Many business owners see their website as a stand-alone tool – whether that is an online shop, a marketing tool for capturing potential client details, or simply a shop window.
What you may not be aware of, or may have seen the jargon and clicked the back button, is that many online services have the equivalent of a secure telephone line (an API) that allows you to connect to their service to send/receive data.
This can be a really powerful tool which allows you to connect your data up from different services to provide a more detailed picture of what is happening within your business, streamline your payment collection, or simply to save administration time.
Recently we were presented with a complaint from a client that updating pricing on their website was an administrative nightmare. It required hours of admin time to update constantly changing prices, and often by the time an order was placed the price had changed again. The bottom line was that not only were the company spending too much time on admin, and not enough time on selling, but they were sometimes losing profit due to out-of-date prices.
After an initial chat we identified that the client used Xero for invoicing non-ecommerce sales and for their inventory. The pricing was being kept up-to-date by a separate team, and therefore the price updates were also being duplicated!
The solution was for us to set up a ‘conversation’ between the website and Xero on a daily basis to send the pricing from Xero to the website. The website would then look at the prices and update the website accordingly. This process runs without any intervention each night. The team responsible for the website then review a report each morning to ensure there were no errors.
The cost of connecting the services up was relatively small, but the time saved each day was enormous. Hoorah!
If you’d like to talk to us about a query, complaint or niggle in your business that might have an online solution please do get in touch. It is very rare that we can’t come up with a solution to save you time and money.