How to Automate your Shopify Business with ERP Integration

Leveraging an ERP system such as Acumatica, Microsoft Dynamics or NetSuite, helps consumer products companies with complex back-office processes to centrally manage and get visibility into all aspects of their business from one place. This requires updating data such as sales orders, refunds, items, inventory from ecommerce channels into the ERP.

Integrating an Ecommerce sales channel such as Shopify with an ERP helps further improve operational efficiency gains by automating and streamlining key order to cash processes.
In on-demand webinar, we will share our expertise from working with thousands of Ecommerce customers and discuss best practices for Shopify and ERP integration. You will learn:

  • Benefits of Shopify and ERP integration
  • Common Shopify and ERP integration use cases
  • How to get a quick start with pre-built Shopify integrations
Full Webinar Transcript
Hi, everyone. Welcome to our webinar. Today, we’re going to cover how to automate your Shopify business with ERP integration. My name is Ebru. I work in Product Marketing at Celigo, and I’m here today with my colleague, our Solutions Engineer, Adel Haider. And we will first talk about the typical challenges of e-commerce, order-to-cash, and how automation can help address these. And then Adel is going to walk us through Celigo’s integration platform and one of our pre-built solutions for Shopify ERP integrations. So if you have any questions during this presentation, you can type them into the questions pane, and we will have a Q&A at the end of the session. So, yeah, let’s get started with some background on Celigo. We’re an iPaaS, integration-Platform-as-a-Service, company. And on our platform, any application can be connected to any other application to automate business processes. For example, Shopify can be integrated with any ERP system to automate the order-to-cash business process. And we have a deep expertise with e-commerce use cases. So today, we have thousands of customers in this space ranging from consumer product companies, resellers, retailers, to manufacturers. And you can see some of our customer logos here. And our platform is built to be used by both business and technical users. And this is actually one of the things that makes us different from other integration platforms available out there. And so integrating ERPs to Shopify, Amazon, eBay, and other e-commerce platforms and 3PLs are some of the most popular use cases we see among our customers. And also so we’ve been recently recognized. We recently won the G2 best software for 2021 award. So we’re really excited about this. And we have also been in the Gartner Magic Quadrant over the past couple of years. So, yeah, here, you can see Celigo positioned as a leader based on more than 240 validated customer reviews on G2. And we also have great reviews from our customers across some other platforms such as Capterra and Gartner Peer Insights. So now let’s talk a bit about the typical challenges of e-commerce order-to-cash. So, yeah, if you are listening into this webinar, so I’m assuming you’re already familiar with the challenges and, probably, you’re looking for a solution. And you already are using an ERP system to manage your operations, or you’re considering moving to one. And so here’s a quick recap of the challenges. So when you’re managing your operations through an ERP system for an order to be processed, the order data needs to be available in the ERP. And so I heard from many of our customers that manually downloading, uploading files, or keying in data across systems is very time-consuming, and this can often introduce delays in financials and introduce mistakes in data entry, which can easily also translate into accounting errors. And so another challenge is keeping accurate track of inventory. So if you’re selling on Shopify, you want to make sure your inventory levels are always up to date so that you don’t sell out of stock items to your customers. And again, with manual processes, updating inventory levels on your storefront can get delayed. And also not having visibility into your sales orders in real-time in ERP can cause stock out and delayed procurement for your business. And so again, when sales orders are updated manually and slowly in the ERP, this can also cause delays and errors in fulfillments or processing of returns. And so if you are in e-commerce today, you already know that all of this leads to lost revenue and poor customer experience. So, okay, now let’s move to the fun part. So how do you automate and streamline order to cash? So the correct answer here is with integration. So by connecting Shopify to your ERP system, you can sync key data such as customers, products, orders from one system to the other. And you can eliminate all the slow, error-prone, resource-intensive, and the boring manual processes with automation. So, for example, if you have hundreds of SKUs, you can sync any product-related changes, descriptions, pricing from your ERP to Shopify. And this will help ensure product data is consistent across your systems and your sales channels at all times. Or you can automatically sync orders from Shopify into your ERP, kicking off the fulfillment process as soon as an order in and sync back the fulfillment