Integrations are a valuable tool that can help you grow your ecommerce business. An ecommerce integration is essentially a data connection between two or more sources that allows companies to gain better visibility and control across their back-end systems and automate their business processes. According to Gartner, a typical ecommerce experience today involves over 30 integrations.
Business owners often look to scale their business by outsourcing their order fulfillment to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider and then integrating their company’s back-end systems with their 3PL’s systems, enabling them to automate their order fulfillment process. Once these integrations are set up, whenever a customer order is placed from any sales channel, it will be instantly routed to the 3PL and the end-to-end order fulfillment process will run automatically and efficiently.
One 3PL that offers an array of integrations is Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF), which provides fast, reliable fulfillment for off-Amazon channels, including ecommerce marketplaces, social media stores, and brand websites. MCF integrations help merchants optimize their order fulfillment from click to delivery for popular ecommerce solutions, like Shopify.
There are multiple options for integrating your Shopify website with MCF. But how do you decide which integration is best for your business? In this guide, we highlight the benefits of integrating your Shopify store with MCF, discuss the types of integrations available, and tell you how to get started with integrating MCF and Shopify.
Integrating your Shopify website with MCF can enable you to achieve a number of business benefits, including:
Once you decide you want to implement and use an ecommerce integration to connect your Shopify website with MCF, you’ll need to evaluate the various integration options available and select the right one for your business needs. Before beginning the evaluation process, there are a few important factors to consider:
- Current fulfillment operations: Before choosing an integration, assess your current order fulfillment process and its level of complexity. Depending on how many sales channels you utilize besides your Shopify website and how many countries you sell in, you may need a single connector between your Shopify store and MCF or an integration that can handle multiple sales channels connecting directly to MCF.
- Level of customization required: Another consideration is the level of customization you need in an integration. Whether it be sending orders to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or utilizing specific MCF features – like unbranded packaging and block Amazon Logistics as a carrier – these needs can impact which integration you settle on. In fact, whether you funnel all of your orders through Shopify or you use a separate inventory or order management system can also impact your integration choice.
Having a good picture of both your current and future plans will help you best decide on an integration that can support your business in the long run. Consider each of these factors, because they will help guide your decision making in the next section as we look at the different options that are available to you.
There are four different integration options to connect your Shopify store with MCF: the “Built by Amazon” app, third-party applications, inventory and order management solutions, and custom APIs.
Once a customer places an order on your Shopify website, the MCF app for Shopify sends that order straight to MCF for fulfillment. You can scale your order fulfillment by leveraging key app features, such as:
- Simple setup: Follow four steps to get set up in minutes with no coding required.
- Automatic SKU mapping: Auto-map your products if your Shopify SKUs match your Amazon SKUs, or perform custom SKU mapping if they differ.
- Real-time inventory sync: Keep your Shopify inventory updated to match your Amazon inventory to avoid stockouts on your website.
- Configure multiple locations: If you manage inventory from multiple locations, like your own warehouse, you can ship from the MCF location or your other locations in Shopify.
- End-to-end tracking: The MCF app sends tracking information from MCF to Shopify in order to keep your customers up to date on their orders.
- Connect more than one store: You can link multiple US Shopify stores to the MCF app for Shopify.
Learn more about the MCF app for Shopify, watch a recorded demo of the app, or get started by installing the app and following the user guide to complete your setup
Some examples of third-party applications that integrate MCF and Shopify include:
- WebBee: Syncs your Amazon inventory with your Shopify orders for automated fulfillment and real-time visibility into your inventory and order processing. Interested in learning more? Read this case study to learn how Dragon Glassware used WebBee to integrate their Shopify website with MCF. Also, you can check out WebBee’s feature list or get started by installing the app and following the setup instructions. If you start using WebBee, your monthly fee will be waived for 3 months using the code WB6MSPL.
- ByteStand: Automates your Shopify order fulfillment and shows real-time shipping rates at checkout, in addition to updating your customers with tracking information. See how Very Special Games used ByteStand to integrate their Shopify website with MCF to streamline their operations. Interested in using ByteStand? Sign up for a demo to walk through the ByteStand app setup or get started by installing the app and following the setup instructions. Use the coupon code amazon_30 to get a 30-day free trial.
