Gaining a competitive edge: properly integrating your Shopify Plus site with NetSuite.

Today, we welcome blubolt partner, Excellent Zephyr, to the blog. The Excellent Zephyr team are NetSuite and integration specialists for retail, wholesale distribution and eCommerce businesses. In this post, they've helpfully outlined how you can get an edge over the competition by properly integrating your Shopify Plus site with Netsuite. We'll start with explaining the back-end (NetSuite), covering everything from inventory management, returns and exchanges to a 360-degree customer view and efficient omnichannel. Then, we'll move on to integrating with Shopify Plus, explaining automating the flow of information, increasing your bandwidth, and reducing your workload.

Shopify Plus x NetSuite: let's get started!

Imagine running a marathon twice, hoping to get exactly the same result.

Imagine washing the laundry twice, just for good measure.

Imagine asking your son/daughter to do their maths homework again, just for fun.

After the imminent tantrum, they might just do it because if you (the boss) said to, it must be for a reason, right? But they will waste a lot of time re-doing it, and they might not even have all the correct answers the second time around. Doing any of these things more than once seems completely unreasonable. So, why are you entering and storing all of your data twice?

Don’t worry; all your competitors are probably doing it too. But, if you don’t want to continue wasting time and resources by doing things twice (like your competition), keep reading because I’m about to tell you a secret that will put you ahead of all those other “do things twice!” suckers.

The secret is simple: Integrate your Shopify Plus (front-end store) to your NetSuite (back-end systems) correctly so that they can “talk” to each other in real-time.

Let's talk: proper integration lets Shopify Plus & NetSuite “talk” in real-time.

1. The back-end: NetSuite.

First, let’s look at why you want NetSuite running things behind the scenes.

One complete system.

NetSuite offers one complete system covering everything from inventory & order management to refunds and CRM to financials. Most of this information can stay in the back-end system as customers don’t care about every inch of data that we use to inform operational decisions. Still, they do care about certain aspects of it that affect them. For example, they certainly care about stock levels (to ensure the product they want is available in the correct colour/size), refunds (to ensure they can easily return an item if necessary) and overall purchasing experience (to ensure they are getting the best price and service).

Stairway to heaven: NetSuite's Stairway for retail.

Accurate inventory management.

Retailers need to make real-time decisions regarding stock, particularly when operating over multiple locations and require high visibility of stock across online and physical stores. Likewise, customers expect the stock level displayed on the website to be correct. NetSuite has many inventory management features that ensure stock counts aren’t subjected to human error or thrown off by returns. For example, cycle counting (the automated process of counting items in a designated area) ensures retailers have enough stock in their warehouse reserves to keep up with consumer demand.

Easier returns & exchanges.

NetSuite’s Returns Management Software is another feature that improves inventory visibility, allowing retailers to accept returns and exchanges from all channels. You can manage how the return will be received and set automated rules to refine your returns process. This makes it easier for customers to return items and shop again.

Returns: NetSuite allows retailers to accept returns and exchanges from all channels.

360-degree customer view.

On a more personal note, NetSuite also provides a 360-degree view of each customer. This allows retailers to deliver personalised marketing and service to customers based on their purchase history or demographics. All in one place, you can view their purchase history and communications with your company, whether online, with a sales representative or at a brick-and-mortar store.

Efficient omnichannel.

Each of the abovementioned points highlights the need for a central system that accounts for an omnichannel approach to your retail store. NetSuite provides this, and it’s vital because cross-channel shoppers, on average, spend 30% more than single-channel shoppers. Once that’s all set up behind the scenes and you have complete visibility over your entire operation, it’s time to mirror this information in an engaging way via your online store. This is where Shopify Plus comes in.

2. Integrating NetSuite with Shopify Plus.

By itself, your front end will look and perform pretty well with Shopify, and your back end will be functioning just fine with NetSuite, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. By upgrading to Shopify Plus and integrating with NetSuite, you will have access to data metrics and analytics that you didn’t even know existed. You'll also have the smoothest operating eCommerce store on the market and set your business up to scale in the future.

Easy integration with Shopify Plus.

Automate the flow of information.

Integration of the two platforms allows for the fluid movement of data between your website and your ERP. But this isn't as simple as clicking your fingers! The way NetSuite uses and stores data is fundamentally different to the format that Shopify uses. Still, through proper integration, we can wire up a connection that overcomes those differences, automating the flow of information between your apps and sending all your online orders straight to your ERP. The reverse is true as well. Any updates to inventory in the ERP will be sent directly to your store. This means stock changes can be relayed to customers in real-time.

Increase your bandwidth.

Shopify Plus comes with increased bandwidth, so your front-end will comfortably handle increased website traffic. As a result, the customer can enjoy a seamless and smooth shopping experience, from the home page to the checkout. The same is true of NetSuite. In conjunction, they work to speed up your sales and fulfilment processes, ensuring product information is current. It also unifies your stock levels in real-time so that the customer always receives accurate indicators.

Reduce your workload.

By integrating their Shopify Plus and NetSuite systems, retailers can sell quicker, smarter and more efficiently than ever before. So stop doubling your workload (like your competitors). Integrate your front end website to your ERP and let the system work for you!

Have your own Shopify Plus project?

Thanks to the Excellent Zephyr team for this informative post! Are you looking to implement or integrate your existing Shopify Plus with NetSuite? If so, get in touch to discuss your requirements. We're an accredited Shopify Plus Partner agency that designs, builds and optimises bespoke eCommerce solutions to help your brand grow faster. Explore our expert Shopify services and browse our client work for even more Shopify inspiration.

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