confirmation and tracking information immediately back to Shopify to your customers. And so now coming back to our platform- on our iPaaS you can connect Shopify to any ERP system. So it doesn’t matter if it’s Sage, Acumatica, or Microsoft Dynamics. So as long as your ERP has a level of connectivity, you can connect it through Celigo iPaaS. And here’s an overview of our platform. So you can basically integrate anything on the platform. And other than Shopify, Amazon, Returnly, Zendesk are shown as examples here for possible e-commerce integrations on the platform. And if you are on the business side of things, our intuitive UI makes it very easy for business users to build, manage, and monitor integrations. So we also have advanced features and functionality for integration, monitoring, and error management that helps users to easily maintain and troubleshoot the integrations without any help or with minimum help from IT. And so in case you are all on the technical side of things. So as you hear here, as you– as you can see here on the operations dashboard, we also have all the advanced tools you need to build complex integrations from scratch. So one of the most important aspects to consider for a growing e-commerce business is will your platform be able to scale with increasing order volumes? So today there are many apps out there that cannot handle holiday sales. So our iPaaS is robust enough to scale. As an example, we were able to handle the record-breaking 2020 Black Friday/Cyber Monday orders of our customers without any interruptions to their operations. And we have a marketplace that has selections for pre-built integrations. So these pre-built integrations include selections of packaged flows. And we have these available for Shopify and for some of the other popular e-commerce apps out there. And so these packaged flows cover basically 92, 95 percent of the common use cases. And you can use these pre-built integrations to get a quick start without having to build them from scratch. And, of course, more flows can be built on top of these based on your specific business use cases. And I think that’s enough talking on my side. So now I will hand it off to Adel and he will walk us through the platform and show us the Shopify ERP integration example. So let me make you the presenter,Adel. All right, Ebru. Thank you for that. While Ebru’s passing me the presenter, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, everyone, depending on where you’re watching us from. So here is now a time to share this screen. We can go straight into the demo. So there we go. So Ebru, can you just confirm that you can see my screen there? Yes, I can. All right. Great stuff. So let’s start from the last thing that Ebru was saying which is the marketplace. So the marketplace is typically the first place you would go to on our platform if you’re starting the very first time to do your integrations. If you’re familiar with it, you would still use the marketplace to go and get yet another integration between whatever systems we might be talking about. So, for example, because our focus today is on Shopify and on the marketplace, you can scroll down all the way to Shopify if you wanted to or use the search functionality which does make things a lot easier. So we go into Shopify here, you’ll see that we have a number of pre-built integrations here. Now, there’s two types ultimately. There’s integration apps, as we call them. These are product tied integrations completely managed by Celigo. And then we have templated integrations. You can think of these as blueprints. They’re ready to go. They are pre-built. And contrary to other integration platforms, these are all-encompassing. So they do have at least an MVP, a minimum viable product, shall we say, of integrations that you’d want to have between two systems. So for example, we have here to Acumatica. We also have to NetSuite, to QuickBooks and, of course, to Microsoft Dynamics as well. But as Ebru says, anything that is not here can be built because the principles of the platform still remain the same. They’re still the same building blocks that we do want to focus on. Now, for the example, today I will use Microsoft Dynamics in order to illustrate that as an ERP connecting Shopify into that as an ERP in this case. So I already have that in place here. And it’s quite easy to do so to put it into place from the marketplace or you select install and it will guide you through the process of installing it into your account. Now bear in mind, installing does not mean putting anything on your local laptops or computers. It’s all running in the cloud. This is an integration platform in the end. So it is for the cloud-based. So if we look at integration between Shopify and Dynamics, it is composed of a number of flows. And you’ll identify by the names of those flows exactly what it actually does. We will use the order, Shopify into Dynamics as our example today once we go into a little bit more detail but just to walk you through what you’re actually seeing here and the different options available to you. So we have two types of flows on the platform. They’re scheduled in real-time flows. And that really depends on one, the use case you’re trying to implement and two, the support for real-time integrations that the specific