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B2B Integration at the Data Level in E-commerce

July 31, 2018| by Kelly Green

eCommerce In Today's Market

In today's environment, eCommerce has taken over the most trade relations and implemented a means for businesses and consumers alike to achieve fast, reliable service regardless of geographical location. Most businesses require working relationships with many other companies such as suppliers, retailers, shippers, and software providers. In order for all of these companies to communicate quickly and offer information and documents to each other in an effort to generate the end result of trade, exchanging data is crucial. The option to hand write or print out each of the needed documents, is just not realistic anymore. B2B, B2C, API, and EDI all work interdependently, one relying on another to function optimally.

Depending on whether the organization is B2B or B2C, eCommerce makes what was formerly a long drawn-out process much more accessible. To clarify the acronyms, the meaning of B2B is Business-to-Business. This term defines a company that markets and distributes to other companies and not to the customer. An example would be companies that make products such as software or literature providing their products to bookstores or other retailers. The second term is B2C, which is the alternate option, or business to consumer. This refers to a business providing products or services to the retail customer. In both circumstances, each type involves eCommerce and building professional relationships with multiple business in an efficient way. The way this partnership is most fluid, is when there is integrated data exchange (sharing documents and data between the involved companies, most commonly in the B2B platform) to make this process of unified collaboration more cohesive.

The two technologies available to achieve this result are API and EDI. API is relatively new technology that effectively automates electronic communication between applications once systems are connected. This happens in real time so that each app has the ability to pull data from another instantaneously. This allows multiple shopping carts, for example, seamlessly navigate inventory, or shipping, and other specific saved data. API integrated into the software, automatically allowing it to complete tasks on its own. This technology changed the way business communicate online.

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