With the rapid adoption of both Magento and eBay, Magento eBay extensions are one of the most sought after plug-ins on Magento Connect. Dozens of companies have developed various levels of Magento eBay integrations to meet the needs of online retailers. Although this type of extension is a great start, in most cases, Magento eBay extensions simply connect point A to B. Moving data might eliminate some manual tasks, but how much value does that add to your sales operations? Instead, keep your eye on the bigger picture particularly if you are using an eCommerce system like Magento, but maintaining your master item information in another system. Consider how to manage your multi-channel environment so that you are improving the overall sales experience for your customers and providing your organization with greater visibility to your sales data (item, inventory, order, customer, supply, etc.).
Multiple Sales Channels Magento powers your web store and eBay powers your marketplace, but what about the rest of your sales channels? If you have brick and mortar stores or are considering selling through Amazon, you need a way to integrate and manage item, order and inventory data between all of those systems to maintain consistency. Adding multiple point-to-point extensions adds layers of management both for your IT staff (who has to support multiple extensions) and for your sales organization (who has to maintain the data on those systems).
Integration Once you get an order from eBay or your web store, how do you get that data to your point of sale (POS), accounting or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system? Most of the time, the answer is key entry a disjointed, time-consuming process riddled with errors.
Consistent Customer Experience Do you create a consistent experience for every customer, online or in your brick and mortar stores? The simple things sometimes have the most impact on customers experience; like having the same product information across all of your channels or providing the same level of order status both online and by phone.
To maximize your sales opportunity and drastically improve customer service you need a solution that provides efficiencies such as those found in a multi-channel management (MCM) platform. An MCM solution doesnt take the place of your existing systems, it isnt limited to point-to-point integrations or integration at all and it provides true management of the multi-channel environment. With an MCM platform, you gain efficiencies and visibility benefits that far exceed the simple ability to move data between two points.
Many-to-Many Integrations Instead of managing multiple point solutions, an MCM platform provides many-to-many connectivity between marketplaces, eCommerce, POS, ERP, and accounting systems to lower integration costs. In addition, a MCM platform enables you to smoothly add and remove sales channels as your business grows and expands.
Cross-Channel Consistency Items and inventory are consistent across all channels in an MCM environment, meaning customers see the exact same information no matter where they shop and stock outs/backorders can be avoided no matter where inventory is held.
End-to-End Order Management MCM platforms enable end-to-end order management, including order collection, order fulfillment and shipping statuses. Most point-to-point integrations think their job is to move an order from one system to another and they stop there. But thats really no more effective than a fax machine. Managing the process all the way through the customer experience from placing the order to receiving the product that satisfies their need is how MCM sees it.
Visibility To improve customer service, MCM platforms provide visibility into orders at every stage of processing regardless of which channel originated the order. So should you get a customer inquiry online or by phone, theres no hesitation or delay in your response. With MCM, all of your systems are tied together so you can provide immediate order statuses to any customer regardless of sales channel, even on drop ships.
As you evaluate integration options for Magento and eBay, consider the big picture before you jump into a solution that only addresses your immediate need. New sales channels are popping up as fast as new social networks these days. Who knows who will be the next eBay or Amazon? Dont be tied down to a channel because of the point solution you implemented. Give your business the agility to grasp the next great opportunity with a flexible MCM platform like nChannel. In addition to that flexibility, the nChannel MCM platform will also streamline your sales process and elevate your level of customer service so you can compete at a whole new level.
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