If you’re making plans to re-platform your commerce business in 2017, you’re not alone. Fifty-four percent of eCommerce executives stated that re-platforming is a top priority over the next 12 months, according to Forrester.
Choosing a feature-rich commerce platform that will help you achieve current and future business goals is important. However, you also need to consider how well the platform will integrate with your supporting internal services and third-party platforms. Payment processing, order management, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), email and marketing campaign management, logistics, and analytics must all work seamlessly behind the scenes to deliver a solid customer experience.
Seamless platform integration is critically important because you may need data from these systems to enhance your customers’ overall buying experience. In many cases, integration is accomplished through application programming interfaces (APIs).
More than 40% of U.S. enterprises will adopt API management solutions – Forrester
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The benefits of API integration include:
- Digitally powered, multi-touchpoint customer experiences
- Ability to innovate and provide digital operational excellence
- Increased revenue, influence, and product value through an extended ecosystem
Using APIs also allow you to easily move your data into or out of your digital commerce platforms. However, the complexity of platform integration and moving data between platforms is often underestimated.
Because of the amount of testing and data validation required, you need to be realistic about the time and effort involved to connect your new eCommerce platform with your existing ecosystem. Carefully review APIs prior to selecting your commerce platform so you gain better insight on providing the best customer experience.
Learn more in our latest guide – Best Practices for Choosing a Commerce Platform, Part 2 – where we explore the top three considerations for evaluating digital commerce platforms and illustrate how we’ve helped clients boost their eCommerce success through re-platforming projects.