Ecommerce Architecture: Basic Components All Magento Projects Need

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February 5, 2021
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Ecommerce Architecture: The Structure of Your Magento Store
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Having flexible, scalable ecommerce architecture is the dream of all merchants. The reason is simple: your eCommerce architecture affects your website performance. If all components of your online storefront work harmoniously, heavy traffic, store customizations, or tech updates won’t cause you any trouble. 

Well-thought-out ecommerce architecture secures success for your e-store.

Magento has one of the clearest and most flexible architectures of all ecommerce platforms. Because it’s open-source and API driven, merchants can upscale their businesses by adding modules and extending core code.

In this article, we will outline the basics of Magento ecommerce architecture and third-party systems that can be integrated into your online store without any negative effects on your store productivity. 

Magento Ecommerce Architecture

At its highest level, Magento’s product architecture consists of the core product code and optional modules. These optional modules enhance or replace the basic product code to change the look-and-feel of your storefront and its fundamental behavior.

When your store is set and running on Magento, you might want to integrate other systems and services that facilitate your business operations. Magento makes any third-party service accessible via APIs. Integration requires some knowledge of PHP or Magento’s internal processes, in which case any third-party systems or their specific modules can be connected with a few lines of code. 

Third-party systems that can be integrated with a Magento store
Magento ecommerce architecture diagram.

Some basic systems that can be integrated into Magento e-store via API include Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Product Information Management (PIM), payment gateways, marketing automation services, and accounting/tax management systems. They will all define the structure of your ecommerce project and set your website architecture.

Let’s look at which third-party systems can be integrated with Magento in more detail.

Magento API Integrations

Third-party systems that are part of your e-commerce project are an integral part of your website architecture. Here’s the list of such systems that can be 

ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) refers to software that helps organizations manage day-to-day business activities, including procurement, project management, risk compliance, and supply chain operations.

Integrating Magento with EPR increases efficiency — inventory, orders, customer data, and shipping details are all synchronized. So you can forget about managing orders by hand, order-inventory mismatches, and tracking shipping codes yourself. ERP simplifies your work as a merchant and improves customer experience.

Magento supports most well-known ERP systems, including Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, SAP, Oracle, Infor, Epicor, Sage, and more.

See more details in our step-by-step guide on how to implement Magento 2 ERP integration.
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Magento 2 ERP Integration in 2021: Step-By-Step Guide
Riese & Müller product page with bike configuration options. Source: Riese & Müller.

In their success story, a German bike manufacturer Riese & Müller tells that a simple Magento + ERP integration helped the company reduce errors while processing orders, relieved their sales team of customer service calls, and made it easy for customers to configure their bikes and make repeat orders.

Magento ERP solution shouldn’t cost you a lot. Check out our related article on that matter and see how we, at Elogic, implemented a Magento ERP extension for our client.
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Top 6 ERP Systems for Small Businesses

CRM

The name Customer Relationship Management (CRM) speaks for itself. It’s a technology for managing all company’s interactions with current and future customers.

Magento 2 CRM integration creates a bridge for your customer data flow and works wonders to your online store. It allows you to:

  • segment your contacts (clients) into groups for more precise marketing campaigns and personalized user experience;
  • identify customers that are most likely to convert from new users to leads; 
  • get sales and customer-related analytics for better business decisions;
  • forecast the campaign results based on the collected data.

…and do so much more!

Analytics report on Leads Management after Magento 2 CRM integration.
Analytics report after Magento 2 CRM integration.

Magento 2 integrates well with some of the biggest CRM systems, like Salesforce, SugarCRM, CRMNEXT, Pega, ServiceNow, and Zoho, among others.

Magento offers great flexibility when integrating with any CRM, and Aldo — a global brand offering footwear and accessories — saw great results fast. Magento 2 CRM integration allowed Aldo to launch an A-List loyalty program for returning customers and expanded their eCommerce across the world reaching out to new customers.

PIM

Product Information Management (PIM) gives a merchant a set of tools to create product catalogs, manage product information, and streamlines product updates across various ecommerce channels. 

Magento PIM data workflow.
PIM data workflow. Source: Scaling eCommerce Magento guide.

Magento 2 PIM integration is a must-have of any ecommerce project on its way to omnichannel personalized experience. PIM manages strong, complex information architecture easily and organizes workflow in the following way:

  1. Product information automatically flows from a variety of internal and external sources into the PIM. 
  2. Data is then enriched, classified, translated, and localized inside the PIM. 
  3. The enhanced data can be exported in the appropriate format to connected web sites, eCommerce platforms, marketplace listings, print catalogs, mobile applications, and more.

You can integrate your Magento store with any big PIM system, like Akeneo, Jasper, Oracle, Salsify, PimCore, and so on.

