BigCommerce is a leading software as a service (SaaS) ecommerce platform best-known for its reliability and scalability. With a range of built-in online sales and data tools and cross-border sales capabilities it’s becoming a popular choice for fast-growing businesses.
Also based in the Cloud, NetSuite’s ERP solution has over 19,000 customers in over 200 countries, so it has an excellent pedigree. In March its 2020 Release 1 included additional automation, integration and insight enhancements. The announcement included special features for the manufacturing, food and beverage, wholesale and retail sectors.
BigCommerce integration with NetSuite
Integrating powerful business systems like BigCommerce and NetSuite can deliver operational benefits and improved customer satisfaction. By improving efficiency and automating processes, you can gain a competitive advantage by meeting, exceeding and anticipating your customers’ expectations.
You can guarantee delivery times, ship the right items promptly, display accurate inventory levels, and personalize customer experiences to increase satisfaction and loyalty.
However, your integration project needs to be carefully planned and professionally managed. Here are some important things to consider for your BigCommerce and NetSuite integration project.
Choose an experienced integration partner
Your chosen provider should be able to demonstrate in-depth experience of BigCommerce and NetSuite integration. They will need to understand how each system handles data. Before making your choice, ask your potential providers for evidence that they have integrated these systems and how their clients have benefitted.
Middleware or direct integration
There are pros and cons for integrating systems directly (point-to-point) and through a middleware solution with an operational ‘hub’.
Point-to-point solutions can be simpler so they might be more affordable, but they’re also more basic. Your systems are tied together directly, and this can sometimes make it difficult to add, change, and remove systems as your business develops. In the worst case, each system change could mean you have to re-integrate everything to make sure your solution works smoothly.
Other considerations include what data types you can synchronize, how often they will be synchronized, and the volume of data that can be handled.
Middleware solutions with an operational hub between BigCommerce, NetSuite, and any other systems you might want to include, will have a connector for each system. The hub will synchronize and translate data between your systems. This makes adding and removing systems easier because connectors can be disabled or added without rebuilding your integration.
While the middleware process is more complicated to start with, it has more scope to scale with your business. You are likely to be able to handle more data and more complex business processes.
If you have very specific requirements for your business, you might consider a bespoke integration solution. This is more common for direct integrations, but you will need to be confident in the abilities of your integration partner and be happy that you will be working together for the lifetime of your solution. You will also need to be very confident at the outset that you have a clear understanding of your current and future requirements.
Integration and automation are important for many businesses, but you will need to choose a partner for your BigCommerce and NetSuite integration project that fully understands the requirements of your ecommerce business.
You will also probably have specific requirements to sell across online and offline channels. For example, you might want to provide options to buy online, pick up in-store or buy online and return in-store.
To avoid disappointment, understanding the types of data that can be shared and synchronized is important. Some solutions don’t automate or synchronize all types of data and might only focus on orders and inventory, for example. You could find that your solution won’t support customer, product, or shipment tracking data.
For many businesses the real benefits of integrating two powerful tools like BigCommerce and NetSuite come from improvements in operating efficiency and accuracy that can be achieved by working with a single source of reliable data.
One of the big benefits of integration is the accuracy of information you will have at your fingertips. To achieve this your data synchronization should be in real time. If data is only synchronized hourly or daily you could accept orders for out of stock items because your information is out of date, especially during busy times.
Automated data sharing in real time between NetSuite and BigCommerce can include every business process from inventory management, order management, catalog management to invoicing. You can also respond dynamically to your customers’ buying activity.
There will be times in every business when key information is missing. This could be due to a data entry error, when a price on an order in your BigCommerce store is different from the price in NetSuite or a stock keeping unit (SKU) doesn’t exist in NetSuite, for example.
Your integration solution should be able to handle these exceptions with built-in rules and workflows to check and fix these types of errors.
You will need to have confidence in the support provided by your integration partner. You should discuss the level of service you will receive after your integration project is implemented. For example, you should check whether they monitor data flows to confirm that transactions are flowing properly through your system. You will need to know how quickly they will respond if you have a problem too; customer satisfaction could rely on them addressing issues quickly.
Maintaining your integration solution will be just as important as looking after your BigCommerce and NetSuite systems. Routine maintenance, security updates, and product enhancements need to be managed. It’s important to confirm who will be responsible, how updates will be implemented, and what this will mean for your business.
For Cloud-based solutions like BigCommerce and NetSuite maintenance takes place automatically and is included in your subscription, so you will need to know that your integration will keep pace, ideally also in the Cloud.
The Williams Commerce team has a strong track record of ecommerce systems integration. Our integration middleware can consolidate data from multiple systems in different formats and our application programming interface (API) integration provides an easy to use framework to move data quickly and easily. Williams Commerce are also a BigCommerce Elite Partner.
For advice on how to realise the full potential of BigCommerce integration with NetSuite talk to one of our experts.