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How to Sync Data Between Shopify and NetSuite

Background

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that enables businesses to run online stores. Shopify provides tools for all aspects of e-commerce, including store website hosting, pricing, transactions, shipping, inventory management, marketing as well as customer relationship management. The full suite of features makes Shopify a popular tool for businesses of all scales to operate their stores online, offline, or via social media platforms. 

Oracle NetSuite is a cloud-based business management software that offers tools for running the backend of businesses which includes finance, supply chain, manufacturing, HR, and e-commerce. Both online and offline companies use NetSuite for operational, customers,  and analytical needs. 

Shopify’s easy-to-use and low-cost templates, themes, plugins, and basic store management features attract hundreds of e-commerce customers and previously brick-and-mortar stores to host their businesses on the Shopify platform. Although Shopify helps build amazing store-fronts and basic operation processes, many businesses also rely on NetSuite’s sophisticated and specialized applications to help them scale. That is why NetSuite starts to be used jointly with Shopify to streamline and optimize aspects such as financials, demand forecasting, warehousing, HR, and sales analytics as an online mom-and-pop shop expands into a nationwide, multi-warehouse business. 

For example, an operation specialist at an e-commerce company consolidates all the recent order data from Shopify and maps it to the order management and the inventory management systems in NetSuite. Then, as orders are being fulfilled, the order picking information is updated in NetSuite’s warehouse management system, and the fulfillment status is reflected back into Shopify and presented in the customer-facing interface. 

The Challenge

Leveraging the complementing applications in both Shopify and NetSuite requires smooth data exchange between the two systems so that corresponding applications can communicate with each other, automating tasks such as inventory and pricing updates. With customer satisfaction and growing analytics needs on the line, manually transporting data is unrealistic due to accuracy and efficiency. 

Currently, in the market, there are out-of-box connectors found in Shopify App Store, as well as integration services centered around NetSuite. You can also choose to build integration in-house via Shopify and NetSuite’s APIs. Nevertheless, there are trade-offs and challenges with these approaches: 

  1. Sending data among multiple systems outside of Shopify and NetSuite: a major obstacle in analyzing thousands of records of customer data every day is to get data to different destinations such as Google BigQuery, Tableau, or other analytics systems. This means that users have to build pipelines in-house or use separate applications to transfer data. This could take a huge toll on engineering resources and slow down the analytics process. Sending data to destinations such as Amazon S3 or FTP in order to store data for backup would also take extra steps and time.  
  2. Customizing data flows and sync schedule: most out-of-box connectors are point-to-point connectors that become cumbersome once the volume of data and the number of systems scale. Most tools on the market offer little customizability in configuring data sync schedules and detailed rules for data transformation. Rules such as only syncing certain attributes or transforming a field of data into a specific type mostly need to be implemented by code in separate interfaces.
  3. Monitoring real-time data flows: maintaining data quality in real-time is key to operations. When raw data is fed into systems without validation or safeguard from an alert system, important processes such as order or shipping could be seriously impaired. 
  4. Maintaining reasonable spending and integration timeline: building pipelines in-house maximizes integration flexibility, but it is extremely costly and time-consuming. Out-of-box tools, on the other hand, tend to be fragmented and difficult to scale. Businesses’ growth rates and sales volumes vary during different stages, so it is challenging to find a cost-effective and flexible solution. 
  5. Collaborating with data users and engineers: collaboration and data governance are taxing when technical fluency varies among data users and engineers. Most tools on the market do not provide an intuitive way to communicate the many facets of e-commerce data across functional teams, causing insufficient data sharing. 

There are always trade-offs between most of the approaches mentioned above. It is almost impossible to have all of the following: flexibility/customizability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. As you are deciding between dragging out your budget on building integrations in-house and complicating your data stack with another layer of temporary tools, your business continues to scale, demanding an optimal solution once and for all.  

The Solution

You can send data to any destination with Nexla, a one-stop shop for all data integrations. This means that while you sync data between Shopify and NetSuite, you can also send data directly to your data warehouse or analytics tools without additional effort. Your operational data will be readily available for storage, analysis, and collaboration as it is being generated. You can configure the attributes, formats, speed, and frequency of syncing data all within one interface without coding. Nexla’s automated, intelligent monitoring capabilities ensure data quality as it flows in real-time, powering a smooth and consistent customer experience.

Here is an example of syncing data between Shopify and NetSuite: 

First of all, search for Shopify and add it as your data source. Input a username, URL, username, and API token to save the credentials. Once you have the credentials added, you can save or share them with your collaborators at any time.

 

Once your credentials are authenticated, you can configure the Shopify source that you want to draw data from. You can choose from a list of endpoints in a drop-down menu. In this example, we choose to get all customers’ data. You can see an overview of the customer data once you test the endpoint on the right side. Next, set how often you want to fetch data from the project depending on your work cadence. In this example, we set it to fetch data every day. 

 

Click the “Create” button on the top right, you will be brought to the data flow interface, and you will see the Nexset that is automatically detected and generated by Nexla from your selected source. Click the “Transform” icon to start applying custom transformations to your Nexset.

 

You can apply any of Nexla’s pre-built transformations or custom code your transformation in a few lines. In this example, a pre-built hashing transformation is applied to the column of customers’ addresses to protect sensitive data. 

 

The transformed column is then displayed on the right side. Custom transformations can also be easily shared and stored along with descriptions and examples. After all the selected columns are transformed, you can then apply custom validation rules so that Nexla ensures the quality of the data output as data is moving in real-time. Any data that does not meet the quality standard will be quarantined, and a notification will be sent to you. 

 

Now that the data is cleaned and transformed, you can send it to NetSuite by repeating the step where you select the source and add the credential info. 

 

The next step is to map the data from Shopify to NetSuite. Create a new table, and you will see that Nexla scans the detected dataset and auto-maps the attributes. You can edit the attributes as you see fit and select a primary key. Click “Save” on the top right, your data pipeline is all set!

 

You can see the complete data flow on your dashboard. Nexla’s intelligent monitoring capabilities will notify you when an error occurs and you will have a clear view of your data flow status and lineage in the dashboard. 

 

With Nexla, syncing data between Shopify and NetSuite is extremely simple and can be done in minutes with just a few clicks, meaning that any data user can self-service anytime with little to no technical knowledge. This way, the sales manager, marketing analyst, procurement specialist, warehouse manager, or anyone that uses Shopify or NetSuite can sync data independently and apply it to their use cases. Our e-commerce/retail customers see a significant improvement in efficiency while enjoying the customizability. 

Request a demo and try it out for your organization today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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