Publishers – If you have been thinking that building your own interactive website would improve your business, but the obstacles always seemed overwhelming, then you will most likely find value in the latest announcement from Microsoft. Coming soon to Business Central: a Shopify integration!

Microsoft recently announced that Dynamics 365 Business Central is teaming up with Shopify to help customers create an interactive website capable of discovery and real business transactions.

As most people are aware, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central offers comprehensive business management across operations, finance, and marketing and sales teams within a single integrated application.

In addition, MS Business Partners develop and install industry-specific applications built around Dynamics 365 Business Central. knk Software is one such Partner (certified by Microsoft at the Gold Level), having developed knkPublishing, a series of integrated publishing applications built on Dynamics, aimed at the needs of the publishing and media industries, with over 450 customers across the globe.

Shopify, for its part, provides businesses with an easy-to-use e-commerce solution. In fact, Shopify currently has the largest e-commerce platform market share in the USA, with more than one in four (29 percent) online businesses using it to power their web stores. They have business users in more than 75 countries, with 70% of them being in the US. Shopify does have some very large customers, including Penguin, Nestle and PepsiCo among others, but the majority of their users are small to mid-sized companies that do not want to invest in the technical resources and infrastructure that are necessary to develop their own robust online presence. Dynamics users can now integrate their ERP and financial systems to Shopify in the cloud and begin selling direct to consumers (D2C) to take control of their customer data.

Seamless Integration with Microsoft Tools

A seamless connection between the two systems will synchronize orders and customer information to ensure merchants can fulfill orders faster and better serve customers. The joint effort furthers the commitment of Dynamics 365 Business Central to connect data to help businesses adapt faster, work smarter, and perform better.

The value of D2C for small to mid-size publishers is clear. They have realized that passing responsibility to large online retailers for discovery and selling has some serious drawbacks, not limited to the loss of margin. It’s the loss of customer data that hits hard and the resulting inability to build a community with buyers. A publisher’s online presence, CRM and ERP systems had often become separate siloed systems that did not integrate to build a meaningful view of customer behaviors, and so, many publishers failed to build a long-term relationship with those customers. They had little control over customer data, customer pricing, and the customer “journey”.

Those publishers that have already built a D2C online presence, alongside the latest AI features of the knkPublishing software as the back-office supply chain and financial system, are already able to store, track, identify, and qualify each customer’s data. This consequently allows the publisher to structure a different personalized experience for each of the customers that visit their website. Those publishers enjoy a community spirit with customers, bringing brand loyalty, advocacy, and repeat business with it. It builds relationships at scale and nurtures further demand.

An Easy Way for Publishers to Navigate D2C Sales

They can do it all with the Shopify integration!

With over 70 professionally designed templates to choose from, users can build and customize their website, with its own domain name, seamlessly integrated to the back end of Dynamics 365 Business Central and knkPublishing. The system securely accepts all major credit card payments and offers an arsenal of webshop management features with powerful analytics, either in Shopify or in Power BI in Dynamics Business Central. It provides integration with social media data and to common carriers such as USPS, UPS.

It is a cloud-based subscription model and offers three account tiers for different-sized companies and their needs. And as you can see from the size of some of the customers already using Shopify, it allows for easy scaling as the business grows.

Connecting Dynamics 365 Business Central and knkPublishing with Shopify will help publishers all over the world implement more agile online business processes while keeping people focused on their core competencies. With connected data from across the online stores and business operations, publishers can rapidly respond to consumer demand to adjust product pricing and merchandising, for example. And with support for multi-tier pricing structures and multiple currencies, companies, and entities in knkPublishing and Dynamics 365 Business Central, it will support many Shopify store scenarios.

Future-Proof Publishing Software

Microsoft and knk Software are committed to creating an open ecosystem to help our customers with finding the right solution to accelerate their digital transformation journey.

Innovation begins with data-fueled insights, and more connected operations will allow publishers that use knkPublishing to better meet industry demands. And with Microsoft continuing to invest in generic supply chain and financial features such as these, it allows knk Software to focus our development dollars on the specific needs of the publishing and media industries, to provide our users with a future-proofed solution for their business. Contact us today to find out how we can partner with your publishing company!