Integrations are the NOW
On the topic of integrations between winery SaaS (Software as a Service) companies and 3rd party best of breed applications…
By: Natalie Williams
Industry leaders are painfully aware of the legacy-state of winery software and the limitations that wineries have to adapt to while using these applications. What is really exciting is that some of us are out there working to catapult winery software into the same space that companies like DropBox, SalesForce and Slack currently operate in. These companies have open APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow for integrations between their software and other software, often seamlessly.
We’re all a little different.
To be successful, a winery needs to be unique — it has to own its niche in the consumers mind. It makes sense then that winery ecommerce/CRM platforms will never offer exactly what each winery requires. Integrations with 3rd party applications are the answer.
Wineries are finding that they can better interact with their customers using 3rd party applications that offer more features then their winery SaaS applications can provide. In order to get your customer data from your ecommerce/CRM platform into those 3rd party applications (or vice versa) an integration is necessary. To demonstrate how these integrations work, let’s examine a couple scenarios.
Winery A is focused solely on DTC sales and needs to send personalized emails to its buyers based on their unique purchase trends, but their current ecommerce/CRM platform houses the data and the mail system does not. If only the two systems could talk to each other! An integration can be established between their ecommerce/CRM platform and their mail system so that data that is collected in one will sync to the other. Now Winery A can send automated marketing emails to customers based on their lifetime value, purchasing history, and other advanced segments.
Not sold on integrations yet? Let’s talk money. Winery B outsources their accounting, which is costly because the order data generated in their ecommerce/CRM platform has to be manually entered into their accounting software on a daily basis. Why can’t this data automatically populate in their accounting software? With an integration, it can! By automating this process Winery B will save money on accounting.
There will never exist a winery ecommerce/CRM platform that can offer everything a winery needs within one application. By having the ability to integrate the right feature-laden application with their existing winery SaaS applications, wineries will have more flexibility in interacting with their customer base which means more opportunities to drive revenue.
More time to make wine.
The goal is to work smarter, not harder, which is why paying for integrations between the various business applications you use is a no-brainer. Business integrations drive efficiency and improve functionality.
Wineries want their product to sell itself. While that is not always possible, the idea is that a sale should require as few employee touch-points as possible. If your data is setup to flow between applications, the amount of manual entry will decrease and your insights will increase.
With just a few integrations in place, the following scenario is possible. A customer clicks on a Facebook Ad about your wine that takes them to your website. They put a few bottles in their cart but don’t checkout before they bounce. Their abandoned cart on your website triggers an email to the customer that results in a sale. The sale is processed in your chosen ecommerce/CRM platform. The sales data is captured in your email platform so you can target this customer when certain wines are on sale. The click-through-rate and open rate information flows to your ecommerce/CRM platform so you can monitor how this customer has responded to your campaigns historically. The order data gets auto-batched to your accounting software that night.
The integration scenario that was just described can happen automatically, in as close to real-time as the API’s will allow. And how many employee touch-points did it have? None.
There is a huge potential for software integrations to free up employees from manual data entry so that their time could be put to better use. Wineries that choose to integrate their business applications will have a clear advantage: more time to innovate and focus on strategy that will drive revenue.
Integrations are SaaS-sy.
With so many SaaS companies offering so many great services to wineries, it can be a daunting task deciding which ones are worth paying to integrate with your ecommerce/CRM platform. Our advice is to take a step back and find out which arm of your business could use some added efficiency.
Are you spending a lot of time digging through your data or manually entering it? Start there and ask yourself if there are any integrations available that you can employ. If you find yourself with a unique situation–there is always the option for a custom integration. You’ll just have to pay for one. This is when a simple cost analysis projection can tell you if the investment in a custom integration will be worth your while.
The benefits of integration software in the wine industry are endless. As long as API’s remain open, the sky is the limit.
* Intuit and QuickBooks are trademarks and service marks of Intuit Inc., registered in the United States and other countries. Mailchimp® is a registered trademark ofThe Rocket Science Group. Commerce7 is a registered trademark of Commerce7. WineDirect is registered trademark of WineDirect, Inc.