systems will have. And you get to choose ultimately what you need to do. When the case is scheduled you can choose the frequency as well that you actually need to have on that specific schedule, very, very useful to have and also inclusively being able to select which day. So for example, for Black Friday/Cyber Monday there’s a lot more business happening. You might want to increase the frequency that you’re bringing orders in from Shopify into your ERP, for example. Now having said that, you do have, of course, the option to use only the flows that you want to. So you don’t necessarily have to use every single flow available in this template. Ultimately, the way to do that is to switch on the ones that you need. So when you first instal this template into your Celigo account, they will all be switched off naturally. So you just switch on the ones you actually need. And of course, for testing purposes, you can execute each and every one of them that you might want to have as well just to ensure that things are functioning appropriately. Now, let’s go into an actual flow and see what it looks like. I’ll collapse this menu here on the left-hand side so you can have a full-screen view of what’s actually happening. So an integration flow on our platform is composed of multiple steps. And this one here is getting– for example, step number one, getting the orders from Shopify and then searching for details of that customer, for example, in Dynamics. So first, identifying whether the customer exists. If they do not, then importing the customer and then finally importing the sales order. Now, a sales order is composed of multiple things. It’s composed of a sales order itself, the header level information, the line level information which is imported separately in this case, and then finally, any discounted information in question. So you can already see here that there is a lot happening. It’s quite rich in terms of functionality. So you have a lot of options that you can use and include or not include depending on what you want to have. So if you are comfortable in the platform and we do certainly hope that you get to that stage, you can then start to change the way this works. And this is the template, as I said before, it’s a blueprint so you are free to modify it to your specific use cases, as Ebru was saying. Now, if we go into it, just a little bit of detail here to show you how things are actually built and what it actually looks like. You’ll immediately see that the menu is contextualized. So in other words, it’s relevant to the system you’re trying to integrate with so dynamics in this case. The API name ultimately indicates what’s the record type we’re talking about here and there’s sales order. But some use cases that we’ve seen wanted to introduce a sales invoice instead. And you can. You can modify that specific case here. You can do sales invoice as opposed to sales order and then change the mappings accordingly, which I’ll talk to you about in a moment. You can also then change the operation in question. So it can be a create. It could be an update so you can build a field which updates sales orders in Microsoft Dynamics. And then, of course, you can have it create or update so it does essentially both identifies whether it exists. If it doesn’t, it creates it. Otherwise, it will update it. Now, I mentioned mappings before. Now the mapping is ultimately where you define how the data gets translated, if you will. You can think of it that way. Now, because this is a template, there are a number of mappings already done. Now, you can modify each and every one of these mappings. Inclusively, you can also add mappings as well. And you have no limit to the number of fields that you can actually map here. Now it will show up as a dropdown as long as there is a contextualized application. Again, in this question, we are connecting to Dynamics and to Shopify, so you will see a drop-down of the fields, and of course, you can type ahead as well. Aside from that, you have multiple types of mappings that you can choose from as well. And we have documentation, extensive documentation, which explains in which use cases you should use these and how to actually use them as well. All right. Now, once a flow is actually built and once you’ve gone through these steps of verifying the things are as you expect and you switch it on and then you execute it. But then where do you actually see what’s happening? How do you see if something has gone wrong, for example? Well, that’s where our dashboard comes into play. So if we go into here, you’ll see that there will be a number of flows that you can actually identify in this dashboard. Now, in this particular case, there aren’t any there. I haven’t executed this integration in quite some time. There’s nothing there to show. But nonetheless, you can see that you can start to filter integrations, for example, based on a specific flow in question or for example, based on a status. If you want to see all the flows which are with errors, then you can do that and it’ll essentially filter out that. Now one thing which is important to highlight here is you will be able to see as soon as something is executing, in other words, as soon as a flow is executing and pushing across data from Shopify to Dynamics or vice versa in the