Interface vs. integrated B2B eCommerce – what is the difference?

An integrated B2B eCommerce system, i.e. B2B webshop is very often compared to the interface eCommerce as its alternative. And that is precisely why many B2B company owners that want to digitalize sales, often find themselves with the dilemma of which solution should they choose.

What is the difference between the interface and an integrated B2B webshop? Can one system replace the other? These commonly asked questions have been troubling many B2B clients, so we’ve decided to clarify them.

Namely, both terms refer to the ways in which a B2B webshop can exchange data with other software solutions and systems. There are differences and they are significant. Your decision on which eCommerce solution is best for your business will greatly depend on those differences.

What is interface eCommerce?

Although these systems enable simple adjustments of the user experience, the interface eCommerce brings a much more complex implementation and higher maintenance costs. In fact, unlike the integrated B2B eCommerce, interface solutions have their own business logic that needs to be aligned with the ERP.

In effect, that means transferring and copying data from the ERP, the synchronization of data, and managing orders through several different software systems. Simply put, a lot more room for errors in data and product prices.

What is the integrated B2B eCommerce?

The integrated B2B eCommerce is a solution that is run directly from the ERP system such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. One of the biggest advantages of these systems is the automatization of the sales process.

Namely, the integrated B2B webshop enables simple management of all data that are already stored in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV system and all other Microsoft tools with which it is integrated.

Integrirani B2B ecommerce sustav Hecta

Interface vs. integrated B2B eCommerce – the speed of data transfer

One of the biggest disadvantages of the interface eCommerce is the impossibility of real-time synchronization of data with other systems. That can be a big problem in online wholesales. B2B clients opt for eCommerce because they want fast and simple shopping and simplified order creating. The moment when clients are able to order a product that isn’t currently available because of the incompatibility of data between the B2B webshop and the ERP system, all the benefits of online shopping fall down the drain.

On the other hand, an integrated B2B eCommerce enables the user to input and change any data on products from one place. In fact, the engine of an integrated B2B webshop is an ERP system such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

That means that any change made in the MD NAV is immediately visible in the integrated B2B webshop. With a much simpler implementation, the client gets a 100% accurate data in two business systems, and his buyers get a unique experience of ordering via eCommerce.

Integrirani B2B ecommerce sustav Hecta

Transferring and copying data

The implementation of an eCommerce platform often presents quite a challenge for B2B clients. First of all, because of transferring and copying data that is in the ERP system. Taking into account that the interface eCommerce doesn’t share the same database, these solutions often require systematic adjustment and information update on the state of the inventory, product description, and prices.

An integrated B2B eCommerce, on the other hand, uses data already located in the ERP system. That means that there is no need for additional adjustment or copying data on the state of the inventory.

These solutions enable accurate and prompt information on the state of the inventory, a simple product view, and fast and efficient shopping. Besides, they also provide an insight into previously created orders and enable promptly calculations of various tax rates and printing necessary documents. At any moment, wherever you may be.

With the help of an integrated B2B eCommerce, the user’s clients can create an order of articles directly from their software system. All the information on the current stock is also visible and they can simply download their invoices in electronic form, without manually inputting data. These solutions also don’t require complex adjustment, as they are easy to quickly implement and they don’t require additional education of the employees.

Integrirani B2B ecommerce sustav Hecta

Which solution to choose?

The decision whether the interface or an integrated B2B eCommerce system is a better solution for your business will largely depend on the software solutions you are already using, the expectations you have of online shopping, and the available tools for data exchange.

If you are already using an ERP system and you want all data to be located in one place than the integrated B2B eCommerce is the right solution for you. But if you have specific demands closely related to the branch in which you are doing business, then you should also consider the interface system.

Are you ready for sales digitalization? If You also want to offer your products via B2B eCommerce, contact us for more information and learn everything on the latest software solutions that will help you.