Integrate Shopify with Sage, using BPA Codeless Platform
There is no doubt that eCommerce has brought an unprecedented ability to connect vendor and customer, with even small companies and startups being able to present a global ‘shop window’ online. Once things start to get going, this can quickly translate into large numbers of orders and business growth.
Taking an order and fulfilling it are two very different things, as well as taking payments, entering the details into an accounting system, or having stock on a shelf and running an efficient website.
Often to cope with this new growth, manual processes are used, taking information from one system; the eCommerce site, and entering it into others; spreadsheets, accounting tools, and warehousing systems.
This might be viable for a small volume of orders, but very quickly these manual processes impede future growth making for a busy rather than an efficient company.
Shopify and the closely related Magento are eCommerce frameworks which contain all the functions necessary to create and maintain a superb eCommerce website, however businesses usually have other systems in place, vital to their smooth running. One of the most universal is an accounts package or ERP.
The best solutions have a plan behind them, so rather than focussing on how, let’s understand why it’s important to integrate Shopify with Sage.
Efficiency & Accuracy
Integration means that orders, customer records, invoices, payments (which we’ll refer to as data) can transfer between systems without being re-entered manually. To better reap the benefits of this integration, it should also be automated, so that no human intervention is required.
Consequently, delays are minimised, errors are reduced, and staff can be freed up to focus on other tasks within the business.
Improved Customer Experience
An integrated eCommerce system and accounts package mean that orders arrive quickly, contain the right items, and go to the right address – all crucial steps for a happy customer experience and positive reviews.
With stock being updated in real-time, 24 hours a day selling items which are out of stock becomes a distant memory.
For more information on how BPA Platform can be used to automate the flow of information between your business systems and applications to streamline your business processes, contact us to arrange a demonstration.
How Could Shopify be Integrated with Sage?
There are generally two ways of approaching an integration such as this.
If an integration is unusual or particularly complex, then it might be that the most effective way of approaching it is with bespoke software development. Both Shopify and Sage are incredibly customisable and so sometimes this will be the most appropriate course of action.
Many Shopify sites and Sage systems are broadly similar, the same data is being passed between systems so there must be a simpler way to connect them – right?
Using a tool which has the capability to connect the systems in a simple way can pay dividends by enabling much of the software development to be side-stepped so that the focus can be on the business requirements.
BPA Platform from Codeless Platforms acts like an integration ‘Swiss Army Knife’, it packages together many functions ideally suited to delivering an integration quickly and reliably. With business processes being designed using a simple drag-and-drop interface designing and maintaining an integration doesn’t necessarily need to involve software developers.
Using connectors which are available for numerous eCommerce, ERP, and delivery platforms BPA Platform is an ideal way to integrate Shopify and Sage.
A Typical Integration Using Codeless BPA Platform
First the BPA Platform software is installed along with the Sage toolset, and the ‘Shopify connector’.
Planning What Needs to be Integrated
Before any development is started a high-level plan needs to be documented, detailing what should be integrated between the Shopify site and the Sage system.
Typically, this might be the integration of orders coming in from the website into the Sage system and frequently some sort of stock level functionality. However, using BPA, it becomes possible to integrate customer information, product data, despatch details and so much more as the specific business requires.
Building the Integration with BPA
Next, BPA is used to realise the plan, the exact path taken will obviously vary but typically:
Connectors will be configured to the Sage and Shopify systems. Because these connectors are tailored to their specific platforms, they need the minimum of set-up.
Now tasks are created in BPA which relate to the process that is being designed, an example would be getting new orders from the eCommerce site.
It will often be necessary to manipulate data from one system to meet the requirements of another, in other cases simply mapping fields from one system to the other will fit the bill. BPA makes this understandable with a visual system.
For an integration between Shopify and Sage it is highly likely that multiple tasks will be required.
Ensuring that Most Eventualities are Covered
Before using an integration in production it’s important to check that it matches the plan that was created at the beginning of the process. Checking that the integration works functionally is vital too and tests should be devised to cover as many potential situations as possible.
Reaping the Benefits
Finally, the integration can be moved to production and data will begin to flow between Shopify and Sage. As new requirements arise, BPA is well positioned to meet them allowing the business to react quickly to an evolving market.
Bringing in Expert Help
It’s not essential to bring in expert help to write tasks to integrate Sage and Shopify using BPA Platform (depending on the technical ability of your in-house IT team of course) – although you will need to engage with a BPA Partner to procure the annual licence.
Whilst BPA removes much of the need for extensive software development, the integration process can be daunting. Engaging a partner who has a high level of knowledge of BPA, Shopify, and Sage is certainly an option and that expert help can help you get the best ROI from the product.
Integrating a Shopify eCommerce site with Sage offers easily demonstrable benefits with regards accuracy of orders, stock levels, customer records and more. In addition, replacing manual processes with automation means that reactivity increases and orders can flow 24/7.
Customer satisfaction increases and staff within the business can be deployed doing work which promotes growth and the business’s interests, rather than performing data entry, re-keying information, and other drudge work.
Using a tool such as BPA Platform can reduce the requirement for investment in bespoke software development but does not mean that development needs to be handled internally; finding a partner who can work to deliver the business requirements can be a great choice.
KFA Connect are Codeless Platforms Partners – authorised to sell BPA Platform and have in-depth knowledge of developing integration and process automation using the solution.