If the answer to this is: No, or: What do you mean, then it is time to take serious stock of your online positioning and trajectory. Effective website integration means considering and incorporating all aspects of your business offline and online. At the forefront of integration are the all important elements of customer expectation and experience.
Gone are the days of the stand alone or static website. Customers are demanding ever increasing levels of service, and the global economy means they want this service 24 x 7. There is also an increasing expectation that users will have control over how they interact with you online, both at your website and via social media sites.
How much do you know about what your customers expect? It may include:
How many of us go through a travel agent to book a simple flight these days? Or even pick up the telephone? We are all becoming accustomed to communicating, researching, making arrangements and purchases in our time as it suits us.
This kind of direct access can apply to many product and service providers. The benefits to your customer are significant as they can save time and money interacting with you. Your business also reaps the benefits of cost saving (streamlining administration, query and purchasing processes), which can increase your profit margin and improve competitiveness.
The other key aspect of website integration is improving how your internal systems speak to and function with each other. How well integrated is your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) across areas such as:
An audit of your current software applications may be cause for alarm or joy some older systems will cost a fortune to integrate with new web based or mobile applications. Others come enabled with these functions and only require mapping of the fields to the web. And in some cases the website is part of the offering, no doubt the mobile app will be just another option in future versions.
Depending on where you are in the upgrade cycle of your software, it might be worth changing everything, or waiting until that next upgrade this must be considered against the opportunity cost of doing nothing and being left behind.