case of fulfillments, as Ibru said, then you’ll be able to see this in real-time. So it’ll show up here, that flow, whether it’s a scheduled flow or real-time flow, you will see it here executing. You’ll see such things as what’s the status, completed or failed, for example, and how many records were processed successfully, ignored, or in error. So you have a number of statistical information that you can have here. Including in that as well, is you’ll be able to select a flow and retry. Very, very useful from an error management perspective. It’s probably the number one missing feature in a number of platforms, a number of integrations out there is the ability to retry and to really monitor things quite well. Now on the topic of monitoring this this is a dashboard that you can monitor things on, of course. But you do not have to baby this monitor. You do not have to constantly be looking at it. Ultimately, we want you to set Celigo and let it do its work. However, when things go wrong for whatever reason, you can be notified of them. So if you go with the notifications tab here, you can choose which flows to be notified of. It is very common to be notified, for example, the case of a failed push of an order into your ERP, for example, and also potentially fulfillments, information about fulfillments not going back as well. Those are very, very common flows to be notified of. What the platform will do is send you an email to say, “Something has gone wrong in this flow. Here are the details and the link back to the platform in question.” Speaking of errors, in fact, if it’s not a functional error but a technical error and issue on the platform itself or with the platform itself, you can, of course, request the help from our support team straight from within the platform as well. And so, there is a mechanism of submitting tickets straight from within there as well. And then, last but certainly, certainly not least, I did mention documentation. Now, we do have a help center, which has a number of articles formally known as a knowledge base for good reason. And you can search there and, of course, be engaged by a number of people from Celigo as well as the community of customers that we have. You can also, of course, attend the Celigo University. Now, attending it is the operative word here. You can ultimately use it in any fashion. So you have a learning pass that you guide yourselves through, and you can get certifications as well through there. And it really is meant to be a really good resource for you to get up and running very quickly on how integrations should be done on our platform. All right, I hope that has been very useful to you. I do leave it open for any use cases that you might have, any challenges you might have. Please do reach out. More than happy to give you guidance and explanations on how to take things further in terms of your automations. Ibru, I think I shall now hand over to you. Thank you so much, [Adel?]. Yes, so before moving into the Q&A, so I would like to one more time summarize the benefits here. Integrating Shopify with ERP drives growth. So you can seamlessly scale your business without adding in more resources. You can speed up order processing and reduce your errors, which leads to improved customer experience. And by having real-time visibility into our business from your ERP, you can take the right decisions on time, avoiding any lost revenue. And so, that all being said, so here is a customer story, Gabriel Cosmetics. So I recently interviewed Jenna. She’s the director of operations at Gabrielle Cosmetics and their small company, moving upmarket with a small operations team. And so, as their business grew, they adopted Acumatica as their ERP. And at that time, they were actually still manually uploading and downloading orders between their website and their ERP. So, last year, in 2019, during Black Friday, they experienced a technical glitch on their end. And they ended up having to manually type in every single order into their ERP. So they had to dedicate three full-time employees into entering 1300 orders. So obviously entering so many orders, they ended up with mistakes leading to customer service issues the weeks following that. And also worth mentioning, that they didn’t have an in-house technical team to develop any automation support for that. So to prevent anything like this from happening again and to easily scale their operations with growth, they adopted Shopify as their storefront. And with this move, they also selected Celigo’s prebuilt Shopify – Acumaticaintegration to connect Shopify to Acumatica. And as a result, they were able to significantly improve their order processing times, reduce errors, and also they were able to reallocate their headcount and save over $30,000. And I didn’t note it here, but their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales in 2020 was a huge success with Celigo. Everything went without the glitch. So that’s worth mentioning. And let me move to the next slide here. So if you would like to learn more about this particular case study or any other case studies we have for our customers and what kind of solutions we have available. So you can check out our website, celigo.com. And you see we also have a resources section here pointing you to guides, e-books and