Ever want to make quick pricing and inventory stock updates to your website but find it difficult to do because you carry so many different product SKU’s?
Have you ever wanted to add a large amount of new products to your website but wished there were an easier way? There is, with eCommerce product integration.
Product Integration: What Is It?
Product integration is the synchronization of the product information between a merchant’s website and backend system of record (SOR). Product information can include inventory, pricing, images, descriptions, detailed specifications, compatibility information, etc. Product information is generally more complex than eCommerce order integration because of the amount of data.
Types of Product Integration
Product integration can be product listings, inventory levels or pricing data.
- Product listings include the initial population of products to the website and subsequent updates to products.
- Inventory data includes in-stock and out-of-stock rules.
- Pricing information includes, you guessed it, the pricing data for each product. Pricing integration is typically easier to do on a more frequent basis than product integration because the file is usually smaller than the product data file.
Process of Product Integration
A system of record is the core of integration, but it isn’t always good at storing very detailed information, like product listings. The SOR tends to focus on simple, business-critical fields, such as SKUs and price data. For this reason, the process of product integration is usually to create products in the SOR and send them to the website. Then the website management tools are used to add additional information, such as detailed descriptions and images, for better online merchandising.
Some SORs are more marketing focused and allow for more product details. In these cases, less detail needs to be added to the website after integration.
Frequency of Product Integration
Typically, product integration is done on a daily basis to update price and inventory information, sometimes each hour for more inventory-sensitive merchants.
To avoid a single point of failure, Acumium doesn’t recommend performing real-time integration. If the SOR is down when someone on the website tries to access it, the website would be unable to process the order, which is the last thing an eCommerce merchant wants.
Integration which allows the website and SOR to run independently of each other is a good business practice.
Next Up in Our eCommerce Integration Series: Customer Integration