The results will surprise you. According to Scaling eCommerce with PIM report, PIM integration increases sales conversion rates up to 4X, decreases returns by almost 40%, allows to expand to new markets through efficient localization, and improves omnichannel marketing and marketer productivity up to 50%.

Still not sure why you need a PIM extension for your store? Read more about the benefits of Magento PIM integration in our article.
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Magento PIM Integration: Benefits for Online Store and the Best Solutions

Payment Gateways

Payment gateways are in-between financial services that process credit card data and facilitate authorization of payments during the checkout process in an online store. It’s the essential system of any e-business that also encrypts sensitive data, like credit card data, and ensures safety of online payments.

While choosing the payment gateway for your website, you might want to consider the capabilities of the payment gateway (e.g. what types of payments are accepted), its security, ease of implementation, and associated costs. 

How a payment gateway works.

Magento 2 currently supports 12 payment gateways available worldwide. PayPal, Braintree, Authorize.net, Square, Bolt, and Signifyd are some of them. They all include fraud protection technologies and implement the SCA rule for Strong Customer Authentication. 

For example, while expanding to Brazil, the European retailer of building materials Adeo Group built a new brand Obramax with Magento 2. The team won the trust of its customers with secure gateways and convenient payments. The customers can now pay however they want, including Boleto, Visa Electron, debit/credit cards across three sales channels. 

You can find a payment gateway perfect just for your business! Read our top-list of ecommerce payment gateways and choose the one for your Magento online store.
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Best Magento Payment Gateways and How to Integrate Them on a Website

Marketing Automation Services

Marketing automation services include all tools that automate repetitive marketing tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, and even ad campaigns. They serve not only to speed up the work of the marketing department but also to customize user experience on your website.

Email marketing is one of the most common services integrated with Magento. When employed correctly, it boosts customer conversion rates, builds customer loyalty and trust, as well as raises brand awareness.

Magento integrates with some of the most popular email marketing systems, like dotdigital, MailChimp, HubSpot, Listrak, and Remarkety, among others.

Case in point, Modalu, a brand of designer luxury handbags and purses, integrated Pure360 marketing automation software with Magento. It allowed segmentation within their customer base and enabled the marketing team to send out campaigns to different sets of target audience. In just a year, email marketing has contributed 30% of the sales to the brand!

At Elogic, we’ve also had vast experience integrating marketing software with a Magento 2 store. Read more in our case study on Umovis Lab, one of our projects from Luxembourg.
Umovis Lab

Tax Management Systems

Tax management systems include accounting software that helps merchants manage tax calculations, automate tax reporting, track tax regulation compliance, and manage certificates. There are 17,000+ tax jurisdictions in the US only, and they change frequently. Accounting systems take a weight off your shoulders and automate this whole tax process easily.

Magento’s integration with accounting services — especially with Vertex Cloud — includes tax configuration and address cleansing for your stores, overrides per country, and performance enhancing options.

Vertex Cloud tax dashboard after Visma integration
Vertex Cloud tax dashboard. Source: Magento User Guide.

Other accounting systems that can be integrated with Magento are Avalara, QuickBooks, ZohoBooks, Xero, SageIntacct, and others.   

Tax third-party systems really simplified the work of a boat and shallow-water anchor manufacturer JL Marine Systems. Before implementing Avalara’s sales tax compliance solution in conjunction with its Magento upgrade, the company was receiving huge penalties for Missing exemption certificates. The issue was resolved soon after the integration.

Why Ecommerce Architecture Is Important?

Going through all these third-party system integrations and trying to understand their role in your business, you may ask yourself: as a client, do I have to know all the intricacies of ecommerce project architecture?

The answer is: yes, if you take your business project seriously.

You might go without any integrations and build your website using only Magento solutions, but your website performance and loading will suffer. It will also require lines of code to create the same functions, hence the overall productivity will be affected.

Magento and its API integrations offer quick and convenient solutions for all your business needs and requirements:

  • ERP — to automate many back-office functions and run day-to-day business activities;
  • CRM — to establish relationships with customers and attract new ones; 
  • PIM — to manage product catalogs and access product data;
  • payment gateways — to process online payments safely and easily;
  • marketing automation services — to automate and personalize marketing activities;
  • accounting systems — to gain control of business financial processes with tax calculation and reports.

These Magento integrations are easy-to-perform thanks to APIs – and ensure everything you use has been fully optimized. 

In the era when every second counts, you just can’t afford saving up on ecommerce architecture. Building a self-sufficient, feature-rich, integrated website will make you forget about the daily business routine and focus on user interaction and sales. 

Build the website that performs and — most importantly — converts now. At Elogic, we pride ourselves on vast expertise in Magento website development and integration services. Tell us about your project and automate your work processes now!

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