as I mentioned, to many different case studies. And so this brings us to the end of this webinar. So now we will be taking some questions. So let me see here. So first question, are there any requirements an ERP system needs to fulfill to support integration with Shopify? Adel, will you be able to answer that? Yep. Yeah. Absolutely happy to provide some insight into that. So, yes, there are some requirements. And the requirement really is that as Ebru had already mentioned, the ERP really has to have a way for integration, so an interface, as we call it, from a technical perspective. In other words, it could be an API of some kind or, for example, web services, the most common being an API. And that’s really the primary requirement. There needs to be a way to push data in and take data out of the ERP. Aside from that, in order to integrate into Shopify as an e-comm platform, it’s important that the ERP supports the usual business objects that you’d expect for things like orders, items, inventory fulfillment, and things of this nature. The reason why I say this is that it’s quite easy to sometimes forget that there are different ways in which you can model this data. So as long the ERP will fulfill or is fulfilling what you’d expect it to have in order to then fulfill your business requirements and support your business process going forward, then you should be absolutely fine with doing integrations. Thank you, Adel. Here is another question. Can I modify the directions or frequency of the flows as I wish? Yes. As a general recommendation, you should always be aware of what it is you’re modifying. So in other words, what direction you’re pushing data to and from, just so it makes sense ultimately. But yes, you can modify the frequency as I showed before, you can modify how frequent you do want to have things. It’s advised to also have that functionality and being aware that you can use it and how to use it. And of course, you can model the flows in the direction that you need. So, for example, as Ebru mentioned before, pushing orders from Shopify into Dynamics, for example, in this case. And then pushing the fulfillment data out of Dynamics or any ERP for that matter, actually, into Shopify. So hence the modeling of the data and the flow of the data just needs to make sense. Thank you. So here’s one more question for you. So do you support connecting multiple Shopify stores to an ERP system? Yes. Yes, we do. Ultimately, that is something that we see very, very often. A lot of our customers do so in multiple regions, including even having multiple websites for different purposes, multiple brands is a common one. And also, for example, having wholesale versus end-customer sales, B2C versus B2B. We do see that very, very often. So, yes, we can support integrating multiple Shopify stores into an ERP. Another question, do I need technical staff to maintain the integrations? And I can answer this one, Adel. So no, not really. We have actually a lot of customers today who are in finance and operations roles, and they manage the integrations themselves without any support from their IT teams. So as Adele showed you, our platform is really intuitive and you can use our dashboards to easily monitor and then troubleshoot your integrations. And the final question here is, do you offer training? And Adel already again touched– based on this one, he showed you Celigo University. So we offer courses on a wide array of topics through the university. But in addition to that, we also have a very in-depth knowledge base articles that guide you through the details of integrations and the platform. So, yes, we have a lot of training material available. And so we are approaching the end of our time here. So, yes, this brings us to the end of this webinar. And thank you so much for attending this session. So we would love to hear about your challenges and any questions you have. So please feel free to contact us through the chat window on our website or simply email us at [email protected] And thanks again for joining us today. And have a great rest of the day. And thank you, Adel. Indeed. Indeed. Thank you, Ebru. Take care everyone. Speak sound. Thank you. Bye.

About the speakers

Ebru Saglam

Ebru has a diverse background with over a decade of combined experience in marketing, technical sales and customer services roles across startups and enterprises. She also has hands-on experience in the e-commerce landscape, she has spent more than 5 years running her DTC multi-channel e-commerce business.

Adel Haider

Adel has a software engineering background. He joined Celigo in 2019 having spent the last 10 years within the Enterprise Application Integration space, with a particular focused on Service-Oriented Architectures. Adel began his career as an integration developer in 2009, working at a large IT consulting firm, building integrations using Oracle technologies within several industry verticals. A few years later, he also began working with small businesses developing their online presence by creating web-based applications for various purposes. Today, Adel's primary role is that of Solutions Engineer, supporting organisations in their journey to the cloud, focusing on the use of cloud platforms (PaaS) for their App Integration, App Development and API Management needs.