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Noah Strerath 5 Minutes

Shopify Plus Marketplace Connection

Integrate Shopify Plus with Marketplaces: Expand Your Sales Channels with Your E-Commerce Platform

E-commerce is expected to have over 3 billion buyers, according to forecasts (statista.de). Online marketplaces such as Amazon, Alibaba, and others attract the majority of customers.

This seems logical given their advantages: these platforms offer an overwhelming array of products, making price comparisons between similar items easy, and the ordering and shipping processes run, at least from the customer's perspective, in consistent patterns.

For merchants operating their own online stores, the omnipresence of e-commerce giants is not necessarily a problem. Instead, it presents an opportunity to benefit from their popularity and explore new sales channels through their extensive reach.

Shopify Plus is a shopping system particularly well-suited for connecting to new points of sale (PoS). In this article, we aim to clarify what considerations are essential when selling on online marketplaces and why an ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics is recommended for integration.

Summary:

Is Shopify Plus suitable for marketplace applications?

In short: Yes. As an enterprise solution, Shopify Plus is closely aligned with the strategic and operational goals of established businesses. This includes the integration of various sales channels, especially online marketplaces such as Amazon or Alibaba. Utilizing an ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 enables companies to optimize their multichannel strategy.

Shopify Plus:

The Functional Enterprise Solution from Shopify

Shopify founder Tobias Lütke has achieved a billion-dollar success with his e-commerce system. Originally, the Koblenz native, who emigrated to Canada, was simply searching for a suitable system for his snowboard online shop. When he couldn't find one, he promptly programmed the tech stack himself – and that was the birth of Shopify.

Today, Shopify is one of the most sought-after e-commerce solutions, providing the foundation for successful businesses of all sizes and industries. Shopify Plus is the Canadian company's enterprise solution, primarily targeting established brands with high sales volume and/or specific customer demands. For this reason, Shopify Plus is significantly more adaptable compared to Shopify.

With Apps for a Multichannel Platform

The greatest strength of Shopify and Shopify Plus lies in the integrated App Store, allowing the system to easily incorporate new features. This principle functions similarly to the plugins of the well-known blog system WordPress. The apps offer various third-party integrations, covering nearly all aspects of business, including marketing, sales, accounting, or CRM. With their help, marketplaces can also be connected to Shopify Plus, allowing you to sell your products on platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and others.

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What to consider when integrating marketplaces with Shopify Plus

As appealing as the opportunity may seem to sell on national and international marketplaces through Shopify Plus, you should not undertake the integration without proper preparation and effective workflows. Here are the essential factors you should definitely consider.

#1 Adjust Your Product Feed to Marketplace Regulations

The conformity of category and product pages ensures marketplace customers have a particularly intuitive shopping experience. To maintain this experience at all costs, there are clear guidelines on how online retailers are allowed to present their products on the platforms and what is not allowed. For example, on Amazon, it is mandatory for the main image of an item to have a white background. If you already sell through a Shopify store, you may enjoy freedoms that do not exist on platforms like Amazon. You need to adjust your product feed according to the marketplace's requirements.

#2 Regularly Update Your Feed

Online marketplaces usually reward regular maintenance and the timeliness of a product feed with higher visibility. For the long-term success of your business, it is crucial that your feed is always up-to-date. Especially if you distribute many items across various marketplaces, this can be a challenge.

#3 Ensure a Consistent Data Foundation

Even though different marketplaces have different legal frameworks, target countries, and groups, it does not make sense to manage them separately for efficiency reasons. To have a better overview of your inventory and financial data, all information should be consolidated in one system. This also minimizes the error rate and prevents issues such as incorrect stock levels.

#4 Automate Standard Processes

Automated processes often make e-commerce companies viable for growth. Especially if you plan to serve multiple points of sale simultaneously, you should automate your business processes as much as possible, as handling a large order volume manually is not feasible.

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Shopify Plus and Microsoft Dynamics 365: Foundation of Your Marketplace Strategy

ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning) serve as the control center of your business, bringing together all business areas. You can leverage these systems for the implementation of your marketplace integration as well. Shopify Plus provides excellent conditions for integrating various ERP systems, including the Microsoft ERP solution Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Utilize our Shopify Plus Connector for Microsoft Dynamics 365

ESYON has developed its in-house Shopify Plus Connector for the integration of Shopify Plus with Microsoft Dynamics. This solution allows you to connect your entire Shopify Plus store to Microsoft Dynamics and is well-suited for multi-shops and/or marketplace applications.

  • Fully automated data management: Price, customer, and product information, as well as inventory levels, can be automatically transferred to Microsoft Dynamics with the Shopify Plus Connector. Automation eliminates manual processes, saving a significant amount of time and resources.
  • Synchronization of products and categories: If you make changes to your product information in Shopify Plus, the adjustments are synchronized with Microsoft Dynamics, allowing them to be transferred to your marketplace feed. This ensures that you share the same product information with your customers across all sales channels.
  • Multi-shop & multilingual capabilities: One of the biggest advantages of Shopify Plus is the ability to operate up to 10 online stores with just one account. This is particularly lucrative for companies with multiple brands and international distribution. The Shopify Plus Connector allows you to manage each of your online stores in your Microsoft ERP.
  • Familiar Microsoft Office environment: With our integration, you are not dependent on the use of middleware, and you can manage your Shopify Plus store in a familiar working environment closely aligned with the appearance and usability of Microsoft Office.
  • Short Time-to-Market: The direct form of integration also ensures that you can quickly go live and be productive with your business.

Frequently Asked Questions about Shopify Plus and Online Marketplaces

Is Shopify a marketplace?

Shopify is not a marketplace in the sense of Amazon, Etsy, or similar platforms. The system enables businesses to build their own online shops. While the conventional Shopify primarily targets small and medium-sized enterprises, Shopify Plus is designed to meet the needs of larger merchants. Both systems can be connected to online marketplaces through apps.

When is Shopify Plus worthwhile?

This is challenging to answer categorically. Unlike the three Shopify plans – Basic, Shopify, and Advanced – which incur monthly fees, the costs for Shopify Plus are revenue-dependent, starting at a minimum of 2,000 EUR per month. Shopify Plus becomes a viable option when the costs for the Advanced plan, combined with various paid apps, would exceed the price of Shopify Plus. In this case, merchants would save costs and benefit from the advantages of Shopify Plus over Advanced. Shopify's customer service representatives often approach merchants for whom this scenario is foreseeable. For others, assessing the situation is more complex. Experts frequently recommend considering a switch for annual turnovers between 800,000 to 1,200,000 euros.

Which marketplaces can be connected to Shopify Plus?

Through the App Store, most online marketplaces, including Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, Otto, and many others, can be integrated into Shopify Plus. If a connection does not yet exist in the App Store, it can usually be set up through the API interface of the shop system.