In the Site Tools Connectors & Integrations of BigCommerce's website you will find many offerings, but how can you devise a strategy in using the best tools for your eCommerce architecture? We will be exploring a few of these and how they apply.
Inbound Funnel strength with HubSpot
Not every online store provides the full suite of SEO tools with CRM workflows, and while BigCommerce has a deep set of SEO utilities, HubSpot is built for inbound online marketing. The platform is simple to navigate, sets up pages easily for your front-end theme, has landing pages, Blogs, and best of all has built-in email marketing and customer subscriptions. Sure, you can build everything in BigCommerce, but what if you are just wanting to add a store to your HubSpot site? The HubSpot Integration might be the way to go to insert a cart into HubSpot. There are some areas to watch out for - anything like over 100K records to synchronize might max out the API limit on HubSpot (BigCommerce API has by default a high limit).
Financial Sync with QuickBooks
As all online stores do, the order data is the core of your financial year, and being able to report your taxes. Given that BigCommerce pricing varies the API limits, managing the load of your data records might require some planning. BigCommerce Enterprise is unlimited in API calls, which might be relevant to ERPs and large product and order data. BigCommerce has many financial system integrations. To learn more on what BigCommerce has available for the Finance/Tax in both Apps and integrations:
Aside from the on-site integrations loaded on the BigCommerce page, individual integrations by separate organizations get listed on their own site, such as this ERP (Veeqo Integration with BigCommerce - https://www.veeqo.com/integrations/bigcommerce). For all other BigCommerce, integration listings see the link:
Online Store Build
When building your online store, most focus on selling their products and using the website builder, pick out a suitable BigCommerce Theme and start filling out the site. While there are many tools to consider and utilize in an online store, there are two items that are not thought of during that process: 1. Business Processes driving the tools being used/built in the new store. 2. Have the connections to other systems been tested with sample data. These two items can put the project into a big freeze and can also scale costs considerably to resolve. It is imperative to map out the business processes, at the very least the ones that are must-haves. Testing the data transfers between systems should work in most cases. It is the special characters, the unexpected fields being used as part of your process, or a workflow that bypasses updates/notifications from one system to the next. You won't be able to start selling without the full confidence that your staff and partners are 100% on board with the store build. This will also include all apps like live chat, product reviews, the assortment of credit cards, and notes taken by customer support on the orders being taken and dispatched.
Bigcommerce vs Shopify Integrations
While Shopify themes are plentiful, Shopify Apps are available by the thousands and in every flavor, phone support is not available. Building your eCommerce website will most likely require a Shopify Expert to get involved to resolve integration issues. BigCommerce offers a much more supportive environment where both BigCommerce Experts and the Shopkeeper can get to talk to a real human being at BigCommerce to resolve any issues encountered. With a closed ecosystem like Shopify's SAAS, the reliance is done in tiers and groups, so a business owner has to rely on the access provided based on their plan. While an Open SAAS approach can offer to cross-link of capabilities and also put everyone on the same level of "mutual interest" where all parties involved look to solve the issue to succeed. Choosing your eCommerce platform based on the relationship level is an important integration consideration - it's not like picking your Shopify payments options for your pro plan and you are ready to go.
Much like Shopify, BigCommerce has priced in 3 main tiers and then Enterprise level. Shopify offers the same with Shopify Plus as the top end, while traditionally BigCommerce has been less expensive but has a richer feature set. To sell online, the platform cost at the base level is not the bigger issue, it is the cost of Apps that will scale your build quickly and at a multiple of your base price. It is important to price compare the store build with all the required features and set them side-by-side to have a strong idea of the maintenance/monthly costs.
While there is a vast difference between the Shopify API and BigCommerce API throughput, the capabilities when it comes to the types of requests are pretty similar. However, when it comes to integrations, the number of API calls per minute is a critical consideration. With one integration with a low number of API calls, Shopify would probably work out fine, however, if you are looking to do thousands per hour, the Shopify platform will significantly incur lags and errors. It isn't just the API the stress will be on, it is on the App, the queuing system, and the application on the other end where it may not close records since they receive incomplete data. Error handling becomes a big issue on all ends, which makes it extremely difficult to replicate and fix, and even harder to pinpoint where the failure is at.
While it is easy to pick out a BigCommerce theme and find a place to find a BigCommerce developer to be on your team, it is a much harder task to determine if your integrations will deliver for your business - and it is a critical decision point to ensure it all works. Whether you are migrating from one platform to another, or are looking to put your business online, research has to be done, and at times with the help of a developer to do the various investigations and testings between systems to ensure compatibility, performance and ensure processes are maintained. If you require such assistance, we are BigCommerce Experts and our developers are here to assist - just reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org