Beyond the Pitch
nChannel Is at the Forefront of E-commerce Integrations
E-commerce integration equals sales enablement for retail
U.S. retailers ended 2017 on a note of celebration. After multiple years of tepid results, the overall industry reported a 4.4 percent jump in sales.
However, it was the performance and outlook for e-commerce that really delivered a jolt. Online sales grew a whopping 16 percent. Factoring out cars and fuel, e-commerce delivered nearly 50 percent of all retail sales growth last year.
nChannel, creator of integration software specifically designed for retailers, is at the front of the e-commerce wave.
nChannel deploys the latest technology and secures strategic partnerships with industry leaders to make it simpler and easier for retailers of all sizes to capture a share of the enormous potential of online sales.
Tapping into E-commerce Is Much More than a Shopping Cart
Adding robust and profitable e-commerce capability is daunting. Retailers must figure out how to interface e-commerce to all the systems and processes that make a brick and mortar retailer successful—from accounting to inventory to complex supply chain management.
“Multiple systems are required to sell effectively online,” Marano said. “nChannel’s job is to fill the gaps between those systems. Most companies have pockets of expertise in e-commerce or fulfillment, but they aren’t experts in tying them together. There is a huge learning curve around this. That’s what is somewhat revolutionary about what we are doing.”
From browsing to buying, the customer’s online experience is paramount. Amazon dominates and sets a very high bar. Once a retailer establishes an online presence, the operational systems supporting e-commerce must scale as e-commerce succeeds. This is the role a good integration platform plays. It can’t be constructed from the software equivalent of band-aids and glue.
Each nChannel Option Simplifies Channel Operations for Retailers
Starting with a library of pre-built connectors, nChannel offers three ways to help retailers accomplish their goals depending on the complexity of their needs.
Express Automation, nChannel’s self-service module, is a plug-and-play offering that allows customers to integrate e-commerce capability with their existing back-end systems in hours. This option is suitable for single-location companies with a small catalog of merchandise they want to put up on the web, and that fulfill from one location.
“Our second option is more configurable and targeted at companies with slightly more sophisticated needs,” Marano said. “The company may have multiple online stores, more complex fulfillment requirements like buy-online-pick-up-in-store, and may still want to fulfill from multiple brick and mortar stores or warehouses.”
One of the unique features that nChannel provides for a customer like this is a visual mapper that allows customers to create data “maps” to define how data flows between their fulfillment and e-commerce systems.
For customers with very complex retail environments, or for companies that have home-grown, niche, or uncommon systems that need to be connected, nChannel offers a third option—an SDK (software development kit) that Marano says cuts the development effort of a customized interface down by about 90 percent.
nChannel Has Plenty of Street Cred from Customers and Strategic Partnerships
Named a Multichannel Merchant Top Commerce Platform for 2017, nChannel has forged relationships with software giants like Shopify, Magento, Microsoft, NetSuite, and Sage.
AAA Washington is just one of the companies benefiting. AAA Washington operates 18 retail locations and serves a million members in Washington state and northern Idaho. nChannel helped AAA implement an entirely new marketing concept, Cruise and Travel Stores, by integrating Lightspeed Retail (point-of-sale) and Microsoft Dynamics GP (ERP) with out-of-the-box connectors to help them sync product data, inventory levels and financial sales data across their entire enterprise.
“These partnerships allow nChannel to not only enable e-commerce processes for our customers. We end up helping our clients take full advantage of the platforms and systems that support non-online channels as well,” said Marano.
Most recently, nChannel announced a strategic partnership with iQmetrix, the wireless industry’s largest provider of POS, retail management, and omnichannel retail solutions. The first iQmetrix integration with nChannel, being a direct connection between RQ POS and the Shopify eCommerce Platform, will be available as early as May.
“At this point, the opportunity in front of nChannel is endless,” she said. “Our software is state-of-the-art; our technology is built to scale. Our challenge, like every scaling startup, is capturing the opportunity that is in front of us, to support the merchants that our partners bring in, and to get our marketing resources to reach as far as we want to reach.”
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