT with shipping can mean your business may increase your shipping costs unnecessarily or not charge the right amount for this. With a surge of people buying online, your website needs to have accurate shipping and order fulfilment information available 24/7. That’s where shipping calculations come in.
This automatically calculates this information ahead of time, taking into account the chosen item(s), shipping preference and dedicated postal service. Openly having this information on your website adds transparency and builds business trust with your consumers. Ensuring they can make an informed decision when buying for your brand.
It can also make or break a purchase; with 61% of users leaving e-commerce stores because the delivery cost is too high. To help reduce this, add a range of delivery methods. This gives users the choice to choose the best shipping for them and empowers them to carry on with their order; which of course reduces the cart abandonment rate.
Having an analytics dashboard integration provides you with a snapshot of your users. It collects data such as users’ demographic information, past purchases and multi-device and multi-platform interactions with your online business. The live information is used when a website user is on your website to power their product recommendations. User analytics function as largely website analytics. If you want to find out more about what website analytics you should be monitoring, follow this link.
Holding advanced user analytics produces data-driven insights to better inform your business strategy. As you can see firsthand common user actions, you can see what resonates more with your audience and where exactly you should be targeting business. There’s also the ability to optimise your product pricing and up-sell performance. The overall data gives a picture of what price-point and products your audience is most engaged with. So you can both tailor better user experiences and increase your business revenue, which benefits both parties.
Email Marketing Automation
Email Marketing is when you send messages over email that promote products, discounts and brand updates happening within your wider online business and e-commerce store. Commonly these are seen in email newsletters that the user can subscribe to; showcasing your brand imagery and related marketing campaigns. For example, a commonly used email marketing template is offering 10% off a customer’s first order, to both gain a newsletter subscriber and potential long-term consumer.
Personalisation plays a big part in this. For example within an email, you can add the customer’s name, how to best use recent purchases and integrate unique product recommendations. You can also send them emails on their birthday, including relevant discounts and messaging that makes them feel remembered and a valuable part of your brand community. This helps combine marketing content, user personalisation and product pick from your e-commerce store; with relevant and timely content. So you can provide them with both brand-friendly and relevant content when they need it, increasing the likelihood of growing conversion rates and potential business revenue.
There’s a multitude of website integrations out there that can bring notable benefits to your online business. With a constantly evolving e-commerce landscape, integrated website add-ons are vital in growing your online presence, optimising this for your specific industry and audience.
Our expert team can help guide you through website integrations, finding the best solution for your business or developing a custom-built solution that optimises your website and helps you attract more visitors.
If you’re looking for further information and help on you website integrations, then fill in your details below and see how we can help.