This integration option is best suited for businesses with complex order routing needs, like requiring connections with multiple 3PL fulfillment providers, sales channels, or back-end systems. There are numerous inventory and order management integrations available, including:
- Veeqo, an Amazon company: Use Veeqo, Amazon’s free shipping and order management software that integrates MCF with your business to organize all your operations in one place.
- ChannelAdvisor: Connect your Shopify website with MCF using ChannelAdvisor for streamlined order management and automated fulfillment.
- Listing Mirror: Leverage this multi-channel software to assist with listings, fulfillment, and inventory for all your sales channels, including Shopify. Explore how Prime Line Packaging grew their business by using Listing Mirror to integrate their sales channels, like their Shopify website, with MCF.
- Pipe17: Gain control of your ecommerce business through automated order fulfillment with MCF in addition to inventory and order management capabilities. Pipe17 also integrates with Netsuite.
- Sellercloud: Simplify your business management with features like omnichannel setup, custom and pre-made reports, accounting support, in addition to automated fulfillment.
- ShipStation: Monitor orders across your ecommerce sales channels and automate fulfillment with MCF. Discover how Aromatan used ShipStation to seamlessly manage inventory and orders across their sales channels, including their Shopify website.
Follow these steps to create a custom API integration between your Shopify website and MCF:
- Register as a developer using the registration guide found in the developer documentation.
- Once you have a developer account, you can use the integration guide in the developer documentation to determine what APIs you wish to use and their functions.
- Once your API is set up, it will begin communicating between your Shopify website and MCF to manage and fulfill orders based on your custom integration.
I currently have inventory in Amazon fulfillment centers. How do I sign up for MCF so that I can integrate MCF and my Shopify store?
There is no sign up to use MCF. If you already have inventory with Amazon, you can select the integration you wish to use, and begin setting up the connection between your Shopify website and MCF.
Is there a fee associated with integrating my Shopify website and MCF?
The MCF app for Shopify is free to use. For third-party applications or inventory and order management solutions (other than Veeqo), there may be a monthly or annual fee, typically based on order volume. Locate the specific integrations you are considering on our integration page for more details.
Is coding a requirement for integrating my Shopify website and MCF?
There are a variety of prebuilt integration options – including Built by Amazon apps, third-party apps, and inventory and order management solutions – that do not require coding. If you have developer resources with coding skills, you can explore MCF’s custom APIs.
Will an MCF integration with my Shopify website allow me to leverage MCF features, like blocking Amazon Logistics, both at the order and account level?
Although the MCF app for Shopify does not currently support blocking Amazon Logistics as a carrier, third-party applications, like WebBee and ByteStand, and many inventory and order management solutions offer these options. Locate the integrations you are considering on our integration page to confirm whether these features are available.
Which integrations can I use for Shopify orders placed outside of the US?
Although the MCF app for Shopify only currently supports orders placed in the US, many third-party applications, like WebBee and ByteStand, and inventory and order management solutions offer support for orders placed outside the US. Locate the integrations you are considering on our integration page to confirm whether these features are available. Note that Veeqo is available in the US and UK.
What is the onboarding time for integrating my Shopify website with MCF?
Onboarding times vary depending on the complexity of your business and the integration you select. A prebuilt app typically has the lowest onboarding time, as low as 15-30 minutes, depending on your current business setup. Inventory and order management solutions range from minutes to a couple of weeks depending on the details of your business, like your SKU mapping setup. However, these solutions sometimes offer services to help you get started (often for an additional fee). The custom API integration option typically takes the longest, since it involves coding.
Which integrations can connect directly to my ERP system?
The MCF app for Shopify does not connect to ERP systems, but some inventory and order management solutions do. Locate the integrations you are considering on our integration page to check their ERP connection options. A custom API integration will typically allow you to communicate information to your ERP system.
Ecommerce integrations are powerful tools to level up your ecommerce business’ operations. There are quite a few ways that you can connect MCF and your Shopify store. By evaluating your current and future needs, you can decide whether you want a “Built by Amazon” app, third-party application, inventory and order management solution, or custom API. Whichever option you choose, it will reduce manual effort and improve your click-to-delivery speeds – so that you can delight your Shopify customers with fast, reliable order fulfillment.