Shopping cart data integration. In a blog post a couple of weeks ago I blogged about the integration nightmare before Christmas. The online shopping season is in full swing so I thought it would be interesting to look at how Amazon handles their Christmas order volume. Given that online sales are increasing all the time, integration and effective data handling is becoming a critical key component of the success of internet retailing. Here is an interesting statistic. Amazon at this time of year handles on average, in its UK operations, 35 orders a second off its web site. 35 orders a second! Its mind boggling, you don’t do that volume manually or with poorly planned systems.
But before looking at Amazon UK let’s look at some interesting analysis of social media mention numbers that came out of this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in the US.
The inforgraphic above – Black Friday vs Cyber Monday – was commissioned by SAP. The most interesting trend I see is that online retailing represents a bigger slice of the US Thanksgiving pie than ever before. If you look at Black Friday online retailing, social media traffic represents less volume than big box stores, but come Cyber Monday social media mentions spike and surpass big box bricks and mortar by a wide margin. What I find particularly interesting here is that in a short period of time there is a tremendous amount of fluctuation in social media traffic volumes related to online internet retailing. Why is this important ? You couple this information with clear indications that in 2012 versus 2011 online retailers were viewed more favourably by consumers, and the findings speak volumes of the increasing importance of the online experience. This sounds pretty obvious if you follow Internet Retailing to any extent, but this to me, shouts out for the need for resilience in not only shopping cart platforms but also in the back end integrations and how data moves between the online retailer and the rest of the supply chain. We all know that the online shopping experience is all about responsiveness but what people seem to forget is how the bits and pieces all talk to each other.
Online shopping is serious business and this video coupled with the SAP infographic speaks volumes of the need for a super efficient operation and a clean effective data movement and translation strategy. Many online retailers grapple with poor and inefficient systems and limited strategy as it relates to data movement in an extremely fast moving world. If logistics are outsourced then this becomes even more critical. If you are the size of Amazon you use Liaison’s Contivo data transformation product to manipulate data. Amazon actually does use Contivo for those who must know. If you are a more modest online retailer with aspirations, Liaison’s ECS and Delta are perfect data transformation and communication tools that allow for clean integration between your shopping cart platform and your internal inhouse systems using web services.
At VL we have integrated ECS and Delta to a long list of shopping carts that include Magento, Volusion, Shopatron, Xcart, Big Commerce, Infusionsoft to name a few. All of these connected and integrated using ECS and Delta. And, yes ECS and Delta can be integrated to SAP.