Boosting backend business operations

Synchronise warehouse with website

Why choose Web Age?

At Web Age, we have worked on many successful integrations between diverse stock management, EPOS, warehousing and accounting systems and the leading e-commerce platforms.

We can help save costs on what can be expensive and unnecessary middleware by developing lean, efficient and extensible direct solutions which are tailored to precise business goals. We also have great experience collaborating with the vendors of accounting and warehousing software on our clients’ behalf, enabling us to produce great results in less time.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

Benefits of e-commerce stock integration

  • Regular stock status updates

  • Display accurate delivery times
  • Increase conversions

  • Synchronise product & sales data

  • Automate accounting
  • Improve admin efficiency

  • Reduce manual administration tasks

  • Reduce duplication of labour

The case for stock integration

Stock level and delivery information is absolutely essential for any serious e-commerce web site. Customers shopping online today expect products to be in stock and available for rapid delivery, and so there’s a direct connection between accurate stock data and sales success.

An e-commerce site must store stock levels for individual products so that accurate information about availability and delivery time can be presented to customers. For example, the system can check any given product’s stock status and expected delivery time when loading the product page. Then when a customer selects the colour and size of a garment, they will see stock status and delivery timescale immediately.

A highly informative product page using these techniques contributes greatly to the likelihood of a sale. Without such information or with ambiguous or unrealistically long delivery times, it’s highly likely a potential customer will go straight to a competitor’s site, find the the desired product in stock for rapid delivery and place their order there instead.

All of this creates a burden on any e-commerce business to ensure that stock status and product data is regularly and actively synchronised between inventory in website and warehouse. That is where we can help…

E-commerce Stock/Inventory Integration

The challenges of e-commerce stock integration

Integrating in-house stock data from third-party accounting or warehousing systems into an online ecommerce web site can be achieved by a number of methods. The necessity for integration solutions arises from the need to transform data from the format understood by a vendor’s in-house stock system to something intelligible to and usable by an e-commerce system.

The in-house system and the website software will be determining factors in the ultimate solution, but methods can include ODBC connectors, MySQL syncs, scheduled tasks, XML, JSON or CSV transfers and parsing routines, or indeed some combination of these methods.

Whichever method is selected, the integration must then go beyond the standard import process included with many e-commerce systems. This is because the data requirements of an e-commerce system, such as Magento, are significantly greater than that of, for example, an accounting system like Sage. It is not a matter of simply exporting and importing a spreadsheet from one to the other, for reasons that become clear when looking at the structure of the data on an inventory system versus that of an e-commerce system. More data is required to successfully display products on a website.

How the solutions work

To make this data usable on an e-commerce store, a process of transformation is therefore required. This will convert the individual stock lines, each with their own name, price, SKU, MPN, EAN and so on, that are stored in the stock system into product data that the e-commerce system can store in its database and subsequently use to display product pages.

Product pages on an e-commerce site might loosely be considered as stock groups. Each e-commerce system has its own terminology but they may be referred to as “configurable products”, “grouped products” or “parent products”. While some products without options may be displayed successfully as individual pages, stock with multiple variants (e.g. size, colour, length etc) is most effectively presented as a single page from which a product variant may be selected.

Therefore, as the stock data export rarely contains information about the relationships of products, another task of the import process is to associate individual stock lines – or “simple products” – with the relevant parent product, to populate the options from which the customer can ultimately select for purchase.

Improving speed and efficiency in e-commerce

Ensuring product data and stock status is automatically synchronised between website and in-house systems means greater speed and efficiency when managing an e-commerce store. It reduces duplication of labour and cuts back on manual admin tasks. This permits admin staff to devote more time to tasks directly linked to boosting sales, such as writing effective product descriptions, merchandising, marketing and promotion.

Ultimately, how stock level information and product data is used and presented on an e-commerce web site is up to the specific needs of an individual business, and that’s where we can work closely with you to understand your precise requirements. Working with Web Age is flexible, bespoke and geared to your business goals.