This guide refers mostly to ERPs. But keep in mind that integrating PIMs and WMSs basically follows the same principles and the content will point out whenever that is not the case.
An ecommerce operation may use a range of software to better manage its resources and information. In this guide, we take a look at the best ways to integrate these systems with your VTEX store. This allows your store to optimize operations by creating efficient communications between VTEX and other software.
Each operation has its specific needs and we do not recommend any particular software. However, here are some examples used by different operations:
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Warehouse Management System (WMS)
- Aptean Catalyst
- ECI Software Solutions
- IBM Sterling WMS
- Oracle Netsuite
- Product Information Manager (PIM)
- IBM Product Master
- Widen Collective
For a complete back-office integration, you should use our APIs to send your Products, Pricing, and Inventory to VTEX and to receive your Orders from VTEX. In order to provide more detail on this data flow, this overview is split into the initial setup and the ongoing integration flow.
Check the new Catalog onboarding guide. We created this guide to improve the onboarding experience for developers at VTEX. It assembles all documentation on our Developer Portal about Catalog and is organized by focusing on the developer's journey.
To get your integration up and running, you need to perform some configuration steps and then set up the middleware that will handle the ongoing flow. See the steps below.
Note that some of these steps are also used in the ongoing integration. For example, the registering of products and inventory.
Import customer data
When implementing an ecommerce project, it may be necessary to import customer data from other systems, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications.
Unlike the processes shown in the image above, this import does not require a specific order relative to other processes.
After the configuration, you must set up your middleware to be able to send and receive information from VTEX according to events in the routine of your operation.
There are many different ways to do this and your store’s technical team must decide what processes suit your needs. Solutions can be divided into two main groups:
- Integration platforms: third-party Platform as a Service companies whose product allows you to create VTEX integrations with minimal development effort.
- In-house developing: when choosing this path, keep in mind that that you must not only build the software, but maintain the ongoing integration. For example, the middleware must be able to handle scalability issues that come with sales peaks such as may occur in a black friday event.
Ongoing middleware flow
Once you have configurated your store and set up the middleware, the general flow of information will look something like this:
Each of the requests or processes represented by the arrows in the diagram above, is triggered by a different event in the day-to-day operation of an ecommerce. See details on the following sessions.
Send product updates
Trigger: Whenever there are product updates in your ERP or PIM.
There are many business reasons that may lead to product updates to your store, be it adding new SKUs, editing existing ones, or removing them from your store. The goal here is for your integration to automatically pick up product updates from the ERP and send them to VTEX APIs.
Learn more about how to implement this in our Product updates guide.
Send pricing updates
Trigger: Whenever there are price changes in your ERP or PIM.
Similar to product updates, there are different reasons as to why stores change their prices. In any case, whenever you decide to change your store’s prices, you should set up the integration to automatically send these updates from the ERP to VTEX.
Learn more in our guide Pricing updates.
Receive order flow notification
Trigger: Whenever any order gets to one of the statuses predetermined by you.
In VTEX’s Order Management System (OMS) orders go through a predetermined flow. By setting up your order integration, you ensure your ERP gets notified whenever any order reaches some specific stages in its life cycle.
For example, the status
ready-for-handling tells you that the order has been paid for and the grace period has expired. On the other hand,
request-cancel means your customer wishes that the order be canceled.
To learn more see Set up order integration.
Get order information
Trigger: When your store needs to take action regarding a specific order.
When setting up order integration you may configure variate notifications for different stages that an order goes through. Some or all of these stages may prompt your store to take action based on the order’s specific information.
For instance, when an order gets to
ready-for-handling it is time to pick and pack. For an order that got to
request-cancel, you should assess the order’s situation and take action accordingly.
To learn more check Set up order integration.
Send invoice information
Trigger: When your ERP has generated the invoice for the order.
To learn more see Invoice order.
Send tracking information
Trigger: When the assigned carrier makes tracking information available for a given order.
In VTEX order management, tracking information is tied to the order’s invoice. Learn more in Order tracking.
Send order changes
Trigger: When the store needs to change items or values of an existing order.
Order changes may be needed in various scenarios, such as when an item in the order is actually out of stock.
To learn more see Change order.
For marketplaces, it may also be necessary to perform changes in sellers. Learn more with our Change seller guide
Send order cancelations
Trigger: When your store needs to cancel an order.
To learn more see Cancel order.
Make sure you've gone through our Getting Started Guide and have created the appKey and appToken for the system you want to integrate with VTEX. For stores hosted in Seller Portal or Admin v4, you can find the Application Keys page by clicking on your profile's avatar, which is marked with the initial from your email, then going to Account settings > Application keys.